156 terms

AP Music Theory Vocab

I'd suggest pressing the "Learn" button. And make sure you check off all of the boxes that would ignore punctuation, parentheses, caps and spaces. It just makes it easier.

Terms in this set (...)

cadential extension
delay of cadence by addition of material
conclusion of a composition
marks end of sonatas, ends in a perfect cadence; not necessarily signals the end of the piece; a smaller version of a coda
shape of the melody
elision (phrase elision)
when the last note of one phrase serves as the first note of the next phrase
passage at end of a section which leads to the next section, often repetition of previous section
Twelve-bar blues
three four-bar phrases, aab or abc patter, most commonly I/I/I/I/IV/IV/I/I/V/IV/I/I
division of a musical idea into segments
internal expansion
phrase extends beyond the expected phrase length
augmentation (motivic transformation)
diminution (motivic transformation)
phrase extension
Once the composers establishes a phrase length, it can be extended in the up-beat, body, or cadence portions of the phrase.
internal expansion
phrase extends beyond the expected length
literal repetition
sequences are repeated, indicated by repeat sign, capo, or segno
motivic transformation
when rhythmic theme is changed
octave displacement
taking a melodic line and moving some of the notes into a different octave
retrograde motion
This occurs when in a melodic line is performed backwards.
rhythmic transformation
multiplication, rotation, permutation (i.e. transposition, inversion, and retrograde), and combinations thereof involving rhythm
pattern that is repeated immediately in the same voice but that begins on a different pitch class
sequential repetition
Transposing a longer sequence to a different scale degree; may be diatonic or intervalically exact.
shortened version
abbreviated version of a piece
to write or play music in some key other than the original
utilizing a melody with part of the end omitted
contrasting period
period in which phrase beginnings are not similar
double period
four phrases in two pair, cadence at end of second pair is stronger than cadence at the end of the first pair
parallel period
melodic material that begin the two halves of the periods are similar
phrase group
group of phrases seem to belong together without forming period or double period
music that is repeated after each stanza (verse); Also called the chorus or burden
small forms
I didn't find a definition for this one (type small forms)
movement with two main sections
rounded binary
A B 1/2 A almost identical to ternary (does anyone know what this means?)
A B A, or statement-contrast-return
two or more sections of a song have similar music and different lyrics
A A' A''-repetition of one formal section
thematic transformation
The alteration of themes for the sake of changing their character while still having the base identity.
coninuous, non-sectional, non-repetitive
every instrument playing together
material is altered during repetition
Conclusive Cadence
Any cadence ending on the tonic chord
inconclusive cadence
any cadence not ending on the tonic chord
tonic function
"closer," place where progression finishes; sounds like a conclusion.
dominant function
leads to tonic; Progression leads to half cadence
predominant function
Progression sets up the dominant-tonic tonality
harmonic rhythm
rate at which chords change
common tone modulation
using one or more tones that are common to both keys as an intersection b/w them
phrase modulation
modulations without common chords or tones
pivot chord modulation
using one or more chords that are common to both keys as an intersection b/w them
rate of harmonic change
the rate at which chords change
realize, realization of a figured bass
structure of a figured bass realization of a four-part Roman numeral progression (I don't get this one)
series of chords that weakens a tonality. Movement from V - IV
A chord other than tonic seems to the ear to be a temporary tonic; usually set up by a secondary dominant
melodic decoration (an ornament note)
tone preceding the suspension (same pitch as suspension)
rearticulated suspension
suspension that is rearticulated on the beat
suspension chain
resolution of one suspension serves as preparation for another
contrary motion
voices moving in different direction
Oblique motion
one voice stays the same, the other moves
objectionable parallels
P5, P8
similar motion
both voices move in the same direction
tendency tone
7-1 except in 1-7-6-5, 4-3 (No idea what this means)
unresolved leading tone
Not resolving the leading tone to the tonic
voice exchange
When voice parts exchange notes in order to prolong a chord: For example, a I chord moving to a I6 chord could exchange the root and the third with the bass and soprano voices.
chords that contain only notes found in the scale
lead sheet
an abbreviated musical score, consisting of a melody line with chord names or symbols, and sometimes lyrics
quality or type
e.g. perfect, major, minor, diminshed, augmented
whole tone
a musical interval of two semitones
A performance style in which an ensemble is divided into two or more groups, performing alternately as separate groups and in unison.
