Completed Along Comes A Bard... III

Tazrae continues her lessons in songcraft.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Along Comes A Bard... III

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 6:51 pm

Timestamp: 50th of Summer, 520 A.V.

Continued from: Along Comes A Bard... II


Tazrae was taking furious notes. Xander tapped his diagrams and then turned the journal back over to her. She took notes furiously, her hand cramping even more. Whenever she sat the quill down to shake out the tingles, Xander rolled his eyes and often started in on a sidetrack that lead with 'In my day...' involving people not having journals, quills, or bottles of ink handy. Speaking of bottles of ink, hadn't she gone through a lot of hers already?

Frowning, Tazrae hoped Juli had more of the ink at the Mercantile.

Time signatures can be categorized as follows:


1. According to the sub-division of the beat:
  • Simple time - this is when the beat can be subdivided into halves
  • Compound time - this is when the beat can be subdivided into thirds - the time signature is written as if the subdivision is the main beat, but in fact the main beat is three times slower

2. According to the number of beats per bar:
  • Duple time - two beats per bar - the first is strong, the second weak ("left, right, left, right")
  • Triple time - three beats per bar - the first strong, the second and third weak ("Oom pah pah")
  • Quadruple time - four beats per bar - the first strong, the third less strong, and second and fourth weak

Combining these two types of categorizations, the following possibilities emerge:

  1. Simple duple
    • 2/2 = 2 minims per bar
    • 2/4 = 2 crotchets per bar
  2. Simple triple
    • 3/2 = 3 minims per bar
    • 3/4 = 3 crochets per bar
    • 3/8 = 3 quavers per bar
  3. Simple quadruple
    • 4/2 = 4 minims per bar
    • 4/4 = 4 crotchets per bar
    • 4/8 = 4 quavers per bar
  4. Compound duple
    • 6/4 = 2 beats per bar, each of 3 crotchets - unusual nowadays
    • 6/8 = 2 beats per bar, each of 3 quavers - quite common today
  5. Compound triple
    • 9/4 = 3 beats per bar, each of 3 crotchets - very rare
    • 9/8 = 3 beats per bar, each of 3 quavers - occasionally seen
  6. Compound quadruple
    • 12/4 = 4 beats per bar, each of 3 crotchets - very rare
    • 12/8 = 4 beats per bar, each of 3 quavers - very rare



"Ledger Lines are an extension of the staff. They are additional lines both above and below which are parallel to the staff. Each ledger line contains one note... and really it's just a place holder, Tazrae." Xander said, demonstrating by writing a really high note on a base scale.

Next, he reviewed the notes. He wrote them out, starting with a whole note, a half note, a quarter note, an eighth and finally a sixteenth." The bard nodded, having seen these before. "Each note has a specific duration." He conveyed what these durations were to her by tapping for each note. It worked well, and she nodded, translating this to her notes as best she could.

"Also, Silences are also important in music and are specified by a rest which has a certain length. Both notes and rests can be made longer by the addition of a dot, which is then called a dotted note or dotted rest. Another type of dot, a staccato, makes a note shorter than it looks. " With that, Xander showed her rests, dots, and staccatos. She noted what they looked like and nodded her understanding.

"Finally, let's talk meters. A meter is the regular recurring pattern of strong and weak beats of equal duration; also known as time. The meter or time signature in a musical composition is indicated by a fraction and located at the beginning of a piece of music. The lower number of the fraction tells what kind of note receives one beat. The upper number tells how many beats are in a measure." Tazrae nodded as Xander stopped speaking, giving her a chance to catch up on her note-taking.

Word Count: 695
Last edited by Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Tazrae
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Posts: 318
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Along Comes A Bard... III

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 7:00 pm

"In Syliran music there are two types of meter, simple and compound. In simple meter the upper number is either 2, 3, or 4. Each beat is subdivided by two. Simple Meter In compound meter the upper number is either 6,9, or 12. Each beat is a dotted note and subdivided into groups of three beats." Xander wrote out diagrams on the music paper demonstrating those as well.

