Kim Lajoie's blog

Energy in music

by Kim Lajoie on January 27, 2014

Energy in music is a relatively intuitive concept to grasp. We can usually identify when a moment in a piece of music has a high energy level or a low energy level. Generally, high energy is a combination of several of these factors:

  • Fast pace (not necessarily tempo!)
  • Dense instrumentation (many instruments
  • playing at once)
  • Instruments playing near the top of their pitch
  • range, or playing across a wide pitch range
  • Louder overall sound
  • Dense or complex rhythms

Obviously, low energy is the opposite, and is the combination of these factors:

  • Slow pace (not necessarily tempo!)
  • Sparse instrumentation
  • Instruments playing around the bottom or middle of their pitch range
  • Quieter overall sound
  • Sparser and simpler rhythms

Not all these factors need to be present for a moment to have high or low energy, but the more there are, the stronger the effect will be.


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