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Elements of Music

1 INTRODUCTION Music is the art medium that communicates interiority, being only perceived by the ears, and received by the mind. A strict approach to understanding music will consequently always have something lacking as music theory, in essence, is primarily descriptive and not prescriptive. The tendencies and practices in music are only observed and cataloged upon analysis, after the fact. It is the hearts and minds of human beings that shape and weave melodies, harmonies, and rhythms together into meaningful tapestries, imbued with the interior landscapes of their immediate experiences. Much of the theory in this book is based upon the European classical tradition, starting around the early 18th century. The content is designed to get you started in understanding the relationships of the tones and rhythms, and in unpacking the inherent properties of sound in the process, and then, perhaps, music in general. For the purposes of this book all principles are presented assuming equal temperament, the prevalent tuning system for over 300 years. The word tone and note may sometimes be used interchangeably, but generally tone refers to the audible sound, and note refers to the written symbol. Other terms can be consulted in the glossary. The deeper mathematics behind temperament and the tuning of scales are covered in Harmonograph, by Anthony Ashton. I hope this book will reveal how the underlying harmonic template of sound acts as an organizational framework from which the fabric of music is woven, influencing our perception of accord, discord, tension and release, telling a story, making a journey. Above Just over seven octaves of the audible spectrum, centered on middle C, showing the positioning of different instruments within the range of audible frequencies. Data for frequency and period is given for equal temperament. 21232426282931333536384041434547485052535557596062646567697172747677798183848688899193959698 10 0 10 1 10 3 10 5 10 7 10 8 A 0 B 0 C 1 D 1 E 1 F 1 G 1 A 1 B 1 C 2 D 2 E 2 F 2 G 2 A 2 B 2 C 3 D 3 E 3 F 3 G 3 A 3 B 3 C 4 D 4 E 4 F 4 G 4 A 4 B 4 C 5 D 5 E 5 F 5 G 5 A 5 B 5 C 6 D 6 E 6 F 6 G 6 A 6 B 6 C 7 D 7 E 7 F 7 G 7 A 7 B 7 C 8 36 .3 6 32 .4 0 30 .5 8 27 .2 4 24 .2 7 22 .9 1 20 .4 1 18 .1 8 16 .2 0 15 .2 9 13 .6 2 12 .1 3 11 .4 5 10 .2 0 9 .0 91 8 .0 99 7 .6 45 6 .8 11 6 .0 68 5 .7 27 5 .1 02 4 .5 45 4 .0 50 3 .8 22 3 .4 05 3 .0 34 2 .8 63 2 .5 51 2 .2 73 2 .0 25 1 .9 10 1 .7 03 1 .5 17 1 .4 32 1 .2 76 1 .1 36 1 .0 12 0 .9 55 6 0 .8 51 3 0 .7 58 4 0 .7 15 9 0 .6 37 8 0 .5 68 2 0 .5 06 2 0 .4 77 8 0 .4 25 7 0 .3 79 2 0 .3 58 0 0 .3 18 9 0 .2 84 1 0 .2 53 1 0 .2 38 9 34 .3 2 28 .8 6 25 .7 1 21 .6 2 19 .2 6 17 .1 6 14 .2 9 12 .8 6 10 .8 1 9 .6 3 1 8 .5 8 1 7 .2 1 6 6 .4 2 8 5 .4 0 5 4 .8 1 6 4 .2 9 0 3 .6 0 8 3 .2 1 4 2 .7 0 3 2 .4 0 8 2 .1 4 5 1 .8 0 4 1 .6 0 7 1 .3 5 1 1 .2 0 4 1 .0 7 3 0 .9 02 0 0 .8 03 4 0 .6 75 7 0 .6 02 0 0 .5 36 3 0 .4 51 0 0 .4 01 8 0 .3 37 8 0 .3 01 0 0 .2 68 1 222527303234373942444649515456586163666870737578808285879092949799 10 2 10 4 10 6 2 7 .5 0 0 3 0 .8 6 8 3 2 .7 0 3 3 6 .7 0 8 4 1 .2 0 3 4 3 .6 5 4 4 8 .9 9 9 5 5 .0 0 0 6 1 .7 3 5 6 5 .4 0 6 7 3 .4 1 6 8 2 .4 0 7 8 7 .3 0 7 9 7 .9 9 9 11 0 .0 0 1 23 .4 7 1 30 .8 1 1 46 .8 3 1 64 .8 1 1 74 .6 1 1 96 .0 0 2 20 .0 0 2 46 .9 4 2 61 .6 3 2 93 .6 7 3 29 .6 3 3 49 .2 3 3 92 .0 0 4 40 .0 0 4 93 .8 8 5 23 .2 5 5 87 .3 3 6 59 .2 6 6 98 .4 6 7 83 .9 9 8 80 .0 0 9 87 .7 7 1 04 6 .5 11 74 .7 1 31 8 .5 1 39 6 .9 1 56 8 .0 1 76 0 .0 1 97 5 .5 2 09 3 .0 2 34 9 .3 2 63 7 .0 2 97 3 .0 3 13 6 .0 3 52 0 .0 3 95 1 .1 4 18 6 .0 2 9 .1 3 5 3 4 .6 4 8 3 8 .8 9 1 4 6 .2 4 9 5 1 .9 1 3 5 8 .2 7 0 6 9 .2 9 6 7 7 .7 8 2 9 2 .4 9 9 1 03 .8 3 11 6 .5 4 1 38 .5 9 1 55 .5 6 1 85 .0 0 2 07 .6 5 2 33 .0 8 2 77 .1 8 3 11 .1 3 3 69 .9 9 4 15 .3 0 4 66 .1 6 5 54 .3 7 6 22 .2 5 7 39 .9 9 8 30 .6 1 9 32 .3 3 11 08 .7 1 24 4 .5 1 48 0 .0 1 66 1 .2 1 86 4 .7 2 21 7 .5 2 48 9 .0 2 96 0 .0 3 32 2 .4 3 72 9 .3 Frequency Hz Period ms Note Name MIDI number
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