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a two-part form of contrast and repetition


the shape or structure of a piece of music, determined by patterns of contrast and repetition


a chord built on the fourth degree of a major or minor scale


an unaccompanied passage in free rhythm in which the soloist displays his or her virtuosity

Minuet and Trio

a stately dance movement in triple meter in a b a form. it is often the third movement of a symphony or string quartet.


a multimovement work for symphony orchestra

Chamber music

works for solo instruments performing together in small ensembles, such as a string quartet, a woodwind quintet, or a piano trio.


to change from one key to another, frequently by harmonic progression.


the rate at which music is performed


proceeding by half steps, using sharps or flats.


a musical form consisting of two more contrasting theme areas, each followed by a return to the opening theme.


a three part form


a three-movement work for solo instrument and orchestra that emerged during the Baroque period


an ascending or descending series of tones organized according to a specified pattern of intervals.

Theme and variation

an instrumental form in which a stated theme is followed by a series of variations on that theme.


in western music, the eight tones of a standard major or minor scale.


baroque period, a multimovement work written for a solo instrument and a continuo


music that does not ramble and is cohesive, with an exact or a modified repetition of themes and patterns.


the level of loudness

Sonata form

a structure that composers in the Classical era and since have commonly used for the first movement of a sonata, symphony, concerto, or string quartet


music that departs from previously stated themes and creates points of contrast.

Absolute music

music created for its own sake and without extramusical connotation


a small-scale composition


stage production featuring formal, stylized dance performances with a story or a unified theme


concert art music that reflects national or regional rather than universal characteristics.


a point of repose at the ending of a musical phrase

Nationalistic music

concert art music that reflects national or regional rather than universal characteristics.

Character pieces

one-movement work for solo piano

Program music

music that depicts images, moods, stories, characters, and other non musical associations


proceeding by half-steps, using sharps or flats


a felxible pulse-- not restricted by a steady beat.


an active, unstable sound


a musical structure in which the same music is used for each stanza of a ballad, song, or hymn


a melody that is dominant with other lines supporting the main melody has a homophonic texture.

Symphonic poem

a programmatic, one-movement work for symphony orchestra with contrasting moods.


the words to an opera or other musical stage production.


a perception of instability in traditional western music that suggests the need for release of tension or resolution.


art song is a solo song with piano


the gravitational pull of music toward a tonal center,


plural for Lied; art song is a solo songs with piano


the avoidance of tonal centers and tonal relationships in music


a style of modern composition that is based on established forms and structures of the past and particularly on the aesthetics and musical values of the Classic era.

Avant garde

experimental composers who used experimental musical techniques


a style of modern composition that is based on established forms and structures of the past and particularly on the aesthetics and musical values of the Classic era.


melody that moves mostly stepwise


a melodic pattern repeated several times either a step lower or a step higher than the preceding step


angular shape resulting from frequent use of wide intervals (skips)

Serial composition

a set of unrepeated pitches -- a tone row -- used as the basis for organizing the vertical and horizontal arrangement of pitches throughout a composition,


a style of music that avoids explicit statement and literal description but instead emphasizes suggestion and atmosphere, evokes moods, and conveys images and feelings


created as an alternative to the major minor tonal system


(Musical Instrument Digital Interface) - a means for providing electronic communication between synthesizers and computers to other synthesizers.

Tone cluster

three or more adjacent tones sounding simultaneously


a style of composition whose creator attempts

Twelve tone technique

serialization of note values, timbres, or dynamics.

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