In musical terminology, tempo is the speed or pace of a given piece. In classical music, tempo is indicated with an instruction at the start of a piece and is measured in beats per minute. In modern classical compositions, a "metronome mark" in beats per minute may supplement or replace the normal tempo marking, while in modern genres like electronic dance music, tempo will simply be stated in bpm. Tempo may be separated from articulation and meter, or these aspects may be indicated along with tempo, all contributing to the overall texture. While the ability to hold a steady tempo is a vital skill for a musical performer, tempo is changeable. Depending on the genre of a piece of music and the performers' interpretation, a piece may be played with slight tempo rubato or drastic accelerando. In ensembles, the tempo is indicated by a conductor or by one of the instrumentalists, for instance the drummer. While tempo is described or indicated in many different ways, including with a range of words, it is measured in beats per minute.
For example, a tempo of 60 beats per minute signifies one beat per second, while a tempo of 120 beats per minute is twice as rapid, signifying one beat every 0.5 seconds. The note value of a beat will be that indicated by the denominator of the time signature. For instance, in 44 the beat will be a crotchet; this measurement and indication of tempo became popular during the first half of the 19th century, after Johann Nepomuk Maelzel invented the metronome. Beethoven was one of the first composers to use the metronome. Instead of beats per minute, some 20th-century classical composers specify the total playing time for a piece, from which the performer can derive tempo. With the advent of modern electronics, bpm became an precise measure. Music sequencers use the bpm system to denote tempo. In popular music genres such as electronic dance music, accurate knowledge of a tune's bpm is important to DJs for the purposes of beatmatching; the speed of a piece of music can be gauged according to measures per minute or bars per minute, the number of measures of the piece performed in one minute.
This measure is used in ballroom dance music. In different musical contexts, different instrumental musicians, conductors, music directors or other individuals will select the tempo of a song or piece. In a popular music or traditional music group or band, the bandleader or lead singer may select the tempo. In popular and traditional music, whoever is setting the tempo counts out one or two bars in tempo. In some songs or pieces in which a singer or solo instrumentalist begins the work with a solo introduction, the tempo they set will provide the tempo for the group. In an orchestra or concert band, the conductor sets the tempo. In a marching band, the drum major may set the tempo. In a sound recording, in some cases a record producer may set the tempo for a song. In classical music it is customary to describe the tempo of a piece by one or more words, most in Italian, in addition to or instead of a metronome mark in beats per minute. Italian is used because it was the language of most composers during the time these descriptions became commonplace.
Some well-known Italian tempo indications include "Allegro", "Andante" and "Presto". This practice developed during the baroque and classical periods. In the earlier Renaissance music, performers understood most music to flow at a tempo defined by the tactus; the mensural time signature indicated. In the Baroque period, pieces would be given an indication, which might be a tempo marking, or the name of a dance, the latter being an indication both of tempo and of metre. Any musician of the time was expected to know how to interpret these markings based on custom and experience. In some cases, these markings were omitted. For example, the first movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 has no tempo or mood indication whatsoever. Despite the increasing number of explicit tempo markings, musicians still observe conventions, expecting a minuet to be at a stately tempo, slower than a Viennese waltz. Genres imply tempos. Thus, Ludwig van Beethoven wrote "In tempo d'un Menuetto" over the first movement of his Piano Sonata Op. 54, though that movement is not a minuet.
Many tempo markings indicate mood and expression. For example and allegro both indicate a speedy execution, but allegro connotes joy. Presto, on the other hand indicates speed. Additional Italian words indicate tempo and mood. For example, the "agitato" in the Allegro agitato of the last movement of George Gershwin's piano concerto in F has both a tempo indication and a mood indication. Composers name movements of compositions after their tempo marking. For instance, the second movement of Samuel Barber's first String Quartet is an Adagio. A particular musical form or genre implies its own tempo, so composers need place no further explanation in the score. Popular music charts use terms such as bossa nova, ballad
The bassoon is a woodwind instrument in the double reed family that plays music written in the bass and tenor clefs, the treble. Appearing in its modern form in the 19th century, the bassoon figures prominently in orchestral, concert band, chamber music literature, it is known for its distinctive tone colour, wide range, variety of character, agility. One who plays the bassoon is called a bassoonist; the word bassoon comes from Italian bassone. However, the Italian name for the same instrument is fagotto, in Spanish and Romanian it is fagot, in German fagott. Fagot is an Old French word meaning a bundle of sticks; the dulcian came to be known as fagotto in Italy. However, the usual etymology that equates fagotto with "bundle of sticks" is somewhat misleading, as the latter term did not come into general use until later; however an early English variation, "faget," was used as early as 1450 to refer to firewood, 100 years before the earliest recorded use of the dulcian. Further citation is needed to prove the lack of relation between the meaning "bundle of sticks" and "fagotto" or variants.
