Types of Texture
Texture refers to the interweaving of the melodic lines with harmony.
The simplest texture is monophony, or a single voice. Ex- singing in the shower.
Voice refers to an individual part or line, even in instrumental music.
Polyphony (“many-voiced”) describes a texture in which two or more different melodic lines are combined, thus distributing melodic interest among all the parts. Ex- A group of men singing the same melody.
Polyphonic texture is based on counterpoint, or one musical line set against another.
Homophony, a single voice with an accompaniment, takes over the melodic interest, while the accompanying lines are subordinate. Ex- Someone singing with a piano accompaniment.
Homorhythm, a kind of homophony where all the voices or lines move together in the same rhythm.
When several independent lines are combined (in polyphony), one method that composers use to give unity and shape to the texture is imitation.
Imitation is when a melodic idea is presented in one voice, then restated in another.
Canons and Rounds are two types of strictly imitative works.
In a round, the voice enters in succession with the same melody that can be repeated endlessly. Ex- Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping?).
Chapter 6: Musical Form
Structure & Design in Music
Form is the organizing principle in music; its basic elements are repetition, contrast, and variation.
Music of all cultures mirrors life in its basic elements of repetition and contrast, the familiar and the new.
Every kind of musical work has a conscious structure.
One of the most common in vocal music, is strophic form, in which the same melody is repeated with each stanza of the text, as for a folk song or carol (Silent Night).
Variation is where some aspects of the music are altered but the original is still recognizable.
Improvisation, music created spontaneously in performance, is typical in jazz, rock, and non-Western styles.
Binary form (two-part, A-B) is based on a statement and a departure, without a return to the opening section. The statement (A) is repeated with varied final cadences, then followed by the departure (B) with different cadences. Ex- Greensleeves. ffffffff Ternary form (three-part, A-B-A) extends the idea of statement and departure by bringing back the first section. Statement A is repeated, then continues to departure B which ending resembles A with a new text, and concludes with the repetition of statement A. The Building Blocks of Form
A theme is a melodic idea in a large-scale work. It can be broken into small, component fragments called motives.
A motive forms a melodic-rhythmic unit. Motives are the cells of music growth.
The expansion of a theme, achieved by varying its melody, rhythm, or harmony, is considered thematic development.
A sequence results when a motive is repeated at a different pitch.
One formal practice based on repetition and heard in music throughout much of the work is call and response or sponsorial music.
Ostinato is a short musical pattern-melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic- that is repeated throughout a work or a major section of a piece.
A movement is a complete, comparatively independent division of a large-scale work.
Chapter 7: Musical Expression (Tempo & Dynamics)
The Pace of Music
Tempo is the rate of speed, or pace, of the music.
Tempo also carries emotional implications. Fast speed is most associated with agitation or eagerness. Vigor and gaiety are associated with a brisk