Hornbostal-Sachs Instrument Classification System

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Hornbostal-Sachs Instrument Classification System

Classify the instruments from the Glossary of Folk Instruments into the following four categories. Use the definitions below to decide the appropriate category for each world instrument.
Idiophones – sound is primarily produced by the actual body of the instrument vibrating, rather than a string, membrane, or column of air. In essence, this group includes all percussion instruments apart from drums, as well as some other instruments.
Membranophones – sound is primarily produced by the vibration of a tightly stretched membrane. This group includes all drums and kazoos.
Chordophones – sound is primarily produced by the vibration of a string or strings that are stretched between fixed points.

Aerophones – sound is primarily produced by vibrating air. The instrument itself does not vibrate, and there are no vibrating strings or membranes.





  1. How is sound produced in each category? What is the vibrating component?

  2. Which category was the easiest to decide whether the instrument fit?

  3. Which category was the hardest to decide whether the instrument fit?

  4. Which instruments would you like to know more about?

Glossary of Folk Musical Instruments & Styles from Around the World

Accordion: Free reed instrument with a keyboard originating in Saxony and Bohemia, now common throughout the world in folk music. Various types include piano and button keyboards, and chromatic and diatonic tunings.

Agogo: Two wooden or metal tubes or blocks on a wooden or metal frame, one larger and lower pitched than the other. hit with sticks.
Angklung: Bamboo bells native to Indonesia. Each Angklung consists of two or three bamboo tubes of differing lengths tuned in octaves.
Bagpipe: reed instrument with an air reservoir in an animal skin bag. Common across Europe and Arabic countries. See Gaida, Gaita, Biniou, Union, Uilleann, Northumbrian, Piob Mhor, Scottish smallpipes, Dudelsack, Zampogna, Cornemuse, Musette, Cabrette, Cimpoi.
Bata (African): set of three drums: the 'iyailu' or "mother drum", a talking drum; the 'emele abo' is the second drum, smaller and higher pitched; the 'omele' is the base of the set and consists of 3 or 4 small drums tied together.
Berimbau: The berimbau consist of a wooden stick which is strung with a steel string to form the bow shape, a gourd with an opening on one side which acts as a resonator, a coin or stone, a thin bamboo stick, and is played with a basket shaker called caxixi..
Bouzouki: Greek long necked lute related to the Turkish Saz; 3 or 4 double courses of metal strings. Adopted by Irish musicians more recently.
Bowed Psaltery: Box zither; A 20th Century (probably) adaptation of the psaltery in a triangular shape allowing for bowing on alternate sides. Other psalteries are usually plucked.

Calabash: dried hollow shell of a gourd, used as a rattle.
Campana: Bell.
Castanets: A pair of wooden cupped blocks held in one hand, used for flamenco dance in the Seville tradition.
-tube, cylindrical, single reed instrument. A seventeenth century ancestor of the clarinet, it has a recorder type body with a single reed mouthpiece. Similar folk instruments are found in many Arabic and European cultures; see Albogue, Alboka, Diplica, Hornpipe, pibgorn, and Sipsi.
Charango: Ten string instrument, made from the shell of an armadillo; an Amerindian version of the imported European mandolin; found in Andean region.
Cheng (2): Chinese gong.
Chepkong: Kenyan six string pentatonic Lyre. See Kipukandet
Chonguri: Georgian fretless long neck bowl back lute. Three strings from the peg head and a banjo-like 4th string peg halfway up the neck.
Choquella: predecessor of the kena, but bigger.
usually. See Celtic Harp
Claves: A pair of round sticks usually of hardwood, played by banging them together. Latin American instrument.
Cobza: short-necked lute of Romania; pear-shaped with 8 to 12 strings, 5-7-sectioned resonator.

Didgeridoo: traditionally used by aboriginal people of Northern Australia; an end-blown, straight, natural trumpet, without separate mouthpiece, made from termite hollowed eucalyptus branch, stripped of its outer bark, with beeswax at mouth end.
Dizi: transverse flute of the Han Chinese.
Djembe: One-sided mushroom-shaped drum from west coast of Africa.

