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All Music Concepts
Terms in this set (84)
Often 4/4 time and based on a 12-bar structure. Melody incorporates blues notes.
3 Against 2
One line of music may be playing quavers in groups of two whilst at the same time another line of music will be playing triplets. Other note values can be similarly used.
An ornament which sounds like a crushed note played very quickly on the beat or just before it.
Root, 3rd, 5th of a chord with the 6th added, e.g. C, E, G, A, frequently used in jazz and popular music.
A motet but sung in English
A solo song which is often highly decorative, a tool for a singer to show off, melismatic passages.
An increase in the length of notes. The music will sound slower when imitated or repeated.
A type of madrigal for a solo voice, strophic, one instrument or a consort, slow tempo, graceful, lyrical melodies and are usually about emotional subjects.
A type of madrigal but with strophic form, a light-hearted, energetic feel, fa-la-la-la-la text at chorus and is mainly homophonic.
In the Baroque period, the bass line is played by cello, bass, viola da gamba or bassoon it plays roots of the chords and is repeated
2 sections AB.
At the end of a movement the orchestra stops playing and the soloist improvises a flashy virtuosic passage, usually heavily ornamented.
Sacred and contains multiple movements - recitative, aria, chorus, chorale.
Music written for a small instrumental ensemble with one player to a part.
Hymn tune, SATB, homophonic, each phrase of a chorale usually ends with a fermata.
Whole choir sing (usually SATB) can contain a variety of musical textures.
A short section that occurs after the cadenza. The orchestra re-joins the soloist and plays a bold and grand finale.
Term for high, florid, vocal singing involving scales, runs and ornaments. Sometimes these passages were written down, but they were often improvised by the performer.
In a concerto grosso, this group is the small/solo group of instrumentalists as opposed to the main group.
A type of concerto in which a group of soloists is combined and contrasted with a larger group. This style was popular in Baroque times.
A small ensemble of Renaissance instruments.
This describes polyphonic lines that uses imitation.
Da Capo Aria
An aria in ternary form found in opera and oratorio in the 17th and 18th centuries. The third section is not written out but the instruction 'da capo' is given instead. In the repeated section, it is more ornamented.
A chord consisting of three intervals of a minor 3rd built one on top of the other, the interval between the lower and the top note is diminished, e.g. D, F, Ab, B.
A decrease in the length of the notes. The music sounds faster when imitated or repeated.
Chord built on the 5th note of a key, with an added 7th note above its root. It is sometimes written as V7 e.g. G, B, D, F.
Different parts of a rondo - BCD.
Over a basso continuo the harpsichord, organ or lute fills in harmonies built on the bass line. Sometimes numbers were written under the bass line indicating which chords to play.
A fast dance in the Renaissance period that follows the pavan with 3 beats in a bar in simple time.
Harmonic Minor Scale
Scale which shares the same key signature as its relative major but raises the 7th note by a semitone, e.g. A, B, C, D, E, F, G#, A
The high eerie sounds produced on a bowed string instrument by lightly touching the string at certain points. On a guitar, these sound bell-like.
Musical passages are repeated in different parts and at a different pitch.
A term borrowed from painting in which brief musical ideas merge and change to create a rather blurred and vague outline. Texture and timbral exploration were also important features, including use of whole tone and pentatonic scales, parallel chords and unresolved chords.
This cadence is formed by the chords V-VI e.g. in C major, chords G to A minor. It is known as the 'surprise cadence'
The distance in pitch between two notes, e.g. C-F is a 4th
This ornament sounds the main note, the note below and then the main note again.
Irregular Time Signatures
Often in modern or rhythmically based ethnic music, groupings of notes change, but the underlying pulse remains constant. Grouping of two and three produce irregular accents and metres. Sometimes 20th century composers tried to destroy the feeling of a regular down-beat by frequently changing the time signature.
A combination of jazz improvisation and the amplified instruments and character of rock music.
A recurring theme throughout a work which represents a person, an event or an idea.
A German song for solo voice and piano, used only in the Romantic era. The structure of the verses is strophic, with the voice and piano being equally important
A secular song for a small, choral group uses much word painting, usually sung a cappella, it has varied texture with lots of imitation, each verse line is often introduced by a single voice then taken up by the others and is through composed.
