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Five Areas of Study


Harmony Overview
Anything to do with chords and chord progressions.
Questions may ask to name a cadence, spot a special harmonic feature or
describe the chords used.

Basic Terms
Consonant ­ notes that sound pleasing together
Dissonant ­ notes that clash with each other
Diatonic ­…

Page 2

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Five Areas of Study


Modal: based on a type of sevennote scale called a `mode'.

Key Signatures
They key of a piece indicates which scale it is based on.
Each key has its own key signature. This shows which notes on the stave are to
be played as flats or…

Page 3

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Five Areas of Study


Homophonic ­ an accompanied melody
Contrapuntal/polyphonic ­ a texture made up of two or more melodies which
interweave with each other
Imitative ­ the opening of a melody is copied in one or more other parts in the
texture, while the original melody continues. The copied…

Page 4

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Five Areas of Study




Classical Music Forms
Binary ­ AB (usually repeated i.e. AABB)
Ternary ­ ABA
Rondo ­ ABACA
Theme and variations ­ Theme, Variation 1, Variation 2, Variation 3, Variation
4

The variations are based on the theme and can differ in texture, melody,
harmony, rhythm and tempo.…

Page 5

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Five Areas of Study


capo' at the end of section B informs the singer they need to return to the
beginning to repeat section A. This repeat of section A is usually decorated
by the singer. The `da capo' was popular in the Baroque period.









Popular Music Forms
Call and…

Page 6

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Five Areas of Study


Questions on timbre may ask you to name the melody instrument or describe
particular instrumental techniques.

Instruments

Strings Violin
Viola
Cello
Double bass
Harp
Guitar

Woodwind Flute
Clarinet
Piccolo
Saxophone
Oboe
Bassoon

Brass Trumpet
Trombone
Horn
Tuba

Percussio Xylophone
n Timpani
Glockenspiel
Snare drum
Bass drum…

Page 7

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Five Areas of Study















Instrumental Techniques
Strings

Arco ­ bowing the strings
Pizzicato ­ plucking the strings
Con sordino ­ playing with a mute (also for brass players)

Wind and brass

Slurred ­ notes are played smoothly
Tongued ­ notes are played separately

Drums

Fills ­ a short passage of…

Page 8

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Five Areas of Study


Synthesiser ­ an electronic instrument that can be controlled through a
keyboard. It allows you to manipulate the sounds produced and add digital
effects. Most electronic music includes synthesised sounds.
Reverb ­ makes the music sound as if it was recorded in a resonant space
Delay…

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