Which are the principal elements which constitute the current popular music ? Two basic concepts have to be separated : contents and form.
The elements of make are in the order of importance and chronological appearance : rhythm, melody, harmony. They are the intangible elements of a work of the artist. Depending to the instrument used, a piece will have to be adapted.
The elements of forms are : the nuances and the tone (they can be assimilate to the mixing). These elements are on the faschion. They are greedy in time but it is often according that the elements who will make that the public make its choice.
At the beginning was the rhythm. It is still the essential element in the music.
The rhythm is often regarded as a component of a piece. Modifying the rhythm of a song make it unrecognizable. It is easy to accompany a music with rhythm (while typing in its hands, with sound effects or basic percussion instruments). Most actual songs are based on the rhythm. The melody and the accompaniment become secondary.
From the concept of noise, a noise can be used in a rhythmic way, men evolved the concept of sound. It comes from a more continuous vibration and can be characterized by a height (speed of vibration in Hertz) and its tone (Harmonics). Low medium and high register were developed, the ear and the song were improved to allow a great nuance in the height of sound. Step by step the man learn to to modulate on various instruments the height of sounds. It created instruments making possible to put in vibration materials (strings or slice of wood, metal or plastic) or an airstream (wood and brass). The mixture between the height of the sound, the rhythm and the nuances make the melody line. The majority of the instruments are monophonic instruments : they can play only one note at the same time.
Certainly it is today the mane musical criterion. Old pieces are turned into remix. True cure of youth for old tubes, they find a new youth and an unquestionable success whereas musicalement, nothing was changed. Symptomatic of this passion for the sound, the durations of recording have considerably growth and it is unimaginable today to record a song in one day or in only one recording and without using a sophisticated studio. Victim of the mode, titles quickly becomes obsolete because it « does not sound » still with the fashion of the day.
The first interpretations with several instrument are done in unison or in octave. Step by step thanks to the natural resonance, the musical parts grow to the fifth. That comes from a natural phenomenon of material resonance. Then the songs will be song with the fifth, the fourth or the third. According to the modes the melodies move away more and more from the harmony. With Jean Sebastien Bach and the temperament of the scale, will begin the traditional harmony era which will be used by the erudite music until the end of the XIXème century and which is always used for the folk, the popular and the rock’n roll music. There are only four polyphonic instruments :
They are often more demanding and most difficult for the executants. Despite several notes have been to play at the same time, it is also necessary to perform simultaneously melody and accompaniment. To replace a polyphonic instrument, a small orchestra of monophonic instruments is needed. String quartet, Jazz Band or more important formation til Big Band or the symphony orchestra Limouzik a new element of the polyphonic instruments family.
It is based on the resonance of the material and its harmonics. It comes from a physical phenomenon that men used before even they include or understand it. When a material comes in vibration, it produces a sound called fundamental which is characterized by its height. Depending to its composition or its shape, this material in vibration will produce other sounds which, although less audible than the fundamental sound, will be characteristic. The vibrations of these harmonic sounds present a simple of double, triple, quadruple… mathematical link from the fundamental sound.
The first harmonic emitted by a vibration is the note located at the upper octave of the fundamental. It is difficult to hear because of its consonance with the fundamental. The second harmonic is located a perfect fifth above the first. The third harmonic is located two octaves above the fundamental. It is also difficult to hear. The fourth harmonic is located at a major third above the third. The fifth harmonic is located an octave above the second. The sixth harmonic is located seventh minor above the third (either almost three octaves above fundamental). Come in continuation with the following harmonics : the ninth, eleventh, the thirteenth…
A chord is a group of three, four or five sounds superimposed by intervals of third and belonging all to the same tones. The most important note of a chord is called fundamental. The notes (by third) following are called third, fifth, seventh, ninth…. These names do not change whatever the position of the notes. When a note different than the fundamental is in a lower position, the chord is in state of inversion. There is a position of inversion for each note of the chord. There are three types of chord. Chords of three sounds called consonants and chords of four or five called dissonant. The consonants chords are composed of fundamental, of a third and of a fifth and are divided into four categories : the major tonic chord, the minor tonic chord, the chord of fifth decreased, the chord of fifth increased. Only the three first are used by Limouzik. The chords with dissonance natural can be reached without preparation (seventh, ninth major or minor). The chords of the artificial dissonant harmony are characterized by the fact that the dissonance must be prepared. Chords changed by increasing or decreasing the fifth. The added note is not a consecutive part of the chords. Among the foreign notes, most used are : delay, the pedal, passing notes, embroideries, anticipations…. Complex chords of eleventh or thirteenth are often used in jazz in an incomplete way with the suppression of the fifth or the third.
