Sound World- Music Research

Ok so for each species we have a music genre that matches with their dance styles.

Triangle- traditional folk music and percussion african type music

Square- Pop/R and B/Dubstep/Techno

Circle-classical music- string based music

Tradition Irish Folk

Traditional Irish music was introduced by the Celts around 2,000 years ago, which was influenced by the East. Traditionally this was learnt orally, tunes were learnt by ear and not recorded on paper as such, allowing adaptations and variations in tunes. In ‘A History of Irish Music’ by W.H. Gratton Flood it states that there are ten main instruments used in Irish Folk music. These are the cruit (small harp), a clairseach (larger harp), a timpani (small string instrument), the feadan (fife), the buinne (oboe/flute), guthbuinne (horn), the bennbuahal and corn (hornpipes), the cuislenna (bagpipes), the stock and sturgeon (clarions or trumpets) and the cnamha (castanets). Fiddles were also recorded as being used in the 8th century. Irish music was used mostly for celebrations for dancing at celebrations such as weddings. Each tune is divided into two eight bar strings, played repeatedly. This type of music is isometric (of equal measure) as they contain steps. Each 16 measures are known as a “step”, with one 8 bar strain for a “right foot” and the second for the “left foot” of the step. Tunes that do not follow this are known as crooked, making them very danceable. Below are some examples of traditional Irish Folk music- hopefully I’ll be able to record some live in Belfast.

Video courtesy of Shooter McNally.

Video courtesy of Uğur Bektaş.

Video courtesy of Livetrad.

I noticed the beat of the music- how it makes you want to move, to clap and throw your arm in the air and grab a partner. It’s intoxicating and very catchy.

African Music 

Music in Africa is part of every day living – it is communal and allows people to connect as the sing and dance and clap together. This music type is also oral, not written down, and taught by ear. It was mainly driven by the slave movement as a way of unity for people. Instruments that are used are predominantly drums (made from wood and coming in a variety of sizes), which are beat either by hand or with sticks. The most common used one is the West African Djembe. These drum ensembles are structured in that they have a lead drummer who forms the basis of the main beat, with the other drummers playing alongside him. They play through cross-rhythm (playing conflicting beats at the same time) and polyrhythm (when two different pulses of beat are played at the same time). These beats act as a timeline, single beats pulsing together to hold the piece together. Other instruments used are of the string variety such as the lute, harp or zither. Two xylophone like instruments, the balafon and mriba are also used. Finally, sometimes wind instruments such as the flutes, horn, trumpets and reed pipe are used. The below videos show the use of these Djembe drums and balafons.

Video courtesy of Jalikunda African Drums.

Video courtesy of World Street Music.

Video courtesy of My Africa.

Maori (Haka)
This form of music is most known for its use with the Haka dance routine. Started by the Maori in New Zealand (19th Century), the Waitata music style was not for entertainment purposes, but rather to convey emotions and stories in public areas. The melodies themselves are low in sound, and have limited notes, almost foreboding in sound. Traditional songs are sung in minor third (three half steps or semitones). Originally these songs were sung solo, however in more recent examples instruments are used to accompany the rhythm.
Pop music originated from the 1950-1960s, in the Western world. Literally meaning ‘popular’ it spun from the Rock genre, a mix of urban, dance, rock, latin and country. Following a basic verse-chorus structure, songs are usually medium length and have repeated choruses, melodic tunes and hooks (a riff or phrase used to make a song appealing).
 “Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazzcountry, and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and has recently appropriated spoken passages from rap.[4]“- wikipedia
Singers such as Madonna and Michael Jackson are those most associated with this genre and its start up. Songs such as Madonna’s ‘Vogue,’ Katy Perry’s ‘Roar‘ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal‘ are all examples of this music genre.
Techno originated from Detroit Michigan in the 1980s.
“techno resulted from the melding of African American music including Chicago housefunkelectro, and electric jazz with electronic music by artists such as KraftwerkGiorgio Moroder, and Yellow Magic Orchestra.”- wikipedia
Techno is usually repetitive instrumental music, played in a continuous music set. The central rhythm is mostly in common time (4/4). The time is marked on each quarter notes with a bass drum. Tempo for these songs can vary from 120-150 bpm depending on the techno style. These songs can include a lot of music technology, including drum machines, synthesisers and digital audio work stations. Alton Miller’s ‘Progressions‘ and Darude’s ‘Sandstorm‘ are examples of this music style.
R and B
R and B (rhythm and blues) music evolved from the 1940’s Blues genre, blues chords following a continuous back beat. The name was coined by Billboard Magazine when trying to describe the music that combined rhythm and jazz. These songs now concentrated on the music itself rather than the improvisation that blues allowed. Artists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown pioneered the vocals of such music.


“The meaning behind the name is this: the “rhythm” part comes from the music’s typical dependance upon four-beat measures or bars and employ a backbeat (beats two and four accented in each measure). And the “blues” portion came from the lyrics and melodies of the songs, which were often sad, or ‘blue’ during the music’s emergence in the World War II era.”-

Some of my favourite songs of this type of music include Ray Charles’ ‘Hit the Road Jack,’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Rough Lover‘ and Backstreet’s (ft. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen) ‘No Diggity.’


Classical music stemmed from the religious Western world, from 500AD-present day.Classical music has several sub categories for each variation of instruments, tones, rhythm etc.
“The major time divisions of classical music are as follows: the early music period, which includes the Medieval (500–1400) and the Renaissance (1400–1600) eras; the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque (1600–1750), Classical (1750–1820), and Romantic eras (1804–1910); and the 20th century (1901–2000) which includes the modern (1890–1930) that overlaps from the late 19th-century, the high modern (mid 20th-century), and contemporary or postmodern (1975–present) eras.”- wikipedia
The two periods that I really think would suit the ballet and ballroom movements of our characters would be the Romantic eras (1804-1910).
In this period, the piano melodies became more subdued, the string sections of the orchestra were expanded for a bigger, full bodied sound. Other instruments, such as the brass section, were then introduced. Even wind machines were used as sound effects.
A few of the tracks I found most interesting were:
-Piotr Tchaikovsky- ‘The Nutcracker.’
-Piotr Tchaikovsky- ‘Sleeping Beauty.’

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