Music EC-12 CD=5.Musical Comp. & Improvisation Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Music EC-12 CD=5.Musical Comp. & Improvisation Deck (20)
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The inversion of an interval moves it the same distance, but in the opposite direction. The inversion of a melody can be visualized as a vertical "mirror image" of the original melody, comprised of the same sequence of intervals, but with each "inverted" interval moving in the opposite direction of the corresponding "original" interval.



Retrograde is the compositional technique that involves reversing the direction of a melodic line. The melodic line is horizontally "flipped" so the end of the original melody becomes the beginning, and the beginning of the melody becomes the end.



Augmentation is the compositional technique that involves increasing - usually proportionately - the duration of note values of a melodic line.



Diminution is the compositional technique that involves decreasing - usually proportionately - the duration of note values of a melodic line.


Parallel major and minor keys

Parallel major and minor keys have the same tonic note, but have different key signatures.


Relative major and minor keys

Relative major and minor keys have the same key signature, but have different tonic note.


Transposing instruments In what key should a Bb clarinet part be notated when the concert key is F major?

A. C Major
B. G Major
C. Eb Major
D. Ab Major

Answer B is correct.

A Bb instrument "sounds" a major second lower, and should therefore be notated a major second higher than the desired concert "sounding" pitch. A composition "sounding" in F major would require the Bb Clarinet part to be written a major second higher, which is the key of G major.


If you were writing or arranging a composition for an ensemble with beginning trumpet players, what range should you consider for them?

A. (Notated 2nd line below a to 4th space e)*
B. (Notated 1st line below c to 3rd space c)*
C. (Notated 3rd line below f# to 3rd space above d)*
D. (Notated 3rd line below f# to 1st space above g)*

Answer B is correct.

The octave range from middle c to the octave above middle c is the recommended range for a beginning trumpet player.


Binary Form

The term binary is used to describe a musical work or section in two parts that is comprised of two approximately equivalent sections. Except for moving to a closely related key (e.g. dominant or relative minor), there is typically little contrast in a composition in simple binary form. J. S. Bach's keyboard suites are examples of simple binary form.


Ternary Form

The term ternary is used to describe a musical work or section in three parts: statement-contrast-return (to the original statement). This form can be symbolized as ABA. The middle "B" section often (but not always) has contrasting melodic material and is in a different, but closely related, key (e.g. dominant or relative minor).


Sonata Form

The term sonata form (or sonata-allegro form) is used to describe a musical work or section having three-parts that can be labeled as Exposition, Development, and Recapitulation. Some British sources use the term "compound binary," pointing out similarities to both binary and ternary forms. Being a significant development in the history of musical form, one should be aware of the characteristics that separate sonata-allegro from the other forms.


Rondo Form

The term rondo is used to describe a musical work or section in multiple parts that has a recurring refrain-like section between contrasting sections, which can be symbolized as ABACADA..., etc. Similar to other forms incorporating a return to the original material (A), repeated returns (not including reprises) are unique to the rondo form.


Improvisatory techniques



3 Examples of harmonic improvisation

1. Improvisations by Anton Bruckner
2. Aleatory passages for a choral ensemble
3. A cadenza performed by Franz Liszt

A.Bruckner's popular improvisations at the organ in the latter half of the 1800's were likely to include creative and spontaneous harmonies. An aleatory passage for a chorus would inherently produce unique and spontaneous variations in performance. This effect in modern art music would fall under the category of harmonic improvisation. A cadenza performed by F.Liszt (or any other accomplished pianist of that era) would have likely included unique and spontaneous variations in performance, and could be categorized as harmonic improvisation.


Example of early melodic improvisation

The florid melissmatic passages sung by ancient and medieval vocalist

The practice of an individual singing freely, either alone or simultaneously with others singing a known melody is an example of early melodic improvisation. As the singer produces only a single line, the ability to alter an underlying harmony is less than that of a performer at a keyboard.



Fugue is a term with roots in the 14th century. Fugue was one of several genres that centered around imitative counterpoint, that included ricercare, canzone, capriccio, and fantasia. There are many terms that label components of a fugue, including subject, answer (real and tonal), exposition, episode, stretto, and countersubject. Many scholars agree that the culmination of the fugue was reached in the works of Bach, as evidenced in Das wohltemperirte Klavier, 1722 (The Well-tempered Clavier), and Die Kunst der Fuge, 1742 (The Art of the Fugue).


Stretto in a fugue

Stretto is a term to describe overlapping subject/answer statements in a fugue, when a new statement of a subject/answer begins before the previous statement is complete. This compositional technique can add excitement for the listener.


Real Answer in a fugue

A “real” answer is an exact subsequent statement of the subject, but at a different pitch level, usually a fifth above or a fourth below. A real answer does not vary the intervals, where a tonal answer will often adjust the interval to maintain tonality. Supporting the c minor tonality, the fourth note of the answer moves down the interval of fifth (to the tonic) rather than the interval of a fourth that was introduced in the subject.


Episode in a fugue

An episode is typically connective and often modulating material between statements of the subject and answer.


Exposition in fugue

The exposition in a fugue is the first statement of the subject/answer in all “voices.” Therefore, the exposition concludes upon the statement of the subject/answer in the final voice, in the case when the lowest voice completes its first statement.