Dulcimer: name applied to certain musical instruments of the box zither type. Includes Hammered Dulcimer and Appalachian Dulcimer.
Dumbeck: small brass drum from Pakistan, similar to Turkish darabuka and Iranian Tonbak.
Dundun: African; set of 4 drums, the 'iyailu' member is shaped like an hour glass and has a skin on each side, linked by tension strings (by pressing these, up to 2 octaves can be played); but only played one-sided.

Ektara: A North Indian single string instrument often home-made and with an animal skin on a gourd body and one long neck or sometimes two necks. The two part neck is squeezed to vary the pitch. See Gopichand
Erhu: Chinese 2 string fiddle, with a small, usually hexagonal or octagonal body, dates back to 1100AD.

Fife: A small transverse flute used by the military since the 16th century. Plays an octave higher than a flute,

Gilo Stones: (Solomon Islands, Pacific) music is created by striking certain stones with bamboo sticks of varying lengths, prodrucing mellifluous xylpophonic sounds, like running water.
Glockenspiel: A set of tuned metal bars on a wooden frame, similar to the wooden xylophone, and in turn probably related to the West African Balophon.

Harmonica: The first of the modern European free reed instruments. a block of 10 or more double sided reeds, mouth blown. diatonic scale.
Hurdy Gurdy: a mechanical development of the violin with the strings vibrated by a wheel, and keys stopping the strings. found throughout Europe. See also Vielle and Nyckelharpa.

Jaleika: from Tver, Russia; wind-cap reed instrument, has a wooden body with cow horn bell.
Jarana: five course guitar of Mexico, smaller than the normal guitar.
Jew's Harp: hand-sized instrument placed in front of the mouth; sound produced by blowing across, and simultaneously twanging, a flexible 'tongue' set into a frame; many types. Also known more recently as Jaws Harp.

Kamancheh: Iranian classical bowed Lute, has a small round body with a fish skin vellum. It has four strings, and is played vertically like a cello.
reed bamboo mouth organ from both Thailand and Laos, similar to the Chinese sheng.: historical Chinese string instrument; harp.
Kora: west African harp lute, popular in Gambia and Senegal. It has a skin stretched across a large gourd, a wooden neck and gut or nylon fishwire strings stretched across a tall bridge. Played somewhat like a harp.
Koto: From Japan: longest of the long zithers of East Asia; about 6 feet long; 13 silk strings; this narrow instrument is laid horizontally, each string with its own movable bridge.
Kultrun: Sacred drum of the Mapuche people in Argentina and Chile. Made of bark and animal skin with small sacred objects inside to rattle. It is played by a Shaman or "Machi" (usually female).
Kundu Drum: The Kundu drum is the ceremonial drum of Papua New Guinea. Made from a length of hollowed out tree aproximately 1m, long, with a snake or reptile skin head.

Lute: Class of instruments related to the violin and guitar; plucked or bowed; many types, usually with a bowl back. Originated from the Arabic Ud (Al Ud = A Lute).
Lyra: three stringed bowed instrument with a bowl back carved from the solid. Popular in Greece and the
Lyre: A harp like plucked instrument with strings stretched across an open frame with no soundbox.

Mandolin: Small Italian lute usually with 8 strings, sometimes 12. Now popular throughout the western world and often made with a flat back like a cittern.

Marimbas: A modern commercially manufactured, fully resonated orchestral xylophone.
Mazhar: A large tambourine played in Egypt.
Mbira: played with the thumbs; "thumb piano"; its sound is produced by the vibration of tongues of metal or wood; small in size. Known as Mbira in Zimbabwe, Budongo in Uganda and Sansa and in South Africa. It is also known as Kalimba.

Nay: Egyptian bamboo flute. Also known in Iran as the Ney which has five finger holes.

Ocarina: Extremely popular vessel flute usually made of terracotta; all-in-one large, elongated egg-shape with flattened tube in its side and finger holes.

