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12

A couple quick internet searches (which took me here, for example) supports my guess that the term blues refers to melancholy of the music/lyrics (caused by blue devils). A blue note then is something characteristic to that music. One could also think that blue notes are blue because they often sound "sad", being flatter than usual. The term chromatic ...


9

The minor scale is not called the "minor scale" because it is the most minor. Names don't have to accurately reflect the definition. Modes are sometimes classified as "minor" or "major" depending on their third (a minor third usually comes with other minor degrees like the flat 7th which is common to all minor modes of the major scale). And of all the minor ...


8

First, Gradus ad Parnassum was completed in 1725 (not 1752), so it's a bit earlier than you think, although still in the time frame when tonality was becoming common. Second, Fux was intentionally looking back to earlier styles of music, explicitly the music of Palestrina (who died 1594), and was, in a sense, taking a historical view even when it first ...


5

There are a few examples of screaming in Western classical music, but only as a coloristic effect; I am not aware of any compositions where it is used on a sustained basis the way it is in heavy metal. Some of these are when the music imitates styles such as blues or rock. Some examples: There are some primal screams in the first movement of Orff's ...


4

I think this is kind of a broad question, and when you say screams in rock music it's kind of a different definition to how it is used everywhere else. I think of everything from Deep Purple to Iron maiden, opeth and beyond in rock, but in everything else it can have multiple meanings. When I started searching it seemed that Bel Canto has some early ...


4

This is a very good question. The answer is "because it's been done that way for centuries, as a result of the preferences of the majority of guitarists over the centuries". Usually we list the strings by the lowest to the highest: E A D G B E. This tuning works very well for playing 4, 5, and 6-note diatonic chords (built on the three pitches in major ...


4

Going back to antiquity, things always evolve the way they do because over the centuries people find it the most practical and popular method. Elucidating "why" is a murky question at best. The keyboard first evolved to play arrays of church bells. The "keys" were large heavy foot- and hand-operated levers that triggered ropes that rang bells, and required ...


4

This direct quote from Wikipedia should answer your first question: The British names go back at least to English renaissance music, and the terms of Latin origin had international currency at that time. Obviously, longa means 'long', and the rest rarely indicate relative shortness. Brave is from Latin bravis, 'short', minim is from minimus, 'very ...


3

A point for dropping to Eb is that it gives you open strings which have sustain. The style of jazz accompaniment, as epitomized by Freddie Green, is closed and muted strings all over the neck, on archtop guitars that are notable for the punchy attack but minimal sustain, so the benefit you get is being on the position marker rather than off it. I don't doubt ...


3

Some corrections to non pop's great answer: Breve from Latin brevis (not "brave"). "Minim" is from the Latin adjective "minima" which was original a subcategory of the semibrevis, the "semibrevis minima" -- it doesn't come from the stroke, since the earliest minimae did not have the stroke; it was a later invention. Why the crotchet has the name meaning ...


2

According to Nicolas MeeĆ¹s in his article "Keyboard" in Grove Music Online http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/subscriber/article/grove/music/14944 (an authoritative source) the first known asymmetrical keyboard dates to c1380, being the Manual keyboard of the positive organ from Norrlanda. A picture and article describing a similar organ from the same period ...


2

As Jj has said, It's quite a broad topic. I've spent years reading this and that to try and understand the history of music. In General One book I feel was really great is Stephen Fry's 'Incomplete & Utter History of Classical Music'. What's great about is that it takes you all the way from the earliest known instruments all the way through bach, ...


2

So, you just want a detailed book about everything, but one that isn't too large? Most of your questions can be addressed simply by reading a history book. Of them, I believe that the Norton Anthology of Western Music is one of the best documents out there on this topic. Keep in mind that if you want to cover everything in one source, then your knowledge ...


2

Sure there are plenty of examples of this in music history. One example would be the opening chord of Beethoven's first symphony. It is a dominant seventh without any preparation. Prior to this chord, it was common practice that the dominant 7th had to be prepared smoothly through proper voice leading. In simply starting with it, LvB asserts that we are ...


2

Besides what is said above (English is understood by most people and thus sounds more familiar), there is also another aspect. In Europe there are very many languages, each with their own characters and thus pronounciations. Some languages are considered less 'attractive' by hearing than others, although this differs between each two languages. English is ...


1

I'm pretty sure it's just because English is a common language that most European countries speak. It gives voters something to understand and judge. It means you can relate to what the singers are on about, which compels you to vote for that country. If it were in 90% languages that other countries don't speak, then all you'd have to go on would be the ...


1

I doubt anyone can give a definitive answer to that question lest they do a impressive amount of study. So here are my completely ungrounded two cents. I think this is due to a variety of factors. I doubt the fact that english lyrics are understood by more people is at stake here (because I doubt that the proportion of people whose English is good enough to ...


1

Having read earlier answers (all have a point!), I'm thinking .. surely pop history has a part to play here ? American (sung in English) Rock 'n Roll burst onto the scene and made a global impact in the 50's - the massive influnce of those early rockers : the likes of the Bill Haley / Buddy Holly (bless his chops) and latterly The Beatles / Rolling Stones ...


1

This has to do with common practice era harmony. A minor key should consist of a minor triad on the tonic. Phrygian, Dorian and Aeolian all fit this bill. The next most important chord in common practice harmony is the V chord and if you are a common practice era composer, you would want a good triad for your V chord. Phrygian's V chord is diminished, so ...


1

If you mean the relative tuning string by string, it's mainly for ease of use. There have been (and still are) many, many different tunings available, but this one must have become the 'standard' because with it, most chords are available to be fingered without too much trouble.The fact that most of us have four fingers on the fretting hand probably played ...


1

I can speak to the three texts that covered my collegiate music history classes. They are: Music in the Western World, A History of Western Music, and it's companion text the Norton Anthology of Western Music which also has CD's with example pieces. The Norton is a three volume text, each volume purchased separately. If you want a complete history of ...


1

Tuning to Eb can have a variety of advantages. When playing in a band with horns that are Eb and Bb instruments, tuning to Eb means that you use bar chords and play in their key much more easily. Having that lower Eb also means that for a tune in that key, you don't have to go up almost a whole octave to play the root note. It will also change the tone, ...


1

In an amateur group the pitch rising usually starts in the woodwind and brass. Amateur brass and woodwind players who do not do any practise between rehearsals (the vast majority of amateur players) usually go sharp due to tired embouchures during rehearsals. I have in the past played in many amateur orchestras where this has happened and it did not ...


1

If you have two vibrating strings you can produce a consonant musical interval between them if their vibrating lengths form certain integer ratios, like 3:2. It's appealing to scale this idea up to solar system size - to assume that 'consonant' systems like the planets also exhibit integer ratios in their properties. It's actually wrong though - planetary ...


1

Quite honestly, dissonance has been acceptable for as long as there have been non-octave harmonies. This may seem silly, but let's first define dissonance- any 2 or more notes whose overtones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_series_(music)) do not match up. This means any pair of non-octave, non-unison notes (non-octave and a fifth, non-2-octaves and a ...


1

As I noted in a comment already, I believe they used hexachords (scales consisting of six notes) and the four modi. But now why I decided to write an answer: the instruments. They had harps and flutes as is to be seen in Greek art. It is possible there are more, but I have seen vases with harps on it (well, images of them) and statues with flutes (yeah, ...



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