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Exploring the areas of study through the musical elements


Focus on each of the musical elements in detail, working on developing identification skills of these elements when appraising pieces of music.

Example Key Words


Melody The sequence of musical notes arranged to form the main tune of the piece
Articulation How a note is directed to be played e.g. staccato (detached) or legato (smooth)
Dynamics The volume of the piece e.g. piano (quiet) or forte (loud)
Tempo The speed of the music e.g. Allegro (fast) or Lento (slow)
Structure The order of the sections in a piece of music e.g. Binary (AB) or Ternary (ABA)
Harmony/Tonality Harmony – How musical notes played at the same time work together e.g. dissonant (clashing)       Tonality – The organisation of musical notes around a central note or scale. The key of the piece e.g. C major
Instrumentation The instruments which are used in a piece of music and their role
Rhythm The arrangement of different note lengths
Texture How different musical parts in a piece are layered and interact with each other

Western Classical Tradition

Refers to music written around 1650-1910 such as baroque, classical and romantic music


A group of musicians who perform together

Film Music

Music to accompany visuals on screen. Often used to set a mood or relate to a character or situation

Pupular Music

A genre of music that originated in the UK and USA that covers a wide range of styles

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