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27 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

3 criteria commonly used to determine “popular” music

Widespread enjoyment

Labeled as ‘hits’, creating media attention

Substantial revenue generated

4 primary factors of influence that shaped North American music

political events and social factors

economic conditions

technological innovation

music business


Pitch, in the most basic terms sounds 'high' or 'low'. Sound is heard as wave vibrations and the high or low level is based on the frequency of these vibrations.


Duration is the length of time of a sound. When duration is divided into specific lengths, the result is referred to as rhythm.


Intensity has to do with the volume of sound. In music, volume is controlled by the musicians as they play, by the engineers during a recording a recording session, and by sound technicians during a performance. The listener can also manipulate volume with the dial on a stereo.


Timbre is the 'colour' or 'quality' of a sound, also referred to as 'tone colour'. For example, the timbre of a guitar or saxophone differs from the timbre of a trumpet. There are innumerable vocal timbres, which we find ourselves describing when we are comparing the sound of one singers' voice to that of another.


is the combination of measured sounds and silences into a pattern in music, or the result of musical events as they happen through time. Rhythmic events happen with reference to the beat.

The Beat

The beat is the steady, regular pulse heard in a piece of music. You tap along with the beat, but you would sing or play the rhythm (ie. the rhythm is more complex, but relates directly to the beat).


The regular patterns of emphasized beats is called metre. These patterns are are divided into groupings called measures or bars. In popular music, we find standard metres such as:4 beats per measure most basic popular music tunes, including rock, punk, country, etc.3 beats per measure waltzes2 beats per measure most marchesIn early popular music, beats 1 and 3 of a four beat measure were emphasizedIn modern popular music we also refer to the backbeat, which places the emphasis on beats 2 & 4 in a typical four beat metre song.


In modern popular music we also refer to the backbeat, which places the emphasis on beats 2 & 4 in a typical four beat metre song.


is formed by organizing pitch and rhythm into a sequence of notes. Melody is also known as the tune, or the song, often the part of music that we are most familiar with.


A hook refers to a catchy or memorable melodic idea, which catches the attention of the listener; it ‘hooks’ the listeners’ ear.


A riff refers to a short rhythmically and melodically interesting pattern which repeats, sometimes as a melody and sometimes as an accompaniment to a melody.


Harmony is the sound of more than one pitch sung or played simultaneously. Harmony can be studied in various ways. Three or more pitches sounding at the same time create chords. The sequence of chords and the pattern that they form are called chord progressions.


refers to the characteristics of the overall sound of different instrumental or vocal parts played together. Many creative words can be used to describe the overall sound, such as thick, thin, transparent and cloudy textures.


the words or text of a piece of music. They are often based on poetic elements, with rhymes, rhythms, and forms of their own.


refers to changes in the degrees of volume in music. In a performance these changes can be abrupt or gradual, but either help to make the music more dynamic.


the speed at which the music is performed. Below is an example of a popular music song performed at a fast tempo ("Maybellene"), and one performed at a slower tempo ("I Fall in Love Too Easily").


refers to the musical instruments used in the creation and performance of particular pieces or songs


the structure and organization of musical ideas within a piece of music. A piece can often be divided into large sections that have certain characteristics. In popular music, "strophic form," "AABA form," and "Blues form" are all different forms, which have become standard throughout history.


refers to the unique characteristic sounds of an artist or group of artists, who bring together certain combinations of all the elements of sound and music.

The post-war boom meant 1950s teenagers had spending money, which they used to buy records. This is an example of what kind of influence on popular music?

1. Economic influences

Intensity refers to:

a. the volume of a sound.

b. the "colour" or "quality" of a sound.

c. the "highness" or "lowness" of a sound.

d. the length of time of a sound.

a. the volume of a sound

The notable aspect of Maybelle Carter's guitar playing on "Wildwood Flower", is how clearly it conveys:

a. her use of dynamics.

b. the concept of backbeat.

c. a 1 and 3 emphasis in each 4 beat measure

d. an AABA form.

c. a 1 and 3 emphasis in each 4 beat measure.

Society is defined as...

1. ...the way of life for a group of people living together.

2. ...a group of people with similar economic status.

3. ...a group of people living together in a particular time or place.

3. ...a group of people living together in a particular time or place.

Timbre refers to:

a. the "colour" or "quality" of a sound.

b. the "highness" or "lowness" of a sound.

c. the length of time of a sound.

d. the volume of a sound.

a. the "colour" or "quality" of a sound.

Strophic form

(also called "verse-repeating" or chorus form) is the term applied to songs in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music