Elements of Music Part1

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The Elements of Music Music is a highly versatile art that originates in nature and has been taken up by mankind as a way of expression and also as an art. The following article will give you a brief idea about the seven basic elements of music. Music and its elements were taken up by man from sounds in nature, like the chirping of birds or blowing of the wind. The different types of elements of music that were found in nature were put together to create music. The elements of music are as follows: Form Timbre Melody Texture Dynamics Harmony Rhythm Form/Musical Form: Form is the element that refers to the style or genre of music. The form, or more appropriately, the musical form is determined on the basis of the harmonic language, rhythm that is used, lyrics, instruments, etc. At times, the form is also determined by the geographical area, or the historical era, to which it belongs, for example, Indian classical music. As the name suggests, Indian classical music originated in India during ancient times. It was developed in ancient India on the basis of the flow of sounds that appeared in nature. Sometimes the format of lyrics is also used to classify the form of music. For example: a ballad is a narrative poem. The famous song 'Nothing Else Matters' by rock band, Metallica, is often classified as a ballad, because of its narrative lyrics. Timbre: Timbre is a rather abstract concept that involves the differentiation and identification of the notations, that are played on different instruments at the same time. For example a bass guitar and a lead guitar are always played together with the same notation, however, a groove or a singular notation is played on the bass guitar, whereas, a chord is played on the lead

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Transcript of Elements of Music Part1

Page 1: Elements of Music Part1

The Elements of MusicMusic is a highly versatile art that originates in nature and has been taken up by mankind as a way of expression and also as an art. The following article will give you a brief idea about the seven basic elements of music.

Music and its elements were taken up by man from sounds in nature, like the chirping of birds or blowing of the wind. The different types of elements of music that were found in nature were put together to create music.

The elements of music are as follows:FormTimbreMelodyTextureDynamicsHarmonyRhythmForm/Musical Form: Form is the element that refers to the style or genre of music. The form, or more appropriately, the musical form is determined on the basis of the harmonic language, rhythm that is used, lyrics, instruments, etc. At times, the form is also determined by the geographical area, or the historical era, to which it belongs, for example, Indian classical music. As the name suggests, Indian classical music originated in India during ancient times. It was developed in ancient India on the basis of the flow of sounds that appeared in nature. Sometimes the format of lyrics is also used to classify the form of music. For example: a ballad is a narrative poem. The famous song 'Nothing Else Matters' by rock band, Metallica, is often classified as a ballad, because of its narrative lyrics.

Timbre: Timbre is a rather abstract concept that involves the differentiation and identification of the notations, that are played on different instruments at the same time. For example a bass guitar and a lead guitar are always played together with the same notation, however, a groove or a singular notation is played on the bass guitar, whereas, a chord is played on the lead guitar. The differentiation between the sounds of these notations is commonly termed as Timbre. It is also often defined as a distinctive and complex note.

Melody: A melody is often defined as a set of linear notations in the form of tunes, vocals, or even chords or grooves. A melody essentially forms the basic framework of any song. It must be noted that melody is often divided into different phrases. The specialty of a melody is that it can be written down with the help of staff and quote notations. For example, most of the rock songs can be divided into parts like the verse and chorus. It is said to be the horizontal aspect of music.

Texture: Many musicians consider texture to be the heart and soul of music. A texture is a set or pattern of rhythms and notations played together. It is often termed as a progression. A common texture is made up of harmony, tempo and rhythm. Some of the common textures are

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monophonic (where only one melodic voice is used) or polyphonic (where multiple and independent voices are used). A micropolyphony is a modern texture that was first composed by the famous Austrian composer, György Ligeti.

Dynamics: The volume of the notation is known as the dynamics of the music. Nowadays, due to technical advancements in music, instruments like the electric guitar have electronic controls for volume. However, while playing the traditional instruments, musicians had to control the volume manually while playing the notations. The term dynamics is more valid and applicable for written notations. For example, a 'p' (in lower case) stands for a piano notation that is to be played softly.

Harmony: The term harmony refers to the different notations played at different pitches, but in the same scale, and is used to make chords. Harmony is often referred to as harmonics in modern music. It said to be the vertical aspect of music. Harmony involves finding notes that sound harmonic to each other i.e. notations in same scale. According to composer Arnold Whitall, "It was not that counterpoint was supplanted by harmony (Bach's tonal counterpoint is surely no less polyphonic than Palestrina's modal writing) but that an older type both of counterpoint and of vertical technique was succeeded by a newer type. And harmony comprises not only the ('vertical') structure of chords but also their ('horizontal') movement. Like music as a whole, harmony is a process." Harmony is a factor that makes complex but beautiful textures in music. It also a form of innovation and experimentation.

Rhythm: A rhythm is a set of sequential, synchronized and uniform beats and notations. The concept of a 'pulse' or a repetitive beat is a very important element of rhythm. The concepts of texture and rhythm, when put together, form the concept of a 'bar'. A bar is a set of rhythm , that is accompanied by specific notations played in a uniform tempo.

All these elements, when put together form the magical art of music. Music is a form of universal communication. It is very difficult to describe, write or define each and every element of music. In reality, it is to be heard, observed on the instrument, and felt by the heart.

