How Music Works – Rhythm

Part of music we are all addicted to

Part of music that makes you want to stand up and dance

Music today has a slight syncopation ahead of the beat.



  •  Pulse
    • The concept of the beat of a piece, sort of like the heart beat of the work.
    • Can be drums, but doesn’t have to be
    • Implicit pulse – the pulse of the work is not beat outright, it is more subtle or hidden (Normally classical music or calming music without drums)
    • explicit pulse – the pulse of the work is easily identifiable
  • Tempo
    • Speed of the work
  • Accent
    • The emphasis on a note. First developed in African music
  • Syncopation
    • “Musics red light district, where music gets loose and fun” “Music Sleight of hand where you are slightly before or after where the note is supposed to be played”
    • Shifting the beat from where it should be
  • Cross-rhythm
    • Musics party trick
    • Imposing a complex pulse over another pulse

How Music Works – Melody

Melody alone can convey a message


The pentatonic scale is a fundamental scale that is used in some way by every culture in the world.


three main components to a melody

Notes you choose (Scale)

How high or low the notes you choose are (Pitch)

Distance between notes (Intervals)


Whole tone jumps easier to sing than those of semitone jumps between notes


Mode – type of scale


Blues isn’t flattening a note to where it is one semitone down, it bends it like a half semitone down


When melodies start to get boring, some composers and artists will look to the past to find the future. By incorporating old melodically styles or even bringing back old melodies, a new set of music can be made.



Safely Handling the Power of Sound

“Long term exposure to loud things can really damage your hearing, and once its gone you cant get it back”

“Hearing loss can happen over years, or 30 seconds… And once its there, theres no cure for it. Theres no magic pill for getting your hearing back!”

A ringing of the ears is a sign of hearing loss occurring.

Most common hearing loss that occurs is a loss of high pitched sound.

Earpieces help artists not only preform better, but the also help artists retain their hearing, by blocking outside noise and isolating noise the musicians want to hear.

Hearing protection at concerts is a very good idea, as concerts are one of most common places people lose their hearing.

Remember:  “Too much of anything is bad for you” – Ozzy Osborne

Listen smart so you can hear today and tomorrow.

Melody Recording Project

The above picture is a photo of my melody. Its in the key of C and starts on the tonic and ends on the tonic.

My Melody has resemblance to the old english melodies we learned about in the long melody video. How they would flatten notes on the way down and sharpen notes on the way up. My melody does something like this.

Now listen to my melody. It will first play the 8 bar section, then bass and an arpeggiating piano will come in to accompany it.

My melody goes like this:

Tonic, SubDom, Med, Supertonic, Tonic

Tonic (Sharpened), Supertonic, Mediant

Supertonic, SubDom, SubMed

Mediant (Flattened), Tonic

Tonic, Tonic Leading tone, SubMed, Dom,

Tonic (Sharpened) SubMed, Supertonic

Tonic, SubMed, SubDom

Mediant (Flattened), Tonic

The above picture is a photo of the melody of Creedence Clear Water Revival’s Fortunate Son.

This is in the key of G, and uses mostly tonic notes.  The note progression is as follows:

Tonic Tonic Submed. Tonic

SuperTonic Tonic Tonic Tonic Submed. Tonic

Mediant Submed. Tonic Tonic Tonic Tonic

Tonic Tonic Submed. Tonic Tonic

Supertonic Tonic Submed. Tonic

Submed Tonic Submed. Tonic Tonic Tonic Tonic Tonic


Here is the Melody:

  • How was working with the notation editor?
    • Very fun, the system could work better, but it is usable.
  • What was challenging?
    • Getting the notes to move around corrrectly
  • What was revealing?
    • It was revealing to me that you can just play music and then print off the sheet music, you don’t actually have to sit down and think about trying to write the sheet music.

Composition Terms:

  • Theme– longer more flowing melodic idea
  • Motive– a short rhythmic idea
  • Period– 8 measures of music
  • Phrase– 4 measures of music
  • Antecedent (Question) Phrase– first Phrase in a Period
  • Consequent (Answer) Phrase– second Phrase in a Period
  • Scale Degrees– Amount of notes away from tonic
    • Tonic (C in a C scale) – Stability and Resolution, Red for Stop
    • Supertonic (D in a C scale), Mediant(E in a C scale), Submediant(A in a C scale) – Not as much of a need to resolve to the tonic, Yellow
    • Dominant(G in a C scale), Subdominant(F in a C scale), Leading Tone(B in a C scale) – Movement, Provides need to resolve to tonic Green is GO!
  • Steps– any movement using half or whole steps
  • Leaps– any movement using intervals larger than a whole step
  • Conjunct motion– melody built using primarily steps
  • Disjunct motion– melody built using primarily leaps
  • Repetition– use repeated material to create a link between the two phrases of a period
  • Contrast– write two phrases that contain contrasting material to create tension and interest
  • Variation– Half way between repetition and contras


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