Pipa: 4 stringed guitar-like plucked instrument from China with a pear shaped body. In the literature as far back as 2000BC. The name refers to the forward and back picking technique.
Practice Chanter: A mouthblown windcap reed instrument with the same fingering as the Scottish Highland pipes. Used for practice.
Psalmodikon: Scandinavian one-string bowed dulcimer
Psaltery: box zither; raised wooden board or box with soundholes, with strings stretched parallel to the soundboard and attached at either side by wooden pegs or metal pins; usually plucked.

Quena: South American shepherd's pipe; shepherd's flute (pre-Colombian times) without mouthpiece, carved in a bamboo cane; originally carved from animal bone.

Rebec: Mediaeval bowed instrument with three strings, and a bowl backed body carved from solid wood. Possibly related to Arabic rebab.
Rebolo: Brazilian Drum..

flute usually with seven finger holes and a thumb hole, some are top blown while others have a fipple.

Samba Drums: A particular group of drums used to make up a Brazilian Samba band. Tamborim, Caixa Tarol, Caixa Malacacheta, Repinique and Surdo.
Sarod: The Sarod is a short-necked, fretless waisted lute carved from a block of teak, with a goat skin sound table. This instrument is said to date from the 19th C.
Shakuhachi: Japanese bamboo flute with 4 finger holes and a thumb hole; great flexibility of tone and pitch through half holing and head movements.
Shamisen: Japanese 3-string lute, like a long-necked, fretless banjo with parchment stretched across the front; plucked with a heavy ivory plectrum.
Shawm: European double reed wind instrument dating from the 12th century or earlier. Probably imported from the middle east and is the predecessor of the oboe. Most European countries have a folk version of it. See Bombarde, Gralla etc.
Shekere: African calabash embroidered with beads to give shaker sound. Also found in Cuba.
Sheng: Chinese mouth blown free reed instrument consisting of vertical tubes each with a fingerhole, and a single mouthpiece.
Sho: Japanese version of the Sheng, with a hemispherical shape, sometimes has keys.

Sitar: Indian Classical stringed instrument (also has Persian links?), modern type has 7 plucked strings and other sympathetic strings (not plucked); fretted with a gourd base; plectrum (misrab) can be used. There is a simple three string version called Setar in Iran.

Slide Guitars: A guitar designed to be played horizontally on a table or across the lap. Has a high action and is played with a metal slide. The frets are not used.
Steel Drums: Steel Drums or Steel Pans are popular in the Southern Carribean, particularly Trinidad & Tobago. Traditionally made from cut-off oil drums beaten into separate tuned areas, the band consists of Tenor (lead), second, mid-range and bass pans.

Tabla: (or tabla-bayan) - NB Indian: an asymmetrical pair of small, tuned hand played drums (of the kettle-drum type) of north and central India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; the tabla drum is of wood, the Bayan of metal.
Tabor: double headed rope tension drum from England, often played one handed with a 3 hole Tabor Pipe in the other hand.
Tabor Pipe: The Tabor Pipe is a 3 hole whistle used in conjunction with a tabor drum.
Taiko Drum: Japanese Taiko drums are typically made from one piece of hollowed-out wood, with a cow skin stretched over each end. They range in size from six inches to a massive six feet in diameter.
Talking Drum: West African hourglass shaped double-ended drum carved from solid wood.
Tambora/tanbora: double-headed drum of the Dominican Republic Used to play merengue rhythm

Ud: (also spelt aud or oud) short necked, bowl back plucked lute of the Arab world, the direct ancestor of the European lute; principal instrument of the Arab world.
Udu: Clay pot with 2 holes, cupped alternatively; sound produced by compression and release of the air inside it.
Uilleann Pipes: type of bellows-blown bagpipe known in Scotland, Ireland and Northern England from 18th century when it was known as Union Pipes. Has a conical chanter which has a two octave range, 3 drones, and 3 keyed chanters known as regulators.
Ukelin: American 20th century hybrid instrument which is both plucked and bowed
Ukulele: (or Ukelele) small guitar shaped instrument of Hawaiian origin, 4 nylon strings. Came to Hawaii with Portuguese immigrants. See Cavaquinho
Union Pipes: Union Pipes is the rarely used 18th C term for this instrument now known by its 20th C Gaelic name. See Uilleann Pipes

