Unit 4 Music reflects the place in which it was created

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Unit 4 Music reflects the place in which it was created.

Music is found in every known culture, past and present. The emotions and ideas that music expresses, the situations in which music is played and listened to, and the attitudes toward music players and composers all vary between regions. Different cultures produce different music!!! CULTURE is a set of customs & traditions.

Unit 4 focuses on traditional music of IRELAND, the MAORI , INDIA, and MEXICO.

1. You will be using SPOTIFY to listen to examples of music from each Culture.

2. SAFARI is available for research / song ideas.

3. Listen to 6 examples & write the song titles for each culture in the boxes below.

4. Refer to the attached information to learn about the music of each culture.

5. On the back of this packet…create your own graphic organizer to help you or another student keep track of the music.

6. TAKE THE TEST: to show your learning!! This test will be next week.



























Ireland Musical Elements

Ireland has a vibrant & diverse musical history. What stands out to you – THE LISTENER? What identifies this music as “IRISH”?? Is it more similar to INDIA or MAORI…???

Tone Colors

(unique sounds of instruments)

Can you add to this list???
Echoey plucking warm nasal breathy piercing pounding thudding whiney bright strumming twangy shiummering

1. Harp

2. violin/fiddle

3. Uilleann pipes (bagpipe)

4. flutes & whistles

5. bodhran (wood frame drum) 6. Concertina & accordion

7. guitar

8. banjo

9. bouzouki

10. harmonica



Steady pulse is very important to dance music.
Changing meter is common:

4 6 etc.
Tempo changes.

  • ‘Wandering’ & slow rhythms characterize ‘Laments’ or ‘Airs’.

triplets 8ths 16ths

Melodies move by steps & skips. Many are catchy & singable.

Ornaments are ‘decorations’ :

Light & quick notes to ‘embellish’.

  • Grace notes ed or gf

  • trills deded

  • rolls ddd - d

Tunes can be lively & complex -- or free & ‘wandering’.
Harmony takes the form of a drone: Hold down a single pitch, or C & G, or G & D, or A & E…

Use your left hand in a BASS range:



  1. Dance music : jig ( count of 6) reel (count of 4) strong beats, up tempo. Instrumental.

  2. Lament : Music that expresses sorrow…often mourning the ‘loss’ of a loved one.

  3. Air : a slow, wandering instrumental tune.

  4. Song :

  • Accompanied by various instruments….themes about THE FAMINE, LOVE, BATTLES & EVENTS. Sometimes sung in native language: IRISH!!

  • Sean Nos: ‘in the old style’… a cappella singing….many ornaments & tempo changes.

INSTRUMENTS: Harp violin/fiddle Uilleann pipes (bagpipe) flutes & whistles bodhran (wood frame drum) Concertina & accordion guitar banjo bouzouki harmonica

Mexican Musical Elements

Much of Mexican music can be danced to. Live music is common on the street in many parts of Mexico, and Mariachi bands will often show up at restaurants and give you a live serenade for a small tip.

There are 5 genres (styles) of Mexican music. Listen for their differences:

  • Son ( ‘sown’) is a song which alternates instrumental sections with the singing of short coplas – poems. Featuring a 6/8 meter and the foot stomping zapateado , strings, trumpets, violins, & accordions.

  • Ranchera : a genre of folk music originally sung by only one performer with a guitar. Traditional themes of love, patriotism, or nature.

  • Corrido: Very similar to Ranchera but instead stories about heroes and villains, also more variation in tempo / bpm / speed.

  • Duranguense: The main instruments are the saxophone, trombone, and bass drum. The 1980’s brought the addition of synthesizers to play both melodies and the tuba bassline. The tempo is quite fast. A heavy percussion line consisting of the bass drum and varied snare drum rolls add to this genre.

Ensemble music: ( named for the featured instruments)

  • Banda: sounds similar to polka music. (3/4) Polish immigrants contributed this genre; the tuba and sometimes accordion can be heard.

  • Conjunto de marimba: marimba, double bass, and drums.

