Music Theory for a Digital Age, Lesson 1: Approach to the Study of Sound | Michael Hewitt | Skillshare

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Music Theory for a Digital Age, Lesson 1: Approach to the Study of Sound

teacher avatar Michael Hewitt, Music Lecturer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (1h 43m)
    • 1. Lecture 1: A Brief Overview of the Course.

    • 2. Lecture 2: Resources

    • 3. Lecture 3: Approach to the Study of Sound

    • 4. Lecture 4: Of Noise and Tone

    • 5. Lecture 5: Pitch and the Audio Frequency Spectrum

    • 6. Lecture 6: Intensity and the DeciBel Scale

    • 7. Lecture 7: Tone Quality and Synthesis

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About This Class

The first of a ten lesson course Music Theory for a Digital Age. Suitable for beginnnerrs, to be able to do the whole course two free software programs will be needed. For details of these see lecture 2: Resources.

This particular lesson Approach to the Study of Sound begins where every music theory course should: with a study of the media through which music works, which is sound. Encouraging you to undertake your own investigation into the nature of sound and its properties, each lecture explores a particular facet of the use of sound in music.. .


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Michael Hewitt

Music Lecturer


Dr Mike Hewitt is a composer, author and lecturer currently living in North Wales. He earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of London and a master of music degree and doctorate from the University of North Wales, Bangor. He is author of numerous books on music, including the popular series of books for computer musicians. These include Music Theory for Computer Musicians; Composition for Computer Musicians and Harmony for Computer Musicians.

