The scholarly study of music, particularly different musical cultures and traditions

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18
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4answers
1k views

Why are birds never out of key when they sing?

Why are birds never out of key when they sing? In fact, this is not just about birds; almost all creatures that make pleasant sounds (except us) never make a note out of key. How is this possible?
17
votes
2answers
420 views

How much do we know about how ancient Greek and Roman music sounded?

Specifically for music composed earlier than the third or fourth century A.D. I have heard several reports about deciphering examples of ancient greek musical notation. And you can find CDs of ...
16
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3answers
2k views

What are the greek modes, and how do they differ from modern modes?

This Question might be TwoFold, based on an uncertainty I have I understand the construction of traditional Ionian-Locrian modes, and I have read that various notes in the modes have traditionally ...
15
votes
4answers
230 views

Are octaves, fifths, fourths and thirds considered as “consonant” in all music cultures?

Our western music culture revolves around the rule that certain intervals are very consonant, and others (such as the interval between a B and F) are dissonant. The octave is the most consonant ...
14
votes
5answers
695 views

What gives a piece of music its personality and feeling?

What makes a piece of music sound angry, dark, sad, happy, or otherwise? "La Chute" by Yann Tiersen sounds so angry to me and "A Dark Knight" from "The Dark Knight" movie sounds so dark and ...
14
votes
2answers
505 views

J. S. Bach's place in musical history

Was there any reason Bach didn't follow the trends of the times? He was surely very much in touch with contemporary composers, and knew of Handel's and Scarlatti's works specifically. Amazingly, he ...
13
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2answers
616 views

Baroque music composed in the 21st century

Which characteristically Baroque elements of music composition still have currency in the 21st century? Are there any 21st-century composers or songwriters who still compose primarily or largely in ...
12
votes
1answer
199 views

E flat or E natural in score of Beethoven String Quartet Op 131?

I have heard recordings of Beethoven's C sharp minor string quartet Op. 131 where, in bar 53 the third crotchet of the first violin part is played as E flat, and at least one recording where it is ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Why note B is marked with H in Scandinavia and Germany?

At least in Scandinavia and Germany two notes are marked differently than in most other countries: B -> H B♭ -> B I have heard that this is due to mistake in interpreting messy sheet notes, as ♭ ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is Beethoven's 9th symphony the first piece that combined a chorus with an orchestra?

(a very good musicology question suggested by BenV, from the definition phase of the "Classical Music" area51 proposal). Beethoven's ninth Symphony (opus 125) is one of the most well-known works of ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

Are there any classification systems that categorize music by mood?

Recently I had the idea to categorize my digital music library with mood tags. Thinking about these moods, I figured that it's not so easy to come up with a complete list that covers all possible ...
8
votes
2answers
401 views

What are the major differences in a composition of metal and progressive metal?

I am a bit confused about the differences in the composition of metal and progressive metal. Are there major differences in their orientation of sound, or it is just the difference of incorporating ...
8
votes
1answer
270 views

Authorship of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565

An earlier question mentions the disputed authorship of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. Several musicologists allege that the work has stylistic elements that are problematic for the ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

What defines “contemporary art music”?

...not contemporary pop music. I'm doing a brief write up on contemporary art music that's been written within the last 25 years. What the very vague definition my assignment gives is "music written ...
5
votes
3answers
647 views

What is intellectual experience of music? [closed]

I hope this isn't off topic. My apologies if it is. I have many friends who claim that listening to music is an intellectual experience for them, especially when it comes to western classical and ...
5
votes
1answer
50 views

Where does punta music originate from?

I know bachata comes from the Dominican Republic. Which country does punta music originate from?
5
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2answers
63 views

When did the appearance of the quarter rest in music change from its original appearance?

WHEN did the appearance of the quarter rest in music change from its original appearance - as a backward looking number 7 -( ) to its current look ()? I have been searching the Internet with no luck. ...
5
votes
0answers
119 views

What is the percentage breakdown of different time signatures and their rate of occurrence in popular music?

I'm currently working on a probabilistic, procedural music engine and although I could choose relatively decent arbitrary distributions, I'm curious as to whether or not there have been any ...
4
votes
3answers
668 views

What are some examples influences from external cultures on the development of Western classical music?

So, I think it's largely safe to presume that the core of Western musical theory developed almost entirely within Europe -- Greece in its very early history, mainly Italy and also the Franco-Flemish ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Lead sheets vs score at vocal auditions: Changing standards?

I just discovered this video from 2 years ago in which the musical director and vocal coach Jake Anthony argues that there's been a shift in standard for auditioning (presumed musical theater or pop ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Research and studies in Melody

Are there any published articles to get started with in order to learn about research in music cognition and musicology specific to melody? I just need a few names to get me going and can find the ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Who invented the special left hand grouping for Chopin Ballade no. 4?

Some editions of Chopin's 4th ballade has this 1/2/1/2 grouping, but apparently this is some kind of invention by later editors. Chopin's own writing, as well as most early editions, use the normal ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

Transfer effect in musical training [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Will learning to play another instrument help me to become a better guitarist? Is there any studies on transfer effect in musical training? Or does someone have any ...
1
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0answers
90 views

Recognize music genre & Instrument [closed]

I was always wondering what kind of music genre is this, and what mysterious old instrument (sounds like old style piano or organ) plays the main part. I would describe it as groove / groovy style ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Which disco tracks were the most influential in electronic music? [closed]

While attempting to better my understanding of the roots of electronic dance-able popular (as opposed to classical or experimental) music, I found out that most of its influences come from disco and ...
0
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2answers
118 views

Is there any substantial evidence that a constantly fluctuating pitch is considered less musical than more discrete tones? [closed]

Does any one know of a peer reviewed article that argues why a combination of discrete tones, or notes, can be considered more musical than a collection of pitches in a constant state of flux? In ...