What Is Western Music Theory?

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.
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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
Music Theory on American Folk

Indian Music Theory

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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.
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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.

Other related music theory articles

Music Theory on American Folk

The Music Theory Explained in simple words

Music Theory on American Folk

Music Theory on American Folk

Have you heard about this term, “music theory”? Well, it is common to find someone with some sort of face showing an expression like “what?”, whenever this question is offered. But, that is truly fine, particularly for those who are just music listeners. Not everyone gets to the specific theories or rules of how to make certain music.
However, this time, we are going to grab the simplest idea of this term. If you have ever wonder of how a song could really touch your heart and mind because of its rhythm, then you can see a little trace of the songwriter’s brilliance in keeping up with music theory while making the song.

Music theory

is essential for music makers.
They may claim their not understanding of the theories, but it does not mean that they do not apply them to their songs.
Have you caught what is being explained? Do not expect much by understanding every bit of music theory when you just want to enjoy listening to music. Even, music is meant to be enjoyed, at the very first place.
Now that you get it clearer, then you may be interested in seeing if every genre in music has different music theory. Pop, rock, and jazz are among them. Then, what about folk music? You must have ever heard about this music. Folk’s being able to be called as a genre is debatable among music listeners, but whatever it is, folk music is remarkable.
american folk music theory

What we know so far, folk music is territorial. Every place has its own folk music and so does American. The country’s kind of folk is much represented by its simple chord progressions and simple time signatures. Besides, you may also be able to hear natural keys such as C, S, E, G and A within American’s folk songs.
There is also some other simplicity reflected from American folk music. The songs are mostly written in simple scales, for instance, pentatonic minor, pentatonic major, melodic minor, mixolydian and major.
In a number of that folk music, you can probably hear a lot of acoustic instruments used to play the song. You can imagine how catchy it feels in your ears. For example, while playing out their guitars, they would prefer to use several techniques such as fingerpicking, “boom chuck” strumming and carter-style strumming.
However, some of us might not really care about those features, for as long as we enjoy the music, then folk, pop, rock, jazz, classic and others would be felt significant in our mind.

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A brief overview of the music theory

A brief overview of the music theory

Great Greek philosopher and mathematician Plato once said, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
Music theory is the study of the theoretical elements of music. Music involves sound, pitch, melody, rhythm, notation and harmony. Music theory is the study of these elements of music. It is an act of contemplation of music.

Here is a brief overview of some elements of music:
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Pitch

Pitch is a subjective sensation. It is the level of a tone. The higher the frequency of vibration, the higher the pitch. Likewise the lower the frequency of vibration, the lower the pitch. The difference in frequency between two pitches is known as interval.

Rhythm

Rhythm is a strong, regular, repeated pattern of sound. It is created by the sequential arrangement of sounds and silences. Meter measures music in regular pulse groupings. Playing simultaneous rhythms in more than one time signature is called polymeter.

Melody

Melody is a prominent aspect in music. It is a rhythmically organized sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase. Pitch, rhythm, duration and tempo are the basic elements of melody.

Chord

A chord is a group of notes (three or more) sounded together, as a basis of harmony. Chords are mostly used in popular music. Chord structure provides strength to the melody.

Timbre

Also known as tone color, timbre is the principal phenomenon that enables you to distinguish one musical instrument from another when both play at the same volume and pitch. It is determined by the envelop of the sound and the relative balance of overtones produced by a given instrument due to its construction.

Texture

Texture is one of the basic elements of music. It is the way the rhythmic, melodic and harmonic materials are combined in a composition. It is the overall sound of a composition.

Harmony

In music theory, harmony is the study of vertical sonorities in music. Harmony is analyzed through a Roman numeral system. Roman numerals are used to identify chords based on their scalar roots. In Western music of the Common Practice Era, harmonies are generally tertian.

Notation

Musical notation is the symbolic representation of music. There are many systems of music notation.
Music is a very interesting subject. Many great personalities like Aristotle, Shoenberg and Rameau were music theorists.