"I understand. It’s confusing, but this looks to be all I really need to write basic music... and to be honest with you Xander, it’s a lot more complex than even I'd thought it could be." Tazrae admitted, glancing at her pages and pages of notes.

Xander continued, getting back off the basic music note lesson and back to the job of songcraft. And that meant, teaching rhythm. "Rhythm in music is dependent on the fact that humans recognize a beat occurring at a regular interval. There are two slightly different meanings of the word "beat" in music, but the second is essentially a special case of the first. The beat is the most fundamental concept of rhythm." Tazrae nodded and continued taking notes. Once she was done, she'd have time for questions.

Xander continued. "A beat is a pulse that occurs at regular intervals, i.e. with equal time intervals between the pulses, which is heard (and often felt) by humans. A regular beat can have an emotional effect on a person: for example, it can be exciting, relaxing or irritating. There are probably many reasons why our brains "tune in" to a regular pulse. Can you name some Tazrae?" Tazrae thought a moment, then nodded.

"Sure...Our heartbeat is a pattern. When we walk or run, our feet land in a regular rhythm..in order to maintain balance." She thought a moment more. "To be able to judge time properly, we have to be able to accurately subdivide it like count seconds." She added. Xander nodded, then continued.


"The beat may have a definite frequency or pitch, or it may not. Even if a beat is regular, it may not be exactly the same each beat each time." He listed the different types of changes. Tazrae wrote it down.


Rules of Patterns


  • the volume may change in some pattern
  • the pitch may change in some pattern
  • the tone may change in some pattern
  • any combination of any of the above may change



Xander continued with the lecture. "When a beat is combined with patterns of accents, and other patterns of changes in pitch, volume, etc., then you have the beginnings of rhythm." And Tazrae smiled, changing positions. She slipped a large piece of wood under her parchment, to give her writing more support when she moved to her lap.

"Within the context of a piece of music, the word beat has a special meaning. It is the consistent pulse of the music, as in the previous meaning (above), but the special meaning also includes the duration of the beat and the way the beats are grouped." It was another list. Tazrae jotted it down as well.


Beats & Things


  • The note length of the beat is specified by the time signature.
  • The time signature also specifies how many of these beats there are in a bar.
  • The speed of this beat is specified by any direction words and/or metronome marking.
  • The first beat in each bar is generally felt as stronger than the other beats in the bar. This might be literally by a stronger beat perhaps by a drum, or it might be implied by the harmonic or melodic shape of the music. Within a bar of four or more beats, there will almost certainly be a sub-division, which means that another beat in the bar will be felt as being stronger than the others, but not as strong as the first. This pattern of strong, less strong, and weaker beats is normally governed by the time signature.


Once Tazrae was done shifting around, Xander spoke again.

"Rhythm in music is more than just a beat, however; it is the way that sounds with differing lengths (or gaps between them) and accents can combine to produce patterns in time which contain a beat. These sounds do not have to be particularly musical; rhythms can be made by striking almost anything, as long as there can be difference in accent. Differences in accent can mean different sounds or just different loudness of sounds." He concluded.

Tazrae nodded and wrote that down as well.

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Tazrae
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Along Comes A Bard... III

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 8:48 pm

"Xander, I always thought that it is important to understand that the rhythm is defined by the pattern; the overall speed of it could vary from performance to performance, but the rhythm would still be the same. It is common to speak of a particular rhythm, referring to a pattern of note lengths which occurs in a piece of music. Is that not true?" The old bard nodded and smiled at Tazrae's question.

"I think you are understanding this just fine, Tazrae girl." He praised. Then he continued. "Post Valterrian songs often include syncopation in their rhythm..." He started in, about to launch into a new lecture.

Tazrae interrupted him.

"Wait wait.. slow down Xander. What's syncopation?" She asked, curious. She'd never heard the term before. He smiled and answered her. She added it to her notes. "Syncopation is a type of rhythm where some of the accents are "off the beat. For example, a simple tune can be made to include syncopation by moving the position of one note back (in time) by half a beat, so making it longer, and the note before it shorter." Xander added.