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1. Lecture 1: A Brief Overview of the Course.: Hello there. My name is Michael Hewitt on I'm a Composer on lecture. I'm also an author of some of the world's best selling music textbooks, such as music theory for computing Musicians or Harmony Composition for computer musicians . A lot to welcome you to this course music theory for the digital age. This course is suitable for everybody who has an interest in music. I would like to learn more about music theory. However. It is not just a music fearing course. It also embraces the fact that we know live in there apart off a digital age relevant to this or a number of features that we need to keep abreast all first is increasingly important role of technology in all areas and aspects of the music production process. So, for example, composes used to write scores on paper with ink head. These days they can write them easily and quickly, using a software program device specifically for this purpose. This progress in the manner of working, we might note, is technologically driven. Second is the important role that Elektronik musical instruments and devices now play in the world of music, which includes not just synthesizes solvers and drum machines but also even computer sound cards, mobile phones, tablets and other such devices. Clearly, any music theory course tailored to this digital age needs to embrace these developments. Third is the mass emergence of a global marketplace for music, the distribution of dissemination of which increasingly relies upon the existence off the World Wide Web. This, in turn, has led to a greater exposure as a part of that market place. Two styles of music were formally categorised under the heading of world music. One of the important results of this exposure is are increasing awareness of music not just as a specifically national or cultural phenomenon. It is a global language that has the capability to affect people on a wider global scale. Fourth is the increased importance of the music studio as a means of both the production and recording of music, together with the vital role that computers now play is a part of the studio. Connected with This is a widespread availability of musical software programs that have led to an increased capability for many people to compose, produce and even sell their music, or from the comfort of their own bearing in mind these four points on music theory in a traditional sense, but I still have an important place. There was a widespread need for that theory to be now recast in the light of the digital age, of which we are a part. So while music students still need to know the difference between, say, a major and a minor chord, or the difference between simple and compound time, they also need to know the difference between, say, on audio and Midi track when recording music using a digital audio workstation. Hence the need for this particular course, which expands the province of music theory to embrace all of these important new concepts, ideas and practices as such will be covering many topics that not usually included or more traditional music theory courses. So with this in view, let us briefly consider what you will learn as a part of this course in the First Unit sounded music you will learn about the scientific foundations of music is sound together with the various properties of sound as they used and incorporated in musical languages. This represents a vital part of the course and for a good reason. These days, music is not just composed of notes. Music now uses sounds from a great variety of different sources, whether these be the sampled sounds of birds on or the sounds of city life. Clearly we need to update the foundations of our music theory to take this fact into account. And the only way to do this is to begin the cause with study of sound itself. In the second unit to the digital realm, you will learn about the digital world into which music has now entered. You will learn about the use of modern D A. W's digital audio workstations, but now function is a very hub of the music studio, whether at a professional level or simply the homes. Dude, you you will learn about musical instrument digital interface protocols and how these have played such an important part in bringing music into the digital domain. You will learn about the boom that is modern score writing software programs to use it, which you can not only write your own scores but also here than being played back to you. - In Unit three, a world of rhythm you will learn about rhythm has founded upon the beat. You will learn about the art of drumming on the makeup of a typical drum kit. You will learn about the world of hand drumming with reference to those great drumming traditions that are integral to many different cultures. You will learn about the use of drum machines and samplers on how these are used to create riven tracks. Then you will learn to write your own drug trial in Unit for the World Pitch. You learn about the notes used in music, which will include the note names, the pitch register, of which they are a part. What octaves car and the use of sharps and flats is inflections off the main notes. You will then go on to study the makeup of the musical school. We will study the use of staves and cliffs all used in the writing of schools in Unit five Musical time. You will study musical time in all of its aspects and offenses, which will include a study of the pulse of music, the use of tempo, the note values and their corresponding rests. Used to write down a no Tate musical rhythm in Unit six musical scales. You'll go on to learn about musical scales what they are, how they used, and you will study three main scales of Western music which are the major, the minor on the chromatic scale in Unit seven. Rhythm and meter. You go on to study meter, which is the division of musical time, into cycles, each characterized by a certain number of beats. You will learn about time signatures, simple meter compound meter together with how to be notes, the use of two bullets on numerous other subjects connected with the meeting of music in Unit eight score markings. You will then go on to further your ability to read musical scores through the study of different types of score markings. Such a system marks articulation box dynamic monks on the various signs used to indicate ornaments in Unit nine, the key system. You will then go on to study the key system of the circle of Fifths, along with its roster of major and minor keys. This will then complete your knowledge of all of the major and minor scales that are can be used in each and every key. Armed with this knowledge in the Final unit functional harmony, you're going to study the art of musical harmony. This will include the study of musical intervals, their names and types, the makeup and use of common tribes on their inversions, harmony in the major and the minor mode, the use of primary and secondary cause and modulation. We will then around the course off with an analysis of a piece of music that will then enable you to see how far you have come. Understand, however, that all of this represents just the foundation for some fascinating courses that will soon follow this one. So if you find this particular course interesting, you love the next course where I'll be taking you even further into the understanding and exploration of music is a part of our digital age. Be able to do this course. You will also need access to certain resources, and it is with these resources. But my next lecture will be concerned. My name is Michael Hewitt. On this is music theory for a digital age 2. Lecture 2: Resources: whether welcome to, of course, music theory for a digital age. In this lecture, we're going to be considering the resources you will need to do this particular course. It goes without saying you need a good Internet connection both to enable your access to key resources as well as download important course materials. You also need the use of two types of software program. First, you need the use of a proprietary D a W, a digital audio workstation. This will then enable you to produce a record your own music as well as do the assignments for this course. There are many such programs on the market today, when we all have our favorites, some of the most popular, all able to live much used by DJs for creative life sets and, of course, dance music writers. FL Studio, formerly called Fruity Loops propeller heads Reason with this legendary rack of amazing synthesizers, samplers, drum machines on effects unit. Then there is what used to be called cake walks. So no, which is now being rebranded cakewalk by Bandler, one of the industry's firm favorites, is Avid's pro tools. Then there is the time honored program Q base And, of course, for Apple uses, there is logic. Pre Sona Studio One is making a lot of waves. At present has also is Coco's Reaper, and there are, of course, many others, So you have no shortage of choice. When it comes to digital audio workstation, however, they can be costly. Yet if your budget is limited, this need not stop you. You could make a good start with free entry level versions of digital audio workstations, which some companies do offer Studio one by priests. Onus is a brilliant example of this and could be downloaded for free from their website. The free version gives you plenty of facility to compose and produce your own music. At the same time, it offers you options to upgrade to the paid version, which offers greater functionality and a wide range of choices. To be able to do this course, you also need use of a score