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Session  3‘the elements of music’
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Session 3‘the elements of music’


This session discusses ways in which the elements of music can be used to accentuate the form of music

This session discusses ways in which the elements of music can be used to accentuate the form of music

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  • 1.  When Can They Take Place? I will consider and place groups on Blackboard Next week/Reading Week
  • 2.  In groups organized by the module leader, organize and present a 10 minute presentation that provides a case study of the potential ‘meaning’ of a selected piece of music. Using the techniques discussed in class and your own research, you will be expected to provide a range of perspectives to your chosen piece.
  • 3.  Please note that this is a group task, so the given grade will be identical for all members unless it is apparent that someone is not pulling their weight. As with other group grades, it is therefore essential that everyone plays their part in both the research and presentation.
  • 4.  Note: Please ensure that your presentation does not exceed the given time limits (10 Minutes), as this may incur a grading penalty. All groups MUST hand in a single printed copy of the powerpoint presentation directly to the module leader. I will post groups up this week to discuss your topic etc – can I suggest you meet asap!
  • 5.  Elements of Music Song – Arrangement – Track Stan Hawkins Article
  • 6.  The vast majority of popular music has a specific structure. Common terminologies we use in popular music include Introduction, Verse, Chorus, and Middle Section/Bridge. Most popular music consists of 2 or 4 bar phrases, so the sections are often divided into 4, 8 or 16 bars. For Example:
  • 7.  Country Joe and the Fish – ‘Flying High’ What ‘exceptions’ does this offer is in terms of musical meaning?
  • 8.  For Example:
  • 9.  ‘Yellow’
  • 10.  Sections usually contrast with one another melodically to sustain interest, but also harmonically, texturally, lyrically, dynamically and rhythmically (or any other ‘element’ potentially).  Listen to examples below, how do the above factors change?Rigor Ros - Fljótavík Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars Melodically Melodically Harmonically Harmonically Texturally Texturally Lyrically Lyrically Dynamically Dynamically Rhythmically Rhythmically
  • 11.  “Jail House Rock” Elvis Presley (Stop Time) “The Pretender” Foo Fighters
  • 12.  Look for changes of harmony between sections. Although most use different harmonies between verse and chorus, others use the same. For example: “Stand By Me” Ben E King “CandyLion” Gruff Rhys
  • 13.  Self Evident – lets discuss
  • 14.  “Sloop John B”:The Beach Boys Note how this consists of only one section, so variety of texture is vital)
  • 15.  Listen closely for the relationships between instruments in terms of: Frequency (High – Low) Depth/Distance (amount of ambience) Stereo Spectrum (Left – Right). Does it change? Do these changes help evoke the mood of the music? General Volume Is there any double tracking? Use of effects) (compression, delay, chorus, etc) Use of EQ? Is the texture homophonic or Polyphonic? How does the texture relate to the lyrics and the emotion of the piece (Texture can be ‘physical’ and ‘rhetorical’)? How do the individual parts relate to the whole mix?
  • 16.  Annie Lennox: ‘Walking On Broken Glass’ Feist: ‘The Water’
  • 17.  Specific sounds can immediately inform the listener of who an artist is, and or what a style or tradition is. For example: Phil Spector (Production): ‘Da Do Run Run’ Jimi Hendrix (Guitar): ‘Machine Gun’
  • 18.  Try and examine the nature of the individual sound. For example with distortion: What type of distortion is it? How is it manufactured? How does this relate to the style and authenticity of the artist?
  • 19.  “That’s All Right” Elvis Presley Consider the earlier Hendrix Example
  • 20.  They can can also allude to other styles (what Tagg calls a ‘Genre Synecdoche’) For example what is the impact of: Distorted Guitar in Jazz Violin in Rock Harpsichord in Rock (The Beatles) Electric instruments in Jazz or Folk
  • 21.  ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’: The Beatles ‘Burnished’: White Denim
  • 22.  As well a metre being used diachronically, it can also be used synchronically. Example: “Kashmir” Led Zeppelin “All I Need” Radiohead
  • 23.  Introduction: content usually used somewhere else in the song. Not always incorporated, but always introduces the song. Verse: Recurrent harmonic pattern, but different text and texture etc. Usually occurs after the introduction, but sometimes chorus can occur before it (Example “I Shot the Sheriff”, “Rock and Roll Music”) Chorus: Usually a recurrent harmonic and lyrical pattern. Refrain: Not a distinct section, but part of a verse or chorus. Can end or start a section. Consists of a repeated subsection, often with same lyrics. For Example: “I Saw Her Standing There”: The Beatles (After Verse) God Only Knows: The Beach Boys: (note how refrain repeats at end)I “Want To Hold Your Hand”: The Beatles (After Verse) Bridge: Connects two other sections. Normally occurs once, if twice, usually has same text. Sometimes called the ‘Middle 8’. Bridges can be instrumental: “Nights in White Satin” Outro: Content usually derives from elsewhere in the song. Always ends song.
  • 24.  Place at least 4 examples of the following info on my blog Examples of pieces with unusual bar numbers in sections Examples of how rhythm delineates form Examples of verse and chorus with same chords Examples of artist specific sounds
  • 25.  Examples of texture/instrumentation delineating form Examples of how metre delineates form. Examples of how sounds allude toward change of style Examples of how sounds indicate a place or time. Examples of textures that outline the lyrics and or Title With all of these questions you need to also ask ‘how’?
  • 26.  Read Post Graduate Analysis on Korn (On Blackboard)