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Certain key elements are what all music is based on - melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics - that are essential in establishing the essence of music.As with anything, there is an elemental basis for the composition of music. The material essence of music lies with its melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics. Melody gives music soul, while rhythm blends the expression of harmony and dynamics with the tempo of the passage. All are necessary to create a recognizable pattern known as a "song."Melody is a musical and successive line of single tones or pitches perceived as a unity. Its characteristics include range, shape, and movement. Each of these will be discussed separately.Range -- The range of a piece is the distance between the lowest and highest tones. Singers refer to an arrangement being in a low, medium, or high range, meaning that the notes focus on those scale pitches. A piece that has a narrow range is one in which the melody centers around a few given notes. In contrast, an arrangement calling for a wide range takes the musician from low to high pitches, often encompassing as many as fifteen whole steps on the scale.Shape -- Melody takes its own direction, or shape. When musicians talk about the shape of a melody line, they are referring to the literal geometric line that could be made if the notes were joined together as in a dot-to-dot puzzle. Notes that ascend up the scale take on an upward shape, while phrases that descend are shaped in a downward motion. If the phrase stays within a narrow range, the shape is wavelike.Movement -- Movement can be either conjunct or disjunct. When the melody moves stepwise and is connected, the movement is termed conjunct. Melody that leaps from pitch to pitch with no natural connection or flow is said to be disjunct.Melody is structured by its length and intensity much like sentences in a spoken language. For instance, a phrase in music is a unit of meaning within the larger structure of the song in its entirety. Other examples include the cadence and the climax. A cadence is a final ending to a musical section. A climax is a high point of intensity.

Harmony is the relation of notes to notes and chords to chords as they are played simultaneously. Harmonic "patterns" are established from notes and chords in successive order. Melodic intervals are those that are linear and occur in sequence, while harmonic intervals are sounded at the same time. Whether or not a harmony is pleasing is a matter of personal taste, as there are consonant and dissonant harmonies, both of which are pleasing to the ears of some and not others.Chords have meaning as they lead to other chords. Certain progressions are encouraged as acceptable in certain styles of music. But basic to all harmony - regardless of style - is the triad. A triad is the most common chord form. It is built on the first, third, and fifth notes of the scale - do, mi, and so - and is symbolized in musical notation by the Roman numeral I. A triad built on the second note of the scale would include the second, fourth, and sixth notes of the scale, still

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keeping one scale degree between each jump. A triad built on the second note of the scale is written as ii. Triad chords may be built on all seven notes of the scale (with the eighth note a repeat of the first.) Chord symbols for the triads built on the third through seventh notes of the scale are as follows: iii, IV, V, vi, and vii. The I chord is named the Tonic, and the IV chord is called by the name Sub-Dominant. The V chord is the dominant. The vii is referred to as the Leading Tone, as it is often used to change (or "lead") into a new key. This organization around tones is known as "tonality."Rhythm is, by its simplest definition, musical time. The origin of the word is Greek, meaning "flow." Rhythm is indeed the embodiment of timely flow. As meter regulates and pulsates a poem, rhythm organizes music in much the same way. The regular pulsations of the music are called the beat. Stronger beats are referred to as "accented" beats. Measures of music divide a piece into time-counted segments. Strong beats occur in patterns. For instance, in 4/4 time, the conductor would beat a strong beat on the first beat of every measure and another accented beat - although not as strong - on the third count of the measure. Because the conductor's arms move downward on strong beats, especially those that begin a measure, accented beats are also referred to as "downbeats."Time patterns in music are referred to in terms of meter. Two beats to a measure is duple meter, while the three beat measures of a waltz indicate triple meter. Four beats to a measure is known as common time, or quadruple time. Six beats to a measure is representative of time that can be divided by three, such as six beats to a measure with accented beats on the first and fourth beats. When the melody falls on notes that occur between beats, it said to be syncopated time.Along with rhythm comes the idea of rate or pace. Not every song is slow. Neither is every song fast. Tempo is the musical term that indicates the overall pace of an arrangement. Tempo markings include grave, meaning solemn and extremely slow or allegro, meaning fast and cheerful. A gamut of musical terms for rhythm exists.Once a song is organized by melody, harmony, and rhythm, it is technically presentable. Although some indication of mood is expressed through the tempo at which a piece is meant to be played, without dynamics, music lacks the emotion behind the musical thought. Dynamics tell the performer when to play loudly or more softly and when to change from one to the other. From pianissimo (as soft as you can play) to fortissimo (the loudest you can play), music ranges from a whisper to the fullest of sound.Hence, the composer utilizes the tools of composition for the intimacies of musical expression - melody, harmony, rhythm, and dynamics - all a part of what we know simply as a "song."

