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Texture

how music works: texture
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Introduction

Introduction
Image of drummer, headphones and Note Canvas tool

Texture is perhaps the broadest element of music. Textures can be thin, thick, rich, dark, open, purple. They can also be rhythmic, harmonic, melodic etc. Creating textures is all about combining elements of music with careful choices about instruments and voices: the right notes for the right sounds.

On this page, there are three groups of articles for finding out about texture:

  • Use interactive tools to create your own textures and compare them to textures in other music
  • Find out about some of the textures in three particular pieces: Moving Away (African), Emerging Dances (orchestral) and Where will it take you? (jazz)
  • Explore different aspects of texture from different genres across SoundJunction

Articles

Articles
Image of Note Canvas tool

Make your own music by drawing notes and playing around with sounds, on the Note Canvas tool

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SoundJunction composer tool

Use the Composer tool to make your own music

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Atmospheric textures

David Horne's 'Emerging Dances' is mostly a fast and rhythmic piece. But if you take out the more energetic parts, you can create some atmospheric sounds. Try it out...

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An electric bass guitar

When composing, it is often useful to get the bassline right before trying to work out the harmonies or even the melody. Try it out...

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Articles

Articles
Kasse Mady Diabate

Use the Explorer tool to find out what's going on inside the song Moving Away, by Tunde Jegede

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How do the different instruments and melodies in Moving Away relate to each other?

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Playing the violin

Step inside the orchestra: hear and watch what's going on in David Horne's piece 'Emerging Dances'

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Steve Bell playing the French horn

Explore the ways in which composer David Horne has used the different instruments in Emerging Dances

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Eska Mtungwasi singing

Use the Explorer tool to explore the different parts that make up Jason Yarde's song, Where will it take you?

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The four horns

How do the different instruments and melodies relate to each other in Where will it take you?

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Articles

Articles
Bar 4 on score of Emerging dances

How does composer David Horne go about planning how to get the sounds he wants from an orchestra?

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A cello

Find out about all the instruments used in the SoundJunction compositions

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Featured Learning Trail

LearningTrails
Find out how David Horne chose the different instruments of the orchestra in Emerging Dances

Find out how David Horne chose the different instruments of the orchestra in Emerging Dances

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A trail through some of the many different ways you can make interesting textures in music, ending up with composing opportunities to make up your own textures.

A trail through some of the many different ways you can make interesting textures in music, ending up with composing opportunities to make up your own textures.

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Find out how to achieve interesting effects from an orchestra and use some of the sounds you find to make up your own composition. Look out for the little yellow notes on the left.

Find out how to achieve interesting effects from an orchestra and use some of the sounds you find to make up your own composition. Look out for the little yellow notes on the left.

Find out more