ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
START WITH THIS
ELEMENTS DEFINITIONS HANDOUT first read this handout which includes definitions of each element of music.
How can we specifically use the Elements of Music to set the mood for a scene?
DISCUSS AS A CLASS
How can the following Musical Elements be used to create specific moods for your soundtrack scenes?
TEMPO refers to the speed at which the music moves forward in time. Beats per minute (bpm) is a unit typically used as a measure of tempo in music and heart rate. The bpm tempo of a piece of music is conventionally shown in its score as a metronome mark e.g. 120 BPM
Musical texture can be described in much the same way as we do when we touch different surfaces. For example something that feels thick (many voices or Polyphony) or smooth single line moving in steps (Monophony) or a single line with harmony (Homophony) or an intertwining two or three musical lines playing the melody (Heterophony)
Homophony has a melody with some accompaniment. Think of a singer with a guitarist or piano accompaniment.
Polyphony has several single lines all happening at the same time and are weaving together as one whole. A classical symphony would be an example of having many different parts playing around each other at the same time, some times in unison and sometimes in counterpoint.
Heterophony is a type of texture characterized by the simultaneous variation of a single melodic line. Think of a jazz band of several musicians playing their own versions of the melody at the same time.
Harmony is often said to refer to the “vertical” aspect of music, as distinguished from melodic line, or the “horizontal” aspect. Does the harmony part make the music sound consonant (pleasant) or dissonant (irritating or the notes fighting against one another)?
A major chord is positive sounding
A minor chord is darker or unsettling. Notice that the 3rd or middle note is played a half step or semitone lower than in a major chord.
A diminished chord sounds irritating and creates tension
An augmented chord sounds different
Relative loudness. The two basic dynamic indications in music are: p or piano, meaning “soft”. f or forte, meaning “loud”, crescendo/decrescendo, or accents. Severe dynamic changes can create excitement. No dynamic changes can be steady. Only soft can be gentle etc.
Is the melody moving in steps in a Conjunct manner or moving using leaps in a Disjunct manner? Melodies can move quickly or slowly and have very few notes or many notes in them.
After reading the meaning of the above musical elements, Complete the following questions which ask you to choose how you would use a variety of elements to create a specific style of music.
LINK TO ELEMENTS QUESTION FORM IN GOOGLE DOCS