Wednesday, November 4, 2009

"Bransle" - Performance Speed

As you get more confident with the fingerings you can try playing both lines of the melody with this recording. As you can here (and see in the score) both lines are nearly identical.

"Bransle" (First Line) Practice Speed

Third Graders -- here is the first line of "Bransle" seriously slowed down so you can play along.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Final Review

Exam will consist of 5 listening questions – 2 pts each
25 multiple choice questions – 2 pts each
5 short answers – 5 pts each
3 notational assignments – 5 pts each

The final will tend to emphasize material covered in the second half of class. However it is cumulative and you will need to know all the concept and vocabulary in order to understand and answer questions.
Test will cover these basic areas of music:



Note Duration
Notes and Rests
Duple meter
Triple Meter
Common time
Compound Meter


Know the difference between beat at rhythm.

Need to know what kind of meter common time, 2/4. 3/4 and 4/4 are. Need to know where the accents fall in each.

Need to know which of the terminology associated with tempo means fast and which means slow



Accidentals – sharps and flats
Grand Staff
Ledger lines
Treble Clef
Bass Clef


Will need to be able to identify the notes on the keyboard.

Know which keys have two have two names.

Need to know the purpose of solfege.

Need to know what the terms do. home note and tonic have in common
Will need to know the difference between transposition and modulation.



Half note/whole note
Chromatic Scale
Pentatonic Scale
Blues scale


Know that a scale, any scale, is a specific pattern of steps or intervals encompasing an octave. Also know that an interval is the distance between any two notes – half step is the difference between any two ascending or descending keys on the piano and a whole step is two half steps.

Will need to know that the arrangement of whole and half steps in any major diatonic scale.

Need to know what notes are flatted in the natural minor scale.

Need to know how many notes a pentatonic, diatonic and chromatic scale have.



1-IV-V harmony
Major and Minor Triads
Root Position


Need to know what harmony is.

Need to know the difference between a minor and major triad.

Need to know what inversions are (I will not ask you make some).



Resolution – a melodic and harmonic idea of return to the home note or key.
Polyphony – more than one melodic line at one time
Chord Progression


Need to know what the conventions of melodic compositions are.



12 bar blues
Sonata Form
The blues
Country Music
Folk music


Need to be able to define form in music.

Need to describe the elements that make up the sonata form.

Need to be able to describe elements of a blues song.

Need to be able to define Opera terminology including Overture, Aria, Recitative and Libretto.

Dynamics and articulation


Mezzo Forte
Legato and staccato


Need to understand the difference between dynamics and articulation and the purpose of each.

Other terms:

Race records

Will need to know a few basic history facts:

The first instrument was the voice

The first large scale vocal music form that told a story (and so was a forerunner of opera) was the Roman Catholic Mass.

Early musicians were amateurs of the knightly class.

Opera became on of the first commercial viable forms of entertainment. As such all of the things that follow comercialization including an expansion of size and scope, level of melodrama, star culture and a seperation between performers and audience evolved.

The blues evolved from work songs, church music and the attempt by blacks to marry their African pentatonic ideas about melody to the Western scale. The blues were an important musical development because they represent a statement of individual identity.

The two important inventions that preceded Rock and Roll were the recording device and electric instruments – especially the guitar.

Rock and roll evolved from the following popular forms: Blues, Gospel, Country and Western and later Folk.

The most important folk musician in the 20th century was Woody Guthrie.

See you all on Monday!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Monday's Quiz

A couple of people have asked me about the quiz on Monday. To prepare you should review the material on Sonata Form and also the first three quizzes. The questions that do not have to do with Sonata come from there.

Have a good weekend.

Style Guide for Concert Review

There are two concert reviews due -- one next week and the other the day of the final

Each concert review should be 1-2 typed pages and should include:

The name of the performer or performers
The date and venue
What kind of music was it?
What was the instrumentation?
What was the repertoire (what selections did they perform?)
How was the set organized – fast followed by ballads? New Material verses old favorites? Did this organization contribute to the success or failure?
Critical analysis – this is the part where you say what you thought, but saying “it was great” will not be enough. If it is someone you have seen before how did it compare to previous experiences? If it was a new kind of music to you, what did you think? How could the performance have been better? You should try to touch on some of the things we talked about in class.

Style Guide for Analysis Paper

For the style analysis paper I would like 2 typed pages, double spaced. I do not want bullet points.

You should evaluate one of the songs on your list. (A few of you never turned one in). Identify the name of the song, the composer or band, the name of the album and the year the song was released.

