As a music teacher, you will know the frustrations that arise because students do not understand the definition for texture in music, let alone any other music terms used to describe the music that they are listening to, composing, or even performing. One sure fire way to help your students is to have them play games in the music classroom.
If a student can identify and make connections between what they learn about the Elements of Music and how they apply this learning in their own music practice, then they are well on their way to becoming the best musicians that they can be.
Definition for Texture in Music
The simple definition for texture in music is that texture is the number of layers of sound and their relationship to each other. An even simpler definition for texture in music is about the density. Music that can be described of as heavy or thick has lots of layers of sound, whereas music that is sparse or light has very few layers of sound.
How to Describe Texture in Music
How to describe texture in music is a simple process where you either listen to the music or use the musical score as a reference point. From there you will either be able to see or hear the different layers of sound in the music.
Using the chart in the image above, you can see the different density levels that you can use to describe texture in music. A piece of music with only 1 to 3 instrument layers might be described as light or sparse, whereas a large ensemble could be described as thick in density because there are many different layers of sound in the music.
It is important to note however, that some music, depending on how the instruments are performed, and the timbre used to create a sound, can make a piece sound very heavy and dense, even though it has only 4 layers of sound! This is particularly true for a lot of heavy rock music with distorted guitars, different guitar effects and the use of the full drumkit and an accompanying bass guitar.
Preparing the Definition for Texture in Music Term Cards
Learning music vocabulary for the Elements of Music can be fun if you play games in the music classroom. These games are great, no matter the age of the student. From over 20 years of experience in the music classroom, teaching Grades 7-12, these games are a hit with all classes, and once you have the resources ready for your students, you can choose to use the games for music class any time, easily and quickly.
What you will need
- Texture Terms Memory Games
- Colored paper
- Laminating Machine
- Laminating Pouches
How you prepare the definition for texture in music term cards will depend on the games you want to play.
If you want to play memory, or matching games, then cut out each card and laminate separately. If you want to use the cards for other purposes, then cut out and fold the cards so that the definition for texture in music term is on one side and the term is on the back, then laminate as you choose.
HINT 1– if you have big classes, print several sets of the cards in different colors so that it is easy to collect and keep each set together. The number of sets you choose to create will depend on the number of students you have in a class. As a rule of thumb, you need one playing set for groups between 2 and 5 players. Personally, I have found that groups large than five does not work as easily, but, you know your kids best!
HINT 2 – Storage is always an issue, no matter what classroom you have! I find it easier to keep each set in a ziplock bag, and then keep all the sets together in an expandable plastic folder OR a storage container where they all fit in.
2 Easy Games for Music Class
The two games for music class explained here are for use with the definition for texture term cards with the term and definition cut out and laminated separately. Follow the steps above to prepare the cards for each game.
Game 1 – Matching
This is a simple game where the students match the definition for texture in music term to the texture term. To play this game, it is best to have first had a lesson where you taught the definition in texture terms, OR they have access to a printed document OR a website that explains each of the terms. You can use the list of definition for texture in music terms from the either the Elements of Music Texture Listening Worksheets or the Texture Elements of Music Terms.
- Hand out the cards
- Spread out all the cards, face up
- As a group, students work together to match all the terms correctly
- You could make it a competition to see who matches them all up first
Game 2 – Memory
This game is best played after the Match It Game because the students should now be familiar with the definition for texture in music terms.
- Hand out the cards
- Put students into pairs or small groups
- Each group spreads out the cards, face down
- Students take turns in flipping over any two cards over
- If the cards match – a term and definition, then the student keeps the pair. If the two cards do not match, then they flip them back to the face down position
- Students take turns until all the terms and definitions are matched up.
- The winner is the student with the most matched pairs.
Playing games in the music classroom is more than just a fun lesson, there are several benefits to playing games. Some of them are listed below
- Students enjoy the lesson
- They love working their friends
- Cuts down on classroom misbehaviour because they are engaged
- It is learning by stealth! They don’t realize that they are actually learning
- It’s student-centered learning at its best
- It’s highly engaging
- It helps build classroom and small group connections
- It helps build a positive learning culture with peers and the music classroom
- It helps students develop their communication skills
Definition for Texture in Music Resources
To help you and your students learn about all the definition for texture, there are several resources available for you to purchase and use straight away.
These resources are listed below, click the links to view and purchase from Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Elements of Music Texture Listening Worksheets
- Writing About Texture in Music
- Texture in Music Definition Worksheets
- Texture Elements of Music Terms
- Texture Terms Music Memory Game
- Texture Elements of Music Activities Bundle
Until next time
Happy listening and teaching
Julia from Jooya