Basic Factors in Form

Sound, Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, and Form (SMHRF)

These elements are considered the Analytical Parameters of a musical composition.  There are many questions we can ask about each parameter that lead to an understanding of the music.  Here are some examples of very basic questions:

What is the source or the sound, the timbre, and the range? Is the texture dense or thin?

Does it mostly step or leap? What is the contour or shape of the line?  How do parts interact?

Is it tonal, modal, or atonal? Dissonant or consonant? Are there progressions and cadences?

What is the meter and tempo? Is it a long or short piece? Do lyrics determine the rhythm?

Are there sections that repeat? Is it binary, a rondo, or a sonata? What are the proportions?

Refer to the Analytical Parameters in Music below for more examples of features in the music to identify.

Chapter 1: Basic Factors in Form

The topics of Rhythm, Melody, Harmony & Tonality, Tension & Relaxation, and Articulation of Structural Units are discussed in this chapter.  Examine and play the examples in the text as you are able.

Learn the Terminology

Throughout the text there are many italicized words.  Take a moment to highlight and memorize them as you read to expand your vocabulary of analytical concepts.

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