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17

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 ...


17

What a great question! From an early historical standpoint, I can think of several cases where this has happened. I'd be interested in more answers, and especially later historical examples. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, accidentals were often not notated, with the composer relying on the performer's knowledge of musica ficta to provide the correct ...


13

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!


11

The short answer is yes (and I have occasionally written such music myself). Musical styles never really die, they just fall out of general fashion. It should be noted that there are a couple categories of music that might be considered in an answer. First off, and perhaps least authentic, are what might be termed "fusion" styles -- mixtures of baroque (or ...


9

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 ...


9

No, they are not considered consonant in all music cultures. The perception of consonance and dissonance can be different among cultures. The same interval can be perceived (and labeled) differently by different cultures. This is influenced by many factors (and the harmonic series is not the only one!) For example, in medieval times major thirds were ...


8

I hope no one minds that I got curious, and did a bit of digging into this on my own. I discovered what appears to be an excellent resource answering this very question. The book is entitled Between Modes and Keys: German Theory, 1592-1802 by Joel Lester (1989). I do not have access to a copy of the book, but I've been able to see several relevant portions ...


7

Viol consorts were certainly popular in England. This is fairly obvious from the number of English and England-based composers who produced vast quantities of music for such consorts. My inclination is to believe that they were more popular in England than most other places, but I may have a distorted viewpoint of that being an English viol player myself. ...


7

All modal jazz means is that the harmony is deliberately static so that the players can stretch out against it as well as with it in a more elastic fashion. It's not really something you could even say was "invented". While "Kind of Blue", put it on the map, there are boat loads of tunes preceding that album that are modal in at least sections. "Dark Eyes" ...


6

Music Theory is an academic discipline that throughout history has been developed in order to better understand the music being written and played by composers and performers. As such, it is also an incredibly useful tool in teaching all kinds of music to beginners. In many cases, the composers of the day were teaching students to follow rules that they ...


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 ...


5

Music notation is presciptive. Generally speaking, if you see a note on the middle staff line of a treble clef, and there is no key signature, you're expected to play a B, and not something else, like a B# or A. So the pitches and time values are quite clearly prescribed. The remaining squabble, then, is whether other things are to be prescribed, like ...


5

From the Grove Online article on Mode by the late, noted musicologist Harold Powers: "[Johan Mattheson's Das neu-eröffnete Orchestre listed] the 24 major and minor keys, [which had been] first set out as a whole in 1711, only two years earlier, in Heinichen’s Neu erfundene und gründliche Anweisung … des General-Basses." Powers quotes Mattheson specifically ...


5

"Are there other examples of common practice period manuscripts, or other documents that provide some indications on how to tune the instrument?" I think you're mostly looking for examples of scores/manuscripts, but as far as "other documents" go, there are certainly period treatises that describe various temperaments. One such example is "Lettre touchant ...


4

Fact(?) I just learned: viola da gamba strings are tuned exactly like the lute. The lute was quite popular in England (in notable contrast to Spain; it was unfashionable in newly rechristianized Spain where it -- well the oud -- was associated with Muslim culture) and I wonder if there was a lute-gamba relationship the way that today there is a ...


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

I'm not an expert on this topic, but when Donna Summer recently passed away, I wound up reading quite a lot about her, in particular about the influence of her 1977 hit "I Feel Love", which was attributed with influencing everything that came after it that used electric instruments. I'm not sure how much was hagiography and how much with musicology, but it ...


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 ...


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

The full term is "prova all'italiana". There are numerous references to this online; nearly all of them linked with the German (almost) equivalent "sitzprobe". It is easy to understand the meaning of the German phrase, it is literally a "seated-rehearsal", where the singers sing with the orchestra, focusing attention on integrating the two groups. It is ...


4

1). Whenever a composer makes use of counterpoint within the context of a tonal chord progression, or writes a fugue, the composer is more or less going straight back to the compositional technique of the Baroque composers such as J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, or Telemann. So there are quite a few examples of these compositional techniques in 20th and 21st ...


4

maybe a setting a specific speed was not his intention. He wrote the Gradus to bring music students back to the right path of composition, and he did it through examples of the different modes of counterpoint, i guess one can play it as a crotchet if need be..


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 ...


3

Kraftwerk were one of the first groups trying to make danceable pop music by electronic means and were hugely influential. Their 1978 track "Die Roboter" (from the album "Die Mensch-Maschine") still sound surprisingly modern after more than 35 years.


3

In the context of sequenced (electronic) music the answer is clearly yes -- if you consider the computer files that define the music to be the score, then they are fully prescriptive in a way that exceeds what is possible with standard notation. For many electronic artists the line between composition and performance is pretty much erased.


3

Along with the German theorists like Lippius cited in other answers, English musicians and theorists from quite an early date also divided the keys or 'tones' into two categories based on the major or minor quality of the third above the final. At least in the seventeenth century, however, they did not use the terms 'major' and 'minor', but rather 'sharp' ...


3

Where did this idea originate? West Africa, then transplanted to the New World. It is a defining characteristic of African-American music, and all the styles of music that grew out of and were influenced by African-American music. It then spread to the rest of the world via the 20th-century music of the USA, Cuba, Brazil, Jamaica, and other nations with ...


2

After a few years of practice, bowing becomes harder than fingering. Consider the whole arm, not just the hand, when measuring the difficulty of the subtasks of playing.


2

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 ...



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