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a fast tempo in music


a moderate tempo in music


a family of wind instruments that usually includes the French horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba


a multi-movement composition for voices and instrumental accompaniment; smaller in scale than the oratorio


exaggeration of peculiarities or defects to produce comic or burlesque effects


passage added to the closing section of a movement or musical composition in order to create the sense of a definite ending


an instrumental composition consisting of one or more solo instruments and a larger group of instruments playing in "dialogue"

deductive reasoning

a method of inquiry that begins with clearly established general premises and moves toward the establishment of particular truths


a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion based on human reason rather than revelation; deists describe God as Creator, but deny that God interferes with the laws of the universe

equal temperament

a system of tuning that originated in the seventeenth century, whereby the octave is divided into twelve half-steps of equal size; since intervals have the same value in all keys, music may be played in any key, and a musician may change from one key to another with complete freedom.


a kind of engraving in which a metal plate is covered with resin, then incised with a burin; acid is applied to "eat" away the exposed lines, which are inked before the plate is wiped clean and printed

fête galante

a festive diversion enjoyed by aristocrats, a favored subject in rococo art

figured bass

in baroque music, the line of music with numbers written below (or above) it to indicate the required harmonies, usually improvised in the form of keyboard chords accompanying the melody


a directive indicating that the music should be played very loud; its opposite is pianissimo ("very soft")


a polyphonic composition in which a theme (or subject) is imitated, restated, and developed by successively entering voice parts





heroic couplet

a pair of rhymed iambic pentameter lines that reach completion in structure and in sense at the end of the second line


a musical texture consisting of a dominant melody supported by chordal accompaniment that is far less important than the melody


in philosophy, the theory that holds that reality consists of the mind and its ideas; transcendental (or critical) idealism is Kant's name for the doctrine that knowledge is a synthetic product of the logical self


a style in painting in which the paint is applied thickly or heavily

inductive reasoning

a method of inquiry that begins with direct observation and experimentation and moves toward the establishment of general conclusions or axioms


a general policy of non-interference in the economy, defended by such classical economists as Adam Smith


a very slow tempo; the slowest of the conventional tempos in music


a major section in a long instrumental composition

opera buffa

a type of comic opera usually featuring stock characters


a musical setting of a long text, either religious or secular, for soloists, chorus, narrator, and orchestra; usually performed without scenery, costumes, or dramatic action


instruments that are sounded by being struck or shaken, used especially for rhythm


the intellectuals of the European Enlightenment


a piece of instrumental music that introduces a church service or another piece of music


in baroque music, an instrumental section that recurs throughout the movement


the musical notation for all of the instruments or voices in a particular composition; a composite from which the whole piece may be conducted or studied


an instrumental composition consisting of three movements of contrasting tempo, usually fast/slow/fast


instruments that usually includes the violin, viola, cello, and double bass (which are normally bowed); the harp, guitar, lute, and zither (which are normally plucked) can also be included, as can the viol, a bowed instrument common in the 16th and 17th centuries and a forerunner of the violin family


instrumental composition consisting of a sequence or series of movements derived from court or folk dances


an independent instrumental composition for orchestra


a type of still life consisting of objects that symbolize the brevity of life and the transience of earthly pleasures and achievements


a family of wind instruments, usually consisting of the flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon

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