Rhythms and meters

Reading: Bakan, Chapters 3-6
Listening:
-Cantecul Miresei (Bride’s Song)
-Zorba the Greek
-Taranta
-Nyamaropa
-Xai
Be sure to listen to all of the pieces first, then answer the questions and re-listen as needed! After you have completed the required reading and listened to each piece as identified, please complete the following questions. Please keep in mind that the aim of these questions is not necessarily a right or wrong answer (you are NEVER graded on your opinion), but how well you present your ideas, demonstrate your understanding of the material, and support your reasoning.
Two of the concepts discussed in your text include rhythm and meter. Rhythms and meters are placed in groups (or a feeling of) of 2’s or 3’s, often referred to as duple or triple. After listening to “Cantecul Miresei,” how would you identify the meter? Is it duple, triple, or it is a combination of both? Explain your answer and how you arrived at your decision. (Hint: Listen to the piece several times and try clapping with the beat.”)
Tempo, the speed at which the music is performed, is an important aspect in all forms and genres of music. Whether or not we understand the words, or if words are completely absent, tempo can give us a feeling of the overall mood or emotion of a piece of music. Tempo can also change and is not a static function in the music of any culture. For each piece in this assignment, identify the tempo (slow, moderate, fast, furious, et cetera). In addition, describe the mood of each piece and how this might be different if the tempo were different. Give examples from your listening to help explain your answers.
Understanding the concept of harmony can be both complicated and frustrating. However, in the most simple of definitions, harmony is simply the part of music that adds to (or rounds) out the melody, which many would say makes music more interesting to listen and relate to. Choose one of the pieces from the list above and describe the harmony using terms discussed and defined in the text. Is the pitch tendency of the piece (not a specific voice or instrument) high or low? Is it “chant-like,” a cappella, or accompanied? If it is accompanied, is the accompaniment chordal, and if so does it use chord progressions or merely one chord? Does it sound like the harmony was written down or simply improvised? Be sure to explain your answer and offer examples from the piece you have selected.
Timbre and the study of acoustics is possibly one of the most interesting elements of music. Every voice, instrument, and sound made has a distinct, unique quality that either makes it attractive to our ears or unbearable. However, it is also important to remember that while an instrument or voice (ex. a screechy soprano or an accordion) may not sound good to us on their own, when paired with other instruments or voices may sound absolutely wonderful. Choose one of the pieces from this assignment and describe the timbre of the piece. How would you describe the sound? Is it airy, woody, tin-like, open, closed, high, low, etc.? Does the timbre change at all? If so, how does it change and when? How does the overall feeling of the music change when the timbre changes? In addition, pick an instrument from the piece (if you don’t know what it is, describe it) and describe its unique timbre. Would you describe it as a brass, wind, string, or percussion instrument? Why? Be sure to explain and support your answer.
Choose a piece from this assignment and describe the texture. Is it monophonic (chant-like), polyphonic, homophonic, or heterophonic? Is the texture a result of the melodic and harmonic material within the piece or is it a result of the rhythm of the piece (polyrhythms)? Be sure to explain and support your answer.
Cantecul_Miresei_Bride_s_Song_Track21_.mp3 Nyamaropa_Track37_.mp3 Taranta_Track29_.mp3 Xai_Track44_.mp3 Zorba_the_Greek_Track24_.mp3

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