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Encyclopedia > Musical form

The term musical form refers to two related concepts:

There is some overlap between musical form and musical genre. The latter term is more likely to be used when referring to particular styles of music (such as classical music or rock music) as determined by things such as harmonic language, typical rhythms, types of musical instrument used, and geographical origin. The phrase musical form is typically used when talking about a particular type or structure within those genres. For example, the twelve bar blues is a specific form often found in the genres of blues, rock and roll and jazz music. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The term concerto (plural is concerti or concertos) usually refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. ... Look up Structure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A musical piece is a musical work that has been created. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Sonata form is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ... Musical genres are categories which contain music which share a certain style or which have certain elements in common. ... Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Rock and roll. ... Harmony is the use and study of pitch simultaneity, and therefore chords, actual or implied, in music. ... For the popular Tamil film, see Rhythm (film) Rhythm (Greek = flow, or in Modern Greek, style) is the variation of the length and accentuation of a series of sounds or other events. ... A musical instrument is a device constructed or modified with the purpose of making music. ... The 12-bar blues has a distinctive form in both lyrics and chord structure. ... The blues is a vocal and instrumental form of music based on the use of the blue notes and a repetitive pattern that typically follows a twelve-bar structure. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Jazz is a style of music which originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States at around the start of the 20th century. ...

Contents

Descriptions of musical form

Musical form in both senses is contrasted with content (the parts) or with surface (the detail), but there is no clear line between them. "Form is supposed to cover the shape or structure of the work; content its substance, meaning, ideas, or expressive effects" (Middleton 1999). In many cases, the form of a piece produces a balance between statement and restatement, unity and variety, contrast and connection. It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... In music and musical form, procedures of contrast include stratification, juxtaposition, and interpolation. ...


Forms and formal detail may be described as sectional or developmental, developmental or variational, syntactical or processual (Keil 1966), embodied or engendered, extensional or intensional (Chester 1970), and associational or hierarchical (Lerdahl 1983). Form may also be described according to symmetries or lack thereof and repetition. A common idea is formal "depth", necessary for complexity, in which foregrounded "detail" events occur against a more structural background, as in Schenkerian analysis. Schenkerian analysis is an approach to musical analysis devised by Heinrich Schenker. ...


Formal Depth in Pop Music

Fred Lerdahl (1992), among others, claims that popular music lacks the structural complexity for multiple structural layers, and thus much depth. However, Lerdahl's theories explicitly exclude "associational" details which are used to help articulate form in popular music. Allen Forte's book The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era 1924-1950 analyses popular music with traditional Schenkerian techniques, but this is only possible because pre-rock popular ballads are the genre most accessible similar to the Romantic music that those theories were designed to analyse. (Middleton 1999, p.144). Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition at Columbia University, is a composer and music theorist, best known for his work on pitch space and cognitive constraints on compositional systems or musical grammars. ... Allen Forte (born December 23, 1926) is a music theorist and musicologist. ... Illustration by Arthur Rackham of the ballad The Twa Corbies A ballad is a story, usually a narrative or poem, in a song. ... The era of Romantic music is defined as the period of European classical music that runs roughly from the early 1800s to the first decade of the 20th century, as well as music written according to the norms and styles of that period. ...


Extensional and Intensional

Extensional music is "produced by starting with small components - rhythmic or melodic motifs, perhaps - and then 'developing' these through techniques of modification and combination." Intensional music "starts with a framework - a chord sequence, a melodic outline, a rhythmic pattern - and then extends itself by repeating the framework with perpetually varied inflections to the details filling it in." (Middleton, p.142). However, extensional music is a description of a style of composition rather than being an example of a musical form.

Western classical music is the apodigm of the extensional form of musical construction. Theme and variations, counterpoint, tonality (as used in classical composition) are all devices that build diachronically and synchronically outwards from basic musical atoms. The complex is created by combination of the simple, which remains discrete and unchanged in the complex unity...If those critics who maintain the greater complexity of classical music specified that they had in mind this extensional development, they would be quite correct...Rock however follows, like many non-European musics, the path of intensional development. In this mode of construction the basic musical units (played/sung notes) are not combined through space and time as simple elements into complex structures. The simple entity is that constituted by the parameters of melody, harmony, and beat, while the complex is built up by modulation of the basic notes, and by inflexion of the basic beat. All existing genres and sub-types of the Afro-American tradition show various forms of combined intensional and extensional development (Chester 1970, p.78-9).

Syntactic music

Syntactic music is "centered" on notation and "the hierarchic organization of quasilinguistic elements and their putting together (com-position) in line with systems of norms, expectations, surprises, tensions and resolutions. The resulting aesthetic is one of 'embodied meaning.'" Non-notated music and performance "foreground process. They are much more concerned with gesture, physical feel, the immediate moment, improvisation; the resulting aesthetic is one of 'engendered feeling' and is unsuited to the application of 'syntactice' criteria" (Middleton 1990, p.115).


