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Texture Lesson 1
Introduction to Musical Texture, Monophonic Texture

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The instructional materials on these web pages deal specifically with the concepts related to musical texture as presented in class. Scroll down and move through the pages of this lesson. When you see a link or a QuickTime control bar, click it for an example. When you finish the lesson, move on to test your understanding on the practice questions for Lesson 1.

What is Texture?

Musical Texture is one of the seven "Elements of Music." Texture refers to the character of the various parts of the music which are present (called voices) and the relationships among those parts. Like texture in a piece of fabric, musical texture is sometimes thought of as describing the vertical and horizontal character of music. It can also be thought of as the thickness or thinness of musical sounds. In order to identify patterns in musical texture, you have to know what to listen for.

Texture is the element of music which describes the depth, nature, and relationship among different musical voices.

Musical Voices

The independent lines of music that occur in a song are called "musical voices." For example, when you sing the melody of your favorite song all by yourself, you are performing one musical voice.

Example of a single musical voice:

Don't confuse a musical voice with a singing voice, though. If a melody is played on an instrument, it still represents a musical voice! Click the play arrow below to hear a solo bassoon.

Solo Bassoon

A Musical Voice is an independent musical line which may be sung or played by one individual performer by a group of performers.

A musical voice consists of one melodic or harmonic part. Even when several musicians play exactly the same notes together, there is still only one musical voice. Likewise, when our class sings a single melody together there is one musical voice.

Go on to Page 2 of this lesson.

Lesson 1
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