Terms in this set (98)
Rhythm refers to the general way music unfolds in time. It is the main driving force and in a more specific sense "a rhythm" refers to the actual arrangement of durations-long and short notes-in a particular melody or some other musical passage.
Beats provide the basic unit of measurement for time in music; if ordinary clock time is measured in seconds, musical time is measured in beats. They serve as steady, vigorous background for other, more complicated rhythms that we discern at the same time.
Important for allowing people to discern beats. Accents are really what enable us to beat time, since the simplest way to do this is to alternate accented ("strong") and unaccented ("weak") beats.
A strong/weak pattern repeated again and again. For example, ONE two and ONE two three. Meter is background, rhythm is foreground. A background of stressed and unstressed beats in a simple, regular, pattern. A meter and a beat are different because a meter uses a beat to determine the measure or bar.
Each occurrence of a pattern, consisting of a principal strong beat and one or more weaker beats. In Western music there are only two basic kinds of meter: duple meter and triple meter
When the main beats are divided in twos
Dividing the main beats into threes.
One way of obtaining interesting, striking effects in music is to move the accents in a foreground rhythm away from their normal position on the beats of the background meter. In syncopation, accents can be displaced so they go one TWO/one TWO (weak STRONG)/(weak STRONG).
The term for the speed of music is tempo; in metrical music, the tempo is the rate fat which the basic, regular beats of the meter follow one another.
a mechanical or electric device that ticks out beats at any desired tempo.
On the slow side, but not too slow
on the fast side, but not too fast
largo, lento, grave
slow, very slow
somewhat faster than largo
somewhat faster than andante
faster than allegro
very fast indeed
The scientific term for the rate of sound vibration. On the level of perception, our ears respond differently to sounds of high and low frequencies, and very fine gradations in between.
People speak about "high" and "low" sounds quite unselfconsciously, as though they know that the latter actually have a low frequency-relatively few cycles-and the former a high frequency. The musical term for this quality of sound, which is recognized as pitch. Low pitches (low frequencies) result from long vibrating elements, high pitches from short ones.
The level of sound. The main categories are simply loud and soft, forte and piano and by adding the word mezzo before it can be expressed as medium. Changes in dynamics can be sudden (subito) or they can be gradual (a soft passage swells into a loud one, crescendo) or a powerful blare fades into quietness (decrescendo or diminuendo)
general quality, depending on the instruments or voices that produce them. Tone color is produced in a more complex way than pitch and dynamics. Piano strings and other sound producing bodies vibrate not only along their total length but also the same time in half lengths, quarters, eights, and so on. Tone color can be described as bright, warm, ringing, hollow, or brassy.
These fractional vibrations are called overtones. They are much lower in amplitude than the main vibrations; for this reason we hear overtones not as distinct pitches, but somehow as part of the strong's basic or fundamental pitch. The amount and the exact mixture of overtones are what give a sound its characteristic tone color. A flute has few overtones. A trumpet has many.
A selection of ordered pitches that provides the pitch material for music.
Any two pitches will have a certain distance, or a difference in highness and lowness, between them. This distance is called an interval.
The interval between a pari of duplicating notes, eight notes apart on the diatonic scale.
The set of seven pitches represented by the white notes of the piano, within one octave.
The set of twelve pitches represented by all the white and black notes on the piano, within one octave.
The smallest interval, or a semitone, which is the distance between any two successive notes on a chromatic scale. For example a C to a C#.
Or a whole tone, is equivalent to two half steps. C to D or E to F#
An organized series of pitches. Melodies can be built from any scale.
A simple, easily singable melody that is coherent and complete.
A distinctive fragment of melody, distintive enough so that it will be easily recognized when it returns again and again within a long composition.
The most general term for the basic subject matter of the longer pieces of music. Theme is another name for topic: the themes or topics of an essay you might write are the main points you announce, repeat, develop, and hammer home.
A section of a melody or a tune. Singing a song requires breathing-and the natural tendency is to breathe at the end of phrases.
In a melody, a series of fragments identical except for their placement at successively higher or lower pitch levels.
The notes or chords (or the whole short passage) ending a section of music with a feeling of conclusiveness. The term cadence can be applied to phrases, sections of works, or complete works or movements.
Distinct high point
The simultaneous sounding of different pitches, or chords
A grouping of pitches played and heard simultaneously
To provide each note of a melody with a chord
Intervals or chords that sound relatively stable and free of tension, as opposed to dissonance.
Intervals or chords that sound relatively tense and unstable, in opposition to consonance.
Used to refer to the way the various sounds and melodic lines occurring simultaneously in music interact or blend with one another.