writing program for this purpose. There is finale, which is well loved by those who like to produce professional looking schools, and an easy rival is Avid's Sebelius, which is a program that I currently tend to use scores. It produces a really smart on the playback quality can be very good. - However , both surveillance and finale could be costly. But as I've said before, cost need not stop you doing this course. You could always use Music School, a score writing program which, considering the fact that it is free, is absolutely brilliant. If you're just starting out, want to try your hand at producing and then playing back musical scores? I thoroughly recommend it because of the costs involved in procuring the necessary software . I'll assume for convenience that you be using the free version of Studio One and View School, the latter being free work. This means that this course will not be excluding anyone because they cannot afford to purchase the necessary software. Former, however, what this course does not offer is in depth instruction on how to use whatever program that you yourself might then be using. It also find it useful to have the use of a MIDI cable. This could be connected to your computer by way of a mini USB cable. A Midi keyboard looks and functions just like a regular keyboard, except for one crucial difference. It does not produce any sound. It's simply transmits MIDI data. This is the data that controls the sound producing device to which the MIDI keyboard is connected and by sound producing device. I'm referring to the various software instruments that you D A W uses. Take a look at those that come with a free version of Studio One for exalt. You can see these by going to the View menu of the song page and clicking upon instruments installed our bases, drum kits, combinations, effects guitar, keyboards, percussion strings, synths, VOCs, Bross and wind instruments. And each of these categories have their own menu, which then shows the various programs that are on offer. So if I click upon the synth menu, for example, will see, there are many such programs, whichever one of these I select when I play my Midi keyboard, it will trigger those cells. Now what you brief film of the recording process. What you're seeing here is no data being recorded and then represented on the panel role of the D. A W. This data includes the pitch of each note, its length or duration on where it occurs in the music track. As the note data is being recorded. Look at the keyboard on the far left, This keyboard tells us which notes of being played and recorded to think about it. The music being played in on the keyboard and it's recorded in a former uses a keyboard as a visual cue for the pitch of the notes. Clearly, the keyboard is an essential feature of the whole process, so we've established that you go to need to software programs on hopefully a Midi keyboard . There are also certain sites you find really useful when you're studying music and music. Fearing one such site is the I. M S. L. P Music Library, which is an archive of free public domain sheet music. There you find scores of all of the great classics of Western music, alongside many scores uploaded by composers working today eager to find an audience for their music. It also hosts public domain recordings of many of the works who scores featured, along with other such files that you might find useful, such as midi files of musical works that you can then import either into your D A W or directly into Muse school. So suppose you wanted to study Beethoven's Sixth Symphony, the Pastorale Well, we do composer Serge under his name there we find a list of his works scrolling down. We reached the Six Symphony kicking upon. It takes his first recordings of the work, which is great if we want to follow. The scorers were listening. Then it takes us to the various scores of the work that are available. What a great results for the music studio that's now search for work by the Finnish composer Yard in Sibelius. The work I want to start use a beautiful small of June Ella scrolling down. I find the work, but look at the copyright status of the work. It is not in the public domain in the European Union, although it is in Canada, as I live in the UK means that if I downloaded on potentially infringing copyright law now , in essence, copyright is a form of ownership. Therefore, if the work is subject to copyright, it means that the rights to that worker owned either by the creator off that work or their publisher what this means. It is illegal for you to make a copy of that music without first procuring the requisite license that will give you the permission to do so. There are, however, some notable exceptions to this. These are where the work is recognised as being in the public domain, which means that it's copywriters now expired. In this case, you are free to download and make copies of the work. Most works by pre 20th century classical composers and now categorize just being in the public domain. Another exception is when a work is issued under a creative Commons license. What this means is that the creator of a work has kindly donated it to the Commons. This means it is user. You were then free to download and make copies off that work or works. However, there were different types of Creative Commons license. Some licenses give you the right to make copies of a work, but on condition that if you use it for any purpose that you give due attribution to the creator off that work other state, you're free to copy of work for your own personal use, but not to make commercial use of it. So when you're downloading music or any kind of digital content, check out the license that it is subject for. This would inform you what you can or cannot do with that. Contact this them brings beyond your assignments for this lecture here. It won't come as a surprise you to hear that these assignments are all concerned with preparation for the course it is to follow. First, get yourself or workbooks you could jot down notes on ideas is you were studied in an actual rather virtual for you can then write him it was you listening to the lectures. The completion of work books can be art in its own right. As you can see by looking through some of the pages of one of my best ever college students notebooks, I have to admit instituted. This is the kind of work that always gets the best marks out. Then, if you do not already have or use one, download a suitable day w of your choice. Now, as I pointed out earlier, this needn't cost you a penny if you go for a program like Studio One, and of course, you need some music notation software such as Music School, which is also free. Once you've downloaded your programs, spend some time becoming familiar with them, so that when the assignments really do start, you'll be already to do this is elected to results. Is 3. Lecture 3: Approach to the Study of Sound: Theo there. Welcome to lecture three of this unit whose title his approach to the study of sound in this particular unit will be studying the phenomenon off sound. This is for a very good reason every art as a medium through which it works. The visual arts, for example, work through the medium of light and color. This could be seen in this example of graffiti art. The plastic arts work through the medium of shape and form, as in this example of an outdoor sculpture. The music lots, however, work through the medium of audio or commonly referred to as sound. Therefore, when developing a viable theory of music for the digital age, it makes a great deal of sense to begin with a brief study of the medium through which music works, which is, of course, sound. This study will then give you a solid platform from which to understand an approach all of the various features of music as they present themselves to us in this digital age. These features include the increasing use of modern technology and the production of music . An important characteristic of this is the use of electronic musical instruments such a synthesizes, which produce sound through the action of Elektronik circuits, or perhaps the use of samplers and drum machines, which make great use of audio files that can there be triggered by playing either on the keyboard or touch sensitive pants. To understand how these work and the kinds of sound that they produce, we need to have a good understanding of the very nature of sound itself. A subject was curious that may seem, is not actually taught is a part of conventional music theory. Music of the digital age also includes references to music from outside of our Western cultural tradition. As a good example of this. Consider Mongolian throat singing, which, due to the presence of skilled touring practitioners, is now well known in the West. Ah ah, How about African drumming, whose influence upon modern Western music it's being deep and profound? Music of the digital age also includes a broader and more expansive use of different kinds of sound in music. As a good example of this, consider how often you've heard the sound of running water used in modern music. How about the use of audio recorded from a busy city street to understand and appreciate all of these features. We need a keen understanding of the medium for music, which is, of course, sound That was a tutor. I'm all for study through the media of books, articles and informative sources of valid information. However, I'd also like to encourage use of some of the most sophisticated listening equipment that it is possible for us to use here. Of course, I'm talking about a sense of hearing. If you are fortunate enough to have a keen sense of here, you