In Lesson 3, we will discuss musical elements, or the building blocks of sound that are organized to create music.
One of the best ways to start building your active listening skills is by identifying layers, or the number and type of different elements happening at a given time within the overall musical texture. Layers also tell us a lot about the level of complexity in the music, and help us to build a mental image of what is going on.
The goal of this discussion is to introduce you to the concept of musical layers.
One tricky bit is that identifying musical layers is not always the same thing as counting the number of people performing. There can be 100 people, but only one layer, or just one person, and many layers. To understand this, we need to listen for whether each person’s contribution to the music is unique, or replicates something happening elsewhere in the texture. Confused? Don’t worry! I will explain.
Let’s start by listening to American musician, singer, songwriter, and producer, Moby, in the video below. This is a live performance of his song, “Natural Blues.” If possible, listen with high quality speakers or headphones (not cell phone or laptop speakers)!
Okay, now let’s think about this in terms of layers: What all is going on? To help you understand musical layers, we’re going to watch a video of Moby, remixing this song with some different singers. This is not exactly like the video above, but I think you’ll get the idea.
What all are we hearing?
First, the vocals are melody
Second, drums provide a rhythm layer
Third, the bass plays a bass line (pretty typical, of course)
And fourth, fifth, and sixth, the guitar, keyboard, and synthesizers provide harmony
Taken together, Moby’s remix has four layers: Melody, rhythm, harmony, and bass (even though there are two singers, and a total of five instruments performing). Make sense?
If you are a little confused, don’t worry. I promise we will practice this concept a lot, and discuss it more. For now, do your best!
POST BY FRIDAY:
Find a song or piece of music that you already like listening to (any style is fine), and which includes musicians playing instruments, and/or singing (electronic music would not be as helpful, for this listening activity).
Using YouTube, find a video of the song or piece of music, in which the performers are visible, and can be observed playing/singing.
Post the video (using the instructions given in the first discussion board topic) and write a description, considering the following questions (about 200 words is appropriate):
How many and what types of instruments/voices are performing?
Can you pick out musical layers?
Can you name any or all of the musical layers (melody, harmony, bass, or something else)?
Is there anything about the layers that you find particularly unique or interesting?
Do the layers change noticeably at any point in the music?
In listening actively to this music, did you notice anything about it that you weren’t aware of before? Maybe a new layer?
Keep in mind that this is for practice – if you are unsure about layers, just do your best!
We are a professional custom writing website. If you have searched a question and bumped into our website just know you are in the right place to get help in your coursework.
Yes. We have posted over our previous orders to display our experience. Since we have done this question before, we can also do it for you. To make sure we do it perfectly, please fill our Order Form. Filling the order form correctly will assist our team in referencing, specifications and future communication.
1. Click on the “Place order tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
2. Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER INFORMATION" section and click “PRICE CALCULATION” at the bottom to calculate your order price.
3. Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
4. Click “FINAL STEP” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
5. From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.
Need help with this assignment?
Order it here claim 25% discount
Discount Code: SAVE25