About This Chapter
Fundamentals of Music - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Before you can begin an in-depth study of any subject, you need to know the basics. In this chapter, our instructors will explain all the music fundamentals you need to know, from reading notes on a staff to recognizing basic musical forms. You'll learn vocabulary that musicians use to talk about how music sounds and listen to some examples to help solidify what you've learned. Each lesson in this chapter focuses on a specific fundamental so you can learn your basics one video at a time. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:
- Identify notes on a treble, bass, or grand staff
- Understand pitch, timbre, and dynamic
- Explain common musical forms
- Recognize musical notation
|Elements of Sound: Pitch, Dynamic, Timbre, Articulation, and Duration||Take a look at a sound wave and identify the parts that make each sound unique.|
|Musical Timbre of Instruments and Singers: Definition||Understand the tone quality of an instrument or singer's voice.|
|The Staff and Clefs||Learn to recognize a musical staff by the clef notation.|
|Treble, Bass, and Grand Staffs||Explore these three arrangements of staffs.|
|How to Read Notes on the Treble Clef Staff||See where the notes go on a treble clef staff.|
|How to Read Notes of the Bass Clef Staff||Examine the note layout on a bass clef staff.|
|Octave Designation and Ledger Lines||Understand how to recognize the octave of a piece of music and determine notes above and below the staff.|
|Using the Neutral Clef for Rhythm||Take a look at the clef used for percussion music.|
|Notation Symbols: Note Head, Stem, Flag, Bar Line, Measure, Double Bar Line, and Final Bar Line||Explore all the markings used to denote music on a staff.|
|Equivalents: Enharmonic, Intervallic, Chromatic, and Frequency||Examine how the same note can be named or written in different ways.|
|Sharps and Flats: Reading and Identifying Sharp and Flat Notes in Music||Learn what sharps and flats mean in a scale of music.|
|Understanding and Building Musical Scales: Definitions and Types of Scales||Take a look at this basic musical structure.|
|Musical Form: Definitions and Analysis||See how composers put together music in different ways.|
|Musical Form: Phrasing, Binary, and Ternary Forms||Explore these basic musical forms used in composition.|
|Classical Music Forms: Symphonic, Sonata, Theme and Variation, and Rondo Forms||Discover these more complex forms commonly used in classical music.|
1. Sound: Definition, Influences, Pitch & Volume
What is a sound? Learn about sounds and what influences how we perceive them, including pitch and volume. Test your understanding of sound features and finish off with a quiz.
2. Music Notation: History & Theory
This lesson will introduce you to the Western music notation system, which is used to write down music in countless different styles. Learn about how the system conveys pitch, rhythm, and other core musical concepts.
3. Grand Staff in Music: Symbols & Notation
Do you have trouble with treble? You don't have to! This lesson will teach you all about music's Grand Staff and the clefs it uses, as well as explain the use of notes, rests, ledger lines, and time signatures.
4. How to Read Notes on the Treble Clef Staff
How do musicians interpret notes on the treble clef staff? What types of instruments play notes that are read in the treble clef staff? Who invented the notation system? Find out in this lesson!
5. How to Read Notes of the Bass Clef Staff
How do musicians interpret notes on the bass clef staff? What types of instruments play notes that are read in the bass clef staff? How is the bass clef staff different from the treble clef staff? Find out in this lesson!
6. Octave: Definition, Function & Examples
This lesson will teach you about the musical interval of an octave, how composers use it, and introduce you to some examples of its use in different types of music.
7. Lead Sheet: Function, Elements & Notation
Is it necessary to write out every note of the composition? In this lesson, we'll see why this may not always be true and examine one system of notation musicians use to get around it.
8. Sharps and Flats: Reading and Identifying Sharp and Flat Notes in Music
What do sharp and flat notes look like? How are they different from regular notes? When and where are sharp and flat notes used? Find out in this lesson!
9. Musical Form: Definitions and Analysis
What is musical form and why is it important? How can we determine the form of a song just by listening? In this lesson, learn the different parts that make up a musical form.
10. Musical Form: Phrasing, Binary, and Ternary Forms
Why do composers use form? How do composers use phrases to create tension and release in their music? What is binary form, and how does it compare to ternary form? Find out in this lesson!
11. Musical Timbre of Instruments and Singers: Definition
How can you tell if you are listening to a violin or a flute? How do composers use timbre to express their ideas and keep the listener interested? Find out in this lesson on timbre!
12. What Instruments Are in a Jazz Band?
Have you ever wanted to play an instrument like the trumpet or saxophone or wondered what kind of horn is typically used to play jazz? In this lesson, we'll learn about the instruments commonly used in a jazz band.
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Other chapters within the AP Music Theory: Exam Prep course
- AP Music Theory Exam: Question Types
- AP Music Theory: Rhythm, Meter, and Metric Organization
- AP Music Theory: Scales, Keys, and Modes
- AP Music Theory: Aural Skills
- AP Music Theory: Spacing, Voicing, & Position
- AP Music Theory: Intervals, Triads & Seventh Chords
- AP Music Theory: Melodic Composition
- AP Music Theory: Harmonic Composition
- AP Music Theory: Nonharmonic Tones
- AP Music Theory: Phrases & Forms
- AP Music Theory: Texture
- AP Music Theory: Performance Terms
- AP Music Theory: Voice Leading
- AP Music Theory: Songs & Genres
- AP Music Theory Flashcards