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Grasping the whole composition

Driving through a city for the first time can be very disorienting. Building after building catches your eye. Youcircle past a monument, then a fountain. Restaurants, hotels and shops fly past. Trying to absorb and remember all of theselandmarks quickly becomes tiring. Was the town square before or after the park? Did you pass a museum? If you don't speakthe language, an extra anxiety sets in. You try to decipher the street signs, negotiate the traffic. By the time youarrive at the hotel, you fall on your bed, exhausted.

Similarly, it is easy to get lost in the moment-to-moment progress of a piece of music: There are often too many detailsto remember, too many implications to contemplate. If the work is particularly dynamic, you may become overwhelmed withits rapid progress. If the musical language is unfamiliar, even one poorly understood sound may throw you into confusion.

In your visit to a new city, it is wiser to begin with an overview of the neighborhoods. First, you notice that you aretraversing the old town, where the buildings are closely packed together and the streets narrow and winding. Then, youpass into the modern section, with sleek high-rises, set apart along straight thoroughfares. You don't need to speak thelanguage; nor is there the pressure to remember facades or street-names. Later, you may revisit the old town on foot,discovering quiet alleys and ancient monuments. But, for now, you content yourself with a general sense of the city'slayout: How large is the old town compared to the new? How much variety of architecture characterizes each neighborhood?This more patient, disciplined approach helps to orient your future explorations. It will be harder to get lost oroverwhelmed when you have a commanding sense of the city's geography.

Similarly, the path to informed listening begins with a grasp of the whole composition. There are tremendous advantages tobeginning with a commanding perspective: While details tend to pass by very quickly; the overall trajectory of the musicunfolds more gradually, giving you more time to consider it. The significance of an individual gesture is often clearerwhen related to the work's overall destiny. And, while the immediate sounds are bristling with personality and may bedifficult to grasp, the larger structure is often easier to hear accurately.

Thus, we will approach listening to a piece of music by moving from the whole into the details: We will begin by developingan awareness of the composition's form and destiny, then gradually sink into the details with a stronger sense of theirrelevance.

Musical form is the wider perspective of a piece of music. It describes the layout of a composition as divided intosections, akin to the layout of a city divided into neighborhoods.

Musical works may be classified into two formal types: A and A/B. Compositions exist in a boundless variety of styles,instrumentation, length and content--all the factors that make them singular and personal. Yet, underlying thisindividuality, any musical work can be interpreted as either an A or A/B-form.

An A-form emphasizes continuity and prolongation . It flows, unbroken, from beginning to end. In a unified neighborhood, wander down anystreet and it will look very similar to any other. Similarly, in an A-form, the music has a recognizable consistency.

The other basic type is the A/B-form . Whereas A-forms emphasize continuity, A/B-forms emphasize contrast and diversity . A/B-forms are clearly broken up into sections, which differ in aurally immediate ways. Thesections are often punctuated by silences or resonant pauses, making them more clearly set off from one another. Here, youtravel among neighborhoods travels that are noticeably different from one another: The first might be a residentialneighborhood, with tree-lined streets and quiet cul-de-sacs. The next is an industrial neighborhood, with warehouses andsmoke-stacks.

The prime articulants of form are rhythm and texture . If the rhythm and texture remain constant, you will tend to perceive an A-form. If there is amarked change in rhythm or texture, you will tend to perceive a point of contrast--a boundary, from which you pass into anew neighborhood. This will indicate an A/B-form.

Listen to the following examples. What is the form of each?

Labeling the forms

It is conventional to give alphabetic labels to the sections of a composition: A, B, C,. If a section returns, its letter is repeated: for instance, "A-B-A"is a familiar layout in classical music. etc

As the unbroken form, A-forms come only in a single variety. They may be long or short, but they are always "A".

As the contrast form, A/B-forms come in a boundless array of possibilities. There may be recurring sections, unique ones,or any combination of both. For instance, a Rondo --a popular form in Classical music--consists of an alternation of a recurring section andothers that occur once each. It would be labelled A-B-A-C-A-D-A,. Many twentieth-century composers became fascinated with arch-forms: A-B-C-B-A. etc

An on-going form, with no recurrence whatsoever, is also possible: A-B-C-D-E... Any sequence of recurring and uniquesections may occur.

How would you describe the following form? First, click when you hear a new section. Then, use the pull-downmenu to label each section.

This movement is labeled as an A-B-A form. It opens with frantic, somber, rhythmically persistent music. Thecontrasting section has a lighter, more carefree feeling and a new prevailing rhythm. Finally, the opening sectionreturns exactly.


Understanding the layout of the city is crucial for exploring it: once you understand its topography, you know how to findits landmarks, where the places for recreation or business may lie. Similarly, determining the form of a piece will tell youa lot about it. If it is an A-form, your next focus will be on the work's main ideas, and how they are extended across theentire composition. If it is an A/B-form, your next investigations will be into the specific layout of sectionsand the nature of the contrasts.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
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Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sound reasoning. OpenStax CNX. May 31, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10214/1.21
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