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3.4 - The Chromatic Scale

What is Music? Is music simply the organization of sounds and silences passing through time? Or is it more? Poet Victor Hugo believes music is "what feelings sound like." In this first module, we’ll take apart Hugo’s seemingly simple statement by spending some time asking how and why music induces strong emotions in people across different cultures. We’ll begin with a look at the inner workings of the human ear to determine how our brains process sound waves. Then, we’ll travel to different parts of the world, comparing and contrasting both traditional and popular Western music with sounds from various regions and cultures. You’ll find that it is both culture and the physics of music that determine why we like the music we like! From there, we’ll be ready to take a look at the basic elements of musical composition; rhythm, melody, texture, etc. We’ll also learn how classical composers used these elements in some of their most famous works and how modern artists are still using them today. Finally, we will see how the elements of musical composition have evolved over time and how they have been translated to a universal language enjoyed and understood by millions.

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