Characteristics in Music Essay

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Music has distinct elements that audience members should learn to identify and recognize in music. This knowledge will help improve the listeners experience and improve communication between patrons. The basic building blocks of music composition will help the listener develop a greater appreciation for and interest in new music. Music is an abstract art that defies complete explanations, but learning to communicate with the appropriate terminology allows you to more accurately express your opinions on music. Learn to appreciate the richness of music and bring more fulfillment to your life by starting with a basic knowledge of the elements of music.
Melody and Countermelody
Melodies and countermelodies consist of three basic
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In Western Art Music, the countermelody is commonly found in the bass.
Motives
Starting with the smallest element, motives are short fragments of a larger melody. They can consist of as few as two notes. Beethoven's 5th Symphony provides an excellent example of a motive that is later pieced together into a larger work. The simple four-note motive in the beginning provides the basis for the first movement of the work. Composers combine motives to build, expand, and develop melodies in a composition.
Periods
Periods are the largest part of the melody and consist of a combination of antecedent and consequent phrases. The antecedent phrase is the first half of the phrase, and similar to a compound sentence, it addresses a complete thought, but sounds incomplete on its own. The consequent phrase completes the antecedent phrase and provides a sense of conclusion. Some phrases may have more than one antecedent phrase, but there is typically only one consequent phrase as the consequent phrase successfully ends the melody. The ending of an antecedent phrase usually sounds weak and incomplete, in classical music, a specific cadence called a half-cadence is usually used. Half-cadences generally move from the tonic to the dominant of the key.The consequent phrase ending generally has an authentic cadence that ends on the tonic, or first chord of the key. A period that has only one antecedent and one consequent phrase is considered a single period. Periods
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