KS3 Music Quiz - Composition (Basics) 01 (Questions)

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. Pitch is .......
[ ] a way of describing how high or low a note sounds
[ ] indicative of speed
[ ] representative of dynamic volume
[ ] All of the above
2. Curved lines are written over groups of notes to show .......
[ ] note value
[ ] pause marks
[ ] phrasing in the musical passage
[ ] All of the above
3. What is a 'note cluster'?
[ ] A type of cereal musicians eat!
[ ] A played group of notes which are very close together
[ ] A really fast passage of music
[ ] None of the above
4. What is meant by duration?
[ ] A type of dance from Italy
[ ] A type of song from France
[ ] The durability of an instrument
[ ] The length of a note
5. A pulse is more commonly referred to as the .......
[ ] beat
[ ] key change
[ ] time signature
[ ] volume
6. What is a tempo?
[ ] The key signature
[ ] The pace or general speed of a composition
[ ] The time signature
[ ] All of the above
7. Timbre is best described as .......
[ ] a way of determining different types of sounds
[ ] a type of wood
[ ] a type of recording method using a cassette tape
[ ] None of the above
8. What is meant by a 'polyphonic' texture?
[ ] A type of music that sounds like a phone ringing
[ ] Where a tune is backed by several underlying harmonies
[ ] A piece having two or more tunes sounding the same time
[ ] None of the above
9. What is meant by the term 'dynamics'?
[ ] How loud or quiet the music is meant to be
[ ] How fast or slow the music should be
[ ] How long the piece should last in minutes
[ ] None of the above
10. Which of these is the softest dynamic marking?
[ ] f
[ ] ff
[ ] mf
[ ] p
KS3 Music Quiz - Composition (Basics) 01 (Answers)
1. Pitch is .......
[x] a way of describing how high or low a note sounds
[ ] indicative of speed
[ ] representative of dynamic volume
[ ] All of the above
Notes on a piece of music indicate the pitch to play as well as how long to play the note for
2. Curved lines are written over groups of notes to show .......
[ ] note value
[ ] pause marks
[x] phrasing in the musical passage
[ ] All of the above
Don't get this mixed up with musical ties where a note is held for a longer period of time!
3. What is a 'note cluster'?
[ ] A type of cereal musicians eat!
[x] A played group of notes which are very close together
[ ] A really fast passage of music
[ ] None of the above
You can hear this in a lot of chordal piano/organ music
4. What is meant by duration?
[ ] A type of dance from Italy
[ ] A type of song from France
[ ] The durability of an instrument
[x] The length of a note
Duration is the length of time a pitch, or tone, is sounded
5. A pulse is more commonly referred to as the .......
[x] beat
[ ] key change
[ ] time signature
[ ] volume
The pulse is a repeating series of identical beats at regular intervals
6. What is a tempo?
[ ] The key signature
[x] The pace or general speed of a composition
[ ] The time signature
[ ] All of the above
Examples: andante, allegro, largo etc.
7. Timbre is best described as .......
[x] a way of determining different types of sounds
[ ] a type of wood
[ ] a type of recording method using a cassette tape
[ ] None of the above
Timbre is also described as tone colour or tone quality
8. What is meant by a 'polyphonic' texture?
[ ] A type of music that sounds like a phone ringing
[ ] Where a tune is backed by several underlying harmonies
[x] A piece having two or more tunes sounding the same time
[ ] None of the above
The simultaneous overlapping of multiple tunes was particularly common in music of the baroque era
9. What is meant by the term 'dynamics'?
[x] How loud or quiet the music is meant to be
[ ] How fast or slow the music should be
[ ] How long the piece should last in minutes
[ ] None of the above
The two dynamic symbols you'll come across most often are 'p' for piano, meaning 'soft' and 'f' for forte, meaning 'loud'
10. Which of these is the softest dynamic marking?
[ ] f
[ ] ff
[ ] mf
[x] p
From soft to loud: pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, fff