What Is Western Music Theory?
It is not so easy to simplify music theory in a single definition, due to the music’s evolved state itself. But we know exactly what ‘music’ is being talked about here. It is the music that has accompanied the growth and development of human race on the entire earth; so that you could expect that there is such a long history entailing the conception of what music theory is.
Yet, we could still get a hold on a perspective viewing music theory as a set of principles or basic values that must be on a music. It wraps up pitch, rhythm, form, harmony and even silence. Those elements would always be present on every music composition. It is even like a natural concept flowing through the process of making music.
Music Theory’s History
A long history of human race has proven that music is not a trend. Music-making is an ancestral behavior, as shown by so many prehistoric artifacts which are considered to be our ancestors’ musical instruments. And since that time, music theory had actually been developed.
As humans mobilized, their culture on music-making had also been developed. Western community should have got their own story regarding to how they contemplate music theory of themselves. A writing from Boethius called De institutione was claimed to be the first treatise explaining about how music positioned itself at that time, alongside its composition pattern.
That marks the Western’s contribution to the whole music history, which has finally got the power to be among the most admired music around the world.
Western Music’s Intervals
Well, how do you define Western music? Is it music made originally by Western musicians? Or is it the music produced in Western countries? And even, who are Western people or what are Western countries? It is quite hazy to describe this Western music as one musical concept. Yet, let us rely on the most typical assumption.
If you are wondering about how Western music theory states itself out, then we can see it by analyzing the music’s intervals. Interval, which is the tonal gap between two notes, can be as small as a half step in Western music. That half step is also called minor second. This term, minor second, is one among the twelve notes ended with octave on the 12 half steps.
These interval theory can be a bit confusing and difficult to understand, unless you have been pretty pro on the field.
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Indian Music Theory:
Indian music is more than just the Bollywood movies sounds that have become so famous in the last 10 or 20 years and it is more than the uncomfortable stabs that many UK rock musicians made at it in the 1960. Indian music is a tradition that interlocks with Indian history and culture. It is a vibrant and rich medium and remains even in 2016 largely outside the keen of the typical latest westerner. Across the dominant centuries it has evolved into a complex system based on melody and rhythm.
Melody is perhaps the most important part of Indian music. A system of sweet ideas known as Raga drives melodic compositions. Each Raga can be thought of as a character with its own personality.
The raga became an integration part of spiritual practice and Indian culture. There were set of rags that were to be played at different times of the day and also unique ones for ceremonies. Further, they were generally used in prayer and meditation, sometime as chant. A lot of the time these scales were sun vocally, but they are played on a range of instruments as well.
The Octave comprises 22 equal divisions known as Sruti. These may be gathered and re-grouped into 12 Swara which may be similar in the ways they move to the 12 semitones of European scales. Like those of European scales too, 7 are regarded as being primary while the other 5 the “sharps” and “flats” of the 7 primary Swaras. The 7 primary Swara are illustrated in Hindi script.
In the 1800, Chaturpandit Vishnu Narayan managed to make system called as the “That” to classify all the ragas. Unluckily, as useful as this system was, it still failed to account for many of the ragas. It is anyway the initial system in use today. There are also 2 other ways to classify rags.
In South India, the word for musical scale is mela. The Southern and Northern Indian music largely differs from each other in sound and in tools but may share the same scales. The application of these scales in terms of Indian music in common goes beyond this scope of this site but if you want to incorporate some of the wonderful sounds of these scales into your music then that is probably the remarkable usage for them.
Indian music is like Western music in many ways and extremely unlike it in many others. If you don’t have a background in music or need a refresher on Indian music theory, there are several best classics to ground you in music appreciation and music theory.
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