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intervals in music


     In music, an interval is the relative distance between two notes that can be measured in tones or steps and, in the equal temperament system that uses twelve notes, the smallest measurable unit is a half-step or a half-tone. The… Read More »Intervals

the harmonic series in music

The Harmonic Series

     The harmonic series is probably the most fundamental aspect upon which music can be understood. As we will see, it is the basis for an effective chord voicing, to understand chord tones and tensions, scale construction and also rhythm.     Briefly,… Read More »The Harmonic Series

music as language

Music as Language

      We make sounds to speak and when used properly in a coherent and intelligible way we are using a form of language. Music, as an art form and in its own unique way, also uses sounds and organizing them… Read More »Music as Language

ostinatos in music


     An ostinato refers to a pattern or motif that keeps repeating throughout a music passage. It is not solely associated to rhythm executed on percussive instruments but also to rhythm associated to melodic and harmonic instruments. An ostinato can be… Read More »Ostinatos

drone in music


 It is a harmonic or monophonic effect used for accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. The main differences between a drone and a pedal point is that the first is… Read More »Drone

cantus firmus

Cantus Firmus

 Like a plainchant from liturgical music, a cantus firmus is a pre-existing melody that forms the basis for a polyphonic composition (one with several independent voices or parts), and it was used as a compositional tool. During the 11th and… Read More »Cantus Firmus

bel canto

Bel Canto

The term Bel Canto refers to the Italian-originated vocal style that prevailed throughout most of Europe during the 18th century and early 19th centuries. This vocal style and technique was not restricted to beauty and evenness of tone, legato phrasing,… Read More »Bel Canto

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