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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Some Musical Terms (Vocab. #6)

        After a long break from blogging recently, we are at it again with another vocab. post! The last post was roughly before Christmas break and now this one is around mid-Feb. and during this time I've been thinking about new ways to add to our diverse strategies of blogging. Our various vocab. strategies include reading the NY Times for new words, looking up very unusual words and writing a story using the new words. Today I’d like to introduce a new strategy.

      I’ve noticed that both of the previous strategies strengthen your vocabulary, (obviously) but they mostly pertain to an English class. Words like belittle, cesious, incendiary, grist, litigation are great words in general, but right now (in high school) they might not be the most useful to you. So I thought of a clever way of killing two birds with one stone: learning vocabulary from another class. Not only will this help you strengthen your vocabulary, but you'll also do better in that class as well. So I decided to give that a try, and see how it goes. For this blog post I decided to use music theory vocabulary as that is one of my more difficult classes. I will do my best to make it not too complicated, so that everybody can understand. Let's get right into it!

Pitch: The highness or lowness of sound
Clef: A symbol placed at the beginning of a line of music that establishes the letter names of the lines and spaces of the staff
Accidentals: Symbols that are placed to the left of the note heads to indicate the raising or lowing of a pitch
Meter: A regular, recurring pattern of strong and weak pulses of equal duration
Dynamic Marks: Marks that indicate the general volume of sound
Interval: The measurement of the vertical (pitch) distance between two notes
Harmonic Interval: When the two notes are performed at the same time
Melodic Interval: When the two notes are played successively
Octave: From a starting note, up or down to the same note. (C to C is an example of an Octave)
Compound Interval: Intervals larger than an Octave
Simple Interval: Intervals smaller than an Octave (Including an Octave)
Key: A system of tones all of which are related to a central tone or tonic

         Alrighty! Since that was a shorter list compared to the other vocab. posts, I thought of an idea to compensate for that. We can incorporate some English learning by writing a sentence using these words in a gerund phrase. This way not only are we learning some music theory vocabulary, but now we're practicing them with gerund phrases. This will help us with English as well.

     Gerunds are nouns made from a verb by adding “-ing”. A gerund phrase begins with a gerund and includes other modifiers and objects. Just like gerunds, gerund phrases always function as nouns. After that little mini grammar lesson, let’s get into our practice sentences!

  1. Identifying the relationship between pitches is part of ear training.
  2. Part of sight reading music is making sure what clef you're in.
  3. Writing accidentals requires acute precision; you must make sure the symbol is on the same space as the note.
  4. Writing in 4/4 meter, or common time, is the most common time signature for pieces. (As the name implies)
  5. Indicating dynamic marks are an important part of music.
  6. Finding the relationship between pitches is called an interval.
  7. Working with harmonic intervals often helps set the mood of the song.
  8. Part of creating a song is writing the melodic intervals, or melody.
  9. Octave jumping can be tough- especially for singers.
  10. Identifying compound intervals is a lot harder than simple intervals as there is more distance between the two notes.
  11. Many simple intervals are best known for being used in a song. The opening to Star Wars is a perfect fifth interval!
  12. Part of setting the tone for the song is choosing what key the song is in.
         Whew! That was a lot of sentences. Hopefully by reading those sentences you now have a better understanding of what the musical terms mean and what a gerund phrase is as well. I thought this post went well, and we learned several things at once. Stay tuned for the next post to see what other class we’ll incorporate!

  • Jack Goodenough

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