Vielle: French name for the Hurdy Gurdy, a mechanical development of the violin (also once known as a Vielle) with the strings vibrated by a wheel, and keys stopping the strings. See also Hurdy Gurdy and Nyckelharpa.
Vihuela: Plucked chordophone of the guitar family. Now popular in Central America, it is very similar to the Spanish renaissance vihuela.

Wuankara: Chinese bamboo pipe.

Xirula: Small three hole flute from the Basque region

Yang Qin: Chinese hammered dulcimer; came into China from Persia in the 17th century and now regarded as a Chinese national instrument. See Hammered Dulcimer
Yue Qin: Chinese moon guitar, circular body, 4 strings.

Zampogna: Italian bagpipe with 2 drones and 2 conical chanters, all in one stock.
Zampona: panpipe; reed pipe, different length of reed bound together, known in Europe as a pan flute, and in Peru and Bolivia as Siku. Neither mouth piece or finger holes.
Zither: The family name of all instruments which have strings stretched across a box. Popular in central Europe, In addition to the melody strings, the Concert Zither has a guitar type fretboard (similar to the epinette des vosges), and other models have strings grouped together in chords.
Zurna: another name for shawm; folk oboe of the Arab world, and Turkey. Also known in Iran as Surna, The Indian Shahnai is similar.

World Instrument Informative Paper
Due Friday, September 20, 2013

Yesterday in class, we looked at instruments from all over the world. This week, you will pick an instrument from another country to write a two page typed paper. The instrument you pick cannot be from the orchestra. Here are the requirements for the paper.

1. Must be typed, double spaced, and use a 12 font for the body of the paper.
2. Must use standard margins.
3. Include a picture of the instrument on your title page.
4. The paper has to discuss the history of the instrument, historical, cultural, and religious significance of the instrument, how sound is produced on the instrument, how the instrument is constructed, and the range of the instrument.
5. The paper must be separated into paragraphs with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
6. Must not be plagiarized.
7. Use two references, and cite them on the last page of your paper.

Instrument Research

Name___________________________________________________ Date_____________ Period______

Name of Instrument_____________________________________

Article #1

Title of Article__________________________________________________

Author’s name__________________________________________________

Publishing Website_______________________________________________ Date of Article____________________

Article #2

Title of Article__________________________________________________

Author’s name__________________________________________________

Publishing Website_______________________________________________ Date of Article____________________

History of Instrument

Cultural and/or Religious Significance of Instrument

Sound Production

Construction of Instrument

Range of Instrument

Steel Drum History

The Steel Drum, or Pan, is a very unique instrument and one of the most recently invented. It is a skillfully hammered 55-gallon oil drum which is carefully tuned to produce exact tones. Each Pan or Set of Pans carries the full chromatic range of notes and can produce just about any type of music that comes to mind.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE STEEL DRUM  - Researched and written by Angela P. Smith, Austin Texas

The steel drum is believed to be the only non-electronic, acoustic musical instrument invented in the 20th century. The first steel drum or pan was invented around World War II in Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela in South America.

 In the 1800s Trinidad was a sugar plantation society.  The French and English colonists brought natives from Central and West Africa as slaves for their plantations.  The Africans brought their musical traditions with them, especially their drumming and singing, and used it in much the same way as they had in Africa - for celebrations, religious ceremonies, to pass time when they were working, and for communication.  The colonists were threatened by the drumming, thinking - sometimes rightfully so - that the slaves were sending messages that might lead to a slave uprising. 

Drumming also was used to accompany kalinda or stick-fighting gangs.  These groups would walk the streets playing rhythms and singing.  When one "kalinda" gang met another, a fight would usually break out.   The fights intimidated the colonists and gave them more reason to oppose drumming. 