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Elements of Music / Properties of Sound

Elements of Music:Sounds may be perceived as pleasant or unpleasant.What are these sounds that we hear? What is "sound"? What causes it, and how do we hear it?-Sound begins with the vibration of an object, such as a table that is pounded or a string that is plucked.-The vibrations are transmitted to our ears by a medium, which is usually air-As a result of the vibrations, our eardrums start vibrating too, andimpulses, or signals, are transmitted to the brain. There the impulses are selected, organized, and interpreted. -Music is part of this world of sound, an art based on the organization of sounds in time.Properties of musical sounds:-We distinguish music from other sounds by recognizing the four main properties of musical sounds: pitch, dynamics (loudness or softness), tone color, and duration.Duration: the length of time a musical sound lastsPitch is the relative highness or lowness that we hear in a sound-The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of its vibrations.-The faster the vibrations, the higher the pitch; the slower the vibrations, the lower the pitch.-Vibration frequency is measured in cycles per second.-On a piano the highest-frequency tone is 4,186 cycles per second, and the lowest is about 27 cycles per second.In general, the smaller the vibrating object, the faster its vibrations and the higher its pitch. All other things being equal, plucking a short string produces a higher pitch than plucking a long string. The relatively short strings of a violin produce higher pitches than do the longer strings of a double bass.In music, a sound that has a definite pitch is called a tone. It has a specific frequency, such as 440 cycles per second. The vibrations of a tone are regular and reach the ear at equal time intervals.Noiselike sounds (squeaking brakes or clashing cymbals) have an indefinite pitch because they are produced by irregular vibrations.-Two tones will sound different when they have different pitches.-The "distance" in pitch between any two tones is called an interval.- When tones are separated by the interval called an octave, they sound very much alike.The distance between the lowest and highest tones that a voice or instrument can produce is called its pitch range, or simply its range.-The range of the average untrained voice is between 1 and 2 octaves; -A pianos range is over 7 octaves.-When men and women sing the same melody, they usually sing it an octave apart.Though most music we know is based on definite pitches, indefinite pitchessuch as those made by a bass drum or by cymbalsare important as well. Some percussion instruments, such as gongs, cowbells, and wood-blocks, come in different sizes and therefore produce higher or lower indefinite pitches. Contrasts between higher and lower indefinite pitches play a vital role in twentieth-century western music and in musical cultures around the world.Dynamics: Degrees of loudness or softness in music are calleddynamics our second property of

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sound.-Loudness is related to the amplitude of the vibration that produces the sound. The harder a guitar string is plucked (the farther it moves from the fingerboard), the louder its sound. When instruments are played more loudly or more softly, orwhen there is a change in how many instruments are heard, a dynamic change results; such a change may be made either suddenly or gradually.Crescendo: A gradual increase in loudness. It often creates excitement, particularly when the pitch rises too.Decrescendo: a gradual decrease in loudness. It can be used to convey a sense of calm.When notating music, composers have traditionally used Italian words, and their abbreviations, to indicate dynamics. The most common terms are:For extremes of softness and loudness, composers use ppp or ppppand fff or ffff. The following notations indicate gradual changes in dynamics: Tone ColorWe can tell a trumpet from a flute even when each of them is playing the same tone at the same dynamic level. The quality that distinguishes them our third property of musical soundis called tone color, or timbre (pronounced tam-ber). Tone color is described by words like bright, dark, brilliant, mellow, and rich.Like changes in dynamics, changes in tone color create variety and contrast. When the same melody is played by one instrument and then by another, it takes on different expressive effects because of each instruments tone color. On the other hand, a contrast in tone color may be used to highlight a new melody: after violins play a melody, an oboe may present a contrasting one.Tone colors also build a sense of continuity; it is easier to recognize the return of a melody when the same instruments play it each time. Specific instruments can reinforce a melodys emotional impact: the brilliant sound of a trumpet is suited to heroic or military tunes; the soothing tone color of a flute fits the mood of a calm melody. In fact, composers often create a melody with a particular instruments tone color in mind.A practically unlimited variety of tone colors is available to composers. Combining different instrumentsviolin, clarinet, and trombone, for exampleresults in new colors that the instruments cannot produce by themselves. And tone color can be changed by varying the number of instruments or voices that perform a melody. Finally, electronic techniques developed in recent years allow composers to create colors completely unlike those of traditional instruments.ELEMENTS OF MUSIC: Rhythm,Melody,Harmony,Key,Texture,Form.Rhythm is the flow of music through time.Rhythm has several interrelated aspects: beat, meter, accent and syncopation, and tempo.Beat: is a regular, recurrent pulsation that divides music into equal units of time. When you clap your hands or tap your foot to music, you are responding to its beat.A note may last a fraction of a beat, an entire beat, or more than a beat. More specifically, rhythm can be defined as the particular arrangement of note lengths in a piece of

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music. The rhythm of a melody is an essential feature of its personality.Meter: In music we find a repeated pattern of a strong beat plus one or more weaker beats. The organization of beats into regular groups is called meter.A group containing a fixed number of beats is called a measure. There are several types of meter, which are based on the number of beats in a measure.When a measure has 2 beats, it is in duple meter; we count 12, 12,The first, or stressed, beat of the measure is known as the downbeat.A pattern of 3 beats to the measure is known as triple meter. All waltzes are in triple meter, we count 123, 123, etc.Another basic metrical pattern is quadruple meter, which has 4 beats to the measure. As usual, the downbeat is strongest; but there is another stress on the third beat, which is stronger than the second and fourth beats and weaker than the first: 1234, 1234.Upbeat: It is an unaccented pulse preceding the downbeat.Sextuple meter contains six rather quick beats to the measure. The downbeat is strongest, and the fourth beat also receives a stress:123456.Quintuple meter, with 5 beats to the measure, and septuple meter,with 7 beats to the measure, occur frequently in twentieth-century music and are found occasionally in earlier music. Each of these meters combines duple and triple meter. In quintuple meter, for example, the measure is subdivided into groups of 2 and 3 beats:123/45 or 12/345.Accent and Syncopation: An important aspect of rhythm is the way individual notes are stressedhow they get special emphasis. A note is emphasized most obviously by being played louder than the notes around it, that is, by receiving a dynamic accent.When an accented note comes where we normally would not expect one, the effect is known as syncopation.A syncopation also occurs when a weak beat is accented, as in 1234 or 1234.Tempo: is the speed of the beat, the basic pace of the music.A fast tempo is associated with a feeling of energy, drive, and excitement. A slow tempo often contributes to a solemn, lyrical, or calm mood.A tempo indication is usually given at the beginning of a piece. As with dynamics, the terms that show tempo (at the left) are in Italian.