Some think it may resemble the Roman Fasces, a standard of bound sticks with an ax. A further discrepancy lies in the fact that the dulcian was carved out of a single block of wood—in other words, a single "stick" and not a bundle. B♭1–C5 The range of the bassoon begins at B♭1 and extends upward over three octaves to the G above the treble staff. Higher notes are possible but difficult to produce, called for: orchestral and concert band parts go higher than C5 or D5. Stravinsky's famously difficult opening solo in The Rite of Spring only ascends to D5. A1 is possible with a special extension to the instrument—see "Extended techniques" below; the bassoon is non-transposing. The bassoon disassembles into six main pieces, including the reed; the bell, extending upward. Bassoons are double reed instruments like the oboe; the bore of the bassoon is conical, like that of the oboe and the saxophone, the two adjoining bores of the boot joint are connected at the bottom of the instrument with a U-shaped metal connector.
Both bore and tone holes are precision-machined, each instrument is finished by hand for proper tuning. The walls of the bassoon are thicker at various points along the bore; this ensures coverage by the fingers of the average adult hand. Playing is facilitated by closing the distance between the spaced holes with a complex system of key work, which extends throughout nearly the entire length of the instrument; the overall height of the bassoon stretches to 1.34 m tall, but the total sounding length is 2.54 m considering that the tube is doubled back on itself. There are short-reach bassoons made for the benefit of young or petite players. A modern beginner's bassoon is made of maple, with medium-hardness types such as sycamore maple and sugar maple preferred. Less-expensive models are made of materials such as polypropylene and ebonite for student and outdoor use; the art of reed-making has been practiced for several hundred years, some of the earliest known reeds having been made for the dulcian, a predecessor of the bassoon.
Current methods of reed-making consist of a set of basic methods. Advanced players goes as far as making their own reeds to match their individual playing style. With regards to commercially made reeds, many companies and individuals offer pre-made reeds for sale, but players find that such reeds still require adjustments to suit their particular playing style. Modern bassoon reeds, made of Arundo donax cane, are made by the players themselves, although beginner bassoonists tend to buy their reeds from professional reed makers or use reeds made by their teachers. Reeds begin with a length of tube cane, split into three or four pieces using a tool called a cane splitter; the cane is trimmed and gouged to the desired thickness, leaving the bark attached. After soaking, the gouged cane is cut to the proper shape and milled to the desired thickness, or profiled, by removing material from the bark side; this can be done by hand with a file. After the profiled cane has soaked once again it is folded over in the middle.
Prior to soaking, the reed maker will have scored the bark with parallel lines with a knife. On the bark portion, the reed maker binds on one, two, or three coils or loops of brass wire to aid in the final forming process; the exact placement of these loops can vary somewhat depending on the reed maker. The bound reed blank is wrapped with thick cotton or linen thread to protect it, a conical steel mandrel is inserted in between the blades. Using a special pair o
A part refers to a single strand or melody or harmony of music within a larger ensemble or a polyphonic musical composition. There are several senses in which the word is used: the physical copy of printed or written sheet music given to any individual instrument or voice. A musician's part does not contain instructions for the other players in the ensemble, only instructions for that individual; the music played by any group of musicians. This sense of "part" does not require a written copy of the music. Any individual melody that can be abstracted as continuous and independent from other notes being performed simultaneously. Within the music played by a single pianist, one can identify outer parts or an inner part. On the other hand, within a choir, "outer parts" and "inner parts" would refer to music performed by different people. See the section Polyphony and Part-writing below. A section in the large-scale form of a piece. See the section Musical form below. Part-writing is the composition of parts in consideration of counterpoint.
In the context of polyphonic composition the term voice may be used instead of part to denote a single melodic line or textural layer. The term is generic, is not meant to imply that the line should be vocal in character, instead referring to instrumentation, the function of the line within the counterpoint structure, or to register; the historical development of polyphony and part-writing is a central thread through European music history. The earliest notated pieces of music in Europe were gregorian chant melodies, it appears. Many histories of music trace the development of new rules for dissonances, shifting stylistic possibilities for relationships between parts. In some places and time periods, part-writing has been systematized as a set of counterpoint rules taught to musicians as part of their early education. One notable example is Johann Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum, which dictates a style of counterpoint writing that resembles the work of the famous Renaissance composer Palestrina; the standard for most Western music theory in the twentieth century is generalized from the work of Classical composers in the common practice period.