Carnival, the period before Ash Wednesday and the Christian period of Lent, was another opportunity for Africans to take to the streets, beating their drums.  Fights often broke out between drummers and the colonists.   The Europeans, again suspecting the drummers were passing coded messages that might lead to rioting and revolt, banned all drum parades in 1883. 

Without their drums, Africans began using bamboo sticks to play rhythms.  These groups became known as the tamboo bamboo bands.  During Carnival, the tamboo bamboo bands would parade, pounding bamboo tubes on the ground and beating spoons on glass bottles.  When rival bands met on the street, they would compete to see who could be the loudest.  These sometimes violent and messy clashes, which left streets littered with broken bamboo and glass, led to tamboo bamboo bands being outlawed in 1934. 

The late 1930s are considered birth years of the steel drum.  Tamboo bamboo bands had already started switching to steel because the players discovered metal was stronger and louder than the bamboo.  The new rhythm  groups were called iron bands.  Their instruments were mostly paint and biscuit tins.

The more inventive players discovered that bulges of different sizes in the bottom of a tin could produce various pitches.   Some  players started to tune the tins and play melodies on them.  Winston Spree Simon is generally considered the inventor of the first melodic steel pan.

No Carnivals were held during World War II for security reasons, but Simon and others continued experimenting with metal.   From 1939 to 1945, the first melody pans were introduced.    Players discovered 55-gallon oil drums abandoned by U.S. forces stationed on the island during the war provided an ideal metal for the instrument.

The early pioneers of the steel band movement  were considered outcasts and hoodlums,    Rival bands clashed and engaged in bloody turf battles.   Petty jealousy and disputes over women were often the cause of fights. 

The forming of the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band Association in 1949 was the first successful effort by some of Trinidad?s influential leaders to end the hostilities.  For  the first time steel bands shifted their attention from fighting to pursuing common interests.  The music of the steel drum  was finally on its way to being recognized as a true art form.   Many who had looked on steel bands as breeding grounds for troublemakers now saw them in a new light.

Over a little more than half a century, the steel drum has made its way from the panyards of Trinidads poorest neighborhoods to the worlds most prestigious concert halls.  In 1991, the steel drum was officially recognized as the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago.  An instrument once scorned and ridiculed is now a source of great pride for a nation and played and appreciated around the world. 

NOTE: Angela P. Smith is a freelance Writer/Editor, a great Pan enthusiast and a customer of the Steel Drum Shop.  Thanks Angela! 

  1. How did adversity help Trinidad musicians to create a new instrument?

Go back through this article and research the following.

  1. What is the historical significance of the steel pans?

  2. What is the cultural significance?

  3. Is there any religious significance? Why?

  4. How is sound produced?

  5. How is the instrument constructed?

  6. What is the timbre of the instrument?

Name___________________________________________ Period____ Date______


Musical Word Problems (Literally) 2

Get a partner and solve the following problems based on last week’s lessons. Use the back of this sheet if necessary.

  1. Leslie is taking an intro. to music course at Olive Harvey College. She was given an assignment where she had to distinguish the timbre between brass instruments. She stated that the trumpet was high pitched and the trombone was low pitched. The teacher took off points because her answer was incomplete. What does Leslie need to include to make her answer complete? Use your definition for timbre to support your answer.

  1. While working on a new song for K.O.B., Marshawn decided to use some dynamics to give his song more flavor. At the end of the verse, he wanted the dynamics to go from mezzo forte to pianissimo. What is the correct dynamic term to use? Support your answer with your definitions from tempo and dynamics.

  1. Shawn had been singing tenor in the choir since he was 13. Now that he is 17, something wasn’t quite right. He had to strain to sing the tenor note, and the bass notes were too low for him. He wanted to quit the choir, but a friend told him that there is another part for him to sing. What vocal type fits Shawn? Support your answer with your definitions from the vocal lesson last week.