largo very slow, broadgrave very slow, solemnadagio slowandante moderately slow, a walking pacemoderato moderateallegretto moderately fastallegro fastvivace livelypresto very fastprestissimo as fast as possible

Qualifying words are sometimes added to tempo indications to make them more specific. The two most commonly used are molto (much) and non troppo (not too much). We thus get phrases like allegro molto(very fast) and allegro non troppo (not too fast).A gradual quickening of tempo may be indicated by writingaccelerando (becoming faster), and

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a gradual slowing down of tempo by ritardando (becoming slower).An accelerando, especially when combined with a rise in pitch and volume, increases excitement, and a ritardando is associated with less tension and a feeling of conclusion.Metronome, an apparatus which produces ticking sounds or flashes of light at any desired musical speed. The metronome setting indicates the exact number of beats per minute.Melody: After hearing a piece of music, we usually remember its melody best. melody is a series of single tones which add up to a recognizable whole. A melody begins, moves, and ends; it has direction, shape, and continuity. The up-and-down movement of its pitches conveys tension and release, expectation and arrival. This is the melodic curve, or line.-A melody moves by small intervals called steps or by larger ones called leaps. A step is the interval between two adjacent tones in thedo-re-mi scale (from do to re, re to mi, etc.). Any interval larger than a step is a leap (do to mi, for example). Besides moving up or down by step or leap, a melody may simply repeat the same note.-A melodys range is the distance between its lowest and highest tones. Range may be wide or narrow.-Melodies written for instruments tend to have a wider range than those for voices, and they often contain wide leaps and rapid notes that would be difficult to sing.How the tones of a melody are performed can vary its effect, too. Sometimes they are sung or played in a smooth, connected style called legato. Or they may be performed in a short, detached manner called staccato.Spiccato: it is a technique used only by string instruments to performe very short notes.-Many melodies are made up of shorter parts called phrases.-A resting place at the end of a phrase is called a cadence.Incomplete cadence: sets up expectations; the second phrase ends with a Complete cadence: gives an answer, a sense of finality.Often the highest tone of a melody will be the climax, the emotional focal point.-A repetition of a melodic pattern on a higher or lower pitch is called asequence. This is an impelling device of varied repetition that gives a melody a strong sense of direction.Frequently, a melody will serve as the starting point for a more extended piece of music and, in stretching out, will go through all kinds of changes. This kind of melody is called a theme.When folksingers accompany themselves on a guitar, they add support, depth, and richness to the melody. We call this harmonizing.Most music in western culture is a blend of melody and harmony.Harmony: refers to the way chords are constructed and how they follow each other.-A chord is a combination of three or more tones sounded at once.Essentially, a chord is a group of simultaneous tones, and a melody is a series of individual tones heard one after another.Consonance and DissonanceSome chords have been considered stable and restful, others unstable and tense.-A tone combination that is stable is called a consonance.Consonances are points of arrival, rest, and resolution.-A tone combination that is unstable is called a dissonance.-A dissonance has its resolution when it moves to a consonance. When this resolution is delayed or accomplished in unexpected ways, a feeling of drama, suspense, or surprise is