For example, a recent general music textbook states, Part writing is derived from four-voice chorales written by J. S. Bach; the late baroque era composer wrote a total of 371 harmonized chorales. Today most students' reference Albert Riemenschneider's 1941 compilation of Bach chorales. Polyphony and part-writing are present in many popular music and folk music traditions, although they may not be described as explicitly or systematically as they sometimes are in the Western tradition. In musical forms, a part may refer to a subdivision in the structure of a piece. Sometimes "part" is a title given by the composer or publisher to the main sections of a large-scale work oratorios. For example, Handel's Messiah, organized into Part I, Part II, Part II, each of which contains multiple scenes and one or two dozen individual arias or choruses. Other times, "part" is used to refer in a more general sense to any identifiable section of the piece; this is for example the case in the used ternary form schematized as A–B–A.
In this form the first and third parts are musically identical, or nearly so, while the second part in some way provides a contrast with them. In this meaning of part, similar terms used are strain, or turn. Partbook Cantus firmus Polyphonic strumming
A clef is a musical symbol used to indicate the pitch of written notes. Placed on a stave, it indicates the pitch of the notes on one of the lines; this line serves as a reference point by which the names of the notes on any other line or space of the stave may be determined. There are three forms of clef used in modern music notation: F, C, G; each form assigns its reference note to a line depending on its placement on the stave. Once one of these clefs has been placed on one of the lines of the stave, the other lines and spaces are read in relation to it; the use of different clefs makes it possible to write music for all instruments and voices, regardless of differences in tessitura. Because the modern stave has only five lines, it is not possible to represent all pitches playable by the orchestra with only one clef with the use of ledger lines; the use of different clefs for various instruments and voices allows each part to be written comfortably on the stave with a minimum of ledger lines.
To this end, the G-clef is used for high parts, the C-clef for middle parts, the F-clef for low parts—with the notable exception of transposing parts, which are written at a pitch different from their sound even in a different octave. To facilitate writing for different tessituras, any of the clefs may theoretically be placed on any line of the stave; the further down on the stave a clef is positioned, the higher the tessitura. Since there are five lines on the stave, three clefs, it might seem that there would be fifteen possible clefs. Six of these, are redundant clefs; that leaves nine possible distinct clefs, all of which have been used historically: the G-clef on the two bottom lines, the F-clef on the three top lines, the C-clef on any line of the stave except the topmost, earning the name of "movable C-clef". Each of these clefs has a different name based on the tessitura. In modern music, only four clefs are used regularly: treble clef, bass clef, alto clef, tenor clef. Of these, the treble and bass clefs are by far the most common.
The tenor clef is used for the upper register of several instruments that use bass clef, while the alto is only used by the viola and a few other instruments. Here follows a complete list of the clefs, along with a list of instruments and voice parts notated with them; each clef is shown in its proper position on the stave, followed by its reference note.† Where the G-clef is placed on the second line of the stave, it is called the treble clef. This is the most common clef used today, the first clef that those studying music learn, the only G-clef still in use. For this reason, the terms G-clef and treble clef are seen as synonymous; the treble clef was used to mark a treble, or pre-pubescent, voice part. Among the instruments that use treble clef are the violin, oboe, cor anglais, all clarinets, all saxophones, trumpet, vibraphone, mandolin, recorder. Treble clef is the upper stave of the grand stave used for keyboard instruments, it is sometimes used, along with tenor clef, for the highest notes played by bass-clef instruments such as the cello, double bass and trombone.
The viola sometimes uses treble clef for high notes. Treble clef is used for the soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto and tenor voices; when sung, a tenor singer will sing the piece an octave lower, is written using an octave clef or double-treble clef. † In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a special clef was used for violin music that published in France. For this reason it is known as the French clef or French violin clef, although it was more used for flute music; the G-clef is placed on the first line of the stave and is identical to the bass clef transposed up two octaves. When the F-clef is placed on the fourth line, it is called the bass clef; this is the only F-clef used today so that the terms "F-clef" and "bass clef" are regarded as synonymous. This clef is used for the cello, double bass, bass guitar, contrabassoon, baritone horn and timpani, it is used for the lowest notes of the horn, for the baritone and bass voices. Tenor voice is notated in bass clef when the bass are written on the same stave.