Directive for a musician to play a stringed instrument with a bow as opposed to plucked or pizzicato
A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition in a smooth, graceful, connected style, as opposed to staccato. It is often indicated by a slur over the effected notes or as an accent mark with a line over the notes to be performed in this manner.
Marked, accented, emphatic, stressed.
A directive to a bowed string instrument performer that the indicated notes are to be plucked with the fingers rather than bowed (arco).
A sign in musical notation consisting of a curved line drawn over or under a series of notes, indicating that those notes should be played legato
A style of playing notes in a detached, separated, distinct manner, as opposed to legato. This is indicated by dots directly above or below the notehead.
A directive to perform a certain note or chord of a composition in a sustained manner for longer than its full duration.
Call and response
Performance style with a singing leader who is imitated by a chorus of followers; also responsorial singing.
terrace dynamics
Expressive style typical of some early music in which volume levels shift abruptly from soft to loud and back without gradual crescendos and decrescendos.
A musical unit, often a component of a melody.
A slow tempo marking between Largo and Andante; a composition written in a slow tempo, frequently the second movement of sonatas, symphonies
a fast tempo marking between allegretto and vivace; a comp in fast tempo usually the first or last movement of a sonata or a symphony
A moderate tempo marking between Largo and Moderato. This tempo typically has between 76 and 108 beats per minute.
A moderate tempo marking slightly faster than Andante and slower than Moderato.
The slowest tempo in music.
A slow and solemn tempo marking, having between 40 and 60 beats per minute.
A directive to perform the designated passage of a composition in a moderate tempo; moderately, restrained.
A directive to perform the indicated passage of a composition very quickly.
A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition in a lively or brisk manner.
Gradually accelerating or getting faster
A directive to slow the tempo down, to gradually delay the tempo
A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition with a slowing of the tempo more suddenly and extremely than a ritardando
A practice common in Romantic compositions of taking part of the duration from one note and giving it to another. It involves the performer tastefully stretching, slowing, or hurrying the tempo as she/he sees fit, thus imparting flexibility and emotion to the performance.
agogic accent
An accent created by duration, rather than loudness or metrical position
dynamic accent
To play an indicated note louder.
metrical accent
Any beat that is strong within its metrical context.
anacrusis (pickup; upbeat)
Upbeat; a beat preceding beat one of a complete measure; a conductor's upward sweeping gesture prior to the downbeat
Asymmetrical meter
Time signatures with 5 or 7 as the top number
Statement of a melody in longer note values, often twice as slow as the original.
Compound beat type
Meter in which each beat is divisible by three rather than two.
Simple beat type
Meter in which each beat is divisibel by two
Changing meter (multimeter)
The meter changes regularly, from measure to measure, and can be indicated by a double time signature
Cross rhythm
The simultaneous use of two or more different rhythmic patterns.
A Renaissance and Baroque ornamentation which consists of the restatement of a melody in which the note values are shortened, usually by half.
dot, double dot
A mark that represents a duration directive in musical notation. When placed to the right of the notehead, the dot indicates that a note should have half again its original duration. For example, if a dot is placed to the right of a half note, the note would then have the duration of a half note plus a quarter note.
dotted rhythm
Rhythms that consist basically of a dotted note and a note following after it worth one third the duration of the entire duration of the dotted note.
A group of two notes played in the time usually taken to play three
The length of time that a note is sounded. This term can also refer to the notation of the length of time that a note is to be sounded or the length of time that a rest should be observed (silence).
the rhythmic relation of three notes in the time of two, i.e., the triplet.
irregular meter
The time signature changes frequently -- often every measure -- and serves more as an organizational guide than an indication of strong downbeat
Measure of time; you need this in order to count how many beats are in a measure and to figure out the duration of the notes.