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created. In this way a composer plays with the listeners sense of expectation.-Dissonant chords are active and move music forward. Traditionally they have been considered harsh and have been used in music that expresses pain, grief, and conflict.Now that consonance and dissonance have been defined, be aware that they can exist in varying degrees. Some consonant chords are more stable than others, and some dissonant chords are more tense than others. Dissonant chords have been used with increasing freedom over the centuries, so that often a chord considered intolerably harsh in one period has later come to seem rather mild.The TriadA great variety of chords have been used in music. Some chords consist of three different tones; others have four, five, or even more. Depending on their makeup, chords sound simple or complex, calm or tense, bright or dark.The simplest, most basic chord is the triad (pronounced try-ad), which consists of three tones.The bottom tone is called the root; the others are a third and a fifth above the root.-A triad built on the first, or tonic, note of the scale (do) is called thetonic chord.The triad built on the fifth note of the scale (sol) is next in importance to the tonic. It is called the dominant chord (sol-ti-re). The dominant chord is strongly pulled toward the tonic chord. This attraction has great importance in music. A dominant chord sets up tension that is resolved by the tonic chord.A progression from dominant chord to tonic chord is called a cadence.The word cadence means both the resting point at the end of a melodic phrase and a chord progression that gives a sense of conclusion.Broken Chords (Arpeggios): When the individual tones of a chord are sounded one after another, it is called a broken chord, or arpeggio.Arpeggios may appear in the melody or in the accompaniment.-The central tone is the keynote, or tonic, of the melody. When a piece is in the key of C, for example, C is the keynote, or tonic. The keynote can also be E, or A, or any of the twelve tones that fill the octave in western music.Key: involves not only a central tone but also a central scale and chord. A piece in the key of C has a basic scale, do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do, with C as its do, or tonic. Key, then, refers to the presence of a central note, scale, and chord within a piece. Another term for key istonality.After 1900, some composers abandoned the traditional system, but even today much of the music we hear is built around a central tone, chord, and scale.Practically all familiar melodies are built around a central tone. The other tones of the melody gravitate toward this central one. Since the central tone is especially stable and restful, a melody usually ends on it.Modulation: Change of KeyShifting from one key to another within the same piece is calledmodulation. A modulation is like a temporary shift in the center of gravity. When the music starts out in the key of C major, for instance, C is the central tone, and the C major scale and chord predominate. With a modulation to G major, G temporarily becomes the central tone, and the G major scale and chord are now the main ones. Though modulations are sometimes subtle and difficult to spot, they produce subconscious effects that increase our enjoyment of the music.Texture: homophonic, Polyphonic, Monophonic

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Polyphonic TextureSimultaneous performance of two or more melodic lines of relatively equal interest produces the texture called polyphonic, meaninghaving many sounds. In polyphony several melodic lines compete for attention. (When several jazz musicians improvise different melodies at once, they produce polyphony.)The technique of combining several melodic lines into a meaningful whole is called counterpoint.The term contrapuntal texture is sometimes used in place ofpolyphonic texturePolyphonic music often contains imitation, which occurs when a melodic idea is presented by one voice or instrument and is then restated immediately by another voice or instrument.Homophonic Texture: When we hear one main melody accompanied by chords, the texture is homophonic.Monophonic Texture: When we hear one main melody without accompaniment, the texture is monophonic. Form: in music is the organization of musical elements in time. In a musical composition, pitch, tone color, dynamics, rhythm, melody, and texture interact to produce a sense of shape and structure. Techniques That Create Musical FormRepetition, contrast, and variation are essential techniques in short tunes as well as in compositions lasting much longer. Repetitioncreates a sense of unity; contrast provides variety; and variation, in keeping some elements of a musical thought while changing others, gives a work unity and variety at the same time. Repetition: In music the repetition of melodies or extended sections is a technique widely used for binding a composition together. Through repetition, a melody is engraved in the memory. Contrast: Forward motion, conflict, and change of mood all come from contrast. Oppositionof loud and soft, strings and woodwinds, fast and slow, major and minorpropels and develops musical ideas. A composer can emphasize the power and excitement of one musical idea by contrasting it with another idea that is calm and lyricalVariation:In the variation of a musical idea, some of its features will be retained while others are changed. For example, the melody might be restated with a different accompaniment. Or the pitches of a melody might stay the same while its rhythmic pattern is changed. A whole composition can be created from a series of variations on a single musical idea.Types of Musical FormThree-Part (Ternary) Form: A B A. During the last few centuriesthree-part form (A B A) has probably been used most frequently. This form can be represented as statement (A), contrast or departure (B),return (A).Two-Part (Binary) Form: A B. A composition subdivided into two large sections is in two-part form (A B). Two-part form gives a sense ofstatement (A) and counterstatement (B). The Instruments of the Orchestra: We can divide the instruments of the orchestra in four families:(This classification is made by the way the sound is produced)

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-The String Family: -Violin -Viola -Cello -Double bass -The Woodwind Family: -Flute and Piccolo -Clarinet and Bass Clarinet -Oboe and English Horn -Basson and Contrabassoon -The Brass family: -Trumpet and cornet -French Horn and baritone Horn -Trombone -Tuba -The Percussion Family Definite Pitch: -Timpani (Kettledrums) -Glockenspiel -Xylophone -Celesta -Chimes Indefinite Pitch: -Snare Drum -Bass Drum -Tambourine -Triangle -Cymbals -Gong (tam-tam)

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Elements of ArtKnowing the basics of the elements of art can help any artist to create a well-balanced and beautiful work of art. Here are the basics about elements of art that can be followed to create your own expression, no matter what the medium you choose.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." - Thomas Merton.

Art has given wings for creativity to many and has been expressed in various ways, whether through realism or abstract, impressionism or cubism. Although some of the most famous artists have not always been trained formally in any specific way, there are certain basic elements of art that need to be followed for any basic design. So, what exactly are elements of art? These are components that are required to create any work of art. Read on to know more about these elements.

Seven Elements of Art:

Line:This is a mark that is made on a surface. Lines are the first element of art and are continuous marks that are made on any surface with a moving point. A line can to used to express various things or feelings; it can be used to show various moods or anything abstract. Lines can be used in various ways to create different compositions. A horizontal or a vertical line can be used to express various things in different ways, such as, only vertical lines can be used to express an

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orderly feeling where are only horizontal lines can give a feeling of peace and stillness. Diagonal lines are used to create feelings of movement. It is up to the artist how he/she conveys it, in the best way possible through the use of lines. (A ship sailing a stormy sea will need diagonal lines to represent movement.)

