Elements of Music

I realized recently that most of my writing is aimed at people who are interested in reading music, or might have some reference to enter into music theory that way. However, many people are interested in talking about music intelligently that may not have time or resources to devote to learning to read, play an…

Rondo Form

Rondo is a type of musical form that is super flexible. Its identifying feature is a recurring melody section that returns multiple times, interspersed with contrasting sections. Sections are usually given a letter to represent them, so some common examples are identified as ABACA, ABACABA, and ABACADA. This can go on for quite a bit,…

Brief Survey of Famous Women Composers

*Of course, there are tons of women composers. This is something I did as an intro for non-music major type folks. If you want to use women composed pieces for examples in a theory class, I’ve been using this resource: http://musictheoryexamplesbywomen.com/ and there’s also this: https://adaptistration.com/2018/01/02/an-operational-women-composers-database/ There are more, but to keep this brief, I’m going to…

Rhythmic differences in musical styles

*This post is predominantly me thinking thru things I want to teach this weekend. Most examples will be from rep we are singing this quarter.* One of the tricks for getting good at Aural Skills/Ear Training is to know what the expectation for a given idiom is. This is because your ear can often hear…

Chords

Chords are a way that we group notes that work together so that we can talk about their joint impact on music. Often we think of chords as a simultaneity, notes that occur at the same time. But chords can also be arpeggiated, or broken up, and still understood to act as a unit: The…

Tuplets

Tuplets are when a beat is subdivided differently than the meter might indicate. The most common example is triplets, specifically eighth note triplets, where a beat normal subdivided by twos has three even subdivisions. This is shown with a bracket or the notes beamed together and a 3. Quarter note triplets, also called drag triplets,…