A rhythmic pattern with the measure being divisible by two. This includes simple double rhythm such as 2/2, 4/4, but also such compound rhythms as 6/8.
Metrical pattern with four beats to the measure; 4/4 or common time, etc
A metrical pattern having three beats to a measure.
note value
the duration of a note, or the relationship of the duration of the note to the measure.
The use of several patterns or meters simultaneously, a technique used in 20th century compositions.
Music's underlying, ongoing beat
swing rhythm
American style of jazz music originating in the 1930's. It was characterized by "big band" instrumentation, a greater emphasis on solo passages, and a 4/4 tempo with an almost even emphasis on each beat of the measure.
Putting an emphasis on a note rhtymically that would not usually be emphasized.
Three notes of equal length that are to be performed in the duration of two notes of equal length.
Refers to the notes that are in the scale as indicated by the key signature
Singing one word or syllable over several notes.
Poetic lyrics (or verses) which alternate with a repeating refrain.
Music sung with one note per word or syllable.
Alberti bass
An accompaniment derived from broken chords.
Counterpoint imitative polyphony
Lines sounding together using the same or simlar melodies, with the second voice entering soon after the first.
Counterpoint nonimitative polyphony
Two melodies are essentially different, but are harmonious when performed contrapuntually.
fugal imitation
Imitation of the subject which enters at a different pitch level, usually the fourth or fifth.
Literally "different sounds." Simultaneous performance of modified versions of the same melody. Uncommon in Western music.
Melody supported by accompaniment.
chordal homophony
The same, or almost the same rhythm is applied to all voices of the musical texture, like a hymn.
chordal texture
Lots of chords in melody?
Division of the orchestra: Tubular wind instruments usually made of brass. Trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone (Paul), euphonium, and tuba.
Two performers who play continually throughout a performance; a cellist and a keyboardist, both reading from figured-bass scores. Essential to ensemble music from about 1600-1750 (the Baroque era.)
Division of the orchestra: Any instrument that makes its sound by being struck. Common members are drums; cymbals; timpani; xylophones
rhythm section
That part of the band or orchestra composed of unpitched instruments which produce their sound by being struck. The backbone of this is the drums.
Division of the orchestra: Instruments that make their sound from strings which are bowed or plucked. The string section is composed of violin, viola (Joey), cello, and double bass. (This is obvious)
The quality of a sound; "tone color"; i.e.; the reediness of an oboe; the warmth of the cello; the brassiness of a trumpet.
musical instruments which produce sound when the players blow air against an edge of, or opening in, the instruments, causing the air to vibrate within a resonator
A single melodic line with no other support
Two or more melodies are combined; multiple melodies have equal importance.
Part of the range of an instrument or voice that is different from other parts; for example, singers speak of their "head voice" and "chest voice."
The general range of a composition in relation to the performer's range; described as high or low
italian for "all"
Walking bass
a bass line that moves steadily in a rhythm contrasting to that of the upper parts
A solo song within an opera or oratorio
Art song
A solo song not from an opera; often from the Romantic era
A large-scale, multi-movement piece written for a solo instrument and orchestra
A piece employing imitative counterpoint based on a subject that is presented and expanded upon by two or more voices
Music written to be played between acts of a play, opera, or ballet.
Large-scale musical/theatrical piece; a play set to music and presented with full orchestra, singers, sets, and costumes.
A piece written to precede some other musical work or worship service; also, a short, self-contained musical piece.
Usually, recessional music for a worship service
A piece written for solo instrument (such as piano) or a single-line instrument (such as flute or cello) and piano.
String quartet
An ensemble of four stringed instruments: Two violins, viola, and cello. Also, music written for this ensemble.
Sectional Binary
first section of this ends on tonic triad or main key
Continuous Binary
first section ends on any other chord (AB)