will already be endowed with one of the best possible tools for the study of sound. This, in turn, will enable you to learn through direct experience. And to be honest with you, that could be very little. That could be better than this, however, went using our sense of hearing to learn about sound. We need to realize that there are different kinds of listening. For instance, these casual listening, which is most often used simply to monitor the various sounds that might be occurring around us. Just look at the people going about their day. They're probably only semi aware of the thousands of different sounds going on around them . Then there was relaxed or easy listening, which we use when we put out a record on Just lie Back to become absorbed and engrossed by a piece of beautiful music. For the purposes of the study of sound in music, however, another type of listening is also really useful. This is what might be called active or attentively. I've never watched a cat sitting atop a fence post listening carefully for the sounds of a mouse rustling beneath the long grass. The cat is so focused upon listening that this attention is completely absorbed. This is true attentive listening. And this is the type of listening that you find the most useful when you're studying sound and music. So how can you learn this type of listening? If you've not learned it already? Well, a good start could be made by spending some time each day attentively listening to the sounds in your surrounding environment. On this, in fact, is your assignment for this particular lecture as you listen ever so attentively do you don't necessarily try to identify the sounds that you were here, simply listen to them as if the first time you had ever heard as you do so experience them as you might similarly experience the taste of your food or the incredible colors of a beautiful sunset. Having done so, then make a record of your experiences in your workbook. While doing this assignment, you learn a great deal. For a start, you become increasingly sensitized to the incredible variety of sounds that are all around you. And as you listen, you will then discover that the seeds of musical languages are already present. Within the field of those ordinary everyday sounds. Obvious examples of this of the melodious songs of birds, drone and hundreds periodical acting of waves upon the seashore. This is a rich tapestry of sounds in one form or another has been inspiring musicians since the very beginnings of musical history. And in this context you can fail to be impressed by the natural symphony of sounds that maybe one walks along a secluded beach all through the forest. This is attentive listening that is very 4. Lecture 4: Of Noise and Tone: slow there. Welcome to the fourth lecture of Unit One Noise on Total. In this particular lecture, we're going to be considering the sounds that music uses. This is for a very good reason. We all know that music is composed from sounds, however, what makes musical sound different from other types of cells. I remember once attending a university seminar. His main topic was a simple question. What His music, although a simple question which probably called equally simple answer or present, soon became flabbergasted by the inability to provide a satisfactory answer to it. One student argued that music was organized, so and it's true that the sounds of music are organized as any glance at a musical score will show. But so are the sounds. Have spoken languages organized sound As such, it's simply a class of sound to which music belongs. Seminar continued like this, although to the best of their ability, each student tried to define music for every answer. Given the Electra managed to find contradictions in their answers that proved him incorrect . Somehow the task became easier when the question was subsequently re caused is what his musical sound, However, even this question proved difficult. This is because further discussion showed that any sound could potentially be regarded to be musical. One student mentioned the sounds of a busy city street, pointing out that while few audiences would immediately think of these as being musical, if a composer somehow incorporated these sounds into a musical composition, this would then qualify. The sound is being musical when trying to answer the question. What is musical sound? Therefore, contacts was discovered to play an important part in our perceptions of what is considered to be musical. If it sound exists, no matter what it is, then I will probably have the potential for use in music, the development of modern recording and something technology has greatly facilitated this process for use of that technology. A huge variety of sounds can now be recorded and then saved his digital audio files. These can then be incorporated into musical projects. Although any sound may be used in music, I have to admit there are certain sounds that, because of their particular qualities, do have musical appeal to us. You know, I'm talking about musical tones in contrast to ordinary noises, as this is important, that's now considered the difference between sounds made by most percussion instruments are clearly noises. This includes the sounds of drums, shakers, castanets, Clapper's basically anything you can get. Hold off to Bangs Grable hit He's Show Us That noise is really important, part to play in music. However, noise does not explain the whole picture. Music is not all about the use of noise. We also use another vital, important type of sound in our music. Here I am referring to Toad, A brilliant example of a tone is the sound made by, say, a Tibetan singing bowl. Just listen to the beautiful, ringing clarity of the tome it produces. This is a brilliant example of the toe. Now we cannot say of this sound. That it's musicality is just coincidental. The craft of creating Tibetan singing bowls has developed over hundreds of years on The whole purpose of that craft is to produce that exquisite, delicate, ringing sound. Suffice to say, this is an example of musical tone that is very best. So how is the tone different to a noise? We'll have a look at the screen where you will see two arrangements. Adults. The arrangement on the left is obviously random, and it's difficult for us to make a lot of sense of it. The arrangement on the right, however, has a certain order on patent. This, in a nutshell, is the difference between noise and tone, except that we're now dealing with audio signals rather than visual. To understand how this works, we need to start looking at sound as a process, which occurs in three parts. These are the production propagation and reception off sound. First, there is a production of sound, which requires a sound source. A tuning fork being struck is a good example of this. Second, there is the propagation of sound through an elastic medium, such as the air. When the tuning fork is struck, it vibrates and these vibrations and impress themselves upon the air to create pressure waves, which spread out in all directions from the sound source. Third is a reception of sound by a listener. Those vibrations enter the ear will be then register that a sound has been struck. What's this great old video? Which explains just how this all works? We experiment first with a tuning fork. When the pork is struck, its prongs begin to vibrate these vibrations set up invisible waves in the surrounding air . Waken picture these waves as animated drawings striking the prongs distorts them. Like other solid objects, these wrongs resist distortion. They spring back and forth, thus producing new distortion, each movement or vibrations. That's up new disturbances or sound wave impulses. These continue as long as the problems are in motion. The speed with which sound waves move depends upon the medium through which they passed. We will assume that these waves are being transmitted by air molecules. Every time the problems move apart, they push against the adjacent air. In turn, this movement affects the air for their own. Now here is a crucial point. Some sounds seem to have a random, chaotic quality as a result of which we then here what we would call a noise. Others, however, have a particular order patent to as a result of which we then here's something different. We no longer hear a noise, but a tone. Unfortunately, we cannot see this pattern. We can only hear it. However, there's a particular science called psy Matics that has brought sound into the realms of visibility. A quick Web search will soon reveal the extent of this providing us. It will links to numerous videos that show what happens when powders the thrown onto a plate in the presence of a high pitched tone that causes the plate to vibrate. Beautiful geometric patterns appear, offering a perfect illustration of the natural vibrate re tendencies off the plate. These patterns are typical of what we would call musical tones on, although under ordinary circumstances we cannot see these patterns. The presence of tonal qualities in a sound tells us that they're there. There is an order irregularity, a pattern to the vibration that causes us to perceive a given sound as a tone. This makes the tone a very special type of cell, one that is so special, in fact, that deliberate efforts were made to develop uncultivated. The proof of this is if we look back at the early history of music, great efforts were made learning how to extract the pure metal of tone from the bedrock of ordinary noises the musicians struggle to do. This clearly represents a key feature in the history of the development of musical instruments. Here is a short list of such instruments