Middleton (p.145) also describes form, presumably after Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (1968, translated 1994), through repetition and difference. Difference is the distance moved from a repeat and a repeat being the smallest difference. Difference is qualitative and quantitative, how far different and what type of difference. Gilles Deleuze (IPA: ), (January 18, 1925 – November 4, 1995) was a French philosopher of the late 20th century. ... Repetition is the occurrence of an event which has occurred before. ... Difference is the contrary of equality, in particular of objects. ...


Connection and Contrast

Procedures of connection include gradation, amalgamation, and dissolution. Procedures of contrast include stratification, juxtaposition, and interpolation. In music gradation is gradual change within one parameter, or an overlapping of two blocks of sound. ... Dissolution or dissolve can have the following meanings: to crumble into a liquid. ... Look up Contrast in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Stratification gooberini went to lousville to dance on a praire and then he went down the hill to hang out with jarry. ... Look up juxtaposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In music, interpolation is an abrupt change of elements, with (almost immediate) continuation of the first idea. ...


Formal structures

In classical and popular music, there are many labels applied to forms, abstract formal designs, as contrasted with the principals and procedures of combining materials: form. Classical music is a broad, somewhat imprecise term, referring to music produced in, or rooted in the traditions of, European art, ecclesiastical and concert music, encompassing a broad period from roughly 1000 to the present day. ... Popular music is music belonging to any of a number of musical styles that are accessible to the general public and are disseminated by one or more of the mass media. ...


Single-movement forms

In a sectional form, the piece is built by combining small clear-cut units, sort of like stacking LEGO bricks (DeLone, 1975). Each unit is labelled with a letter. When these units are not referred to by letters, they often have generic names, such as Introduction or Intro, Exposition (see sonata and fugue), Verse, Chorus or Refrain, Bridge or Pre-chorus, Interlude, Break or Breakdown, Conclusion (music), Coda or Outro, and Fadeout. Lego Group logo. ... In music, the introduction is a passage or section which opens a movement or a separate piece. ... Sonata form is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ... A refrain (from the Old French refraindre to repeat, likely from Vulgar Latin refringere) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the chorus of a song. ... In popular music, especially occidental, a bridge is a contrasting section which also prepares for the return of the original material section. ... An interlude (between play) is: Look up Interlude in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In popular music a break is an instrumental or percussion section or interlude during a song derived from or related to stop-time – being a break from the main parts of the song or piece. ... In music, the conclusion is the ending of a composition and may take the form of a coda or outro. ... Coda sign Coda (Italian for tail; from the Latin cauda), in music, is a passage which brings a movement or a separate piece to a conclusion through prolongation. ... In radio communications, fade describes the loss of signal strength at the receiver. ...


Sectional forms include:

  • Strophic form, usually used in vocal songs, repeats the same tune (AA...) several times. The sections of these pieces are often known as "verse 1", "verse 2", etc.
  • Binary form uses two sections, one after the other (AB), and each section is often repeated (AABB)
  • Ternary form (sometime called tertiary) has three parts, where third section is a recap of the first section (ABA). Occasionally the first section repeats (AABA), or is slightly modified (ABA', or AA'BA')
  • Arch form, (ABCBA)

In Developmental forms, piece is built from small bits of material given different presentations and combinations, usually progressive (DeLone, 1975): Strophic form, or chorus form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly. ... In music a singer or vocalist is a type of musician who sings, i. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Ternary form is a structuring mechanism of a piece of music. ... In music, arch form is a sectional way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition, in reverse order, of all or most musical sections such that the overall form is symmetrical, most often around a central movement. ... Musical development is the transformation and restatement of initial material, often contrasted with musical variation, with which it may be difficult to distinguish as a general process. ...

In Variational forms, the piece is built from sections treated to one type of presentation at a time, but varying successively (DeLone, 1975): Sonata form is a musical form that has been used widely since the early Classical period. ...

These structures are defined by the distribution of different thematic material, melodies, key centres, and other materials. While many of the above forms are partly defined by their tonal schemes, these forms may be applied to music which has a differing or no tonal scheme (DeLone et. al. (Eds.), 1975, chap. 1). More than one formal method may be used, including in-between types, and music which is not composed with the above or any other model is called through composed. a rondo is played between episode which are played by non solo people Rondo, and its French equivalent rondeau, is a word that has been used in music in a number of ways, most often in reference to a musical form, but also in reference to a character-type that... In music, variation is a formal technique where material is altered during repetition; reiteration with changes. ... In music, a theme is the initial or primary melody. ... In music a passacaglia (French: passacaille, Spanish: pasacalle) is a musical form and the corresponding court dance. ... In music a chaconne is a musical form. ... Look up Melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In music, a melody is a series of linear events or a succession, not a simultaneity as in a chord. ... In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. ... The adjective tonal can refer to: tonality in music a tonal language the opposite of Nagual, in the specific context of Carlos Castaneda, the tonal is what makes the world. ... Through-composed music is music which is relatively continuous, non-sectional, and/or non-repetitive. ...