  • Mariachi: folk music using guitarron, vihuela, guitar, violins, trumpets & singing. This genre is played by 5 or more musicians who wear charro suits. ( sombrero, heavily embroidered jacket and tight-fitting trousers)

INSTRUMENTS: violin, marimba, harp, guitar, vihuela /5 stringed guitar guitarron /Bass guitar, trumpets, flute, French horn, accordion, bass drum, snare drum saxophone, trombone, tuba

India Music Elements Hindustani (Northern) Karnatak (Southern)

PITCH: Characteristics of the MELODY, or tune. http://raag-hindustani.com/Scales1.html

  • A raga/raag/raga is a series of pitches similar to ‘our’ concept of a scale / 5 – 12 musical notes .

  • A raga often has distinctive melodic shapes, a pitch range and characteristic ornamentation on specific pitches.

  • A raga is associated with the hour of the day, year, emotional state of being, or gender.

  • Ornamentation is essential to the performance of a raga.

  • Most Classical Indian music uses a drone – a long, sustained pitch in the bass.

  • Think of the twelve basic notes in an octave as twelve basic colors. What happens if you limit yourself to a select a few out of these twelve colors for a painting? You will be creating a theme. You may choose use colors that are similar, or you could choose contrasting colors for a more dramatic effect.

    All ragas must include the root note sa. All ragas must include at least one or both of the notes ma (the fourth) or pa (the fifth). A raga may use both the natural and flat/sharp versions of any of the variable notes (re, ga, ma, dha, ni), but not in succession.

    1. Choose your pitches. Assign colors to each. Arrange these on your paper, using highs, lows, repetition.

    2. PLAY your Raga: on the Uke, stepbell, or guitar or your Band/Orch. instrument.

    3. Alap – introduction using drone & your melody instrument.

    4. Tala : decide your meter / time count…5, 6, 8, etc. The rhythm is flexible & ‘wandering’.

    5. Improvise using only your RAGA.

    6. ?? any time to add ornaments?? Will you BEND any of the pitches?
    Ragas are used as a basis for improvisation.


  • Vocal: mostly nasal & pinched

  • Strings: twangy, vibrating, shimmering

  • Winds: (aerophones): breathy, quivering

  • Drums: ‘gurgling’, tapping

  • Non-Drum Percussion

Rhythm and beats

  • Tala is the meter, or number of beats.

INSTRUMENTS: 1. sitar 2. tabla drum 3. Shenai (OBOE) 4. Mangira 5. Bansuri (bamboo) 6. harmonium 7. The tanpura - used for ‘drone’.


MAORI Music Elements

The MAORI are the indigenous / native people of New Zealand. This Polynesian community originated from many tribes, all battling for land rights on North and South island. The MAORI created distinct codes of acceptable behavior and rituals.

  • Traditional MAORI music used only ‘aerophones’ / wind instruments. Contemporary music has included the guitar and ukulele.

VOCAL music: the ‘core’ of MAORI music.

  • Sung

  • Recitative - ‘sing-speak’…similar to rap / no fixed pitches / fast & rhythmic tempos.

RECITATIVES: Powhiri : This welcome ceremony involves men shouting fiercly, while women sing in a melodic way. Most of the times a powhiri ends with a haka (men song) without weapons. Haka are shouted speeches by men, combined with a fierce dance Karakia : quick chants and spells; used during daily life by both adults and children, but also during rituals.


Nga Moteatea : mainly laments (sorrow-songs), sometimes love songs and lullabies. Poi : Poi are songs accompanied by a kind of dance in which women hit their body rhythmically with one or two mainly cotton balls attached to the end of a string. Oriori are songs composed to teach children of high rank their heritage & history.

AEROPHONES: air blown instruments

Koauau: Maori flute – made of wood or even a human bone. It is a straight blown flute @ 5 inches long . Worn around the neck when not being played. It has 3 fingerholes. Nguru : made from a whale tooth, wood, stone, or clay. It has 2 – 4 fingerholes. Putatara: a trumpet made from a triton shell. Used as a ‘signal’. Puukaaea: a wooden war trumpet, made out of two pieces of wood cut lengthwise and hollowed out. Both pieces are assembled and kept in place by fibers or ropes. 36” and longer.

STRINGS: acoustic guitar & Ukulele

PERCUSSION: stomping, slapping the body, striking objects with sticks.

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