Music: the International Language

Topics: Music, Musical form, Jazz Pages: 5 (1610 words) Published: March 31, 2012
Music is a part of people’s lives from all around the world. It has been around for at least 50,000 years and most likely originated in Africa (Wallin, et al. 1). There are several distinct genres of music. The most recognized forms in the western hemisphere are: classical, jazz, rock and folk, as well as others which are essentially branches from the four previously mentioned. Many career options exist for those wishing to pursue music, many of which require one or more scholastic degrees. In music, there are a plethora of diverse structural forms in which music is composed. A structural form usually describes the order the “sections” in a piece of music are written. Without composers, there would be little music today. Most composers have a unique style that they write in that can be identified by anyone with a trained ear. Music is constantly in an evolutionary state, and the music industry changes to reflect that. The future holds endless possibilities for the social and economical effects of new music.

Musical notation was not always nice printed symbols arranged in an easy to read format. The Greeks were the first to implement a system for translating written work into sound. However this system made it difficult for someone to imagine the melody, and was extremely difficult to reproduce, and there were usually many errors on copies. The Romans used the first 15 letters of the Roman alphabet above the applicable words to determine pitch with the first letter as the low pitch and the 15th letter as the high pitch. Neuma, or Neumes, is a very peculiar notation used mostly by 6th to 12th century ecclesiastical writers. Deciphering this notation is essentially guesswork due to the number of variables affecting the sounds. (“Changes in Musical Notation”). Of all the genres of music, classical is the most distinct. It usually includes string instruments, French horns, and trumpets, as well as others. Rock music or “devil music” as some people refer to it, has become increasingly popular around the world since its inception in the mid 1900’s. This type of music is known to use electric guitars, drum kit, and vocals. Jazz also uses those instruments, but in a different way. In a typical “big band” jazz orchestra, there will be five saxophones, four trombones, four trumpets, a pianist, a drummer and a guitarist. The jazz style is quite different from that of other types of music. Normally, the first and third beat of a four beat measure are emphasized, in jazz the second and fourth beats are emphasized.

In music, there are many formal structures (the way sections of a piece repeat) in which songs are written. Sectional form is a mixture of short chunks of a piece (DeLone. et al. 87). Vocal music often employs the use of the strophic form, which repeats the same section over again (AA…). Binary form, as the name might suggest, has two different sections played in succession (AB) or one repeated and then the other repeated (AABB). Similarly to binary form, chain form has three or more sections played in succession (ABC) or (AABBCC). Ternary, or tertiary form, similarly to binary form has two different sections, the difference being there is a “B” section sandwiched in between two “A” sections (ABA). Arch form has three different sections, one “C” section in between two “B” sections, which is then in between two “A” sections (ABCBA). Finally, rondo form, which comes in two varieties: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Symmetrical form is (ABACABA) as asymmetrical form is (ABACADAEA) (“Musical Form”).

There are many fun and rewarding careers in music many of which involve working with an assortment of creative individuals. Composition, the art of writing music, is one of the more difficult, yet also more rewarding choices, although it is hard to make a living as a composer unless the utmost dedication is displayed. Teaching others music, either by instruments, theory, or otherwise, is an occupation in high demand around the...
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