from all around the world. Now, in all cases, the instruments concerned were developed, cultivated and built for no other reason than to produce a decent quality off tone. This quality of tone is something that is prized by musicians. Witness Children when they're learning to play a musical instrument, a great deal of their initial practices, only one aim that is for them to be able to produce a decent quality of tone. Because of this, the use of ordinary everyday objects is musical instruments obviously tends to have a much more limited application. Aside from their inventive uses, say, substitute instruments of percussion, it's rare to find such objects capable of producing the quality of tone that is required. However, there will always be exceptions. The boat sore is one, while he used the wine glasses filled with water is another. And then, of course, there is the phenomena off the vegetable orchestra. However, in all of these examples, objects have chosen used or fashion in such a way as to produce a decent quality of tone. Now, in making a distinction between noise and tone, I'm not implying that noise is somehow lesser. Many of the sounds used in music can be classified as noises as we have seen, the charm of the sound of many percussion instruments is principally due to the striking nature of the noises that such instruments are capable of producing. In fact, there are entire genres of music that have been built up through the deliberate and systematic use of noise. Loosely referred to as noise music, these terms used to cover a wide range of musical genres that use noise as their primary or even exclusive element. One of the early pioneers of noise music with the Italian composer Luigi Russo Low, who in his manifesto of 1913 entitled The Art Off Noise, pointed to the Industrial Revolution as a catalyst for new types of music that use noise. Justus, freely as the music of the past, had used tone, considering a preoccupation with tone to be imposing an unnecessary restriction upon composers. He called for the free use of noise instead, towards this Andrew Solo even constructed built numerous noise producing musical instruments. Now, since that time, explorations of noise of music have gone on to generate a fascinating range of different musical genres in both classical and popular musical fields, often crucial to these as being the exploitation of found noises emanating from the urban or industrial landscape. As an example, consider the composition C of Sound one by Dr Alexander Turner, based on recordings of sounds from the streets of Oxford. These are then brought into the studio, where they are processed in various ways to create the soundscape. An excerpt from which you just heard any distinction made between noise and term, therefore counts not was a value judgment but is a recognition of a fundamental difference in the aural quality of sounds. There were noises, and there are tones, both of which may be used for the purposes of music making. This is why, when we study music theory for the digital age, we begin not with notes of music, which embraced just one type of cell. We begin with a whole world of sound itself, and it's for this reason that in our next lecture we will make a start with their studies of the various properties off sound. This then brings me onto your assignment for this particular lecture. This assignment is a variation upon the assignment that I gave you in the last lecture, spend a day, listening attentively to the sounds that are around you. This time, however, try to classify each sound that you hear according to whether it be a tone or a noise. Find 10 examples of each and then write about them in your workbook. For example, the sound of a rock tumbling down the hillside That is a noise. The ballot sounds when left opens, that is a tone. Second, Begin a research on Sai Matics. Watch some videos on YouTube about and make a record of your research in your workbook. This is noise and tone. 5. Lecture 5: Pitch and the Audio Frequency Spectrum: Hello there and welcome to the fifth lecture of this year pitch on the audio frequency spectrum. In this lecture, I'll be talking about the properties of sound and buy. Properties are referring to the essential characteristics that define the nature off sound . Generally speaking, there are three main properties of sound that we will be concerned with. These are the pitch, intensity and quality off sound. All sounds possess. Thes three properties on all essential differences between sounds are explainable in terms off. A good way to reference thes three properties is through the human voice. In terms of pitch, men's voices tend to be deeper, while women's voices tend to be higher. Intensity represents the difference between, say, a shout under whisper, while quality is a recognisable difference in tone between one voice and another. So, for example, among a group of friends, you can tell who is speaking even with your eyes closed. This is because you've learned to recognize the characteristic qualities of their individual voices. Now is a student of music theory for digital age. Your studies will greatly benefit from a knowledge of what the properties of sound are, how these properties are measured and how they're used in musical languages. How they used in musical languages. It's a question that will interest you greatly. Or musicians use thes three properties as essential features of the art of music. And when they do, those properties then become essential expressive parameters off musical works. If you want to be able to understand music, therefore, it makes a great deal of sense to develop a knowledge off these parameters. In view of this, let us now begin to explore them. Further. I will begin in this lecture with consideration of Pitch is one of the three properties of sound. Pitch is of tremendous importance to music on this. Importance is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in the form of the musical tone or note. Now, what is a note? A note is a sound whose pitch is relatively stable being stable. Notes can then be represented. Say, for example, is notes symbols in a musical score, or is horizontal bars on the piano roll of a D. A. W. This stability in the pitch of musical notes is what then enables us to use them to create melodies and chords whose notes are taken from a musical scale. However, before coming to musical scales, we first need to lay the foundations for understanding them, which lie in the world of acoustics. The science of sound. The consideration of acoustics will then orient us towards a study of the sound waves. The actors carriers what we call the pitch of sound. Now we've already established that sound waves are produced by the vibrations of a sounding body. As an example of this, consider this slow motion depiction of what happens when a violin string is bone. Observe that the string OSCE awaits moving back and forth in a wavelike motion. This oscillation has a certain rate, speed or frequency. What we call pitch is our ears recognition off that speed rate or frequency, every sounding body has its own standing rate of vibration. This is called its fundamental frequency. When set into vibration, we hear that frequency as the pitch of the sound produced. So what determines the speed or frequency that a sounding body vibrates at well for objects of a particular class? Numerous factors might come into play, such as a relative size, weight density or length of the sounding bodies. As an illustration of this. Take a look at the heart. Show the strings to the left, a shorter than those to the right being short of they vibrate more quickly, which means that they give off a note of a higher pitch. Have a listen now to a sweep through. All of the notes at the heart can produce, beginning with the lowest notes produced by the longest strength. So what does this mean for the sound waves through its the vibrations of sound producers like the violin or harp reach out here. Well here now is an important fact. Sound waves and not just a disturbance of the surrounding medium. They also carriers of vital information about the sound source. This information is conveyed by various attributes off the sound waves. Information about the pitch, for example, is conveyed through the length off the sound waves. To appreciate this, consider sound waves to consist of an alternating Siris of peaks and troughs. One peak, followed by its consequent trough, will therefore represent one cycle off that sound wave. The wavelength is simply the length off that cycle. To illustrate this hero, some graphic depictions of sound waves off different wavelength. The BlueWave having the shortest wavelength signifies the most rapid cycle and therefore the highest pitch. The red wave having the longest wavelength signifies the slowest cycle and therefore the lowest pitch. So let us now put the pieces together. A sound vibration off low frequency will produce sound waves of long wavelengths, which will be heard of sounds of a low pitch. Conversely, a sound vibration off high frequency will produce sound waves of short wavelengths, which will be heard of sounds off a high pitch. Now, given the pitch is a result of the frequency of vibration. How do we actually measure those frequencies? We do so through the number of cycles of the sound wave that occur per unit. Second, these cycles are referred to as hurts, the abbreviation of which is ours showed. So if the frequency is 256 cycles per second, we express that is 256 hertz. This applies until we get up into the thousands. These are then referred to as kilohertz, which are abbreviated as shown. So