Review of the theoretical elements of music including sound and pitch, rhythm, melody, harmony, and notation.
Melodic and Harmonic Intervals Scales Understanding intervals begins with an understanding of scales. Benjamin Hollis defines a scale as a group of pitches (scale degrees) arranged in either ascending or descending order. These pitches span an octave (1). In Western music a major scale consists of seven different pitches. There are half steps between the… Read More ›
Comparing Western Music With Non-Western Music One of the first things you will probably note when researching Non-Western Music is the scarcity of information. Unlike Western music, Non-Western music grew out of environments or cultures that did not require the development of commonly accepted standards for tuning. The Western tuning agreements developed over time… Read More ›
Reading Music Using Clefs Have you ever wondered how a musician knows what notes to play? While it isn’t necessary to read music it helps if you want to play a composition written by someone else. If you take a look at a piece of sheet music you will see the notes are notated… Read More ›
First Violinists and Second Violinists In an orchestra violinists are divided into two sections. Does “playing second” mean the violinist is not good enough to play first violin? Let’s explore their differences. In symphony orchestras there are two sections of violins. The first violin section is always on the conductor’s left. Seating of second violins… Read More ›
Daniel Kobialka with Leonard Bernstein As noted in the first of this series, the music classification system describing the evolution of Western music follows that generally accepted by Music History Scholars. To date these newsletters have provided a look into the key periods of musical development including: Early (prior to 9th century) Medieval (9th… Read More ›