Skip to Main Content


►Click here to download the set of Composer Worksheets
Click here to download the Composer's Guide

Click here to download the Teacher's Guide

Timbre definition:
the characteristic quality of a sound independent of pitch and dynamics; tone colour.

Texture definition: simultaneous layering of sounds (e.g., multi-part music making)


Timbre can be:

  • Bright to dark, soft to hard, warm to cold, etc.


Texture can be:

  • Dense to sparse, thick to thin, active to still
  • Layered (may be made up of a combination of melody, harmony, rhythm)


Discussion points:

  • The choice of instrument timbre can be used to convey the attributes of a character, emotion, place or mood.
  • Many instruments have more than one timbre they can produce
  • Changing the number of instruments changes the density of the texture, more instruments = thicker, and less instruments = thinner.


Texture Example:

 Boléro M. 81, London Symphony Orchestra


Timbre Activity:

  • Instrument Colour Worksheet: assigning colours to each instrument as heard
  • BeepBox: Rate the waveforms in terms of darkest and lightest


Texture Activity:

  • Worksheet: vocab to texture (ie. How to convey isolation, thick or thin)




Career Pathway Videos


Shannon Mason
Composer & Sound Designer
Vancouver, BC


Caitlin Yu
Head of Quality Assurance
Phoenix Labs
Burnaby, BC


Adrian Talens
Freelance Composer
Vancouver, BC