Bass clef is the bottom clef in the grand stave for keyboard instruments. The contrabassoon, double bass, electric bass sound an octave lower than the written pitch. † When the F-clef is placed on the third line, it is called the baritone clef. This clef was used for the left hand of keyboard music as well as the baritone part in vocal music; the baritone clef has the less common variant as a C clef placed on the 5th line, equivalent. † Where the F-clef is placed on the fifth line, it is called the sub-bass clef. It is identical to the treble clef transposed down 2 octaves; this clef was used by Johannes Ockeghem and Heinrich Schütz to write low bass parts, making a late appearance in Ba
In music theory, a scale is any set of musical notes ordered by fundamental frequency or pitch. A scale ordered by increasing pitch is an ascending scale, a scale ordered by decreasing pitch is a descending scale; some scales contain different pitches when ascending than when descending, for example, the melodic minor scale. In the context of the common practice period, most or all of the melody and harmony of a musical work is built using the notes of a single scale, which can be conveniently represented on a staff with a standard key signature. Due to the principle of octave equivalence, scales are considered to span a single octave, with higher or lower octaves repeating the pattern. A musical scale represents a division of the octave space into a certain number of scale steps, a scale step being the recognizable distance between two successive notes of the scale. However, there is no need for scale steps to be equal within any scale and as demonstrated by microtonal music, there is no limit to how many notes can be injected within any given musical interval.
A measure of the width of each scale step provides a method to classify scales. For instance, in a chromatic scale each scale step represents a semitone interval, while a major scale is defined by the interval pattern T–T–S–T–T–T–S, where T stands for whole tone, S stands for semitone. Based on their interval patterns, scales are put into categories including diatonic, major and others. A specific scale is defined by its characteristic interval pattern and by a special note, known as its first degree; the tonic of a scale is the note selected as the beginning of the octave, therefore as the beginning of the adopted interval pattern. The name of the scale specifies both its tonic and its interval pattern. For example, C major indicates a major scale with a C tonic. Scales are listed from low to high pitch. Most scales are octave-repeating. An octave-repeating scale can be represented as a circular arrangement of pitch classes, ordered by increasing pitch class. For instance, the increasing C major scale is C–D–E–F–G–A–B–, with the bracket indicating that the last note is an octave higher than the first note, the decreasing C major scale is C–B–A–G–F–E–D–, with the bracket indicating an octave lower than the first note in the scale.
The distance between two successive notes in a scale is called a scale step. The notes of a scale are numbered by their steps from the root of the scale. For example, in a C major scale the first note is the second D, the third E and so on. Two notes can be numbered in relation to each other: C and E create an interval of a third. A single scale can be manifested at many different pitch levels. For example, a C major scale can be started at C4 and ascending an octave to C5; as long as all the notes can be played, the octave they take on can be altered. Scales may be described according to the number of different pitch classes they contain: Chromatic, or dodecatonic Octatonic: used in jazz and modern classical music Heptatonic: the most common modern Western scale Hexatonic: common in Western folk music Pentatonic: the anhemitonic form is common in folk music in Asian music. Many music theorists concur that the constituent intervals of a scale have a large role in the cognitive perception of its sonority, or tonal character.
"The number of the notes that make up a scale as well as the quality of the intervals between successive notes of the scale help to give the music of a culture area its peculiar sound quality." "The pitch distances or intervals among the notes of a scale tell us more about the sound of the music than does the mere number of tones."Scales may be described by their symmetry, such as being palindromic, chiral, or having rotational symmetry as in Messiaen's modes of limited transposition. Scales can be described by their distribution patterns and possibilities for notation. For example, a heliotonic scale is one that can be notated with one note head on each line and space, using only single and double alterations, thus all heliotonic scales are heptatonic. Since heliotonia is a metric of a scale's tone distribution pattern, is related to evenness, spectra variation, the Myhill Property; the notes of a scale form intervals with each of the other notes of the chord in combination. A 5-note scale has 10 of these harmonic intervals, a 6-note scale has 15, a 7-note scale has 21, an 8-note scale has 28.
Though the scale is not a chord, might never be heard more than one note at a time, still the absence and placement of certain key intervals plays a large part in the sound of the scale, the natural movement of melody within the scale, the selection of chords taken from the scale. A musical scale that contains tritones is called tritonic (though the expression is used for any sca
In Western musical notation, the staff or stave is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces that each represent a different musical pitch or in the case of a percussion staff, different percussion instruments. Appropriate music symbols, depending on the intended effect, are placed on the staff according to their corresponding pitch or function. Musical notes are placed by pitch, percussion notes are placed by instrument, rests and other symbols are placed by convention; the absolute pitch of each line of a non-percussive staff is indicated by the placement of a clef symbol at the appropriate vertical position on the left-hand side of the staff. For example, the treble clef known as the G clef, is placed on the second line, fixing that line as the pitch first G above "middle C"; the lines and spaces are numbered from bottom to top. The musical staff is analogous to a mathematical graph of pitch with respect to time. Pitches of notes are given by their vertical position on the staff and notes are played from left to right.
