How music is made?
Most piano students after a certain period in their studies they start to inquiry about more than just the technique and the notes on the music sheet. It is when the student has achieved the first stage of learning when they start wanting to know how the music truly works and the elements that conform it. To assist the piano tutors who would like to offer their students in this exploration, Maestra Gisela Paterno has written an article that clears up and examines the contributing elements of Music in five parameters: Sound, Melody, Harmony, Rhythm and Growth.
All these elements are called “contributing elements” as they are considered to collaborate in the making of any piece of music, regardless of the style and period.
Let’s start with the Sound. This category is divided in:
a – Timbre: either vocal, instrumental and any other combinations chosen by the composer
b – Dynamics: The intensity of the sound
c – Texture and Fabric: how the timbres are arranged.
The second one, the Melody is the one which we can relate the most. This element must be weighted according to its durations, accentual circumstances, position in the range, location in the phrase, relationship to critical notes such as dominants and finals cadences.
The third on this list is the Harmony that that can either cause or strengthen an articulation: change of mode, change of key, acceleration or deceleration in chord rhythm, intensification (or densification) of vertical complexity, and increase or decrease in the frequency of dissonance. These changes in harmonic “pressure” affect the listener particularly strongly.
The fourth, the Rhythm. This is a layered phenomenon: To a large extent, rhythm results from changes in Sound, Harmony and Melody, in this respect relating closely to the fifth contributing element, the Growth, which will take on board on the last point of this article. This last element accomplishes an expansion of Rhythm on a large scale, just Rhythm controls the details of every small scale in the previous elements.
The last but not least, the Growth, delineates and contains beautifully the intricacies of the multi-layered phenomenon of a musical piece, as it includes both the feeling of expansive continuation so characteristic of music and also a parallel sense of achievement something permanent.