University Musical Encyclopedia The Theory Of Music And Piano Technique

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For instance, melody and harmony are often considered to be given more importance in classical music at the expense of rhythm and timbre. John Cage considered duration the primary aspect of music because it is the only aspect common to both "sound" and "silence.

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It is often debated whether there are aspects of music that are universal. The debate often hinges on definitions, for instance the fairly common assertion that "tonality" is a universal of all music may necessarily require an expansive definition of tonality. A pulse music pulse is sometimes taken as a universal, yet there exist solo vocal and instrumental genres with free, improvisational rhythms with no regular pulse.

According to Frank Zappa,. By 'music-making,' I intend not only actual performance but also how music is heard, understood, even learned. Someone who performs, composes, or conducts music is a musician.


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Performance is a method for musicians to share music with others. A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. In principle, anything that produces sound, and can somehow be controlled by a musician, can serve as a musical instrument. The expression, however, is reserved generally to items that have a specific musical purpose.

The academic study of musical instruments is called organology.

All classes of instruments save the electronic are mentioned in ancient sources, such as Egyptian inscriptions, the Bible and the many thousand year old Hindu Vedas, and probably predate recorded history. The human body, generating both vocal and percussive sounds, may have been the first instrument. Percussion instruments such as stones and hollow logs are another likely candidate. For instance, nine-thousand-year-old bone flutes or recorders have been found in Chinese archeological sites.

Many cultures include strong traditions of solo music solo or soloistic performance, such as in Indian classical music, while other cultures, such as in Bali, Indonesia include strong traditions of musical ensemble group performance.

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All cultures include a mixture of both, and performance may range from improvised solo playing for one's enjoyment to highly planned and organized performance rituals such as the modern classical concert or religion religious processions. What is called chamber music is often seen as more intimate than symphonic works.

A performer is called a musician, a group being a musical ensemble such as a rock band or symphony orchestra. Music is often preserved in memory and performance only, handed down by oral history orally, or aurally "by ear". Such music—especially that which has no known individual composer—is often classified as "traditional. If the music is written down, it is generally in some manner which attempts to capture both what should be heard by listeners, and what the musician should do to perform the music.

This is referred to as musical notation, and the study of how to read notation involves music theory. Written notation varies with style and period of music, and includes scores, lead sheets, guitar tablature, among the more common notations. Generally music which is to be performed is produced as sheet music.

To perform music from notation requires an understanding of both the musical style and performance practice expected or acceptable. Most cultures use at least part of the concept of preconceiving musical material, or musical composition composition, as held in western classical music. Many, but fewer, cultures also include the related concept of interpretation, performing material conceived by others, to the contrasting concepts of improvisation and free improvisation, which is material that is spontaneously "thought of" imagined while being performed, not preconceived.

However, many cultures and people do not have this distinction at all, using a broader concept which incorporates both without discrimination. Improvised music virtually always follows some rules or conventions and even "fully composed" includes some freely chosen material. Also artists' improvisations in Jazz, have been orchestrated Thelonious Monk and solos even vocalised called vocalese a tradition including, Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. See, precompositional.

Composition does not always mean the use of notation, or the known sole authorship of one individual. Mimicry is also used in music, where various instruments or voice are used to imitate nature or even urban sounds such as trains, cars, machinery, etc. Music can also be determined by describing a "process" which may create musical sounds, examples of this range from wind chimes, through computer programs which select sounds.

See: precompositional , form music , modulation music modulation, twelve tone technique, serialism, and process music. Musical composition is a term that describes the makeup of a piece of music.

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Methods of composition vary widely, however in analyzing music all forms—spontaneous, trained, or untrained—are built from elements comprising a musical piece. Music can be composed for repeated performance or it can be improvised, or composed on the spot. The music can be performed entirely from memory, from a written system of musical notation, or some combination of both. Study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough to include spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African drummers.

What is important in understanding the composition of a piece is singling out its elements. An understanding of music's formal elements can be helpful in deciphering exactly how a piece is made. A universal element of music is time or more generally rhythm.

When a piece appears to have no time, it is considered 'rubato'. The Italian term, meaning "free time," does not mean "without rhythm," but rather that the 'tempo' or time of the piece changes dynamically.