Tazrae smiled and nodded. "I see what you mean. There are lots of examples I can think of that syncopation occurs in."

Distracted from Syka's song for a moment, she laid down her writing materials and picked up her mandolin so she could play a very modern piece on it. "Like this?" She asked.

Xander nodded and chuckled slightly. "Exactly like that." Tazrae smiled and strummed some more, humming the fledgling chorus to Syka's song... thinking of the type of music she wanted to write for it.

Tazrae took a break at that point, and walked to the back to the ice box fix a plate of cheese and bread for her and Xander Kaltran. They were both pretty hungry at this point, and while she wanted to continue, it was best they take a break. Xander took the time to study Tazrae with a knowing eye.

Xander looked thoughtful, seemed to gather himself, and continued. He was a wise man and knew better than to ask uncomfortable questions even though Tazrae seemed to be stretching with uncomfortable thoughts.

Tazrae felt a moments irritation. What was Xander implying anyhow? She shrugged, let it go, and asked instead... ."So, lets talk about song structure? I've been holding out for this. It seems so interesting."

Xander nodded. "Well, first you need some vocabulary. And you need some building blocks. There are three main ones... the verse, the chorus, and the bridge which is sometimes called the middle 8." He grinned, and asked her to explain them.

"Well, a Verse tells the story, sets the scene, and lays out the situation for the song. It also keeps the tension up and gives all the information the listener needs. And as the song progresses, it keeps the story going. I mean, it offers important details." Tazrae said.

Xander nodded, then he added. "During the first verse you should try to involve the listener in the circumstances and musical setting of the song – and to create mounting interest in its outcome. The verse should be designed to lead into the chorus or bridge both musically and lyrically. Each subsequent verse generally features the same music with a different set of words. The second verse advances the story line, circumstances or emotional development of characters in the song. The final verse brings the story to a conclusion. Sometimes the first verse is repeated as the final verse to bring the story to full circle." He emphasized.


Word Count: 639
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 318
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Along Comes A Bard... III

Postby Tazrae on July 18th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Tazrae picked it up from there.

"We already talked about this a bit. The chorus offers an answer to the predicament. It clarifies or provides a solution to the problem, extends or encapsulates the song idea, contains the hook particularly in the first and last lines, should include the title..." She paused still thinking. She knew enough about songs and had enough songs in her head to know some of this stuff already.

Xander piped in at that point. "The chorus section generally follows the verse and provides a simple and meaningful statement about the song as a whole. The first chords of the chorus should be the harmonic high point of the song. This is the section the listener is waiting for and the one you want them to go on whistling.. to remember it." Tazrae smiled and nodded.

She picked up her journal again, resting it on her lap, and began making a few notes before she answered about bridges.

"Bridges, or middle 8's, are the middle section that contrasts from the main melody or lyric in several ways. They need to step away from the structure. It’s called a middle 8 traditionally because the middle section is almost always 8 bars in length, though they don't have to be. They can be as long as we want them too. Bridges can sum up the plot of the song, adds extra information, comments on the verse, or adds contrast. They can be all musical, or simply just lyrics... and sometimes even just speech." She added.

Xander nodded his approval. "In terms of contrast, they should always change pronounces, meaning if you have been saying 'I' t.. suddenly say 'You'. They should change time, and they should change focus meaning going from specifics to generalizations or vice versa. Bridges should lead naturally back into the chorus or verse. The lyric of the bridge often sheds new light on the theme of a song by offering a different point of view, a change of time frame or speaker." Xander said helpfully.

At this point, Tazrae set aside her journal, laid down her quill, and went to get them both refreshers on their drinks. She didn't refill the fruit juice they were sipping on for breakfast, but instead, ran to the sink and worked the hand pump on the well and pulled up fresh cold water for them both to wet their whistles with.

Handing him the drink, she resumed her seat, took up her quill, and they both continued on with the conversation which was more like a lecture.



Word Count: 470
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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 318
Words: 399765
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
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Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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