a frequency of say, 20,000 cycles per second is expressed his 20 killer hoods. Now, once we can put a number to a particular frequency. We then realize on important fact Pitch is a part of a continuum of frequencies. On this continue we call the audio frequency spectrum. The audio frequency spectrum consists of every possible frequency of sound graded from the very lowest up to the very highest. Now, when we examine this spectrum, we discover that for our purposes, the audio frequency spectrum divides into three ranges. These are the sub portable, the audible on the super audible. The sub audible range consists of audio frequencies that too low for us to be able to perceive. This range includes everything below about 20 hertz, sometimes referred to as infrasound. Although we cannot properly here these frequencies, some creatures can. Elephants, for example, communicate vast distances using frequencies that for us live below the threshold of ordinary human hearing, consisting of sound waves of vast wavelengths. Thes sounds do have a lot of energy to, and although we may not be able to hear them, sometimes we can feel them in particular those emanating from mechanical sources. In fact, the presence of these frequencies in our environment can cause is to feel distinctively uncomfortable being aware of this, the makers of horror movies have been known to insert sub audible frequencies into the soundtrack at crucial points to cause audience members to feel a certain sense of fear and foreboding. So this is the subway audible range, so that is now go to the other end of the spectrum. The super audible frequency range consists of all frequencies above about 20 killer hoods, these of frequencies that are just too high for us to be able to hear, also called ultrasound, although we might not be able to hear them. Some creatures use ultrasound frequencies to great effect. A good example of this is bats that, for the purposes of navigation, emit sonic pulses within this super audible frequency range. And in her own human world, they do have some amazing uses. One such uses in dog whistles, which generated ultrasound frequency that dogs can hear. But we cannot due to the incredible power of penetration. Ultrasound frequencies also have great uses in the process of ultrasound scanning. The upshot of this is that the sound frequencies that we can hear which belonged to the audible range are sandwiched between two regions that disappear into the realms of inaudible ity. Now for musical purposes, it is clearly the audible range that interests us the most. This extends from 20 hertz at the lower end, up to about 20 kilohertz. The higher now so far as music is concerned. This is our playground. But when considering music, we now need to apply another criteria. This is the criterion of usability. Musicians are very concerned with. Being able to produce a decent note on what counts is a decent note. Generally speaking, this is notes that a rich, powerful and resonant notes that would delight to listen to and the fact is, no. All notes do fulfill these requirements. Notes of frequencies that extend beyond about 4200 hertz, the approximate upper limits of a concert Grand piano acquire piercing quality that is not generally very pleasant to listen to. Just think of the whining of a mosquito is an example of this. Have a listen now to some audible frequencies, which, beginning with the frequency of 440 hertz double each time. Ah, notice that as we approached four kilohertz and beyond, the note developed a shrill, whining quality His musical uses, obviously limited, now have a listen to a series of frequencies, which again beginning with 4 40 Hertz, then Harv each time we owe. Eventually, the note becomes so low that is difficult to appreciate how it could be used in an ordinary musical context. The upshot of this is that musicians generally tend to concern themselves with notes, which lie within the general range of, say, a concert grand piano. Which year? Approximately 27 up to about 4.2 killer hoods have a listen to these as we rise up and then come down through all of the notes available on a concert grand piano. Now, compared to the entire audio frequency spectrum, this is a more limited field of sounds. Yet it is within this field that most musical instruments produced their best sounds. This then introduces us to another important concert. Every musical instrument that is used will have its own characteristic range of pitch. This is called It's Pitch Register writers of orchestral music, for example. I need to know these registers so they can write affected parts for these instruments. Now, some instruments, such as the harp and piano, have arranged that extends virtually throughout the entire usable pitch register. Others have a more limited range. At the lowest end, there is a double bass, the culture of this soon or the tuba at the highest end, there was the pick of on the flute. In between these extremes of the ranges of most of the other instruments that we're familiar with now the register of an instrument will tend to affect its function when used as part of an ensemble. Instruments of a low register will tend to play bass, while instruments of ah High Register tend to play the upper, more melodic parts. And in between, of the registers of all of those other instruments that give the sound of the orchestra its richness. Fullness on a variety of tone. So let's consider some of these instruments of the top. In blue, you can see the strings, the registers of each of which is show. These include the double bass, which is the string family has the deepest register and then rising up the register. There was the cello viola, and at the highest end, the violin in turquoise has shown the registers of the main brass instruments, the deepest register instrument being the Cuba followed by the trombones, the French horns and finally the trumpets in the upper register in green of the woodwind instruments, from the deep of the suit up through the middle range Saxes. And then the travel instruments of the woodwind family, crowned by the Pickler in orange of the harp piano and harpsichord that is you can see have a fairly extensive registered in red are included some tuned percussion instruments and by tuned percussion, I mean percussion instruments that can produce musical tones and in popular, included some important band instruments. In this way, it's easy to see that the instruments of the orchestra make you sir virtually the entire range of the usable pitch spectrum. So we've considered what pitches how it is measured, the audio frequency spectrum of which it is a part on the registers of various musical instruments. This them brings me onto your assignments for this particular lecture using your workbooks . Answer the following questions. One. What are the three main properties off? Sound refer to human voices when explaining these two. How is pitch conveyed through the sound waves? Three. Explain how pitch is scientifically measured. Full. What is the audio frequency spectrum. Five. Water. The three ranges off this spectrum. Six. What is the range of frequencies that are audible to the human ear? Seven. What is a register of a musical instrument? When answering these questions, feel free to illustrate your answers in creative ways such that your workbook then becomes something that you could be proud off. This is pitch on the audio frequency spectrum. 6. Lecture 6: Intensity and the DeciBel Scale: Theo there, Welcome to lecture six of the first unit intensity on the decibel scale. In the last lecture, we considered what pitches on how it is measured. So let us now consider another important property of sound, which is the intensity intensity equates to what most people think off was being the volume of self and just like pitch intensity is also one of those vital, expressive parameters of the language of music. As an example of this, just listen to this classic orchestral bass drum roll. Its main feature is the gradual rise of intensity throughout, culminating in that loud symbol clash. This is a perfect instance of the expressive use of intensity. Observe as well how the audio file reflects the intensity of sound time is represented on the horizontal. While intensity is represented on the vertical ends is the sound gets louder, the image of the way file gets fatter. The sensitivity of the human ear to the intensity of sound is absolutely incredible, as also is a range of intensities that could be detected of the lower and think of the sound made by a pin being dropped upon the floor. In comparison, the highest intensity we can be exposed to without permanent damage to our sense of hearing is over a 1,000,000,000 times more intense. Just think of the sound of a jet. Passing over is an example of this. This is why sound intensity is often an important health and safety feature. Levels are set within certain prescribed limits. That makes sure a delicate hearing apparatus is not damaged through exposure to sounds whose intensity is just too high. I know many musicians whose hearing has been permanently damaged through long term exposure to sounds of to higher level of intensity. In some cases, the hearing is not only being impaired, but they've also suffered permanent long term tinnitus. For this reason, everybody involved in music should at least become aware of what counts as a safe level of intensity to be exposed to now, just like pitch intensity is a part of a continuous spectrum that begins with the lowest possible intensity and then extends up to the highest. So how do we measure these different levels of intensity? We do so through the decibel scale. The lowest intensity the scale recognizes is called the hearing threshold. This equates to the faintest possible sound that can be detected by the human here and for this purpose, the hearing threshold councils. Naught decibels or not db The sound rustling leaves some distance away, then counts is about 10 decibel a whisper, maybe about 20 decibels, while the level of sound you might meet sitting there reading a book in a public library could be about 30 decibels for a sound of 40 decibels, think of a radio playing quietly in the background. The sound of music that we commonly getting a supermarket is about 50 decibels. The sound of human conversation can be around 60 decibels for 70 decibels. Think of a washing machine chugging away in the kitchen. 