The term for the simplest texture, a single unaccompanied melody: Gregorian chant
A musical texture that involves only one melody of real interest, combined with chords or other subsidiary sounds
Musical texture in which two or more melodic lines are played or sung simultaneously; as opposed to a homophony or monophony.
(1) polyphony; strictly speaking, the technique of writing polyphonic music; (2) the term a counterpoint is used for a melodic line that forms polyphony when played along with other lines; (3) in counterpoint means "forming polyphony". Relationship between two voices that are harmonically interdependent but are independent in rhythm and contour.
results when the various lines sounding together use the same or fairly similar melodies, with one coming in shortly after another.The easiest example is "Row Row Row your boat"
Occurs when the melodies are different from one another. An example of this would be a jazz band, with the trumpet playing the main tune flanked top and bottom by the clarinet and the trombone playing melodies of their own.
The homing instinct. The home pitch or the tonal pitch is called tonic.
In music since the Renaissance, one of the two types of tonality: major mode or minor mode; also in earlier times, one of several orientations of the diatonic scale with D,E, F, and G tonics
One of the modes of the diatonic scale, oriented around C as the tonic; characterized by the interval between the first and third notes containing four semitones, as opposed to three in the minor mode.
ONe of the modes of the diatonic scale, oriented around A as the tonic; characterized by the interval between the first and third notes containing three semitones, as opposed to the four in the major mode.
Thanks to the chromatic scale, major and minor modes can be constructed starting on any pitch. These different positions for the modes are called keys.
Changing key within a piece.
Form is the relationship that connects those beginnings, middles, and ends. Also has a great deal to do with emotional quality. It is an important concept that refers to the shape, arrangement, relationship, or organization of various elements.
Style, like form, is another of those broad, general words-general but necessary. The combination of qualities that make it distinctive.
A period term used by art historians and musicologists. It is the period from 1600-1750 during the Age of Absolutism. This was the time of the divine right of kinds. This was also the age of Science.
Improvising melodic extras
Is the bass part (lowest part of the polyphonic music) that is always linked to a series of chords.
A system of notating the continuo chords in Baroque music, by means of figures; sometimes also used to mean continuo
A large composition for orchestra and solo instrument
The main early Baroque type of concerto, for a group of solo instruments and a small orchestra
A self-contained section of a larger piece, such as a symphony or concerto grosso
The orchestral material at the beginning of a concerto grosso, etc. which always returns later in the piece.
A form in which a single melodic unit is repeated with harmonic, rhythmic, dynamic, or timbral changes.
An ostinato in the bass
An ostinato in the bass
An improvised passage for the soloist in a concerto, or sometimes in other works. Concerto cadenzas usually come near the ends of movements
A composition written systematically in imitative polyphony, usually with a single main theme, the fugue subject.
The term for the principal theme of a fugue
The first section of a fugue or the first section of a sonata-form movement.
In a fugue, appearances of the entire fugue subject after the opening exposition
In a fugue, a passage that does not contain any complete appearances of the fugue subject.
In a fugue, a subsidiary melodic line that appears regularly in a counterpoint with the subject
Reading or playing a melody or a twelve-tone series upside down, i.e playing all its upward intervals downward and vice versa
In a fugue, overlapping entrances of the fugue subject in several voices simultaneously
An introductory piece, leading to another, such as a fugue or an opera.
A chord "broken" so that its pitches are played in quick succession rather than simultaneously
(1) A popular 17th and 18th century dance in moderate triple meter. (2) a movement in a sonata, symphony, etc. based on this dance.
A baroque dance in slow triple meter, with a secondary accent on the second beat
A piece consisting of a series of dances
A baroque dance in a lively compound meter
A musical form having two different sections; AB form
A piece for three instruments or singers; the second or B section of a minuet movement, scherzo, etc.
A term for the serious, heroic opera of the Baroque period in Italy
A half-singing, half-reciting style of presenting words in opera, cantata, oratorio, etc., following speech accents and speech rhythms closely. Secco recitative is accompanied only by continuo; accompanied recitative is accompanied by orchestra
A vocal number for solo singer and orchestra, generally in an opera, cantata, or oratorio
Literally, "from the beginning"; a direction to the performer to repeat music from the beginning of the piece up to a later point.
Long semidramatic piece on a religious subject for soloists, chorus, and orchestra
A cantata with religious words
German for hymn; also used for a four-part harmonization of a Lutheran hymn, such as Bach composed in his Cantata No,4 and other works
A setting of a chorale melody in which the tune is presented in phrases with "gaps" between them, during which other music continues in other voices or instruments.
A fugue begins with an exposition in which all the voices present the subject in an orderly, standardized way. THe subject is announced in the most prominent way possible. After the exposition, the subject enters at intervals; and some of these later subject entires come in different keys. THe passages of music separating the later subject entries are called episodes.
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