A chord is called in state of inversion when the fundamental is not with the lower note. Inversions are available with Limouzik but they are unusual because it is the fundamental chord which will select the chord to be played. In the majority of the cases, Limouzik uses chords in a fundamental state. In Limoges, between Xème and XIIIème centuries, the Abbey of St Martial was at the origin of the first « Gregorian chants ». They are the first songs for several voices superimposed and from which the melody lines are different. The first singing was satisfied with melody lines identical taken to the octave and sometimes to the fifth. During the same period, it is also with the Abbey of St Martial that the first manuscripts of polyphonic music were brought out.
Well-known of the beginner pianists, the « harpsichord well moderate » of Jean Sébastien Bach is the reference work which notes the equalization of the twelve semitones of the scale. Nowadays still, the beginner is astonished that the same note can be called in a case Fa # (sharp) and in the other ground Sol b (flat). That comes owing to the fact that until XIVème century, these two notes were not equivalent. The Fa # having to be appreciably acuter than the ground B (a cycle of twelve fifths exceeds the seven octaves whereas a major sequence of three thirds is lower than an octave). The interpreters were obliged to tune their instruments according to the tones of the piece they were going to interpret. The harpsichordist had to choose for each black key between the lower note sharp or the higher note flat. An instrument used to sound dissonant modulating towards other tone. At that time, the chords were generally limited to chords of three sounds and only some chords of 7th were used making dissonances. The consequence of these variations was that progressively the made it was impossible to return in the initial tone. This problem was solved by the application of the temperament of the scale which consisted in dividing the octave into twelve equal semitones.
Always existing, popular music depends of the capacities of the greatest number to reproduce with less or more happiness the pieces written by the authors of the moment. For a long time, the popular music remained oral and remained by word of mouth. Contrary to Beethoven and the other famous composers who contributed to make evolve and move the musical technique, the popular music uses a music based on simple and recurring diagrams. Each musical element is easily identifiable (melody, rhythm, harmony…). Each time that people met a new culture, a musical interbreeding gave rise to a new style. The style more striking is the blues. More close to us, the raï is the popular musical style which illustrates the meeting between the occidental pop music and the traditional Arab music.
From time immemorial, were been songs in primitive matter and songs more elaborate. Singing a basic melody, chanting the name of a team of football in a stadium or emphasize a demand in a demonstration is the perfect example of the popular song. Some songs remained in the popular repertory through ages. It is the case of the traditional songs, the regional musics or of the holy singing. Groups or singers still write songs with a basic harmony of two or three chords. The future promises new tubes to be interpreted with Limouzik.
The principle of Limouzik is based on traditional harmonic construction. The principle used by Limouzik has been developped on acoustic prototypes. These models were not very efficient. Producing an instrument of six chords of three sounds, twenty four plates are requiered. A more complete instrument would quickly have become a not exploitable gas works. Many examples of instruments out of proportion using more than four hundred cords are exposed at the music museum of the « Porte music de la Villette » in Paris.
Reminder : a piano concert contains eighty eight notes and about one hundred and fifty strings. It costs approximately 100 000€.