Shape:A shape always has two dimensions, length as well as width. This is represented as an enclosed area that is defined by color, value, space, texture and form. When lines form together, they form shapes. Shapes can be geometrical, rectangles, ovals and squares.

Form:A form always has three dimensions; length, width and height. Examples of such would be cubes, pyramids, spheres or even cylinders. Therefore, form has depth as well as height. Sculptures and decorative arts serve as good examples for form.

Value:The value refers to the changes in the base color. This is also determined by how much light is reflected or absorbed by any surface. Values mean the various intensities of the tones or colors. This could be the highlights, midtones or even shadows in any painting or sculpture.

Texture:The texture is the quality of a surface or the way any work of art is represented. There are three kinds of basic textures, actual, simulated and the invented texture. Lines and shading can be used to create different textures as well. For example, if one is portraying certain fabrics, one needs to give the feeling of the right texture so that it closely resembles what the artist is trying to convey.

Color:Color always has three characteristics, which are hue, value and the intensity. Hue means the shades (Red, yellow or pink), value refers to the lightness or the darkness and intensity refers to the brightness or dullness of the work of art.

Space:Space is the creation of visual perspective; this gives the illusion of depth. Space can also mean the way an artist uses the area within the picture plane. Real space is actually three-dimensional. The way any artist uses the combination of positive and negative space can have a great effect on his/her entire composition. The right use of space can go a long way in creating a bigger impact with even minimum use of lines. Three-dimensional space can be created with the help of shading and perspective to give a feeling of depth.

Elements and principles of design also need to go hand in hand. Principles of design are used to organize the structural elements of design. The elements of art should be used in the right proportion to create any great work of art.

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Question: What are the "elements" of art? Why are they important?Answer:The elements of art are sort of like atoms in that both serve as "building blocks." You know that atoms combine and form other things, right? Sometimes they'll casually make a simple molecule, as when hydrogen and oxygen form water (H2O). If hydrogen and oxygen take a more aggressive career path and bring carbon along as a co-worker, together they might form something more complex, like a molecule of sucrose (C12H22O11).A similar activity happens when the elements of art are combined. Instead of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, etc., in art you've got line, shape, form, space,texture, value and color. Artists manipulate these elements, mix them in with principles of design and compose a piece of art. Not every work has every last one of these elements contained within it, but there are always at least two present.For example, a sculptor, by default, has to have bothform and space in a sculpture, because these elements are three-dimensional. They can also be made to appear in two-dimensional works through the use of perspective and shading.Art would be sunk without line, sometimes known as "a moving point." While line isn't something found in nature, it is absolutely essential as a concept to depicting objects and symbols, and defining shapes.Texture is another element, like form or space, that can be real (run your fingers over an Oriental rug, or hold an unglazed pot), created (think of van Gogh's lumpy, impasto-ed canvases) or implied (through clever use of shading).Now, I will try not to leap up and down and pinwheel my arms in large, excited arcs overcolor, but, really - it's often the whole point for us visual types. Show me a red spectrum, regardless of value (lightness or darkness), and my brain yells "Hallelujah!" Then, of course, there are all of those lovely, soothing blues...oh! And green! The color of nature and the renewal of life. There have got to be at least 84,000 tints and tones of green. And, yellow! My goodness, I do love a sunny yellow. Not a sickly-looking "Whoa! Hey, you should get your liver function tested, buddy" shade of yellow, mind you, but...what? Sorry. What was the other part of the question?

On this page, I will give some examples of how Art can be taught one element at a time.

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LineColourTextureSpace and MassFormValue

LINEHave you ever tried to draw a circle or a very straight line? Not trace one or use a template or ruler. No, just free-hand. It isn't that easy, you know, and those who wish to draw need to practice the art of drawing with lines.Very young children can draw lines for water or in a background of trees, inside boxes, a sky-line, stems on flowers, on clothes and so on. These initial exercises are teaching control of young hands.

Older students need to control the use of line to show shadow and texture and the development of three-dimensional forms.Practice drawing lines as an expression to music being played. Vary the moods of music.Practice drawing varied lines- straight, curved, ripples, cross-hatching.Practice "blind contour" drawing. Cover your hand, and draw an object under observation in a continuous line. Don't look down. Practice the object a few times. Then, continue contour drawing, studying the line of the object, but this time not "blind". Progress to more complex forms.Analyse paintings and sculptures of famous artists. Study the way the artist has used Line as one of the elements of art to emphasize certain aspects and to create unity and perspective in the composition.Take note of the paintings below by Vincent Van Gogh.He has an expressive, overt use of line. These paintings are great to copy to enjoy the swirls and movement which he clearly depicts in his art. This can be done with pen and ink, lead pencils, crayons and also soft pastels.

Click on the painting to zoom.

"Vincent van Gogh: Wheat Field with Cypresses (1993.132)". In Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.

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Cypresses, 1889Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890), Oil on canvas; 36 3/4 x 29 1/8 in. (93.4 x 74 cm), Rogers

Fund, 1949 (49.30)

Venice from the Bacino di San Marco,Francesco Guardi (Italian, Venetian, 1712–1793),Bequest of Adele L. Lehman, in memory of Arthur Lehman, l965 (65.181.8)Take note of the lines of the moorings and the masts which break the lines of the horizon and the town in the background.

