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Music 29 Final Prep Sheet

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                        MUSIC 29 – Final Exam listening “descriptor” key (not available at final exam, prep only)

Physical World

        Music Production Continuum: [live <-> live site recording <-> live studio recording <-> with studio effects <-> all electronic]

        Music Construction Continuum:  [open form/free improvisation <-> structured improvisation <-> loose composition <-> strict composition]

        Source/Instrumentation:  number and type of sources, unusual instrumentation, human voice, homogenous/heterogeneous,

                                                   absence of expected instruments, unique sources (concrete or electronic)

                 

        Auditory Scene Effects: source movements [left<->center<->right], [approach <-> departure], [fixed <-> wandering],

                                        Reverb and room simulation [claustrophobic (very dry and close) <->large and open (very wet and distant]

                                        Source location effects [frontal<->close<->distant<->far]

                                        Layers   [single layer <->  multiple layers]

Frequency Domain

        Spectrum-Timbre:         [bright <-> dull] (i.e. brass-like, silvery, brilliant vs. mat, flat), [simple<->complex], [smooth <-> rough],

                                        [clear <-> opaque]

                

        Frequency Bandwidth: [low <-> high]  [narrow (confined to one region)<->broad (occupying large part of frequency domain)]

                Resonance:  [dry <-> wet],  [clipped<->sustaining]

                Dynamics/Loudness/Intensity: [consistent <-> fluxuating <-> shifting], [quite<->loud], [dull (distant/soft), bright (close/loud)]

                Frequency Domain Density:  [thin <-> thick]

                Power:  [delicate/light<-> muscular/heavy], [weak<->strong]

        

        Event Morphology (instant to instant structures):   [consistent/self-similar <-> varied/contrasting] [high salience events, “sonic jewels”],

                                                                                      [impulse-attack, attack-decay, graduated continuant]

        Note to Noise Continuum:  [harmonic pitch (simple sine to complex and bright spectra)<->pitch with noise <->inharmonic with noise <-> all noise]                        Pitch/note/tone:  fundamental frequency view [low <-> high] gestural/shape view [mostly steps (smooth)  <-> mostly leaps (angular)],

                                Harmonic: [simple sine tone <-> richly energized harmonic partials (stretched strings, human voices, blown tubes)]

                                        Pitch space:  (system of pitch organization based on tones that are in simple ratios to one another)  

                                                           [light <-> dark], [stable<->unstable], [simple<->complex]

                                                Microtonal:  (system of pitch organization based on tones that are in complex ratios to one another)

                                                Micro-tuning:  (slight variations in frequency within simple pitch space used as expressive element)

                                Inharmonic:  [non-harmonic partials <-> complex noise-like waveforms (gongs, bells)] (uniqueness)

                                Noise:         (is noise structural?)

                                                (is noise treated as independent element or just coupled with pitch making?)

                                                (how much noise is contained/used in the pitch making source?)

                                                (how much noise is involved in the onset of the pitch and/or the continuant?)

Event/Time Domain

        Order-Disorder Continuum:        [predictable <-> unpredictable], [periodic<->aperiodic]

        Duration:   (relationship between onsets) [consistent (simple ratios) <-> inconsistent (complex ratios)], [short<->long]

        Rhythm space: [simple <-> complex], [stable <-> unstable], [active <-> static]

        Grid-Time (clock-time)

                Tempo (beat rate) [very slow <-> human clock range <-> very fast]

                Groove (feel/shape of flow) [smooth<->rough], [relaxed <-> tense], [loose <-> tight]

                Micro-timing: (stretching and compressing beats for expression)  [slight grid deviations <-> massive grid distortions]

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