Tell me something about the following:

Rhythm (including meter and tempo)
Melody/Tonality – not all popular music has an easy to identify melody, but there will still be issues of phrasing, repetition
Form/Genre – this would include the ethnomusicological flavor. But it is not enough to say it’s Latin – why does it feel Latin?
Timbre/Instrumentation – what kinds of sound colors do you hear? If there are vocals are they pretty, harsh, syllabic and melismatic.
The hooks – what musical devices are used to grab uyou and pull into the some.
Also talk about the structure – is it strophic (a song with repeating melody and different verses).
Summary – how does it all add up to making a song you like.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Assignment for Next Wednesday

I hope everyone is enjoying their Memorial Day break.

Just to remind you -- your homework for Wednesday is to write a short answer to these three questions:

What role does music play in your life?
What did you learn about music in the 160 class this quarter that you found useful or interesting?
What would you like to have learned more about?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Schedule of Concerts at Cal State LA

A number of you have been asking about concerts to write your reviews on (remember you have to review two). If you check the bulletin boards near the music office (one flight down from our classroom) you will find several calendars of events posted. There appears to be something going on every day and all of it is free so you have lots to chose from. Any student performance, including individual student recitals. I highly recommend Paul Wilcox who is performing tomorrow afternoon at 2.

Many of those events are listed on the department web site. Click calendar.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years

Just for fun -- here's Howlin' Wolf explaining the blues and then playing "How Many More Years." How many elements of 12 bar blues form can you find?

Extra credit assignment

Those of you who would like to improve your midterm grade may take advantage of the following extra credit assignment:

Write a short essay (one paragraph) on each of the following topics:

1. In class we have been discussing several conventions composers use in creating melody. Name three of these conventions and discuss what they contribute to to successful melody.

2. What are accidentals? Name the three we have been using in class and explain how they work and why they are used.

In order to receive extra credit your assignment must:

-- be typed

-- use correct grammar and complete sentences (no bullet points)

-- demonstrate a real understanding of the concepts (hint -- if you didn't take notes, look it up).

-- be turned in on Wednesday. No late submissions will be accepted.

New homework policy

As discussed in class today, after Monday I will no longer accept late homework unless there are extenuating circumstances (my car broke down, doesn't count). If you are not going to be in class you must e mail the homework to me as a scan (please include your name and the date). Those of you who were not in class today please take note.

Speaking of homework don't forget about the assignment for Wednesday. You are to write a blues lyric using the AAB formula we learned in class today.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Help telling minor from major

For those of you who are still having a little trouble distinguishing between major and minor, go back to the audio samples I posted last month for worksheet #2. This time listen for major and minor modality.

Sample 1 -- Major
Sample 2 -- Major
Sample 3 -- Minor
Sample 4 -- Minor
Sample 5 -- Minor
Sample 6 -- Major

Monday, May 4, 2009

Midterm Review

Once again here are the areas to focus on in your review

Durational values of notes and rests
Bass and Treble clef pitch names
The conventions of composition
Rhythm vs. beat
Duple and Triple Meter
Accents and where they fall
Major vs. Minor
Chromatic, diatonic and pentatonic scales -- how many notes in each
Transposition of triads

You should also be able to define the following:

Half Step
Whole Step

Consult your notes and check the internet if necessary. See you Wednesday!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Melody Assignment

This weekend's assignment is to construct an eight bar melody. Since there are a lot of parameters I thought I would post them here. Your melody:

1. should be written in C pentatonic. That is a C diatonic scale with the 4th and 7th taken out.
2. should have a range from middle C to the A above the treble staff.
3. should resolve to the home note.
4. should have an interesting rhythm that repeats but also has some variety. You can use any of the note or rest durations we have talked about in class, but you don't need to make it to complicated.
5. should have contour.
6. should be in 4/4 time.

Don't forget to retain a copy in your notes for continuing development. See you on Monday.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Latin Jazz Ensemble Performance this Saturday

Just a reminder -- the Cal State LA Latin Jazz Ensemble is performing this Saturday at 8PM at the music hall. That's just across the courtyard from the music building. This is a good chance for you to take care of one of the two concerts you are required to review for this course. The concert is free.

As I mentioned in class be sure and get a program to help you write your paper later. I will give you a style guide next week, but things like the name of the venue, what songs were played, the date and time of the show will all be required information.

Monday, April 20, 2009

D Major triad with two inversions

Here's the same thing in D major. Notice the position of the F# in the inversions.

C Major triad with 2 inversions

Here is a C major triad in root position followed by a first and second inversion. Notice how in the first inversion the 3rd note - E - is in the root position and in the second inversion the 5th - G - moves to the root.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Third Street Music -- D Major Diatonic Scale

Here's the Diatonic Major Scale with D as a home note. Notice the two sharps? They are necessary in order to maintain the whole step-half step relationship.