Drawing ellipses are an essential part of drawing faces, tops of bowls and jars, bottles and animal shapes.Another art idea is to enlarge small objects (such as a bolt, a comb, a crumbled piece of paper, or textured material) and study the lines carefully. Enlarge this object on a large piece of paper.COLOUR

How do you teach colour as an element of art?Make your own colour wheel;Paint freely and observe and talk about the way the colours change as they are mixed.Mix colours on the palette; Experiment.Mix colours as children finger paint. Experiment.Drip paints onto a wet sheet of paper and take note of the effects of colours mixing.Observe and experiment with colours as they are placed side by side. Use paints or paper to experiment by placing different coloured circles onto a standard background square. Take note of the apparent changes that are brought about when colours are placed beside eachother.Make two similar drawings and use warm colours in one drawing/painting and use cool colours in the second. Take note of the effects on the viewer.Learn about analogous colours. Use the colours which are next to each other on the colour wheel to create harmony in a picture.

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Use playdough or plasticene and create animals and scenes. Take note of what happens to the colours when they are mixed.As you study Colour as one of the elements of art, study the works of great colourful artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Seurat, Matisse. Use their works and copy from them.

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, ca. 1662Johannes Vermeer (Dutch, 1632–1675)Marquand Collection, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1889 (89.15.21)

Note the use of primary colours and simple shapes to achieve harmony and a pleasant composition.

Vétheuil in Summer, 1880Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)Bequest of William Church Osborn, 1951 (51.30.3)

Take note of his careful use of colour to accurately portray the light of the summer day.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)Purchase, special contributions and funds given or bequeathed by friends of the Museum, 1967 (67.241)Take note of the wonderful vibrant colours of another summer day and his use of light and shadow.Find and learn about complementary colours from the colour wheel; Use them in drawings to show shading and for use in a background. In the fold of a ribbon, or the underneath of an umbrella, or the background of a character or object, the complementary colour can be used to keep your work colourful and interesting. (rather than just using black)Another art idea is to find objects or drawings which are one particular colour (eg. red). Then compare them with what others have found. Can you order the colours in a sequence to show value - from the lightest to the darkest?

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Paint a number of pictures using only 2-3 colours to show different emotions. Paint an "angry" picture. What two colours will you choose to use? Paint a "sad" picture. Which colours will you use now?Want an idea which is great for kids who don't like to hold a brush or pencil? Try this:

Place primary colours on a paper in a shallow drawer. Then place marbles or bouncy balls in the drawer and move the drawer from side to side. Take note of the colour changes as colours mix and stand alongside eachother. The finished creation can also be used as a print source. (Place a paper on top of it to view another picture.)


Find examples of use of various kinds of texture from magazines. Cut them out and paste them in different arrangements.Show texture of objects by adding curved lines around the width of a tree, knots and lines in the trunk of a tree, short strokes for fur, hair, whiskers, and so on.Another art idea we have all done is to make pencil/crayon rubbings on trees, pavements and various surfaces.Use varied textures to paint on and use as a print. For example: Dip sponges, sea sponges,in paint and print on material or paper to achieve different effects. Either use it to make a picture or just use for an abstract patterned effect. Other ideas include: rope wrapped around wood or a tin which can be rolled in paint and then over paper; string dipped in paint and draped over a page; potato prints; other vegetable prints; lino prints in which linoleum has been carved out to make a relief picture and give its own textured effect.Splatter paint with toothbrushes dipped in paint, and flicked over a page in order to give a splattered texture.Use large amounts of paint on a page;Use a palette knife with oil or acrylic paint to give raised textured pictures.Use fabric paint- and experiment with flat and raised drawings.Use powder paint mixed with soap.Use powder paint (can also use acrylic, but powder works better) mixed with dishwashing liquid and some water. Blow bubbles with straws and allow the bubble mixture to fall over the container on to the page. It creates wonderful texture and patterns as it dries.A friend has told me beating lux soap flakes with a beater makes an excellent medium for sculpture. (I haven't tried it, so I'm not sure of the details of this, but it sure sounds like fun!)Use a sculpture as a basis for drawing and learning to shade and create texture.SPACE AND MASSCreate 3Dimensional forms with straws or toothpicks and plasticene or playdough. Discuss the space inside the object as well as the space it takes.