African Jazz

Zimbabwe: Shona Mbira Music



nils jacobson

Nils Jacobson

Senior Contributor since 1999

Still scratching his head and wondering if it's real

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Published: January 16, 2003

The soul of the mbira is poetry —

Listeners who come to traditional African music from the American variety will find it a refreshingly organic experience. The sonorities reflect a variety of instruments both ancient and modern, including drums and percussion instruments (of course) but also extending far beyond to strings, flutes, and a wide range of plucked or hammered metal and wood instruments. The mbira, from the latter category, is this month's subject.

The mbira, constructed by attaching a series of tuned metal strips to a wooden platform, is best known in Western circles as the thumb piano. While that term may help us to understand the construction of the instrument, it does not do the mbira justice. The mbira is more a medium than a piece of hardware. In the Shona tradition of Zimbabwe, mbira musicians represent the wise men of the culture; their performance often serves as a catalyst for spiritual awakening. They usually perform in groups that include at least two mbiras, a hosho (shaker), and at least one singer. Instrumentalists most commonly also sing.

In a large ceremonial gathering called a bira, musicians provide a framework for group participation—including dance and song, but also a passage into trance. At some point, performers may put down their instruments and step forward into a sort of awakening. Younger musicians refer to the high-level performance of ancient Shona poetry as "deep Shona," a language that only elders can truly understand.

The four mbira discs under consideration this month include three traditional recordings and one modern interpretation.

The first three represent a portion of the traditional African material recently released by Nonesuch as part of its Explorer Series (which in time will be huge). These recordings originally appeared decades ago, and have just been revised (remastered and beautifully packaged) for reissue. The final disc, by Stella Chiweshe, is an interesting cross-cultural fusion of Shona mbira music with other styles. Look here for prominent use of the marimba, an instrument which originated in Zimbabwe.

Of the three Nonesuch mbira records, The African Mbira offers the greatest sense of continuity. That's because the entire recording was made by the same group of musicians: Dumisani Maraire (the leader) on mbira and vocals, Nkosana Maraire on hosho (shaker) and vocals, and Shukuti Chiora on vocals. The single mbira voice is somewhat unusual in Shona music, since two mbiras usually duet in performance. But that leaves more space for the hosho player and vocalists to fill with color and accent. Almost no mbira music features drums, and this recording is no exception.

While one might expect the instruments to play a lead role in Shona music, reality often turns out quite the opposite. They provide a framework for vocal performance by the leader and his accompanists, lending both a strong sense of time (through the prominent pulse of the hosho and the polyrhythmic energy of the mbira) and melody (a parameter specified by each tune and developed over time on the mbira). Each song is rooted in repertoire, which in total extends to over a hundred pieces.

The formal lyrics of a given piece are often quite vague, from a sentence to a phrase to a single word. Dumisani fills in the rest as he goes. Like a blues man, Dumisani relates a mood, accompanying himself on the mbira as he goes. Vocal perfection in our usual sense is irrelevant; emotional transparency and spirituality come first. The subjects relate to sorrow, endurance, respect, and praise. And like the blues man, Dumisani does not travel far from main themes. Repetition exists everywhere, at times becoming the primary thematic figure. While the words here may be unfamiliar to American audiences, the liner notes do an excellent job of relating central ideas.

The mbira maintains a constant forward rhythm throughout each song, presented in short motifs that cycle indefinitely through simple harmonies. Its rich timbral sound—generated by thumbs and index finger on the actual instrument as it sits within a resonant gourd with rattles—reflects both the mbira's own characteristic warm glow and the higher pitched events that come and go with each stroke. The counterpoint achieved by simultaneously playing two parts gives the feel of two players, which is particularly dramatic in this setting. (Interestingly, the harmonies on this record occasionally bring to mind the three-part mbaqanga styles of South Africa, which borders Zimbabwe on the south.)

Go back through this article and research the following.

