Musical form and structure

Levels of organization[ edit ] The founding level of musical form can be divided into two parts: The arrangement of the pulse into unaccented and accented beatsthe cells of a measure that, when harmonizedmay give rise to a motif or figure. The further organization of such a measure, by repetition and variationinto a true musical phrase having a definite rhythm and duration that may be implied in melody and harmony, defined, for example, by a long final note and a breathing space. This "phrase" may be regarded as the fundamental unit of musical form:

Musical form and structure

Dance forms, a continuation of a tradition unbroken since the beginnings of recorded music history, were most characteristically composed in pairs, although single dances as well as embryonic suites of three or more dances appeared.

The pairs usually consisted of pieces in contrasting… Principles of musical form Music exists in time; as an aesthetician, Susanne K.

The frustration or fulfillment of such expectations and the resulting tensions and releases are basic to most musical works. Musical form depends, therefore, on the disposition of certain structural units successively in time.

The basic principles can be discerned from a brief consideration of melodywhich may be defined as an organized succession of musical tones. This succession of tones consists of component parts, structural units, the principal of which is the phrase —a complete musical utterance, roughly corresponding to what can be sung or played in one breath or played with a single stroke of the bow.

A melody, then, ordinarily consists of a succession of phrases, in which there may occur repetition the same phrase repeatedcontrast a completely different phraseor variation the phrase altered, but in such a way that its identity remains perceptible. The relation between these component phrases is important for form.

Some writers, pressing the analogy between music and language, also distinguish larger groupings of phrases: Most musical Musical form and structure are thus not only additive but also hierarchical: A melodic entity that functions as an element in a larger whole is called a theme.

Coherence may be produced by the use of a motive or figure, i. But whereas the motive is usually characterized by a striking interval or rhythmic arrangementthe figure consists of entirely conventional elements a scale segment, notes of a chord, etc.

Finally, coherence may also be achieved by the consistent use of a rhythmic pattern.

Formal types

A few examples will serve to illustrate these points. The various phrases have been identified by slurs phrase marks and by lowercase letters the exponential numbers designate variationswhereas larger groupings are designated by capital letters.

This four-phase arrangement with statement, repetition here with variation at the cadencecontrast, and restatement is extremely common in the traditional and art music of the West. Other schemes based on repetition and contrast abound. Here the scheme is: This common arrangement is known as three-part form.

The phrase structure here is a b c d, so that there is no repetitive plan. Such a melody is said to be through-composed.

In some through-composed melodies a rhythmic pattern may appear throughout to promote coherence. Other elements contribute to formal organization in music.

Among those having solely to do with pitch are range or register—whether most of the activity is high, low, or in the middle, or combinations of these, and whether the range of pitches used is large or small; types of melodic motion, whether conjunct i.

Among the harmonic aspects, there is keyor tonality set of interrelated notes and chords, based on a major or minor scalewhereby the reassertion of a key following the intervention of other keys may produce an effect akin to the restatement of a phrase after a contrasting one has been heard; in this respect, cadences sections giving the impression of conclusion are of crucial importance in defining key.

Still other factors include the use of dynamics loud and soft ; timbreor tone colour, especially in the employment of unusual instruments or combinations of instruments; texture, whether monophonic consisting of a single melodic line or polyphonic many-voicedbe it contrapuntal having simultaneous independent melodic lines or homophonic one voice leading melodically, supported by chordal procedures ; and, in vocal musicwhether the text is set syllabically one note to a syllable or melismatically many notes to a syllable.

Formal types Four basic types of musical forms are distinguished in ethnomusicology: The following discussion deals first with Western and then with non-Western music.

Song structure - Wikipedia

Iterative and reverting types Iterative types, not common in Western musicmay be found in the recitation tones of Gregorian chantin which, for example, each line of a psalm is sung to the same melodic formula.

Far more common, however, are reverting types. In the Middle Ages there existed the fixed forms used in songs, such as the French ballade a a bvirelai A b b a Aand rondeau A B a A a b A Bthe Italian ballata A b b a A and the German bar form a a bwhere the patterns of repetition and contrast correspond to poetic forms.

In the representations of the reverting types in songs, lowercase letters refer to the same music set to different words, while capital letters indicate that both text and music are the same.Types of Song Structure. Search the site GO.


Musical form and structure

Music Education Basics History Lessons Theory Rock Pop This type of song form is often used in love songs, pop, country, and rock music. While the versus change, the chorus almost always remains the same musically and lyrically. Various Types of Song Forms and Examples.

The Different. Another form, called rondo form, sometimes spelled with the French spelling (rondeau), is like an extension of ternary form. You may remember that ternary form is when the structure of the song is.

Musical form and structure

Each music assessment is half-page and formatted in black and white to save on ink and space. The music concepts covered in the assessment bundle include: tempo, timbre, rhythm, dynamics, musical form/structure a4/5(41).

Musical form, the structure of a musical composition. The term is regularly used in two senses: to denote a standard type, or genre, and to denote the procedures in a specific work. The nomenclature for the various musical formal types may be determined by the medium of performance, the technique of composition, or by function.

Musical Structures Lesson 1. Structure is a crucial element of describes how the different sections in a piece of music are positioned together to form the composition. Song structure or the musical forms of songs in traditional music and music are typically sectional, repeating forms used in songs, such as strophic form and is a part of the songwriting process.

Other common forms include bar form, thirty-two-bar form, verse-chorus form, ternary form, strophic form, and the twelve-bar blues.

Musical form - Wikipedia