How can we help?
You can also find more resources in our
Select a category
Something is confusing
Something is broken
I have a suggestion
What is your email?
What is 1 + 3?
key terms from the first 9 chapters of Norton's "The Enjoyment of Music"
Line or tune in music
How the melody moves up or down
A melody's span of pitches
Span between two pitches in a melody
Moves in small, connected intervals
Moves in large, leaping intervals
Units that make up a melody
Small resting period at the end of a phrase
Secondary, accompanying melody
Moves music forward in time
Marked off in MEASURES, organizes the BEATS, often starts with a DOWNBEAT
Duple, triple, quadruple
Subdivide each beat into three, rather than two, subbeats
Upbeats, offbeats, syncopation, polyrhythm
Used in some world musics
Describes simultaneous events in music
Simultaneous sounding of three or more pitches
Sequence of pitches, makes up a chord
Most common chord in Western music
Harmony is derived from them
Central tone around which a melody is built, this principle is called tonality
Unstable or discordant harmony
Occurs with the resolution of dissonance
Single sustained tone
interweaving of the melodic lines with harmony in music.
single-voiced music without accompaniment.
multiple voices elaborating the same melody at the same time.
many-voiced texture based on counterpoint—one line set against another.
occurs when one melodic voice is prominent over the accompanying lines, or voices
subcategory of homophony in which all the voices move in the same rhythm.
when a melodic idea is presented in one voice, then restated in another (canons, rounds)
organizing principle in music; its basic elements are repetition, contrast, and variation.
common in songs, features repeated music for each stanza of text.
a melodic idea used as a building block in a large-scale work and can be broken into small, component fragments known as motives.
results when a motive is repeated at a different pitch
a repetitive style involving a soloist and a group.
the repetition of a short musical melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic pattern.
Large-scale compositions, such as symphonies and sonatas, are divided into sections, or movements.
rate of speed, or pace, of the music.
llegro (fast), moderato (moderate), adagio (quite slow), accelerando (speeding up the pace), and ritardando (slowing the pace).
device that indicates the tempo, or beats per minute, by sounding a pulse.
describe the volume, or how loud or soft the music is played; Italian dynamic terms include forte (loud) and piano (soft).
generates vibrations and transmits them into the air.
Types of human voice
soprano and alto for female voices, and tenor and bass for male voices.
aerophones (such as flutes or horns), chordophones (such as violins or guitars), idiophones (such as bells or cymbals) and membranophones (drums).
Four families of instruments
strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.
violin, viola, cello, and double bass; plucked strings include harp and guitar.
flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and saxophone.
trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba.
idiophones (xylophone, cymbals, triangle) and membranophones (timpani, bass drum); some instruments are pitched (chimes) while others are unpitched (tambourine).
piano and organ, do not fit neatly into the Western classification system.
a cappella singing
nsemble music for small groups, with one player per part.
Standard chamber ensembles
include string quartets as well as woodwind quintets and brass quintets.
features eighty to one hundred players.
beats patterns with a baton to help the performers keep the same tempo.