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Level 3

AOS 3 – Texture and Melody

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the tune
how high or low the note is.
the gap in pitch between two notes.
a group of notes played in ascending or descending order.
playing the notes of a chord one by one
Conjunct melodies
move mainly by step (next door notes like C-D) and sound smooth.
Disjunct melodies
use a lot of leaps (bigger intervals) rather than step movement. They will sound spiky and are much harder to sing!
Triadic melodies
use the notes from a triad (3 note chord).
Scalic melodies
melodies that follow the order of a particular scale. Similar to conjunct melodies except that a scalic melody can only move up or down to the next note of the scale
Pentatonic scale
a five note scale. Often used in Chinese
Whole tone scale
a scale made up of only whole tones.
Chromatic scale­
scale made up of semitones (smallest interval e.g. C-C#).
doubling the note values/lengths of the original tune
halving the note values/lengths of the original tune
came before scales. E.g. play D-D on the white notes-this is the Dorian mode. Often used in early music
Passing notes
the notes in between the notes of the harmony. So if the accompanying chord was C the notes not in the chord (D
Blue notes
the flattened notes in a Blues Scale. Often slide up or down to these notes. They make a piece sound ‘bluesy’!
when a tune is repeated a step higher (ascending sequence) or a step lower (descending sequence).
a slide between 2 notes. (instruments like piano or harp would play all the notes in between the 2 notes really fast by sliding the fingers over the notes really quickly.)
Pitch bend
bending the note on a guitar or any string instrument/voice or keyboard/synthesizer.
decorating the melody with ornaments such as trills (2 adjacent notes played rapidly).
(upper and lower) – 3 notes starting and ending on the same note with the middle note either a step higher or lower.
Ostinato / Riff
a repeated rhythm or tune. (Both words mean the same but riff tends to be used in a pop context.)
a musical sentence (where you’d naturally take a breath). Often 2 4 or 8 bars long. Indicated by a curved line above the stave.
how to play the notes:
smooth. Indicated by a slur
notes played with more force.
when a player makes the music up on the spot. In jazz/blues/pop players will often improvise a solo – commonly on a guitar/sax/trumpet/keyboard.