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19

But there are rhythms, harmonies and melodies in nature. When you walk, you establish a nice solid beat. Two beats to the bar, at its most basic level - but by adjusting your gait or the way you count, you can think of it as four beats, or three, or as many as you like. Skipping brings in different rhythms. The musical intervals that make up melodies are ...


18

The term "voice leading" comes from choral music, but it applies to chord progressions in all sorts of arrangements for all sorts of instruments. A chord progression has two dimensions: horizontal and vertical. Let's say you are playing four-note chords in sequence. You can think of the progression as a series of block chords (vertical), but you can also ...


17

Why the past tense? How do classical (or rather, orchestral) composers write music? How does any composer write music for instruments they don't themselves play? Although a composer doesn't necessarily need to be able to play an instrument to a high standard, they do need to understand the mechanics of the instrument, its limitations and capabilities. This ...


14

Le quattro stagioni is the original title of this work, which translates to 'The four seasons'. This title was indeed chosen by Vivaldi himself, who deliberately composed the pieces to reflect the mood of each season. The wikipedia article sums the titles up pretty nicely!


13

Many classical composers frequently used this method that you stated. Bach wrote over 1120 pieces. Naming 1120 pieces, each with a unique name can be hard. Some were named for where they were performed e.g. the Brandenburg Concertos. It was also common for a composer to number his pieces of the same format. Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is also known as Serenade ...


13

Some audience members will be familiar with the piece. It is also possible to pick up visual body language cues from the performers (if they are continuing to ignore the audience after finishing a movement, that's a good sign that there is more to come). But more than all of this, is the fact that the performance programs (handed out by ushers or available ...


12

There may be a small amount of "performance practice fad" about that, but for the most part it does serve a purpose. Breath is used in many styles of music as a cue. If you think about wind instrument players, for example, every phrase is preceded by a breath, and experienced players will take that breath in rhythm. As a rhythmic gesture, it can be used to ...


10

I don't consider the "classical music" criteria to be a determining factor. A piano is a piano is a piano, and though digital pianos generally do have some feature overlap with things like electronic keyboards and synthesizers and midi controllers, the reason for buying a digital piano should only be because an acoustic piano is impractical for whatever ...


10

The basic idea of the style is that it's in 3/4 time (or other triple meter), with accents on beats TWO and THREE. The accents are what makes it feel unbalanced. You are probably used to waltz style, where the accents are on ONE and THREE. As such, it may be easy to mistake beat 3 of a mazurka for beat 1 of a waltz, since those accents are in the same place ...


10

Just to expand on Pat's answer, there is a figured bass symbols for all type of inversion including root position. The picture above shows the complete figured bass symbol and how it will be denoted in analysis. As you can see root position triads and 7th chords have their own complete figured bass symbols, but reduce drastically because how common they ...


10

This is a positive thing. Studies have shown the positive effect music has on unborn babies, see: Whitwell, Giselle E. "The importance of prenatal sound and music." Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health 13 (1999): 255-262. http://intraspec.ca/music.pdf


10

The double leading-tone cadence is certainly not the "single defining characteristic" of Ars Nova. As to the chronology, Philippe de Vitry (born before Machaut, and one of the "inventors" of Ars Nova, to whom the eponymous treatise "ars nova" is ascribed) used double leading-tones in his isorhythmic motets. See, for example, the end of Tuba sacrae/In ...


9

When asked about how "masterworks" are created, Nadia Boulanger, a French composition pedagogue during the 20th century, had this to say: "I can tell whether a piece is well-made or not, and I believe that there are conditions without which masterpieces cannot be achieved, but I also believe that what defines a masterpiece cannot be pinned down. I ...


8

You're paying the money, you should, within reason, be asking your teacher to provide pieces that you will enjoy. Give teacher a list of 10 tunes that you feel are within your capabilities, maybe get the dots for them, and present them to teacher, who should be able to find something you can be taught by them.Often, half of any lesson I may give will be ...


