Terms in this set (68)
Unaccompanied vocal music, either sacred or secular
A type of broken chord accompaniment used frequently, but not exclusicely, in Classical period piano pieces.
A device for developing melodic material in a piece; the lengthening of the rhythmic values of a given phrase or passage of music.
A group of unaccented notes prior to the first full bar of a phrase or piece. The equivalent term in Pop and Jazz is a pick-up
A non-chord that is a variant of the passing note; instead of moving away to another pitch, it returns to the one from which it came. e.g. A-G-A
A musical structure with two distinct sections, which are often replaced (i.e AABB).
A chromatic chord based on the flattened 6th of the scale, with the outer notes forming the interval of an augmented 6th.
A scale using blue notes, e.g. C - E♭- F - G♭- G - C♭.
A brilliant virtuoso passage for a soloist, typically in a concerto.
Call and Response
A type of antiphony where phrases from a solo 'caller' alternate with responses from a group of singers/players.
In a fugue, the repeat of the subject by a second voice, usually in a new but related key, An exact (but transposed) repeat of the subject is know as a real answer, whereas a modified repeat is a tonal answer.
A piece of solo voice, usually with accompaniment. Most commonly found in operas, oratorios or cantatas.
In melody, an elaborate florid phrase.
An instruction to string players to play with their bows, usually after a pizzicato passage.
A texture in which two or more parts move in opposite directions away from or tworads each other.
An extra melody heard in counterpoint against the main melody of the passage. In fugue, this is known as a counter-subject.
A passage in which the rhythm deliberately runs against the main pulse/metre of the piece.
In poetry, a word describing a long syllable followed by two shorter ones. Rhythmically this can be seen, e.g as a quaver folloed by 2 semi quaver
A time-based effect that adds one or more echoes to the part being sung or played.
The middle section of Sonata Form, or any section where thematic material is moulded and shaped through a variety of keys.
A melodic or harmonic passage or piece that uses only the notes of prevailing key, with no accidentals.
A contrapuntal piece or passage where two or more parts have the melody in exact imitation, each entering a few beats after the other.
A texture in which different groups of musicians have alternating passages.
In poetry, a word describing two short syllables followed by a longer one. Rhythmically this can be seen by 2 semiquavers followed by a quaver.
A texture consisting exclusively of chords; they can further described as sustained, detached or broken chords.
The closing passage of a piece, song or movement.
The closing passage of a piece, song or movement.
Two or more notes that harmonize without tension, a concord.
A polyphonic texture which uses characteristics found in fugue.
Literally a type of composition, such as the opera, the concerto, etc.
A decorative note with no time value of its own (indicated as a small note with a line crossed through the stem)which is 'crushed' in just before the main note it is linked to. Also known as an acciaccatura.
The rate of frequency of chord changes in a passage of music. Harmonic rhythm often speeds up on the approach to a cadence or a modulation.
A texture in which slightly different versions of the melody are played simultaneously.
Music that uses a scale of 6 notes.
A texture that consists of either a melody and accompaniment, or a passage in which the parts move together in the same rhythm. (This is also known as a chordal or homorhythmic texture)
A texture in which all the parts move forward using the same rhythm.
In texture, the more or less exact copying of a phrase in one part/voice by another. (Don't get it confused by a exact imitation known as a canon.)
The turning upside-down of a melodic figure, interval, chord or pedal point.
The german word for song, particularly those written for voice and piano during the 19th century to Romantic poems.
A contrapuntal musical form that begins with a statement of the subject (main theme) followed by entries in other parts using the same subject.
Two or more notes that clash, a discord creating tension. Up then they have been used with ever-greater freedom on their own.
Name given to a variety of pieces through Western music history.
A texture consisting of two or more melodies sounding together.
A Device for developing melodic material in a piece; the short-ening of the rhythmic values of a given phrase or passage of music
The opposite of Conjunct, melodic movement by leaping to notes more than one step away.
Melodic movement up or down by one note; also known as stepwise movement
An elaborate melody, particularly in operatic singing of the 18th and 19th centuries, with runs, wide leaps and trills.
A striking chromatic chord built up entirely with minor 3rds, e.g G#-B-D-F. Notice the outer notes in this example from the intercal of the same value.
Circle of 5ths
A progression of chords or key changed wherein each new root or key is a 5th above or below the preceding one.
Literally 'coloured', a note or chord that does not belong to the prevailing key of the music.
In modern harmony and/or tonality, where two different chords/keys are heard at the same time.
One or two fixed notes heard as a continuous bass, especially on bagpipes. Heard often in folk music and sometimes in Western Classical music.
An electronic instrument used to play and create percussive sounds and rhythm patterns by mechanical or digital means.
The changing of the name of a given note, but not the actual pitch, e.g C# to D(Flat). Composers use enharmonic change to effect clever and subtle modulations.
In fuge, a passage of music used to separate and modulate between entries of the main fugue subject.
The first section in a Sonata Form movement, and also the name given to the opening of a fugue.
In harmony. a dissonance where 2 different versions of the same note are heard in close proximity in different parts. E.g a G natural in the soprano heard in the same/similar place as a G# in the tenor.
A change of key where the new key is a 3rd above or below the old; e.g E major to C major. This is also know as tertiary modulation.
In vocal music a passage in which several notes are sung to one syllable of the words.(See Syllabic a better understanding)
The pattern of the beats in a given bar; e.g, 3/4 time is usually arranged as strong-weak-weak triple meter.
A device used to combine and process signal/sounds frome a variety of different souces.
In ancient Greece, when the notes of the scale were worked out, white notes of the keyboard, each starting on a different note and each with its own characteristic sound. E.G, A-B-C-D-E-F-G-A is the Aeolian mode, also known as the natural minor scale; notice that the leading note G is natural and not a sharp as it would be in the harmonic minor scale. In tonal music, only two 'modes' exist - major and minor, but the Greek mods have had an influence on the music across time, place and culture.
A technical term used to describe a change of key in a piece of music.
A texture that consists of a solo melodic line with no accompaniment.
A short melodic fragment the composer uses to help creat a complete theme/melody/.
A chromatic chord using the flattened supertonic (II) Triad in the first inversion. E.g., in E minor the supertonic triad is F#-A-C, which is then flattened and inverted to become A-C-F.
A 20th-century style that drew on the techniques and styles of the Baroque and Classical periods, blending them with modern approaches to elememnts, such as harmony and rhythm.
Relatively slow, moderately paced tempo.
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Music Key Terms