80 decibels, a telephone ring, 90 decibels of sound of a commercial hair dryer. Ah, 100 decibels Home stereo system on full volume. 110 decibels. The sound of overhead thunder 120 decibels. At this point, the level starts to get really intense for 120 decibels. Think of the sound of a chainsaw. This is just below the threshold of pain. Where actually hurts to hear the sound. This threshold begins at about 130 decibels for any level above this, some kind of hearing protection devices needed a serious long term. Damage will occur as a result of prolonged exposure to sounds at this level, and just beyond that 150 decibels. We then get a level of sound intensity that becomes capable of rupturing the human ear drum for a level of 160 decibels. Think of a shotgun blast at close range in many cases, of course, levels Schoening useless without further qualification, for example, distance comes into it. The further you are away from a sound source, the quieter it will be heard to be. This is because the energy of that sound is being dispersed over a wider area. However, if the music students a vital lesson can be learned from the decibel scale. This is to be careful with one's hearing and do not expose oneself to potentially damaging levels of sound. Think about the headphones you might be using to listen to your music because of the negligible distance between you and the sound source. Prolonged exposure to loud music her through headphones can easily lead to the damaging of ones. Delicate hearing apparatus. So the message of this is, Be careful. Now we understand what intensity is and how it is measured, that is. Now consider the use of intensity as a feature of musical languages. Towards this end, recall that sound waves are produced by the vibrations of a sounding body such as a plucked guitar string, for example, are the energy with which the string is plucked as a significant effect upon those waves. If the string is plucked gentry, the intensity of the oscillations will be lesser than if it was plucked strongly. Accordingly, the sound waves will have less amplitude. Amplitude is a relative height or depth of the sound. Waves is measured from the wave access. The more energy a sound has, the greater the amplitude of its sound waves for a listener. Therefore, the sound will be heard to be louder. At this point, however, were start to cross the perceptual barrier where intensity is then transformed into the perceived volume of sound. This is where objectivity starts to becoming increasingly difficult as different people can have different levels of sensitivity to intensity. For this reason, when intensity is used as a musical parameter, it sends to operate within broad margins that take this into account. That was an expressive parameter of musical languages. The intensity of sound is really important to appreciate this. Just imagine if every sound that we heard in music was of exactly the same level of volume . Although the music might still sound enjoyable in some way, it would sound very flat to us and, as a consequence, lose a great deal of its expressive power. There would be less means with which to emphasize or contrast one sound with another. The rhythm would lose its rugged definition. It would be difficult to create the fact of building up to a peak, and it would be impossible for still distinguish between foreground and background elements off the music. Basically, the music would lose. An entire dimension of expression is vital. Perhaps this depth and perspective are to the visual arts of drawing and painting, because intensity is such an important expressive parameter composes Akin's. But markings in their scores that indicate the intensity of the music. Music belonging to the Western classical tradition typically uses abbreviations off Italian terms. To indicate the required intensity of the music, we will undertake a specific study of these later in the course with Elektronik music, whose production involves the use of digital audio workstations, intensity is no less expressive, however, just then achieved in a different way. Different levels of intensity could be programmed in through use of automation, which for a producer off Elektronik music is an art in its own right. Automation is basically a series of instructions that entered into automation lanes in order to regulate and control parameters such as intensity through use of automation. For example, the volume control on sound producing device could be programmed to rise or fall as required. This, in turn, will affect the output volume off that device. However, this volume will always be relative to the volume of the track as a whole, which will be controlled through use of the mixing console. Well, consider this subject further when we go on to study the use of digital audio workstations in the next unit of the course. So having considered sound intensity, how it is measured and how it might be used as an expressive parameter of music, let us now consider the assignments for this lecture using your workbook, answer the following questions. What is the intensity of sound and how is it used in music? How is the intensity of sound scientifically measured? Explain the hearing threshold, the unit and scale of measurement on the threshold of pain. Feel free to use illustrations off your main points. This is intensity on the decibel scale. 7. Lecture 7: Tone Quality and Synthesis: Hello there. Welcome to lecture seven of this unit, which is tone quality and synthesis. So far, we've considered two of the main properties of sound, which are the pitch, and the intensity in this lecture will consider the third main property of sound, which is the quality off the three properties. Quality is one of the most subtle and enigmatic. This is reflected by the variety of terms that could be used to describe the quality of sound, which do and can include tone, tone, quality, turn color and Tom Brah be able to appreciate what the quality of sound is. Just think again of people speaking every person's voice is a discernible quality of tone, a recognition of which then enables us to discern that person's voice among a group of chattering people. Something very similar happens when we listen to music. Every musical instrument has its own particular voice, which is the quality of sound by which your ear is able to recognize. Therefore, for example, there is the clear, airy sound of the flute. Compare this with the tone of the trump, which is here playing exactly the same notes as the flute. How would you describe the distinctive tone of the trumpet when compared with the tone of the flute. Listen now to the very same notes being played on a solo violin here again of the same notes. But this time they're being played on a mystery. Enstrom, take a guess at what it is. The instrument is an oboe, and if you guess right, is because you used your own knowledge and experience of tone quality to find a match. This is why, so far is all Castro music is concerned. The art of orchestration, also known as instrumentation, is so important. Composer, versed in the art of orchestration, can use, combine and juxtapose the tone qualities of different musical instruments with great ingenuity and skill. Just listen to this excerpt from the movement Mercury from Gustav Holst's The Planets Suite . - Okay , the music literally sparkles with the brilliance of vivid color that is comparable to beautiful, colorful tapestry. In order to be able to do this, a composer must learn all about the instruments of the orchestra, how they produce sound, how they're played on the characteristic ranges are listening to the Holst excerpt. It's easy to appreciate just why tone quality is also referred to tone color. This is despite the fact that the term borrows a reference from another sense, which is, of course, site. Each instrument has its own particular color of tone. Now, for many people, particularly those with synesthesia abilities, listening to music triggers streams of color that they see in their mind's eye. This represents a curious bridge between the senses that in itself represents a fascinating topic of research. What color, for example, is the sound of the flute? How about the sound of the trump? So what is the connection between sound and color? Well, the fact that both of forms of vibration might be significant. The difference is that the vibrations of color is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum belonged to a much higher range of frequencies in sound. Yet in the past, many of noticed it does seem to be a subtle connection between color and sound. Some artworks overtly explore this connection, a good example of which is Composition six by Vassily Kandinsky on early 20th century painter, who had a great interest in synesthesia. Admittedly, this crossover between the senses is subjective, involving a subtle mix of both