8

I was in a similar situation to you when I learned how to play the piano as a kid. My piano teacher was really into classical music and picked literature for me, but I preferred electronic music and contemporary orchestral and piano music. As soon as my lessons with her ended, I quit practicing, and now I can barely read beginner-level pieces. School band ...


7

The melody (right hand) should be played in time. Don't shift it to try to match something temporally funky in the accompaniment (left hand). The broken chords should be played so that the last note of the chord occurs in time with the melody. The lower notes should come just ahead of the beat. The reason for this is that the higher notes in the chord will ...


7

Both are fine. Choose one. You will not miss out on anything if you choose one over the other. The most important thing for you is daily, quality practice. Choose literature that is playable but challenging.


7

There are three different things here: the sonata(-allegro) form, the (multi-movement) sonata form, and the title sonata. The sonata(-allegro) form is a form of one movement. It's usually fast (hence the allegro) and the big structure is ABA, where the first A is called exposition, B is development, and the second A is recapitulation. Sometimes there's a ...


7

To answer your question head on, an experienced teacher will listen to the student's voice for all the qualities you mentioned: "range, tessitura, and voice color". The teacher will then mentally compare those qualities to other singers that they know. They will also be comparing that voice to the kinds of voices they are used to hearing in various roles. In ...


7

My music theory book best put the definition of texture as "The way melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic are woven together in a composition." By this definition the texture of a piece is a combination of all the pieces that make up music, but looking at them all together instead of separately. A composer will use each of these to define their music so the ...


7

I think that the differences you mentioned have more to do with the size of the groups involved than their preference for classical or rock music. Also, I'm willing to wager that there is as much diversity in terms of goals among members of the same category (rock or classical) as there is between the two. You mentioned orchestral music, but that is only a ...


7

"Fugue" is just a form and style of composition of which Bach alone wrote hundreds. Same thing for "Sonata", "String Quartet", "Symphony", etc. it's not that the particular key is of central importance or that transposition would necessarily change the piece entirely, it's just a convenient way to distinguish between various iterations of the same form. They ...


6

One point I would make in addition to slim's excellent answer is that theory is more to explain composition, not dictate it. In other words, talented composers write the music they do because they are translating what they 'hear' internally, not because the rules of music theory tell them that this is 'right'. Although understanding theory is certainly a ...


6

These are how to play it and variations. Note- the speed of the trill can be altered to suit the piece.


6

The purpose of adding so much information is to insure the reader knows which work is in question. To make up a case, say we start with a Chopin Waltz. We could name the key - Eb, for example - but there could be more than one Waltz in Eb. To narrow it down, we might provide an opus number (when it was composed) or a date in the case of some more recent ...


6

Just like in the visual arts, this ability comes with development of the imagination. Imagination can work with any of the senses. Perfumers imagine scents. Chefs imagine tastes and textures and aromas. Musicians imagine music. The time element is the only real difference between audile imagination (or audiation), and these other, more static images. One ...


6

There is no right answer on this and at best you will have several subjective answers to review but here are my suggestions. Your idea of hearing your guitar being tuned is actually a very good idea since it puts the viewer in the space of seeing things being set up and hearing things set up too. You can make it sound wonderful and enchanting, use your ...


6

As Wheat says, voice leading mostly doesn't happen on guitars, but there are a few cases where it does: descending/ascending bass-lines using certain patterns, like Travis-picking, the bass-line may be a more or less distinct part throughout the piece. triad followed by triad+seventh (eg. C / C7 /) restricting chords to fewer strings to free-up melody ...


6

The earliest version I can think of is Bach's Musikalisches Opfer which is a series of canons Bach composed after given a theme by the King. The music can be played forwards and backwards simultaneously harmoniously in various ways (refer to the video). I also remember reading a score of Mozart's violin duet piece called "The Mirror". To play this piece ...


6

Music21 is a musicology software developed at MIT and includes within it a large corpus of western classical, and other, music. From their website: Music21 is a set of tools for helping scholars and other active listeners answer questions about music quickly and simply. If you’ve ever asked yourself a question like, “I wonder how often Bach does that” ...



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