Especially recently, more segmented approaches have been taken through the use of stratification, superimposition, juxtaposition, interpolation, and other interruptions and simultaneities. Examples include the postmodern "block" technique used by composers such as John Zorn, where rather than organic development one follows separate units in various combinations. These techniques may be used to create contrast to the point of disjointed chaotic textures, or, through repetition and return and transitional procedures such as dissolution, amalgamation, and gradation, may create connectedness and unity. Composers have also made more use of open forms such as produced by aleatoric devices and other chance procedures, improvisation, and some processes. (ibid) Stratification gooberini went to lousville to dance on a praire and then he went down the hill to hang out with jarry. ... Superimposition is a graphics term meaning the placement of an image or video on top of an already-existing image or video, usually to add to the overall image effect, but also sometimes to conceal something (such as when a different face is superimposed over the original face in a... Look up juxtaposition in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In the mathematical subfield of numerical analysis, interpolation is a method of constructing new data points from a discrete set of known data points. ... Simultaneity is the property of two events happening at the same time in at least ONE Reference frame. ... John Zorn (born September 2, 1953 in Queens, USA) is a Jewish American avant-garde composer, arranger, record producer, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. ... In telecommunication, a transition is the change from one signal state to another signal state. ... Dissolution or dissolve can have the following meanings: to crumble into a liquid. ... Amalgamation, meaning to combine or unite into one form, has several uses: In chemistry, mining and dentistry, amalgamation is the blending of mercury with another metal or alloy to produce an amalgam. ... In music gradation is gradual change within one parameter, or an overlapping of two blocks of sound. ... For articles that discuss specific cases of connection and other usages of the term see Connection (disambiguation). ... Aleatoric (or aleatory) music or composition, is music where some element of the composition is left to chance. ... Aleatoric (or aleatory) music or composition, is music where some element of the composition is left to chance. ... Philosophically, improvisation often focuses on bringing ones personal awareness into the moment, and on developing a profound understanding for the action one is doing. ... Process music or systems music is music which arises from a process, and more specifically, music which makes that process audible. ...


Multi-movement forms

Forms of chamber music are defined by instrumentation (string quartet, piano quintet and so on). The structure of a chamber work is typically similar to a sonata. Ballet as musical form is a musical composition intended for ballet performance. ... Painting of ballet dancers by Edgar Degas, 1872. ... A cantata (Italian, sung) is a vocal composition accompanied by instruments and generally containing more than one movement. ... A chorale was originally a hymn of the Lutheran church sung by the entire congregation. ... The term concerto (plural is concerti or concertos) usually refers to a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra. ... Dance as a musical form is a smaller musical composition intended for the presentation of dance. ... jus like my ass For other uses, see Dance (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... Duet may refer to: Duet, musical form Duet, Fox sitcom This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... An etude (from the French word étude meaning study) is a short musical composition designed to provide practice in a particular technical skill in the performance of a solo instrument. ... The fantasia (also English fantasy, German fantasie, French fantaisie) is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. ... In music, a fugue (IPA: ) is a type of contrapuntal composition. ... The Mass, a form of sacred musical composition, is a choral composition that sets the fixed portions of the Eucharistic liturgy (principally that of the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, generally known in the US as the Episcopal Church, and also the Lutheran Church) to music. ... The New Opera in Oslo, Norway The Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy. ... An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, vocal soloists and chorus. ... A prelude is a short piece of music, usually in no particular internal form, which may serve as an introduction to succeeding movements of a work that are usually longer and more complex. ... The Requiem (from the Latin requiés, rest) or Requiem Mass, also known formally (in Latin) as the Missa pro defunctis or Missa defunctorum, is a liturgical service of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the Anglican High Church and certain Lutheran Churches in the United States. ... A rhapsody in music is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, color and tonality. ... Sonata (From Latin and Italian sonare, to sound), in music, literally means a piece played as opposed to cantata (Latin cantare, to sing), a piece sung. ... It has been suggested that Suite_de_Danses be merged into this article or section. ... A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral music, in one movement, in which some extra-musical programme provides a narrative or illustrative element. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Chamber music is a form of classical music, written for a small group of instruments which traditionally could be accommodated in a palace chamber. ... The resident string quartet of the Library of Congress in 1963 A string quartet is a musical ensemble of four string instruments—usually two violins, a viola and cello—or a piece written to be performed by such a group. ... A piano quintet is a chamber musical ensemble made up of one piano and four other instruments, or the name of a piece written for such a group. ...


See also

A list of musical forms. ... The structures or musical forms of songs in popular music are rarely through-composed. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Musical form

Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ...

References

  • DeLone et. al. (Eds.) (1975). Aspects of Twentieth-Century Music. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-049346-5.
  • Lerdahl, Fred (1992). "Cognitive Constraints on Compositional Systems", Contemporary Music Review 6 (2), pp. 97-121.
  • Richard Middleton. "Form", in Horner, Bruce and Swiss, Thomas, eds. (1999) Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture. Malden, Massachusetts. ISBN 0-631-21263-9.

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Anatomy of Music: A Learning Tool for Listening (2325 words)
Musical forms are seen as abstract prototypes of whole classes of compositions.
Since in the music selected for this course form is an essential element, I suggest that musical form is a general governing principle and that it can be used advantageously for the design of a pedagogical meaningful introductory course.
The difficulty is not in conveying to the student the concept of musical form but in enabling the student to observe the unfolding form auditorily as it happens.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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