imagination and association. This is proved by the fact that not everybody sees the sound of the flute, for example, as having the same color. Yet the fact of it is really interesting. And it does highlight that as an expressive parameter of music tone, color, consistent, relate the listeners imagination, such as to revoke colors, textures and images in the mind and, by doing so, transport the listener to another realm. Whether this beef Ingles Cave, as in the overture of that name by Mendels or indeed, the astrological sphere of mercury, is depicted by the host, except that we just considered now to understand how all of this works, we need to look more closely at the causes for tone. Color here is not surprising to learn that these causes a largely discernible in the sound waves through its the vibrations of different instruments reach our here Now, as we've already seen, the pitch of sound is conveyed through the wavelength, while the intensity of sound is conveyed through the wave debt. So what attributes of the sound wave do you think conveys the tone, quality tone quality? Your turn color is conveyed by the wave form. Consequently, when we register the different tone qualities of musical instruments. This is all due to the ears capability to distinguish between different wave forms. This then brings us onto the question of why wider sounds have particular wave forms. The reason is that most sounds consist not of one, but of a great variety of different frequencies on which the note whose pitch we register is about one. These frequencies are called partials a good way of understanding these is to think of the pictures that appear on our computer screens. If we zoom in very closely will discover that what appears to be saying Apple on screen is simply a massive pixels of different colors arranged in such a way as to create the visual impression of an apple. Our sense of hearing does exactly the same, although given sounds, sorts may vibrate across a wide spectrum of different frequencies. Our air combines all of these into a complicit impression off a single cell. This is despite the fact that the sound itself may be composed of thousands of sites. Separate frequencies has such each sound that we hear is really a swirling mass of frequencies, just like a galaxy is a swirling mass of stars, and each one of these frequencies contributes to the overall form of the sound wave. Now here is something remarkable. In many cases, there may be no discernible relationship between these different frequency. When this happens, we hear a noise. However, in other cases, there was a clear mathematical relationship between them. Are here, recognizes this, and in these cases we then hear a tone whose pitch is clearly discernible. Have you ever noticed how many musical instruments use either stretch strings or tubes in their construction? There is, of course, a lot on. There's a good reason for this. Both types of sounding object tend to vibrate harmonically. What I mean by this is along the regular sections of this string or tube air column. We can appreciate this if we look, say, at the strings of a guitar. Now, if I pluck the low e string of the guitar, it will vibrate at around 82 cycles per second. This'll vibration counts is the fundamental frequency of the string and is produced by the string vibrating along its whole length. However, the fundamental represents just one of an entire complex of vibrations produced when the string is plucked. This is because the string will vibrate not only along its entire length but also along its fractional parts. These refer to the various modes of vibration of the strength the first mode has shown produces the fundamental. The second mode is produced by the string vibrating along its half length. Now here is an important acoustic principle. The frequency increases in inverse proportion to the length of the string. This means that if the whole string vibrates, 82 hurts. The halflings were vibrate twice as quickly at 164 hurts. The third mode of vibration is produced by the string, vibrating along its 1/3 length. They will therefore producer frequency triple that of the fundamental, which is 246 herds. So it goes on each respective mode of vibration of the string, contributing its own frequency to the body of the musical tone. Thus produced now because these frequencies are all whole number multiples of the frequency of the fundamental, they're called harmonic partials, and a series of frequencies like this is called Ah harmonic Siri's. We can appreciate this through reference to away form in which the different harmonic frequencies has shown. Here you can see the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth harmonics and so on. And if you want to hear the harmonics within a tone, listen to this base tone as I use a filter to bring out various harmonics off the fundamental. - Knowing about the harmonic series, we can now perhaps understand Mongolian throat singing more clearly, Singh has learned to sound a fundamental tone, but at the same time bring out the various harmonics off that tone on. This produces curious impression of the singer singing two notes. At the same time, knowing about the harmonic series were also in a good position to understand just why the tone has that regular pattern. Where you perform it is all due to the architecture of the tone is defined by its components. Harmonics centred around the fundamental tone. The tone thus becomes comparable to other phenomena of nature, whose design also conforms to a regular mathematical pattern, obvious examples of which are crystalline formations or perhaps flowers. Knowing about the harmonic Siri's, we can also begin to understand tone color in a more insightful way. This is because what we here to be. Tone quality is largely due to the presence of these harmonic partials that are present as a part of a musical tone. Here is an illustration. First, here is the way form off the fundamental. Now let's add the third hole morning. Now let's have the fifth hole morning and finally the seventh Harmonic. Now here is the way form resulting from the combination of all of these. As such, the particular tone of musical instruments is largely due to the respective intensities of the harmonics that are present as a part off their tone. Now, in theory, if we could create an instrument that could generate thes harmonics and then we found a way to regulate their intensities, we would have an instrument that could then emulate any type of wave form. In other words, it would be an instrument of all instruments. It would be able to produce any type of cell this instrument we all know about, and it probably used at some time. It is called a synthesizer, a universal instrument that can model and emulate Tambra of any other type of instrument. So how does this work? It works through the use of oscillators and also a Jew is the sound producing device on a synthesized, and they're capable of generating both frequency and harmonic content. The former allows them to produce notes of a particular pitch. The latter gives him the capability to reproduce the way forms associate it with instruments such as violins, guitars, brass instruments, etcetera. However, when thinking about producing imitations of the sounds of various instruments, there are other factors to take into account. Every sound develops in a certain way, and they're here recognizes this. This is called its sound or amplitude envelope being the characteristic way in which sound develops through time to be able to accurately model the sound envelope of various instruments. Four components of the envelope were found to be needed, which, with the attack, the decay of sustained and the release, or a D. S. R for short attack represents the way in which it sounds, starts from an initial low and then reaches a peak value. Consider the case of a percussion instrument whose attack is very prominent. Decay is the way of sound fades away from that peak value. Consider the case of a piano. The attack his brief yet having reached a peak, the sound immediately starts to fade. Sustain is the period during which the level is then maintained. Consider the case of organ sustained last for as long as the player keeps the key depressed . Ah, finally there is the release, which is what happens to the sound. Once a key being used to play it has been released after an A we to control the amplitude envelope synthesizes usually come with a set of sliders for all four components off the envelope. This synthesizer is the maelstrom, which comes with propeller heads. Reason program notice that both oscillators A and B have their own set of a DSR controls. This is so you can obtain the exact sound envelope that you want. So we've now considered quality of sound and how important it is to music. And we've seen how synthesizes are capable of emulating this particular property off sound . So now let me discuss your assignment for this lecture in your workbooks. Answer the following question. What is the quality of sound? Explain through reference to a variety of different musical instruments. Explain why tone quality could also be called tone color or Tom Broom? What is synesthesia? Why did some sounds have different way forms to others? What is meant by the abbreviation 80 s are This is the last lecture belonging to this particular unit, and I would recommend that you be thorough in the completion off your workbooks. In connection with these unit, you'll also find an end of unit worksheet few to fill in that covers all of the material taught in the seven lectures belonging to this union. This is tone, quality and synthesis.