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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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How Rythm is used in the Control of Tension and Repose (Essay Sample)


This Assignment should focus on the topic
Please use the following Sources only:
1) Musical Involvement by Donald J Funes CD 
2) Musical Involvement: A Guide to Perceptive Listening
1992, Second Edition by Donald J. Funes
you must answer the following question:
‘‘How is rhythm used in the control of tension and repose?’’
The purposes of this assignment are to provide you with an early opportunity to check your understanding of the role of a major musical element in generating tension, and to allow you to write descriptively and analytically about music to which you have listened.


Repose and Tension
Rhythm is a major component of music and is formed of the silences and sounds. The pattern that is formed from the sounds and silences as they reaped through time form the rhythm, with steady beat which can be of different kinds. This further explains the variation rhythm between different pieces of music or even within the same music piece. Within the silences and the sounds, there are aspect such as meter, pace and tempo that create the rhythm. Meter mainly relates to the patterns of stresses and or accents which give the music pulse or the beats. There is an element of time signature in meter and this represented by two numbers that appear like fractions. Meter is also noted at the beginning of the music composition (Funes & Squires, 1992). Pace and tempo on the hand are determinations of how fast the music in question is being performed. Developing and controlling tension as well as repose heavily relates to the way that meter creates the patterns in the music. The various interactions of the harmony and the melody in the music get the listeners to want to hear the music and relate with it and the singer or the instruments used (Funes & Munson, 1975). The variation in the various elements of music such as pace, tempo and meter create moments of tension and in some cases moments of repose for the listeners.
When listening to a piece of music, there are instances where as a listener one notes that there is an element of various facets of the music components remain unchanged for relative amounts of time. The harmony of the music in these instances is heightened by the steadiness of the tempo in the music and the rhythm in these instances represses the tension (Funes & Munson, 1975). Ideally these are instances that create an element of repose in the music, for the listener enjoy the different elements of the music all in one soothing harmony. When there is a sudden change in the tempo or the pace and meter, this then creates an element of tension, from the repose.
Rhythm is highly dependent on the tempo of the music one is listening to. Music can have a high tempo or considered fast paced. In this case, the tension rises with the tempo and the pace, and hence the relation between fast rhythms and tension. Where the rhythm is much slower and consistent, this creates an element of calm and predictable harmony in the musical notes and the various facets of the music (Funes & Squires, 1992). The human heart is considered biologically to pulsate 72 to 76 times in a minute. Tempos that have more beats than the average heart beats per minute are considered to have a fast rhythm and high tempo. On the other hand, those pieces of music that have tempo beats lower than the heart beat per minute are considered to have a slow rhythm.
To understand the way that rhythm affects the tension and the repose, it is important to point out the basic element of any rhythm. At the heart of this element is understanding the rhythm notations and the rhythm patterns. Rhythm of any music occurs within the framework of the meter, which ideally refers to the pa...
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