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Register (music)

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In music, a register is the relative "height" or range of a note, set of pitches or pitch classes, melody, part, instrument or group of instruments. A higher register indicates higher pitch.

In woodwind and brass instruments, the word register usually distinguishes pitch ranges produced using different normal modes of the air column, with higher registers produced by overblowing. Often the timbres of different woodwind instrument registers tend to be markedly different.

  • Example 2: The Western concert flute plays approximately three and a half octaves and generally has three complete registers and one partial register. The musical note C4 (corresponding to middle C on the piano) would be in that instrument's first register, whereas C5 (one octave higher) would be in its second register.

However, on the clarinet the notes from (written) G4 or A4 to B♭4 sometimes are regarded as a separate "throat register", even though both they and the notes from F#4 down are produced using the instrument's lowest normal mode; the timbre of the throat notes differs, and the throat register's fingerings also are distinctive, using special keys and not the standard tone holes used for other notes.

The register in which an instrument plays, or in which a part is written, affects the quality of sound or timbre. Register is also used stucturally in musical form, with the climax of a piece usually being in the highest register of that piece. Often, serial and other pieces will use fixed register, allowing a pitch class to be expressed through only one pitch.

In singing: "A register is a series of consecutive homogeneous sounds produced by one mechanism, differing essentially from another series of sounds equally homogeneous produced by another mechanism, whatever modifications of timbre and of strength they may offer." (Garcia 1894)

[edit] Source

  • "Hints on Singing". Manuel Garcia. New York: Joseph Patelson Music House (1894)

[edit] See also

This article was started using a Wikipedia (music) article
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