  1. What is the historical significance of the mbira?

  2. What is the cultural significance?

  3. Is there any religious significance? Why?

  4. How is sound produced?

  5. How is the instrument constructed?

  6. What is the timbre of the instrument?

Music Review 1

Title: O Fortuna

Artist: Carl Orff

Go on You Tube, watch the video, and use the lyrics below to write your music review. All paragraphs must be at least 5 sentences long.

Paragraph 1

Introduction and song meaning.

Paragraph 2

Description of music when listening to the song.

Paragraph 3

Your critique of the song with supporting evidence.

Paragraph 4


O Fortuna (O Fortune)
velut luna (like the moon)
statu variabilis (you are changeable)
semper crescis (ever waxing)
aut decrescis; (and waning;)
vita detestabilis (hateful life)
nunc obdurat (first oppresses)
et tunc curat (and then soothes)
ludo mentis aciem, (as fancy takes it)
egestatem, (poverty)
potestatem (and power)
dissolvit ut glaciem. (it melts them like ice.)

Sors immanis (Fate - monstrous)

et inanis, (and empty)
rota tu volubilis, (you whirling wheel)
status malus, (you are malevolent)
vana salus (well-being is vain)
semper dissolubilis, (and always fades to nothing)
obumbrata (shadowed)
et velata (and veiled)
mihi quoque niteris; (you plague me too;)
nunc per ludum (now through the game)
dorsum nudum (I bring my bare back)
fero tui sceleris. (to your villainy.)

Sors salutis (Fate is against me)

et virtutis (in health)
michi nunc contraria, (and virtue)
est affectus (driven on)
et defectus (and weighted down)
semper in angaria. (always enslaved.)
Hac in hora (So at this hour)
sine mora (without delay)
corde pulsum tangite; (pluck the vibrating strings;)
quod per sortem (since Fate)
sternit fortem, (strikes down the strong)

Music Review 2

Title: Bohemian Rhapsody

Artist: Queen

Bell Ringer: How does the writer feel about fate?

Go on You Tube, watch the video, and use the lyrics below to write your music review. All paragraphs must be at least 5 sentences long.

Paragraph 1

Introduction and song meaning.

Paragraph 2

Description of music when listening to the song.

Paragraph 3

Your critique of the song with supporting evidence.

Paragraph 4


"Bohemian Rhapsody"

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.

Open your eyes,

Look up to the skies and see,
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy,
Because I'm easy come, easy go,
Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me.

Mama, just killed a man,

Put a gun against his head,
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead.
Mama, life had just begun,
But now I've gone and thrown it all away.

Mama, ooh,

Didn't mean to make you cry,
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow,
Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters.

Too late, my time has come,

Sent shivers down my spine,
Body's aching all the time.
Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go,
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

Mama, ooh (any way the wind blows),

I don't wanna die,
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all.

I see a little silhouetto of a man,

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?
Thunderbolt and lightning,
Very, very frightening me.
(Galileo) Galileo.
(Galileo) Galileo,
Galileo Figaro

I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me.

He's just a poor boy from a poor family,
Spare him his life from this monstrosity.

Easy come, easy go, will you let me go?

Bismillah! No, we will not let you go.
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go.
(Let him go!) Bismillah! We will not let you go.
(Let me go) Will not let you go.
(Let me go) Will not let you go.
(Never, never, never let me go) Ah.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
(Oh, mama mia, mama mia) Mama mia, let me go.
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me.

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?

So you think you can love me and leave me to die?
Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby,
Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here.

(Oh, yeah, oh yeah)

Nothing really matters,
Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters,
Nothing really matters to me.

Any way the wind blows.

The Pace of Music

We know that most Western music has steady beats underlying the movement; whether these occur slowly or rapidly determines the tempo, or rate of speed, of the music.


solemn (very, very slow)




broad (very slow)


fast (cheerful)


quite slow




a walking pace


very fast

Frequently, we also encounter modifiers such as molto (very), meno (less), poco (a little), and non troppo (not too much). Also important are terms indicating a change of tempo, among them accelerando (getting faster), ritardando (holding back, getting slower), and a tempo (in time, or returning to the original pace).

