Chapter 3: Music as culture: Music Culture and Instrumental Timbers Toward a Definition of Culture: Culture is a word with multiple meanings Culture is the customs, beliefs, language , arts, and institutions of a group of people that are learned and transmitted within the group Music culture: is the performance practices, means, traditions, used and beliefs about music of a group of people, either from a specific time or place. Elements of Music: Regardless of its culture origin, almost all music shares several common elements these include: Melody: a logical succession of musical tones Rhythm: The way the beats or pulses are organized and subdivided Timber: The distinct tone quality of an instrument or voice, which is clearly identifiable by the ear. Some people refer to timber as “Tone Color” Pitch: the highness or lowness of sound determined by its frequency of vibration Identifying Instrumental Timbers: People’s perception is sharpened when an individual can identify the differences among the sounds we hear. • Culture foundations of Music • In Mesopotamia archeologist have uncovered rattles, flutes, and harp-like instruments dating to almost 2000 b.c. • Considered the arts an important in their lives • Exploring Music and Culture: • There are many cultures throughout the world with unwritten Musical traditions we know what the music sounds like due to two types of scholars: • Anthropologist: Scholars who study the physical and cultural characteristics and social customs of a group of people • Ethnomusicologist: Scholars who study the music of different cultural groups. • They study both unwritten and written music traditions and are interested in how music and culture influence one another
Musical Catagories Music can be categorized in several ways: Genre : is a particular type of music with a distinctive form or sound Musical style: A form of expression within a musical genre One of the most common ways to classify music is to use three broad categories: Traditional Popular Classical Traditional Music, Popular music, and Classical Music Traditional Music: Sometimes referred to as Folk Music is informal music that develops within and is strongly associated with a cultural group or region Is categorized by its natural quality Almost all countries and societies have developed traditional music Popular Music: Is music intended for a wide audience, often featuring prominent melodies Popular music genres and styles often have roots in traditional and even classical music Popular music is your music Classical Music: it is a style of “art” music that stands apart form traditional and Popular Classical musicians have formal training; performances tend to be more refined and less spontaneous. Classical music traditions were originally associated with the more educated members of society • Each culture fashions its instruments using the natural materials of the region • Such resources include: fiber, metal, reed, wood, gut, animal skin, and even stone. • Instruments are isolated five fundamental categories, based on how the sound is produced: • Aerophones: instruments that produce sound by a vibrating column of air. • Membranphones: Instruments that produce sound by striking or rubbing a skin or membrane stretched across a resonating air chamber. • Chordophones: are instruments that produce sound by striking or rubbing a skin membrane plucking a taut string. • Electrophone: instruments that generate sound from electricity • Idiopones: simple solid instruments that produce sound by being struck, scraped, or shaken
Worked as contract workers The Emerging Middle Class: With the middle class making more money they wanted what the elite had. These encompassed: music, theatre, and literature. Wrote music for armature musicians Used familiar folk and popular tunes as themes for their classical symphonies Two important musicians from the classical period are: Mozart and Haydn Chamber music: is music written during the classical period for small ensembles Music played in small rooms; many concerts took place in private homes for social gatherings and at parties • Traditional Music Cultures: • Traditional musical styles and genres are often associated with specific cultures or geographic areas. • Examples of traditional music cultures in America are: blues and Jazz • Blues: is a genre of African American music that often expresses frustration, sadness or longing • The vocal quality is most often straight forward, folk like singing that dips and slides. • The texts and style of the blues originated in spirituals and work songs of enslaved African Americans. • Jazz is a musical form distinguished by its reliance on improvisation and its rhythmic urgency. • Originated in New Orleans • Characteristics: polyrhythmic, juxtaposing two or more different rhythms • Popular Musical cultures: • Not only is one’s culture reflected in the popular music, but often popular music can be so unique that it creates its own culture. • Motown: is a nickname for Detroit Michigan. Short for motor city • Motown was established by Berry Gordy Jr. in 1960 • Motown of the 1960’s established a “sound” and style of dress and Performance that remains easily identifiable. • Also propel African American artist into the popular music mainstream. • Cover refers to one musician’s playing or recording of a song made famous by another artist. • Classical Music Cultures: • Adjectives that describe Classical music: • Formal, complex, and sophisticated • Classical music is commonly associated with a specific time, known as the Classical period, composers such as Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Mozart wrote some of their greatest works. • The Classical Period: • Composers depended upon a system of patronage for their livelihood. • Often kings, members of nobility, wealth church leaders.