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Make sculptures from a varied of different materials- cardboard, woodscraps, balsa strips connected with string, elastic bands and glue and you may even use cellophane as inserts in the spaces.Create box sculptures- arrange shapes to experiment with mass distribution- what is the strongest structure?Make structures which are delicately balanced using all sorts of odds and ends. - forks, corks, bottles, buckets and so on.Create sculptures as history/science projects- animals, famous buildings, geographical features (mountains, volcanoes, valleys), villages, and so on.Work with clay. Scoop out sections of the clay. Observe light and shade of the structure by using a torch and shining it from different directions. Draw the sculpture a number of times showing how the direction of light affects the light and shadows.Explode a design. Divide a sheet of dark paper into sections and place these sections on a white background. Pull the sections apart leaving small white spaces between the dark forms; Then increase the white spaces. Take note of the changes. Do this also with curving lines.Cut out different shapes from coloured paper and drop it from a height onto white paper. Observe the patterns you make and the spaces between the shapes. Continue until you are happy with the arrangement and glue. What picture can you see in the shapes? What picture can you see in the space?Make an outline picture with crayon and fill up all the space around it and between it with colour.Use lines to cover an entire page. Colour each intersecting space with colour, dots, or lines.Drawing a still life picture. Use a cut-out frame to find the composition which has a balance between the shape and the space. (the positive and the negative space)Do the still life picture again. Choose another perspective which focusses on the space. Use the cut-out frame to help you choose your arrangement of composition.Try this again, leaving some areas without colour. Take note of the spaces and the effect they have.FORMShadows help to create depth and also form to pictures.Practice drawing with curved lines to show specific features - round balls, fruit.Draw geometric shapes;Make three dimensional shapes -cubes, pyramids, spheres by adding perspective and shading.Practice one-point perspective in which a boxed shape recedes into the distance and meets at the horizon line at a point called the vanishing point. Make these boxes into house structures, keeping all vertical lines straight up and down.Continue perspective drawing with buildings on each side of a street, all lines converging to the horizon line.Practice altering the horizon line and drawing to it with different shapesDraw from two-point perspective in which there are two vanishing points. Create a house this way.VALUEPractice drawing with pencil, charcoal, and pen and ink drawings to focus on value and shading.

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Another art idea to explore Value as an element of art, is to use one colour and make a colour chart by starting with the saturated hue at the top of the page, and gradually changing its value by adding white, a small portion at a time. Paint each new colour under the previous one.These colours could be painted on to different cards and made into a game in which one child makes the monochromatic cards (puts numbers on the back of the order) and gives it to another child who then needs to order it correctly from the lightest to the darkest.Use these monochromatic colours to make a picture.Paint 6-7 containers white and use these to make a still life arrangement. Draw them on a gray paper with black chalk, using white for highlights.Use a light source on this or another set of objects to create shadow and use this as an arrangement to paint with a monochromatic scale.Take a section of a photograph or picture, enlarge it and use it as a model to copy. The children should not be able to identify the object they are copying. Look especially at the dark and light patterns. Then show the children what the complete photograph or object was.Copy a picture upside down. Concentrate ony on light and dark forms.Analyse the work of several artists and their use of light and shade. (Cezanne, O'Keefe)


Folk art is not art as most people would think. You would not find it in the galleries of New York. You find it in people's homes, garages, and attics. The best way to describe folk art is to say it is the craftsmanship of people from a local area which depicts the everyday life and times they

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shared. From the weather vane on the barn to the handcrafted rag dolls the children played with, that is something you can not put a price on.Traditional, high end art is produced by a talented painter or sculptor whose personality or life may be depicted in the piece. This was not created by a named artist but by ordinary people who needed certain things. These items were used everyday. They were created to make life simpler or more enjoyable. The people who created them would never have dreamed of selling them at some upscale auction house. The items were passed out to family and friends. There was no price tag.Quilts are a popular form of folk art. The seamstress was making a bed cover for her family. If she was adept with her needle, there may have been detailed embroidery done on the piece or appliqué work depicting scenes from the area. Some of the quilts were made for special occasions such as the wedding quilt. The rings symbolized the union of the two getting married. These handcrafted quilts and blankets are in great demand in today's market.The tradition of folk art continues to this day. People are still creating things to make their lives easier or more comfortable. Toys are created for the children. Some pieces are created for the sheer beauty of it, like wood carvings. Local craftsmen who are proud of their heritage are picking up the tradition and starting to teach the younger ones how to do things, like basket weaving or tin smithing.There are festivals all across the country celebrating the heritage of different regions. Many local craftsmen set up displays to show off their handy work and creations. Some offer these items for sale to the visitors. Many of these festivals are held in the fall. This is traditionally when the lives of these true artisans would slow down. The planting and growing being over, this was the time when the harvest would start to be enjoyed. With more time on their hands many people would turn to their craft to past the time.The American Folk Art Museum located in New York City has many exhibits from all over the country. There are paintings which depict the lives of the artists. There are many quilts on display. Some are of a simple design and others are intricately detailed. Visitors can view pottery and tin pieces made in the 18th and 19th century. Certain markings made on the pieces have allowed the artisan to be traced through the years. It is interesting to see the styles each master craftsman used to create their works. Toys and painted board games are on display to see what the children of the times played with.Folk art is a reflection of the past history of America. It shows the history of this nation. Every piece is a part of the heritage of the United States.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/841177

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Folk artFilipinos began creating artistic paintings in the 17th century during the Spanish period.[5] The earliest paintings of the Philippines were religious imagery from Biblical sources, as well as engravings, sculptures and lithographs featuring Christian icons and European nobility. Most of the paintings and sculptures between the 19th, and 20th century produced a mixture of religious, political, and landscape art works, with qualities of sweetness, dark, and light. Early modernist painters such as Damián Domingo was associated with religious, and secular paintings. The art of Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo showed a trend for political statement. Artist such as Fernando Amorsolo used post-modernism to produce paintings that illustrated Philippine culture, nature and harmony. While other artist such as Fernando Zóbel used realities and abstract on his work.

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