Loudness and Softness

Dynamics denote the volume (degree of loudness or softness) at which music is played. Like tempo, dynamics can affect our emotional response. The main dynamic indications, listed below, are based on the Italian words for soft (piano) and loud (forte).

pianissimo (pp)

very soft

piano (p)


mezzo piano (mp)

moderately soft

mezzo forte (mf)

moderately loud

forte (f)


fortissimo (ff)

very loud

Directions to change the dynamics, either suddenly or gradually, are also indicated by words or signs. Here are some of the most common ones:


(< ): growing louder

decrescendo or

( >): growing softer

sforzando (sf)

“forcing”: accent on a single note or chord;
also shown by an accent (>)

Go on You Tube and Listen to Haydn’s Surprise Symphony and answer the following questions.

Let’s look at the slow movement from Haydn’s Surprise Symphony, to determine how expressive devices like tempo and dynamics affect our response to the music. Then complete the activity below.

  1. Which best describes the tempo of the work?

    1. very slow

    2. walking pace

    3. very lively

  1. Based on your reply above, which Italian tempo designation best suits this work?

    1. Largo

    2. Andante

    3. Vivace

  1. Which best describes the volume changes heard near the opening?

    1. soft, then louder, then very loud

    2. soft, then softer, then very loud

    3. loud, then softer, then even softer

  1. Based on your reply to question 3, which Italian terms best describe the dynamics at the opening?

    1. piano, pianissimo, fortissimo

    2. piano, mezzo forte, fortissimo

    3. forte, piano, pianissimo

  1. What makes the “surprise” in the title?

    1. loud chord

    2. faster tempo

    3. slowing of the tempo


  1. How does tempo affect our response to music?

  2. How do dynamics influence our response to music?

  3. What role does the performer take in expressing the music?

Replacement Music Review

Replace any assignment with a music review of your choice. You can do up to 3. You can use any genre except for hip hop and R&B. Be sure to include and interpret the lyrics.



Go on You Tube, watch the video, and use the lyrics o write your music review. All paragraphs must be at least 5 sentences long.

Paragraph 1

Introduction and song meaning.

Paragraph 2

Description of music when listening to the song.

Paragraph 3

Your critique of the song with supporting evidence.

Paragraph 4


Name___________________________________________ Period____ Date______


Musical Word Problems (Literally)

Get a partner and solve the following problems based on last week’s lessons. Use the back of this sheet if necessary.

  1. John just took a test in music appreciation. He was confident he’d passed the test. He only got one question wrong. The question was from a musical example in which he had to find the texture. As he listened, he heard two singers singing different things at the same time, being backed by an orchestra. He answered that the piece was polyphonic, but his teacher said that it was homophonic. Is John right, or is his teacher right? Write an argument, complete with evidence from your definitions last week to support your claim.

  1. In a demonstration of beat vs. rhythm, Kathy had her group to make up different patterns to represent beat, and play a steady pulse to represent rhythm. As her group began to question her, Kathy answered “I know what a beat is, I’ve been making beats all my life.” Was Kathy right in her reasoning? Support your argument using the definition of beat and rhythm.

  1. Shontae missed class last week and totally missed the introduction to rhythm reading. She looked at the boxes and had no idea what they meant. Sheena gave her a step by step tutorial based on the rhythm exercise below. Shontae ended up being totally confused, but Sheena didn’t see what the problem was. After all, she just taught it the way Mrs. Morgan did. Where did she go wrong? Support your answer with what we learned about rhythm reading last week.

Read through the following definitions.
Pick a song that represents each of the following textures. Support your answer.
Monophony- A single voice or part played without accompaniment.
Polyphony- Two or more melodic lines doing something different.

Homophony- Melody with instrumental accompaniment.

Bell Ringers

Can rhythm be taught? Why?

Write your own definition of music. It must be at least one sentence long, and cannot be too broad. For example, you can't write "music is life."

General Music and Choir Make-up Packet Weeks 1-3

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