Sound of Music: Properties of Musical Sounds Essay

Submitted By Rawrsteven1
Words: 1169
Pages: 5

Sounds * Begins with the vibration of an object. * Vibrations are transmitted to our ears by a medium, which usually is air. * Eardrums start vibrating, and impulses or signals, are transmitted to the brain. * Selected, organized, and interpreted.

4 Main Properties of Musical Sounds * Pitch * Dynamics (loudness or softness) * Tone color * Duration

Pitch: Highness or Lowness of Sound * Relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound. * Pitch is determined by the frequency of its vibrations (Speed), which is measured in cycles per second. * Faster the vibration, the higher the pitch. * Slower the vibration, the lower the pitch. * Tone * Definite pitch. * Specific frequency (440 cycles per second) * Interval * The distance in pitch between any two tones * Pitch Range * The distance between the lowest and highest tones

Dynamics * Degree of loudness or softness in music * Related to the amplitude of the vibration that produces the sound. * Pianissimo –pp-Very soft * Piano –p- Soft * Mezzo Piano – mp – moderately soft * Mezzo forte –mf – moderately loud * Forte – f – Loud * Fortissimo – ff – very loud * Decrescendo: Gradually softer * Crescendo: Gradually louder * Accent: tone by playing loudly than the tones around it

Voices * Women: Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano, Alto * Men: Tenor, baritone, Bass.

Musical Instruments (6 Categories) * String (Guitar and violin) * Woodwind (Flute and clarinet) * Percussion (Bass drum and cymbals) * Keyboard (Organ and piano) * Electronic (Synthesizer)

Register * Part of the total range.

String Instruments * Violin, viola, cello, and double bass. * Greatest versatility and expressive range. * Pizzicato (Plucked string) * Double Stop (Two notes at once) * Vibrato * Rocking the left hand while pressing the strings down. * Mute * Musician can veil or muffle the tone by fitting a clamp onto the bridge. * Tremolo * Rapidly repeats tones by quick up-and-down strokes of the bow. This creates tension, when loud; or shimmering when lightly touch. * Harmonics * High-pitched tones, like a whistle’s are produced when a musician lightly touches a certain point on a string. * Harp * Only plucked string instrument that has gained wide acceptance in the symphony orchestra.

Woodwinds * Piccolo * Highest * Contrabassoon * Lowest * Can only produce one note at a time. * Recorder * Relative of the flute, blow through a whistle mouthpiece. * Reed * Very thin piece of cane, that is set into vibration by a stream of air. * Saxophone * An instrument used mainly in bands, has a single reed.

* Oboe, English horn, bassoon, and contrabassoon are double-reed woodwinds.
Brass Instruments * High register to low: trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba. * Trumpet and trombone are often used in jazz and rock groups. * Vibration come from the musician’s lips as he or she blows into a cup or mouthpiece. * Powerful instruments, often used at climaxes and for bold. * French Horn * Tone is less brassy, more mellow, and more rounder than the trumpet. * Tuba * Heavy tone is used to add weight to the lowest register * Trombone * Combines trumpet and mellowness of French horn.
* Struck by hand, sticks, or hammers. * Definite and indefinite pitch. * Definite Pitch * Timpani: drums * Glockenspiel: two hammers that produce bright and silvery * Xylophone: wooden bars, struck with two hammers * Celesta: small piano, metal bars, struck by hammers * Chimes: metal tubes, sounds like church bells * Indefinite Pitch * Snare drum: side drum, vibration of snares * Bass drum: largest