The browser you are using may not support basic Web standards. Please upgrade your browser and support the Web Standards Project.
Jump to the navigation

Sound Adventure is comprised of two aspects of a Canadian musical landscape - day and night - that are designed to encourage young learners to explore fundamentals of musical sound such as pitch and duration as well as many of the sounds in their own musical environment. The goal is to help educators and learners become more familiar with Canadian music and to experience one style of a distinctively Canadian composition. Here is an opportunity to listen, explore, reflect, and create a truly Canadian piece of music.

The site is graphic- and sound-based only, and is not dependent on text explanation for use. Therefore we have created this text version to provide a different way of thinking about the musical and compositional aspects of the Canadian landscape.

Ultimately, our hope is that you explore Canada's diverse musical landscape through the examples of music and scores found throughout the CMC website.

The navigational items listed on the left contain some core ideas to help you make the most of the concepts of Canadian composition presented here, but it is by no means comprehensive.

Introduction to Learning Elements discovered in Sound Adventure:

Like a language has an alphabet, music has basic elements and a way of combining them to create a musical statement. Sound Adventure introduces several of these basic musical elements and invites the user to discover them within a musical landscape.

i. Notes Duration

note description of number of beats (counts) in each note or rest
Whole note Whole note = 4 counts
Half note Half note = 2 counts. Half note + half note = 4 counts
Quarter note Quarter note = 1 count. Four quarter notes = 4 counts
Eighth note Eighth note = 1/2 count. Eight eighth notes = 4 counts
Whole rest Whole rest = 4 counts of silence
Half rest Half rest = 2 counts of silence. Half rest + half rest = 4 counts of silence
Quarter rest Quarter rest = 1 count of silence. Four quarter rests = 4 counts of silence
Eighth rest Eighth rest = 1/2 count of silence. Eight eighth note rests = 4 counts of silence
ii. Pitch and Scales
Pitch is the word used to define the exact tone of a note in terms of its vibrations per second; as well as how high or low a musical note is. The notes of in the full musical scale are named A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.
iii. Pitch and register
Register refers to a portion of the range of tones of a voice or instrument. Notes occur at higher or lower pitches, determining the register of the sound.
iv. Tempo
Tempo is the speed at which music is played. Five of the basic types of tempo are: grave (very slow, heavy and ponderous), lento (slow), moderato (medium speed), allegro (lively, brisk), and presto (very fast).
v. Timbre
Timbre (pronounced tam'-ber) is the tone colour or quality of sound that distinguishes instruments and voices.

Different instruments can play the same pitch (even in the same register) and make a completely different sound. Compare, for example, a flute with a trumpet; harp with bassoon; the double bass with an antique cymbal.
vi. Sound intensity
Dynamics refer to the loudness or softness of the sound. Some examples of dynamics include: fortissimo (very loud), forte (loud), piano (soft), and pianissimo (very soft). Crescendo (getting louder) and decrescendo (getting softer) are two other terms used to mark a dynamic effect.

Canadian Music Centre