Main musical genres

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What is a znamenny chant: meaning, history, types

Russian church music began with the famous chant that arose during the baptism of Russia. Its name is associated with the use of special notation signs – “banners” for its recording. Their intricate names are associated with a graphic image: a bench, a darling, a cup, two in a canoe, etc. Visually, banners (aka hooks) are a combination of dashes, dots, and commas. Each banner contains information about the duration of sounds, their number in a given motive, the direction of the melody and the characteristics of the performance. The intonations of the znamenny chant were assimilated by the singers and parishioners of the church according to rumors from the masters of znamenny singing, since the banners did not record the exact pitch of the sound. Only in the XVII century. the appearance in the texts of special cinnabar (red) droppings made available the designation of the pitch of the hooks. Continue reading

From the history of blues: from plantations to the studio

The blues, like everything with stunning success, has been an underground music trend for decades. It is understandable, because the White Society could not accept the music of African-Americans working on plantations, and even listen to them was shameful. Such music was considered radical and even calling for violence. The hypocrisy of society took place only in the 20s of the last century. The history of blues, like its creators, is negative and depressive. And, just like longing, the blues is simple to genius. Many performers engaged in heavy physical labor until death, they were vagabonds, and had odd jobs.

That is how most of the black population of the United States lived in the early twentieth century. Such free musicians, who left the brightest mark in the history of blues, include Haddy “Ledbelly” Ledbetter and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Continue reading

What are the genres of music?

We immediately warn that it is very difficult to answer the question in one article what genres of music are. So many genres have accumulated in the history of music that one cannot even measure them with arshin: chorale, romance, cantata, waltz, symphony, ballet, opera, prelude, etc. For several decades, musicologists have been breaking their spears, trying to classify musical genres (by the nature of the content, by function, for example).

But before dwelling on typology, let us clarify the very concept of the genre.


Genre is a kind of model with which specific music is related. He has certain conditions of execution, purpose, form and nature of the content. So, the purpose of the lullaby is to calm the baby, so the “swaying” intonations and the characteristic rhythm are typical for her; on the march – all the expressive means of music are adapted to a clear step. Continue reading

Chord structure

So, the structure of chords is a topic that we will develop today. And, first of all, let’s turn to the definition of a chord, specify what it is. A chord is a consonance, a sound complex. In a chord, at least three sounds should be sounded at once or one after another, because harmonies in which only two sounds are called differently are intervals. And yet, the classic definition of a chord says that the sounds of a chord are either already arranged in thirds, or they can be arranged in thirds when rearranged.

This last point, just, is directly related to the structure of the chord. Since modern harmony has gone far ahead of the standards established by the music of classical composers, this last remark about the arrangement of sounds by chords in a chord is not applicable to some modern chords, since their structure is based on a different principle for constructing a chord. Continue reading

Musical literature Main musical genres

Today’s post is devoted to the topic – the main musical genres. To begin with, let’s decide what we will consider the musical genre. After that, genres proper will be named, and in the end you will learn not to confuse the “genre” with other phenomena in music. So, the word “genre” is of French origin and from this language it is usually translated as “species” or genus. Consequently, a musical genre is a kind or, if you like, a kind of musical composition. No more and no less.


But how does one genre differ from another? Of course, not just the name. Remember the four main parameters that help to identify a particular genre and not confuse it with any other, similar type of composition. These are: a type of artistic and musical content; style features of this genre; the life purpose of the works of this genre and their role in society; conditions in which it is possible to perform and listen to (view) a musical work of a particular genre. Continue reading

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