Welcome back to module four. Today we're going to be talking about defining music and beginning to explore why it is that we like it. So the first lesson concerns defining music and talking about some aspects of musical terminology. So here's the definition that's given by the Oxford English Dictionary. And if you look in different dictionaries, different places, different music history books, you'll find many definitions of music, but this is a standard one. This is the primary definition in the OED. The art or science of combining vocal and instrumental sounds with a view towards beauty or coherence of form and expression of emotion. And what you'll find in all the definitions, varied though they are, and vague in some respects, is aesthetics, beauty. We like it because it's somehow in some sense a beautiful art form, and the idea that it expresses emotion. And of course in music, this would apply to any art form, but with music it has to with vocal and instrumental sounds. So here in A is a little snippet of Beethoven's Sonata, and I show it here to call attention to the fact that, as I said before, we're really not going to be talking about the details of musical notation, but we do have to know some of these things. And I think in any, for those of you who know music, and I'm sure many of you do, you'll all be aware, but some of you who may not be trained formally in music need to be aware, that there are two fundamental aspects of music. One is the sequence of tones and tone combinations, and the other is the timing, the presentation of those tone combinations. So the notation in music defines in the treble clef, as it's called, the melodic line. So this sequence of notes is the melody. Single notes played that define what we think of when we sing or just play a melodic line on an instrument, the sequence of notes that unfolds during a piece of music. The bottom line, the bass clef, brings in harmony, that is, notes that can be played together with the melodic line that don't have to go together with notes in the melodic line, but often do, and certainly they go together in the sense of needing to be combined in a general way. So the harmony notes are notes that are played together with or without, in this case, for example, they're played with a melody note, in this case without. But several notes are played together that have or convey a sense of consonance, of pleasure. We like it. So the timing is the other aspect of music in addition to the notes, the tones that are in harmonies and melodies. And the timing is indicated by a variety of other aspects of musical notation. But these are measures of music, and these define natural groupings of beats, the beat being the tendency to tap your foot or clap your hands when you hear a piece of music. And there's a time signature indicating how many beats that are desired by the composer to be in each measure. In this case, it's cut time, two beats to a measure. If this little signature didn't have the slash through it, it would be common time, which would be four beats to a measure. And of course, in addition to just the measures and the number of beats in a measure, there's syncopation and rhythmicity, how the beats are emphasized. And those timing aspects of music are just as important as the tonal aspects. We're not going to be talking much in this course about the timing. I'll say a little bit about it, but basically the focus is on tonality. And with respect to tonality, I included this picture of an ancient flute here to make the point that the tonalities that have been used in music have been around for a very long time. So this flute was discovered in a French cave and has been carbon dated to about 32,000 years ago. That's a very long time, well before the recorded history of music. And the point of showing you this, and of course there are many ancient instruments that have been found in all sorts of eras of music in prehistory. The reason for showing this particular flute is that the distance between the holes in the flute are pretty much the same as the distance between the holes in this bamboo flute that is a contemporary instrument. The point being that the tones that we’ve liked, and the tonal relationships that we’ve liked, have been around for a very, very long time. And that's indicative, and I'll come back to this later, about how music got started, where it came from. But there's a good deal of information about ancient instruments that are informative in this respect. Now [COUGH] let me turn to just kind of a menu of what we're going to be talking about today which are some of the central issues in musical tonality. And I'll just list them, we're gonna go over all of these. Not all of them today, some of them in the coming modules as well. But let me list this sort of menu of topics because these are the issues that, whatever else your theory of music may be indicating, if it can't give you an explanation of these issues, then frankly it's not worth all that much. These are really the challenges in music. A lot of music theory just take these as givens, the existence of the octave and octave similarity and so on. But we're going to be talking about potential explanations for these phenomena, and let me just go through these very quickly. So the first of these is this issue of octaves and octave similarity. I'm going to talk a lot more about octaves. But an octave, as you would gather from the name, is an interval of eight notes. We're gonna talk about the eight-note scale, the diatonic scale, in the next module. But let me just say that the octave is defined by a doubling of the fundamental frequency of a tonic note in a composition of music or in anything else. Octaves are used in electronics, having sort of borrowed the idea from music, but the name comes from the eight notes that are in the commonly used do re mi scale that we'll talk about next time. And the definition of the octave is a doubling of frequency. The really fundamental aspect of music that needs some kind of explanation is octave similarity. So those of you who play a keyboard instrument, or the piano in particular, will know that there are about seven octaves on a piano, a little more than seven octaves on a piano. And the notes, the scales that you play in any of those octaves are musically similar. The next issue is the chromatic scale. The chromatic scale, which I'm gonna talk about in the next lesson, is the set of intervals over an octave that divides an octave. And this has been a very longstanding issue in music, how you divide an octave, what the tuning system that divides an octave most reasonably is. We're gonna spend a lot of time talking about that, but the chromatic scale is a division of an octave into 12 intervals that we'll come to very shortly. Another issue, and it's an absolutely fundamental one, is consonance and dissonance. Why is it that we like some tone combinations relatively more than others? That's, again, a core aspect of music. Another thing that we'll talk about is tension and resolution. Music goes someplace. A melody and a harmony in a musical piece begins, has a lot of variations, comes an end. Not always, I mean, there variations in different cultures and in different types of music in any culture. But in general there's movement, there's tension, there's resolution, it goes someplace. It starts on the home base typically. It goes someplace and it comes back to the home base in a resolution at the end of the piece or at the end of a section within a piece. And that movement during a piece, that tension, that resolution, is another fundamental aspect of music that needs to be explained. Another critical point is the small number of scales. We'll talk about this in detail in the next module, but let me just say here that we use worldwide a relatively small number of scales from the literally billions of ways that you could divide an octave. And I'll say a good deal more about that. And then the question of different musical cultures. Why is it that different cultures tend to use, there are a lot of differences, but why in general in different cultures many of the same scales are used across the world. Why is that? Why do we have this common denominator, with many variations, to be sure, but a central core of scales that are used? And then why does music elicit emotion? You could argue that the main reason that we like music is because of the emotions that it elicits when we hear it. Why is that? Why do tonal sequences or different tonal scales, why do they elicit emotion? We'll talk about that in yet another module. And finally we're going to talk some about cultural differences in music. As I said, there's a common denominator. But why do different cultures have, in their tradition, really quite different ways of expressing music in detail using the same common denominator structures of scales and tonalities that we like, whether the scale be expressed in a harmony or in a melody?