Third Street Music - C major Scale

Just for reference here is what a Diatonic C major scales looks like. Can you spot the half steps?

160 Ensemble -- "Bransle"

Here's the recording we made in class yesterday. Overall a performance to remember

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bransle - Part 2

You try the reverse here. Play the top part of the Bransle against this second part.

Bransle - First Part

Here is a recording of the top part of Bransle. Try playing the second part along with it.

Monday's assignment

Just so there is no confusion about Monday's assignment, section 1 students are to do the following

1. Transpose the C scale into D and F. Be sure and use the whole step/half step formula we learned in class. Indicate the sharp or sharps (in D) or flat/flats (F) with accidentals in front of the appropriate notes.

2. Transpose Mary Had A Little Lamb from the key of G as it appears in the Do It book, into the key of F. Again be sure and indicate any accidentals (in the key of F they would be flats).

3. Practice both parts of the Bransle in 4/4. I will post audio of each part on this blog tonight.

See you all on Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Online Keyboard Link

Here is a link to an online keyboard that works. This will help you with various assignments involving pitch and transposition.

Click keyboard

Those of you who have access to a piano or other keyboard are encouraged to use them as well. Remember, it's music -- if it sounds right, it probably is right.

More Compound Meter Information

In Wednesday's lecture we will be discussing compound meter. Here's a link to a useful interactive site that covers the topic very thoroughly.

Click on meter

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 6

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 5

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 4

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 3

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 2

Worksheet 2 -- audio sample 1

Section 1 -- here are six audio samples that correspond to the worksheet I gave out in class.  Decide whether they are in duple or triple meter.

In the absence of drums we have to listen to the accented beats and phrasing to determine meter.  Remember -- it is not the rhythm of the melody but the underlying pulse that determines meter.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rest equivalent chart

Here are the corresponding rests.  Remember -- even when there is silence in music you still need to account for it in terms of the beat

Note tree

Section 1 student -- here is the a note tree you can use for reference throughout the quarter.  The names are as follows: (1) whole note, (2) half notes, (3) quarter notes, (4) eighth notes, (5) sixteenth notes.  You will need to know their value in relation to one another.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Music 160 worksheet 1 - samples 5-8

Here are the samples for questions 5-8. These are longer, what we call two bar phrases.

Music 160 worksheet 1 - samples 1-4

Here are the audio samples for questions 1-4 on tonight's homework. Listen to them as many times as you need to by clicking the play button.

Link to Free Sheet Music

We'll be asking you to do many of your assignments on sheet music paper.

For a link to a site where you can print it for free click sheet music.

Welcome to Music 160 for Spring '09

Hello incoming Spring students.

Last quarter Professor Weidema and I began using this blogsite to extend our classrooms by providing additional information and listening opportunities and useful links.  You are free to post here as well.

Have a great a quarter!

Richard Lawton 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Sex Pistols - God Save The Queen

Section 1 Students -- just for fun here's a clip of the "folk song" we listened to in class.

Study hard and have a good weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Eric Clapton playing Robert Johnson

Here's another clip of Eric Clapton doing a Robert Johnson song, "Terraplane Blues."

B.B. King - The Thrill Is Gone: 1993/Live At B.B. King's Blues Club, Blues Summit

Section 1 students -- see if you can apply what you learned today about 12 bar blues for in analyzing this B.B. King Classic

Friday, February 13, 2009

Live Music Assignment

As mentioned in the syllabus, the music department now requires all students taking music classes to observe at least 2 music department performances.  A calendar of these events can be found on the music department homepage.  

For a link to this page click calendar.

Given that it is already the sixth week, in section 1 I am only going to require you to write about the experience for one of these shows.  Take a look and see what interests you, and we can talk about it more in class.  Remember that your review will be due on March 11, the last day of class.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Samples list answers

1. Pathetique/Bethoven -- Major/Duple
2. Partita a-moll/Logy -- Minor/Duple
3. Air/Unknown -- Major/Triple
4. Minuet/De Visee -- Major/Triple
5. Tourdion/Attaignant -- Minor/Triple

Brown Sugar-Rolling Stones

Here's some video on the Stones song we listened to in class from 1971.  Side note -- the saxophone soloist here is Bobby Keyes, who also played on the record. 

Sample 5

Sample 4

Sample 3

Sample 2

Sample 1

Listen to the above sample exerpts from a variety of pieces of music and decide whether they are duple or triple meter/major or minor harmonically.  