Unlike a graph, the number of semitones represented by a vertical step from a line to an adjacent space depends on the key, the exact timing of the beginning of each note is not directly proportional to its horizontal position. A time signature to the right of the clef indicates the relationship between timing counts and note symbols, while bar lines group notes on the staff into measures. Staff is more common in American English; the plural is staves in either case. The vertical position of the notehead on the staff indicates which note to play: higher-pitched notes are marked higher on the staff; the notehead can be placed with its center intersecting a line or in between the lines touching the lines above and below. Notes outside the range of the staff are placed on or between ledger lines—lines the width of the note they need to hold—added above or below the staff. Which staff positions represent which notes is determined by a clef placed at the beginning of the staff; the clef identifies a particular line as a specific note, all other notes are determined relative to that line.
For example, the treble clef puts the G above middle C on the second line. The interval between adjacent staff positions is one step in the diatonic scale. Once fixed by a clef, the notes represented by the positions on the staff can be modified by the key signature or accidentals on individual notes. A clefless staff may be used to represent a set of percussion sounds. A vertical line drawn to the left of multiple staves creates a system, indicating that the music on all the staves is to be played simultaneously. A bracket is an additional vertical line joining staves to show groupings of instruments that function as a unit, such as the string section of an orchestra. A brace is used to join multiple staves that represent an instrument, such as a piano, harp, or marimba. Sometimes a second bracket is used to show instruments grouped in pairs, such as the first and second oboes or first and second violins in an orchestra. In some cases, a brace is used for this purpose; when more than one system appears on a page two parallel diagonal strokes are placed on the left side of the score to separate them.
Four-part SATB vocal settings in hymnals, use a divisi notation on a two-staff system with soprano and alto voices sharing the upper staff and tenor and bass voices on the lower staff. Confusingly, the German System may refer to a single staff as well as to the Akkolade or system in the English sense; when music on two staves is joined by a brace, or is intended to be played at once by a single performer, a grand staff or great stave is created. The upper staff uses a treble clef and the lower staff has a bass clef. In this instance, middle C is centered between the two staves, it can be written on the first ledger line below the upper staff or the first ledger line above the lower staff. A centered line with a small alto clef is written, used to indicate that B, C, or D on the line can be played with either hand; when playing the piano or harp, the upper staff is played with the right hand and the lower staff with the left hand. In music intended for organ with pedalboard, a grand staff comprises three staves, one for each hand on the manuals and one for the feet on the pedalboard.
Early Western medieval notation was written with neumes, which did not specify exact pitches but only the shape of the melodies, i.e. indicating when the musical line went up or down. During the 9th through 11th centuries a number of systems were developed to specify pitch more including diastematic neumes whose height on the page corresponded with their absolute pitch level. Digraphic notation, using letter names similar to modern note names in conjunction with the neumes, made a brief appearance in a few manuscripts, but a number of manuscripts used one or more horizontal lines to indicate particular pitches; the treatise Musica
In musical notation, stems are the, "thin, vertical lines that are directly connected to the head." Stems may point down. Different-pointing stems indicate the voice for polyphonic music written on the same staff. Within one voice, the stems point down for notes on the middle line or higher, up for those below. If the stem points up from a notehead, the stem originates from the right-hand side of the note, but if it points down, it originates from the left. There is an exception to this rule: if a chord contains a second, the stem runs between the two notes with the higher being placed on the right of the stem and the lower on the left. If the chord contains an odd numbered cluster of notes a second apart, the outer two will be on the correct side of the stem, while the middle note will be on the wrong side; the length of a stem should be that of an octave on the staff, going to either an octave higher or lower than the notehead, depending on which way the stem is pointing. If a note head is on a ledger line more than an octave away from the middle line of a staff, the stem will be elongated to touch the middle line.
In any polyphonic music in which two parts are written on the same staff, stems are shortened to keep the music visually centered upon the staff. Stems may be altered in various ways to alter the rhythm or other method of performance. For example, a note with diagonal slashes through its stem is played tremolo. Beam Notehead