Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Studying Music

There are key things that you need to grasp in order to succeed in music:

Notation. Fluency in reading music in treble and bass clefs; accidentals; note and rest values; duplets, triplets, and other "tuplets"; simple and compound time signatures and normal groupings of note values.

Intervals. The ability to name by sight, and to notate, all intervals from the unison to the octave in all qualities (major, minor, perfect, diminished, augmented); the inversion of intervals.

Scales and keys. All major and minor (harmonic and melodic) scales; the names of scale degrees (tonic, supertonic, etc.); all major and minor key signatures.

Chords. The structure of triads and seventh chords; triad qualities (major, minor, diminished, augmented); roots; inversions of triads and seventh chords and their figured-bass symbols.

Harmony. The functions of diatonic chords and their roman-numeral symbols (I, II, III, etc.); types of cadences.

Intervals. The ability to recognize all diatonic intervals, from the unison to the octave, in both melodic (ascending and descending) and harmonic form.

Rhythm. The ability to recognize rhythmic patterns of up to two measures in length, in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, and 6/8 metres, containing regular division and subdivision of the beat as well as duplets and triplets.

Melodic patterns. The ability to recognize a diatonic melody of up to two measures in length involving steps and leaps of no more than an octave.

Chords. The ability to recognize the quality (major, minor, and diminished) of triads played in four parts, close or open position.

Keyboard skills. Even if you are not a pianist or organist, your study of music will benefit a great deal from having some ability at the keyboard. If you do not yet play keyboard at all, you should consider taking some beginning lessons.

Musical concepts
melody, range, phrase, cadence, climax
rhythm, beat, accent, metre (duple, triple, quadruple, simple, compound), syncopation
pitch, interval, consonance, dissonance, octave, scale, diatonic, chromatic
harmony, chord, triad,
tonality, tonic, major mode, minor mode, key
texture, monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, imitation, timbre
form, variation, binary, ternary, theme, sequence, motive

Italian terms
tempo, grave, largo, adagio, andante, moderato, allegro, vivace, presto, prestissimo, accelerando, rallentando, ritardando, a tempo, tempo rubato, tempo primo, meno mosso, più mosso
pianissimo, piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte, fortissimo, crescendo, decrescendo, diminuendo
legato, staccato, tenuto, sforzando, fermata, arco, pizzicato, con sordino
agitato, animato, cantabile, con brio, con espressione, dolce, espressivo, giocoso, grazioso, leggiero, maestoso, marcato, pesante, scherzando, tranquillo,
da capo, dal segno, fine, attacca
alla, assai, ben, col/colla/con, e/ed, ma, meno, molto, non, più, poco, poco a poco, primo, quasi, secondo, sempre, senza, subito, troppo

It is also crucial to understand the history of the development of different genres of music and various composers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Hi everyone, I had a Music student send me this link, which I think you will find very helpful. It covers Western Music history. http://www.wwnorton.com/college/music/enj10/complete/content/index/chapters.htm Also, they gave me some of their notes for music, which will be uploaded to Scribd for you to look at. Thank you so much Tim!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Hi there all IB Music students, and welcome to my blog! I set this up to try and compile a heap of resources and advice for you. Unfortunately I don't do music, but I hope that with your help, this can still be turned into the best available resource for IB Music. Please feel free to send me anything you have for me to post - ibscrewed4@gmail.com - and I will add it.

Many thanks in advance, and good luck :)