The correct answers are posted above the Rolling Stones clip.

D Major triad with two inversions

Here's the D major with two inversions. Notice that the F# moves from the middle to the bottom to the top.

When you are inverting triads with accidentals make sure the accidentals travel.

C Major triad with 2 inversions

Section 1 students -- here's a C major triad beginning on middle C and 2 inversions. Notice that with each inversion the note that was in the root or bottom position is moved to the top.

For extra practice try notating this of staff paper.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

click on these to see them larger

For Section 1 -- here are some sample bourdoons which can be used as bass accompaniment for your recorder melodies or you can create one of your own.  A bourdoon is a repeating phrase that includes the home note (in this case C or E) and the fifth note of that scale (G and B).  Remember bourdoons repeat so select one measure and one measure only from the above.

Did you remember to notate the bass in bass clef? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Key Signature Chart

Section 1 -- here is a list of all the key signatures in both tremble and bass clef.  As we discovered in class, minor scales have a flatted third, sixth and seventh meaning that those key signatures may require additional sharps or flats.  It also means that every major key has a corresponding minor key with the same key signature -- what we call the relative minor.

For the moment, though, you only need to concern yourselves with major keys in the treble clef.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bransle - Part 2

You try the reverse here. Play the top part of the Bransle against this second part

Bransle - First Part

Here is a recording of the top part of Bransle. Try playing the second part along with it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

D Major Scale

Diatonic major scale in D on the piano

C major scale

Diatonic major scale in C on the piano

More About Major Diatonic Scales

C Major Diatonic Scale (including octave)

As discussed in class, all major diatonic scales have the same relationship of whole steps and half steps.  A half step is the distance between any two ascending and descending notes.  On a keyboard that could be any key, white or black.  Whole steps are two consecutive half steps.  Many of the white keys on the piano are a whole step apart -- in other words they are separated by a black key.  E & F and B & C are not.  Therefore, we say that they are a half step apart.

In order to play the C major diatonic scale (all white keys on the piano) we follow a pattern of whole step-whole step-half step-whole step-whole step-whole step-half-step.   You can try this on the key board posted below and observe it on the video posted above.

When transposing the C scale into a different key that starts on a different home note, the pattern of whole and half steps is the same.  Look at the video of the D scale above.  You can see that to maintain the pattern of whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half, it is necessary to play and F# and a C# instead of F and C.

Section One's assignment for Wednesday, 1/21 is to figure out how to construct a diatonic major scale is F, G and one other key of your own choosing (not C or D) and write them down using notation on staff paper indicating the correct accidentals. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Online Keyboard Link

Here is a link to an online keyboard that works.  This will help you with various assignments involving pitch and transposition including the section one (Professor Lawton) assignment due January 21 (week 3).

Click keyboard

Those of you who have access to a piano or other keyboard are encouraged to use them as well.  Remember, it's music -- if it sounds right, it probably is right.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Link to Compound Meter Site

Here's a link to an interactive website that will illustrate the principles of simple and compound meter.  It is part of Professor Weidema's lecture this week, but my students may find it interesting as well.

Click here

Monday, January 12, 2009

Track 11 - "Mary Had A Little Lamb" rock

Here's a third version to play along with. How would you characterize the differences in the three versions?

This version corresponds to track 11 on your CD. Again this is posted for temporary practice purposes only. DO NOT DOWNLOAD.

Track 10 - "Mary Had A Little Lamb" reggae

This track is of the same song in the same key with a different rhythmic flavor. It corresponds with Track 10 in your CD.

Again, for temporary practice purposes only. DO NOT DOWNLOAD.

Track 9 - "Mary Had A Little Lamb" bluegrass

This track corresponds with #9 on your CD and page 6 of your textbook.

This track is for temporary practice purposes only. DO NOT DOWNLOAD.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Staff Paper Link

For a link to a site with free staff paper downloads click here

Music 160 W/S 2 - samples 4-6

Music 160 W/S 2 - samples 1-3

This audio sample and the one above it correspond to homework worksheet #2

Music 160 W/S 1 - samples 5-8

Music 160 W/S 1 - samples 1-4

This audio sample and the one above it correspond to homework worksheet #1

Rest equivalent chart

These are the rests used in music as placeholders when musicians are expected to be silent.  The above symbols are equivalent to the corresponding notes.  In other words, they have the same durational value.

Music Note Tree

The above note tree shows the relative notational values of whole notes (1) half notes (2) quarter notes (3) eighths (4) and sixteenths (5).  Notice that a half note is half the value of the whole note, that a quarter is a quarter of the value of a whole note and half the value of a half note...and so on.