Tag Archives: Texture & Melody

Texture – Timbre & Instrumental Techniques

So what does texture mean? 

“In music, texture is the way the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, therefore determining the overall quality of sound of a piece. Texture is often described in regards to the density, or thickness, and range…..A piece’s texture may be affected by the number and character of parts playing at once, the timbre of the instruments or voices playing these parts and the harmony, tempo, and rhythms used.”

One way to develop texture is to vary the instrumental timbre (the instrumental “tone or colour”). For example, if you have a guitar part you could create textural contrast by using a mix of:

  • picking, strumming, double-stops, palm muting and FX (distortion, delay/echo, reverb, wah-wah)

These are all ways to develop your texture by changing the instrumental timbre.

To consider how you might use a range of instrumental timbre to develop texture in composing we are going to look at string instruments :

1. Use the Texture Garageband project created during last week’s lessons
2. Create FOUR new software instrument tracks
3. Choose the following instruments:

  • Xtra String Ens Legato
  • Xtra String Ens Pizzicato
  • Xtra String Ens Staccato
  • Xtra String Ens Tremolo

Use these instruments to create at least TWO contrasting accompaniment’s to your melody. You can use the same harmony but make sure that it expressed differently.

For example the first four bars might use legato strings playing long held block chords.

The second contrasting four bar section might use staccato strings with broken chords (but using the same chords as sections one).

Texture and Tonality keywords

Click on the word to link to a definition.

Texture – HomphonicmonophonicpolyphonicMelody and accompaniment.


tonal        major        minor         modal

Texture      harmonic/homophonic             polyphonic/contrapuntal         imitation         unison          octaves         single melody line melody with accompaniment

antiphonal (watch the video and ignore the bloke…)

common signs terms & symbols

key signatures