Discovering music through listening
Discovering music through listening

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Discovering music through listening

What is close listening?

Close listening helps us to discover how music works. It involves listening to music with the aim of identifying and explaining different elements of the music. These musical elements can be grouped into four categories relating to:

  • how the music is regulated over time (pulse, tempo, metre, rhythm)
  • the formation of melodies to make the music memorable (pitch, contour, range, register, timbre)
  • establishing harmony to enable different instruments to play together at the same time, and the concept of a musical journey – leaving and coming home, consonance and dissonance, key (including: major/minor) and harmonic progressions, texture, dynamics
  • the broader structure and how the musical elements above are organised across time (repetition, variation and contrast, and musical form).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371