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Understanding musical scores
Understanding musical scores

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3.1.2 Working with instruments

Now you have listened to the performance and heard the performers discussing a little bit about their approach to this music, let’s look at the score.

Look out for the following elements:

  • Double bar lines and repeat marks – can you spot these landmarks?
  • Rests – note the rests in the piano part, as it doesn’t play at all in this section.
  • Dynamics – the pp indicates that the dynamic is quiet.
  • Melody – this is played by the violin and is in the top treble clef stave.
  • Accompaniment – this is provided by the other instruments (viola, cello and double bass). The double bass in the bottom bass clef stave has the slowest moving notes, and gives a repetitive, rhythmic long-short-short pattern.
Figure 1

You will have noticed brackets over the music labelled with numbers one and two. These are first and second time bars; the musicians play the music under the one bracket on the first time, then miss out this bar on the repeat to play the music marked two.

Now, let’s put it all together and listen to this section, while following the score. First, keep your eye on the melody, and then see if you can pick out the double bass and follow the bottom line.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: music_mooc_introducing_new_genres_000-104.mp3
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How do you think the performers manage to work together to combine all these elements effectively?