Music Theory
Acoustic Composition
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Harmony looks a lot different when viewed through the lens of an ethnomusicologist. The formalized structure of functional harmony is a development unique to the music stemming from western European traditions. Some harmonic techniques that commonly appear across multiple cultures are:

  • Simple harmonic ratios: harmonies created from the first 6 notes of the harmonic overtone series
  • Drones: a sustained note usually accompanied with a melody
  • Parallel harmony: harmony created from parallel harmonic intervals

Links Essay Assignment

By now you should have decided on two cultures to write about. Listen to some musical examples of each culture and make two lists (one for each culture) of compositional techniques and musical elements you hear. This can be topics we’ve covered in class or ones that you’ve researched on your own. You will be comparing and contrasting the use of these elements for your paper.