Segments in this Video

Defining Music (01:57)


Musicians describe music as a universal language, organization of sounds, and creative expression. Music's meaning and role differs between cultures, but physical sound laws are universal.

Defining Sound (03:00)

Vibration comprises sound and music; sine waves are the simplest sounds. Each note has overtones occurring simultaneously. A musical sound has a pitch, amplitude, timbre, and duration.

Elements of Music (03:49)

Most world cultures have no word for music. Western societies define music in terms of melody, rhythm, timbre, harmony, and texture; hear definitions and examples of each.

Musical Environment (03:11)

Music is a cultural element in society. Dissonance in early 20th century Western music was a reflection of industrialization and unrest. Herders sing Ganga in the Bosnia Herzegovina highlands.

Bosnia Herzegovina Highland Music (04:16)

Learn about Ganga's origins as a form of mountain communication. Women sing becarac in courtship rituals to signal they are ready for marriage. Hear a becarac referencing the starry sky, an environmental inspiration

Musical Spirit and the Natural World (03:17)

In the Republic of Tuva, people use music and sound imitation to communicate with spirits. Horses occupy a central role in Tuvan herding life. The igil is a stringed instruments made from parts of the horse.

Tuvan Throat Singing (04:16)

Tuvans imitate natural sounds iconically or aesthetically; throat singing, or khoomei, is used to mimic water and communicate with spirits. It amplifies vocal harmonies, singing two pitches simultaneously. Some experts believe the technique dates to the origin of music and human artistry.

Credits: Sound, Music, and the Environment—Exploring the World of Music (00:53)

Credits: Sound, Music, and the Environment—Exploring the World of Music

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Sound, Music, and the Environment—Exploring the World of Music

Part of the Series : Exploring the World of Music
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



What do different cultures mean by music? This program explores the definition of music from the sine wave to poetic metaphor, and the impact of the cultural environment on music as different as Bosnian Ganga and becarac singing; Tuvan throat singing; Irish, West African, Trinidadian, and Japanese music; and Western chamber music, jazz, and rock.

Length: 27 minutes

Item#: BVL113457

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

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