KS3 Music Quiz
Composition (Basics) 01
A pulse is more commonly referred to as the beat.

Composition (Basics) 01

Composition is one aspect of music. This unit is specifically focused around the practical basics of composition. Thus this music quiz is more a compilation of specific terms noted for learning by the KS3 syllabus.

Dynamics and timbre are two examples of the basics of composition. According to the 18th Century French composer, Jean-Benjamin de Laborde, 'Composition consists of two things only. The first is the ordering and disposing of several sounds...in such a manner that their succession pleases the ear. This is what the Ancients called melody. The second is the rendering audible of two or more simultaneous sounds in such a manner that their combination is pleasant. This is what we call harmony, and it alone merits the name of composition.'

See how dynamic you are and give this a whirl to test your knowledge of the basics of composition. Good luck!!

  1. Curved lines are written over groups of notes to show .......
    Don't get this mixed up with musical ties where a note is held for a longer period of time!
  2. What is a tempo?
    Examples: andante, allegro, largo etc.
  3. A pulse is more commonly referred to as the .......
    The pulse is a repeating series of identical beats at regular intervals
  4. What is a 'note cluster'?
    You can hear this in a lot of chordal piano/organ music
  5. Pitch is .......
    Notes on a piece of music indicate the pitch to play as well as how long to play the note for
  6. What is meant by a 'polyphonic' texture?
    The simultaneous overlapping of multiple tunes was particularly common in music of the baroque era
  7. What is meant by duration?
    Duration is the length of time a pitch, or tone, is sounded
  8. What is meant by the term 'dynamics'?
    The two dynamic symbols you'll come across most often are 'p' for piano, meaning 'soft' and 'f' for forte, meaning 'loud'
  9. Timbre is best described as .......
    Timbre is also described as tone colour or tone quality
  10. Which of these is the softest dynamic marking?
    From soft to loud: pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, fff

Author: Thomas Daish

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