Undergraduate university degrees in music, including the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Music Education, and the Bachelor of Arts typically take about four years to complete. These degrees provide students with a grounding in music theory and music history, and many students also study an instrument or learn singing technique as part of their program. Graduates of undergraduate music programs can seek employment or go on to further study in music graduate programs.
In a grand sense, music theory distills and analyzes the parameters or elements of music – rhythm, harmony , melody, structure, form, and texture. Broadly, music theory may include any statement, belief, or conception of or about music. People who study these properties are known as music theorists, and they typically work as professors in colleges, universities, and music conservatories. Some have applied acoustics, human physiology, and psychology to the explanation of how and why music is perceived. Music theorists publish their research in music theory journals and university press books. However, in the 20th and early 21st century, as “common practice” Western art music performance became institutionalized in symphony orchestras, opera houses, and ballets, improvisation has played a smaller role, as more and more music was notated in scores and parts for musicians to play.
- Later, influences from the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe, and the Byzantine Empire changed Greek music.
- Women have played a major role in music throughout history, as composers, songwriters, instrumental performers, singers, conductors, music scholars, music educators, music critics/music journalists and other musical professions.
- The physical characteristics of sound that determine the perception of timbre include the spectrum, envelope, and overtones of a note or musical sound.
- Beethoven and Schubert are also considered to be composers in the later part of the Classical era, as it began to move towards Romanticism.
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Some music lovers create mix tapes of their favourite songs, which serve as a “self-portrait, a gesture of friendship, prescription for an ideal party… an environment consisting solely of what is most ardently loved”. One of the most important changes made in the Classical period was the development of public concerts. The aristocracy still played a significant role in the sponsorship of concerts and compositions, but it was now possible for composers to survive without being permanent employees of queens or princes. The increasing popularity of classical music led to a growth in the number and types of orchestras. The expansion of orchestral concerts necessitated the building of large public performance spaces. Symphonic music including symphonies, musical accompaniment to ballet and mixed vocal/instrumental genres such as opera and oratorio became more popular.
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The oldest surviving work written on the subject of music theory is Harmonika Stoicheia by Aristoxenus. Graduate music degrees include the Master of Music, the Master of Arts , the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (e.g., in musicology or music theory), and more recently, the Doctor of Musical Arts, or DMA. The Master of Music degree, which takes one to two years to complete, is typically awarded to students studying the performance of an instrument, education, voice or composition. The Master of Arts degree, which takes one to two years to complete and often requires a thesis, is typically awarded to students studying musicology, music history, music theory or ethnomusicology.
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The incorporation of some music or singing training into general education from preschool to post secondary education is common in North America and Europe. Involvement in playing and singing music is thought to teach basic skills such as concentration, counting, listening, and cooperation while also promoting understanding of language, improving the ability to recall information, and creating an environment more conducive to learning in other areas. In elementary schools, children often learn to play instruments such as the recorder, sing in small choirs, and learn about the history of Western art music and traditional music.