Music from All over the World Presents a Range of Musical Theories. Some of These Are Documented in Writing Whilst Others Are Transmitted Orally. Discuss and Give Examples with Reference to Both Western and Non-Western Music.

3036 Words Apr 30th, 2013 13 Pages
Music from all over the world presents a range of musical theories. Some of these are documented in writing whilst others are transmitted orally. Discuss and give examples with reference to both Western and non-Western music.

Music Theory can be understood as chiefly the study of the structure of music. With the idea of both written and oral notation, it may be understood through recognized systems of indication, and used as systems of memorizing and transmitting the theories themselves. Western music theory is significant for its quantity and range whilst those of non-Western traditions are also notable in possessing major works of theoretical oration and literature.
Melodies for texts of the liturgy of the early Western Church were
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Aristoxenus and other theorists - such as Ptolemy and Aristides Quintilianus - defined concepts still used today. Only part of Aristoxenus’ ‘Rhythmic Elements’ survives, but there is enough documentation showing that rhythm was closely aligned with poetic rhythm, and defines durations as multiples of a basic unit of time. In ‘Harmonic Elements’, Aristoxenus distinguished between continuous movement of the voice, gliding up and down as in speech, and diastematic, i.e. intervallic, movement.
Unique to the Greek system were the tetrachords – those of diatonic, chromatic, and enharmonic – each comprising of four notes spanning a perfect fourth. Theorists then combined successive tetrachords in a conjuct and disjunct manner, forming ‘The Greater Perfect System’ with four tetrachords and an added lower note to complete a two-octave span. This system was not based on absolute fixed pitch but on interallic relationships between the notes and tetrachords. Cleonides later formed the concept of which he called ‘species’, identifying three species of fourth: the first being S-T-T; the second T-T-S; and the third T-S-T (S and T representing Semitone and Tone, respectively). With the formation of the second species – the species of fifth – Cleonides identifies the seven species of octave, which are combinations of the two species aforementioned. These octave species were termed as follows: Mixolydian (B-b), Lydian (c –c’), Phrygian (d-d’), Dorian (e-e’), Hypolydian (f-f’),

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