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Even random placement of random sounds, often occurring in musical montage, occurs within some kind of time, and thus employs time as a musical element. Any musical event comprised of elements can be considered a "composition. The field of music cognition involves the study of many aspects of music including how it is processed by listeners. Music is experienced by individuals in a huge variety of social settings ranging from being alone to attending a large concert. Concerts take many different forms and may include people dressing in formal wear and sitting quietly in the rows of auditoriums, drinking and dancing in a bar, or loudly cheering and booing in an auditorium.

Deaf or aurally challenged people can experience music by feeling the vibrations in their body; the most famous example of a deaf musician is the composer Ludwig van Beethoven , who composed many famous works even after he had completely lost his hearing. In more modern times, Evelyn Glennie, who has been deaf since the age of twelve, is a highly acclaimed percussionist.

Also, Chris Buck, a violinist virtuoso and New Zealander , has recently lost his hearing. The music that composers create can be heard through several media; the most traditional way is to hear it live, in the presence, or as one of, the musicians. Live music can also be broadcast over the radio, television or the internet.

Some musical styles focus on producing a sound for a performance, while others focus on producing a recording which mixes together sounds which were never played "live. In many cultures there is less distinction between performing and listening to music, as virtually everyone is involved in some sort of musical activity, often communal.

In industrialized countries, listening to music through a recorded form, such as a sound recording or watching a music video, became more common than experiencing live performance, roughly in the middle of the 20th century. Sometimes, live performances incorporate prerecorded sounds; for example, a disc jockey or DJ uses gramophone record disc records for scratching.

Audiences can also become performers by using Karaoke, invented by the Japanese, which uses music video and tracks without voice, so the performer can add his voice to the piece. Many people, including entire cultures, compose, perform, and improvise music with no training and feel no need for training.

The 'look see' method seems to be popular too. Other cultures have traditions of rigorous formal training that may take years and serious dedication. Sometimes this training takes the form of apprenticeship. For example, Music of Indian training traditionally take more years than a college education and involves spiritual discipline and reverence for one's guru or teacher. In the music of Bali , everyone learns and practices together. It is also common for people to take music lessons, short private study sessions with an individual teacher, when they want to learn to play or compose music, usually for a fee.

A famous private composition teacher is Nadia Boulanger. The Suzuki method is a way of teaching, or educational philosophy, most often used in learning to play music. It was invented in the mid-twentieth century by Dr.

Background

Shin'ichi Suzuki. Suzuki noticed that all children pick up their native language very quickly, and even dialects which adults consider "difficult" to learn are spoken with ease by people of 5 or 6 years. He reasoned that if a person has the skill to acquire their mother tongue, then they have the necessary ability to become proficient on a musical instrument. He modeled his method, which he called "Talent Education" jap. Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement. He also made it clear that the goal of such musical education was to create generations of children with "noble hearts" as opposed to creating famous musical prodigies.


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  8. The Suzuki method was first developed for the study of the violin but has been adapted for flute , recorder , piano , guitar , cello, viola, bass, organ, harp and voice. In addition, there are a few "Suzuki Preschools" which have adapted Dr. Suzuki's philosophy to use in non-musical disciplines. Contents Dr. Suzuki incorporated the Suzuki method in which a child is taught to learn an instrument through the parent prior to being schooled in primary education.

    The incorporation of music performance and theory into a general liberal arts curriculum, from preschool to postsecondary education, is relatively common.

    Musical notation

    Meanwhile, western schools are increasingly including the study of the music of other cultures such as the Balinese gamelan , of which there are currently more than in America. Many people also study about music in the field of musicology. The earliest definitions of musicology defined three sub-disciplines: systematic musicology, and comparative musicology.

    In contemporary scholarship, one is more likely to encounter a division of the discipline into music theory, music history, and ethnomusicology.

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    Research in musicology has often been enriched by cross-disciplinary work, for example in the field of psychoacoustics. The study of music of non-western cultures, and the cultural study of music, is called ethnomusicology. In Medieval times, the study of music was one of the 'Quadrivium' of the seven liberal Arts and considered vital to higher learning. Within the quantitative Quadrivium, music, or more accurately harmonics, was the study of rational proportions.