This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under CCLI Grant DUE 0717743,
Jennifer Burg PI, Jason Romney, Co-PI.
3 Chapter 3 Musical Sound ..................................................................1
3.1 Concepts ..................................................................................1
3.1.1 Context ..............................................................................1
3.1.2 Tones and Notes ..................................................................2
3.1.3 Music vs. Noise ....................................................................4
3.1.4 Scales ................................................................................7
3.1.5 Musical Notation ..................................................................9
3.1.5.1 Score ............................................................................9
3.1.5.2 Notes and their Duration ...............................................11
3.1.5.3 Rhythm, Tempo, and Meter ...........................................12
3.1.5.4 Rests and their Duration ...............................................14
3.1.5.5 Key Signature ..............................................................15
3.1.5.6 The Circle of Fifths........................................................20
3.1.5.7 Key Transposition .........................................................22
3.1.6 Musical Composition ...........................................................23
3.1.6.1 Historical Context .........................................................23
3.1.6.2 Intervals .....................................................................23
3.1.6.3 Chords ........................................................................26
3.1.6.4 Chord Progressions .......................................................29
3.1.7 Dynamics and Articulation ...................................................32
3.2 Applications ............................................................................34
3.2.1 Piano Roll and Event List Views ............................................34
3.2.2 Tablature ..........................................................................35
3.2.3 Chord Progression ..............................................................36
3.2.4 Guitar Chord Grid ..............................................................37
3.3 Science, Mathematics, and Algorithms .......................................37
3.3.1 The Mathematics of Music ...................................................37
3.3.2 Equal Tempered vs. Just Tempered Intervals ......................... 37
3.3.3 Experimenting with Music in Max .........................................40
3.3.4 Experimenting with Music in MATLAB ....................................45
3.3.5 Experimenting with Music in C++ ........................................47
3.3.6 Experimenting with Music in Java .........................................49
3.4 References .............................................................................54
3 Chapter 3 Musical Sound
3.1 Concepts
3.1.1 Context
Even if you’re not a musician, if you plan to work in the realm of digital sound you’ll benefit
from an understanding of the basic concepts and vocabulary of music. The purpose of this
chapter is to give you this foundation.
This chapter describes the vocabulary and musical notation of the Western music
tradition the music tradition that began with classical composers like Bach, Mozart, and
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