Timbre/Instrumentation in Music
Hi! Today we will continue to look at one important element of music.
When ever an individual listen to music they tend to hear the voices or instruments first. This is because voices and instruments are the easiest components to be identified in music. But it does stop there. How can you differentiate male vocals from female vocals? How are you able to say what instruments are used in the music? Well today we are going to find the answer for these two questions and other related questions that one would ask.
We are able to identify the different voices and instruments in music because of the tone colour. Some instruments are rich and thick while some are smooth. Some voices are rough while some are bright. The element in music that has to do with tone colour is “Timbre”.
Timbre (which is pronounced tam’-ber) refers to the quality of sound that differentiate one from another. We are able to identify a trumpet different from a saxophone in music because of the timbre or tone colour of the instrument. When we are asked to give a report on the timbre of a piece of music we are been asked to describe the instrumentation.
Instrumentation includes the wide variety of musical instruments that exist based on an era and culture of the composer. All musical instruments have its purpose and time in music. Some categories of musical instruments are; voice, brass, keyboard, electronic (electrophone), percussion, string and woodwind. Let us look at some category of instruments.
The human voice is a unique instrument because both words and musical tones are fused together. Male and female has their own unique tone colour whenever they perform. Females are able to sing much higher than males because their vocal cords are shorter and tighter. However, both males and females have a normal pitch range for singing. Take a look at the table below to the natural pitch ranges for male and female.
As mentioned earlier, musical instruments are place into different categories based on the way they produce sound. Some instruments are bowed while others are plucked; some musical instruments are blown while others are scrape, hit or shake. In this article we will only look at the musical instruments that make up the orchestra. The Orchestra is a combination of four families or sections of instruments performing a symphony for about 20 to 40 minutes. In this type of performance most of the elements of music are been used (especially the expressive ones). The table below shows the four main families of the orchestra and instruments that are classified to each category.
Other Topics on Elements of MusicRhythm. An Element in Music
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