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18

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 ...


16

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 ...


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

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

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

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


9

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 ...


8

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 ...


7

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 ...


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

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 ...


6

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 ...


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

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

It depends. For most music the answer is no, since this amounts to transcribing, which is still most accurately done by humans. There exist libraries of Parson's codes for existing known themes and songs. For a sound file that consists of a single melody line in isolation, this becomes much more practical. All there is to do is generate an FFT for each ...


5

What I Think Music isn't some kind of mystical half-random thing that is beyond all understanding; it has its rules and regulations --and in some ways, more structural restrictions than other art forms. It can and usually should be somewhat predictable and, really, there are only a few combinations of rhythms out there --it's all about how you put them ...


5

I like to think about dolce as applied to character, and cantabile as applied to articulation. The dolce instruction gives you an idea more linked to the character, to a feeling that your playing might suggest. This reflects directly into the dynamics of the piece you are playing, although not strictly as bound to the "speed vs. strength" matter as it ...


5

The key signature should always fit nicely inside the staff for any key and any clef and are defined and standardized so it all looks the same no matter what piece you play. Putting the F# on the bottom line will put the C# on a ledger line or it will break the common pattern. This site shows what the standard key signatures for many diffrent keys on bass, ...


5

Simple. Wait for others to clap first. If the applause is sporadic and accompanied by embarrassed looks from one audience member to the other... don't join in the applause. If the applause is confident, join in! It is customary to applaud only after the completion of an entire work. The audience knows when the work is over by reading the program and by ...


5

They are figured bass numbers, as used under bass lines in (primarily) the Baroque era to indicate harmonic content to be improvised by continuo players such as the harpsichordist. The numbers refer to the diatonic intervals above the bass. Look at your 6/4 example above. The two distinct notes above the bass note are a sixth and a 4th above, hence 6/4. This ...


5

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” ...


4

Have you asked a professional piano tuner to check out the old upright piano you are considering buying? It may need a great deal of expensive repairs and maintenance to get it to operate correctly. First there is frequent tuning. But it may also need to have the mechanism regulated, the hammers re-felted or replaced, or it may need new strings, and so ...


4

The score for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 at PianoStreet.com indicates that the level is "8+" It seems reasonable to assume that their "levels" correspond to the major music examination bodies' "grades".


4

By "Classical", I assume you mean "not pop music" rather than the historical Classical Period specifically. The examples you gave weren't actually Classical composers (J.S. Bach was a Baroque composer; Chopin was Romantic). In Bach's case, his music was always very functional - it almost always served a purpose. As such, it made sense to give functional ...


4

These are in fact all different. The D and G and bars 6 and 8 are in square brackets by the editor to indicate that they should be re-attacked, since the preceding note is the same. Bar 8 is not a trill. It should be played as two eighth notes G and F. Bar 12 is a normal trill where its first note (F#) was not the last one played, so no need to indicate it ...


4

There is a recording listed in Allmusic.com that lists Rostropovich as the composer and performer of his Humoresque for Cello and Piano, Op 5: feat. artist: Mstislav Rostropovich Label: Brilliant Rovi ID: MQ0000908851 Rovi Work ID: MC0002507948 AMG ID: F 1686750 AMG Work ID: C 380960 Work Title: Humoresque for cello & piano, Op. 5 ...


4

All I can say is that the more recent the music is, the less scholarly work has been done to study it. This goes along with the timeless principle that "theory follows practice." But music theory is music theory, and yes, you can study any piece of Western pop music and analyze it according to the established principles of Western functional harmony and ...



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