In the Renaissance era, it was a sacred choral work. It is polyphonic, sung in Latin and usually sung a cappella. Originally used in church worship, in later years it became a large-scale work for chorus, soloists and orchestra.
Melodic Minor Scale
Scale which shares the same key signature but it raises the 6th and 7th notes by a semitone ascending and lowers them descending, e.g. A, B, C, D, E, F#, G#, A, G, F, E, D, C, B, A.
Uses the minimum of musical material to its maximum effect.
Minuet And Trio
A slow stately dance in triple time and uses ternary form.
Usually refers to any of the early scales, Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian.
An ornament which sounds the main note, the note above and then the main note again.
Sacred text, sung in Latin, shorter in length and lighter in tone than a mass, often mixes homophonic and polyphonic together.
Used in 20th century, recorded natural sounds which are transformed using simple editing techniques such as cutting and re-assembling, playing backwards, slowing down and speeding up.
A prominent solo instrument part in a piece of music.
Usually a story from the bible, set to music, for soloists, chorus and orchestra. It may include recitatives, arias, duets and chorus. It is performed without acting or stage design, often in churches.
Instrumental music which opens the opera or oratorio, often including melodies found later in the work.
Variations over a ground bass.
A slow, professional, Renaissance dance with 2 or 4 beats per bar and in simple time.
This cadence is IV-I. Sounds like Amen, in the key of C major chords F to C.
A modal unaccompanied melody with religious Latin words and no regular metre, instead following the rhythm of the words.
2 or more independent, interweaving lines.
Music that tells a story or paints a picture in sound.
Commonly performed on piano. Features a syncopated melody against a steady vamp accompaniment. Swung rhythms not used.
A type of vocal writing where the music follows the rhythm of speech. The accompaniment is usually quite sparse, punctuating more than accompanying all the way through it is used in operas and oratorio to move the story or plot on.
A change from minor to major key with the same key signature. To find this, go up 3 semitones from the tonic, e.g. D minor to F major.
A change from major to minor key with the same key signature. To find this go down 3 semitones from the tonic, e.g. C major to A minor.
In Baroque music, especially in a concerto grosso, this is the main group of instrumentalists.
"little return". In a concerto grosso, the ritornello is the main theme played by the ripieno group and sometimes by concertino. The ritornello may return frequently throughout the movement, like a rondo.
A recurring theme and is often in the structure - ABACAD.
Nonsense words, syllables and sounds improvised by a vocalist, often imitating the sounds of other instruments.
A piece for a soloist accompanied by full orchestra, includes a cadenza and a coda.
A work for solo piano, or a solo instrument accompanied by piano, in three or four movements.
This is the structure of the first movement of sonatas, symphonies, and often overtures. It contains three sections: exposition, development and recapitulation.
A group of songs linked by a common theme or with a text written by the same author, usually accompanied by piano but can be accompanied by small ensembles or large orchestras.
A style of Afro-American popular music including elements of blues and gospel, conveying strong emotions.
A group of musicians playing 4 stringed instruments usually 2 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello.
The main theme in a composition.
Features 2 chords with one note from the first chord being suspended into the following note. This causes dissonance, which is resolved when the held note is lowered a step into the new chord.
Played by larger Big Bands, characterised by swung rhythms with improvised solos between larger ensemble sections.
A large-scale work for full orchestra in the classical era with 3 or 4 movements - Fast, Slow, Minuet and Trio, Fast.
2 sections but returns to the first ABA.
Theme And Variation
Features a constantly repeating theme that is musically varied on each repetition, changing the character of the melody each time - A A1 A2 A3 A4.
A vocal/choral composition with little or no repetition of the music.
Tierce De Picardi
The final chord of a piece of music in the minor key is changed to major.
The time signature is varied so the number of beats in a bar and/or the grouping of notes is changed.
A one-movement piece for orchestra, which tells a story or maybe relates to an experience from the composer's life.
Rapid up and down movement of a bow on a stringed instrument, creating a trembling, quivering effect.