An introduction to music theory
An introduction to music theory

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An introduction to music theory

Group 3: identifying various different elements

Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (‘Pastoral’)

Activity 1

What is the meaning of the tempo indication Allegro ma non troppo?

a. 

fast


b. 

fast but not too much


c. 

fast with vigour


The correct answer is b.

Answer

Traditionally, the English equivalent for the Italian tempo indication Allegro ma non troppo is Fast but not too much. Fast is Allegro, and Fast with vigour, Allegro con brio.

Activity 2

Which degree of the scale is the D in the first bar? (Identify the key of the melody first.)

a. 

dominant


b. 

submediant


c. 

subdominant


The correct answer is b.

Answer

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Correct. Since the melody is in F major with F as the tonic, the D is the sixth note up from F (F–G–A–B–C–D). It is therefore the submediant.

Activity 3

What does the dot under the middle C in the second bar signify?

a. 

The note is to be played staccato.


b. 

The rhythmic value of the note is lengthened by a half.


c. 

The note is to be played tenuto.


The correct answer is a.

Answer

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The position of the dot is crucial. Below or above the note head signifies that this dot is a sign for staccato. A dot after the note head means that it is associated with rhythm – the note’s rhythmic value would then be lengthened by a half. A tenuto mark is a short line, not a dot, either above or below the note head.

Activity 4

Which melodic interval (number only) is created by the middle C and the following note?

a. 

third


b. 

fourth


c. 

fifth


The correct answer is b.

Answer

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The second note, its note head placed in the lowest space of the treble stave, is an F. Therefore if we count up the scale from the middle C to the F (middle C–D–E–F) we find that the interval is a fourth.

Activity 5

What does the sign above the G in the final bar indicate?

a. 

The note should be played getting gradually softer.


b. 

The note should be played with an accent.


c. 

The player should pause on this note.


The correct answer is c.

Answer

The sign above the G is a pause mark. Refer to Special signs [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   for the sign for getting gradually softer (a ‘hairpin’), and the sign for an accent.

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