AP Music Theory Terms
Difficult terms from the Collegeboard's released term list
Terms in this set (98)
A small extended cadence, ending with the perfect authentic. In sonata form, sometimes at the end of the exposition (in secondary key) and usually at the end of the recapitulation (in primary key).
The perception, after the fact, of a cadential chord or note at the end of one phrase as that of the next phrase. It is metrically weak in the first phrase and strong in the second.
Lengthening the duration of rhythms. [multiplication]
Stepwise melodic motion.
Shortening the duration of rhythms. [division]
Melodic motion with leaps.
Lengthening a part of a phrase, often to delay a cadence (cadential _____). [addition]
Division of a musical idea (motive, theme, etc.) into segments.
Where a phrase extends beyond its expected length.
Of a chord: having a bass note that is a different chord member than the root.
Of a melody: "mirror image" melody that uses the same intervals as a primary melody but in opposite directions.
Change of a rhythmic motive (augmentation, diminution, retrograde, extension, truncation).
Transposing some notes of a melodic line up an octave. Ex: in an arpeggio, going down a 6th instead of up a 3rd.
Playing a melody backwards.
Change of the rhythm of a theme in order to vary it from previous statements.
Transposition of a longer sequence to a different scale degree. May either be diatonic or intervalically exact.
A sequence that maintains exact intervals in transposition.
A sequence that uses diatonic transposition.
A sequence that transposes with neither diatonic nor exact interval movement.
Shortening of a musical phrase. [subtraction]
Four phrases that form two pairs in which the final phrase ends more conclusively than the previous three.
Two phrases in which the antecedent and consequent contain different material. The first often ends on a half cadence and the second on an authentic cadence.
contrasting double period
Four phrases that form two pairs, the second pair substantially different from the first and ending with a stronger cadence.
Two phrases that begin very similarly or identically but with the consequent phrase ending stronger than the antecedent phrase.
parallel double period
Four phrases that form two pairs in which both pairs begin similarly and the final cadence is strongest.
A period with three phrases (often AAB or ABB, [as in phrases, not periods])
A collection of phrases that do not form a period or double period.
motive, subphrase, phrase, period
The organizational structures of musical ideas in increasing order (1, 2, 3, 4).
The repeated section of a strophic piece of music; the chorus.
A movement with two sections.
Binary form structured AB, where A is not repeated at the end
Binary form structured ABA', where (usually) half the A section is repeated at the end.
A musical form structured ABA, where the A sections are at least nearly identical and the B section is dramatically different and in a different key.
A phrase group that roughly corresponds to a poetic verse. There are usually multiple of these with basically identical music and different lyrics.
A (lyrical) form that repeats a single verse or formal section (AAAA...).
A central or primary melody that often repeats and forms the basis for a piece of music. As opposed to an idea or motif, it is usually a complete phrase or period.
Variation of a theme by using modulation, fragmentation, transposition, etc.
Opposite of strophic form, a continuous (lyrical) form with no repetition or sections.
Every instrument plays together.
Material is repeated in an altered form.
Melodic movement from an octave to a seventh above the bass.
4-3, 7-6, 9-8
Figured bass notation for the three common suspensions and their melodic resolutions that occur in the treble clef (1, 2, 3 in increasing order).
In figured bass, a figure with a _____ or ____ indicates that the note creating the interval in question is raised a half step.
perfect authentic cadence
An authentic cadence where the V and I chords are both in root position and the highest voice of the I chord plays the tonic (do).
imperfect authentic cadence
An authentic cadence where either (1) the highest voice of the I is not the tonic, (2) one of the chords are inverted, or (3) the V is replaced with a diminished vii. [Root position, Inverted, Leading tone]
Phrygian half cadence
A half cadence in minor from iv6 to V.
A cadence ending with a chord other than the tonic.
major-minor seventh (Mm7)
A seventh chord with the same structure as a dominant seventh but without denoting dominant function.
The minor seventh scale degree (not leading tone).
Rate at which chords change. Usually used when the rate changes.
rate of harmonic change
Rate at which chords change. Usually used when the rate is constant.
common tone modulation
Using one or more tones that are common to both keys in a modulation as an intersection between them.
Sudden modulations from one phrase to the next without common chords or tones (Bon Jovi up a 5th).
pivot chord modulation
Using one or more chords that are common to both keys in a modulation as an intersection between them.
Formed by 2-3 neighboring notes occurring at the same time in similar motion to create a new chord with a root a step away from the first chord's (that returns to the first chord).
A progression that sounds backwards because it resolves away from the tonic and thus weakens it.
The treatment of a pitch other than the tonic as a temporary tonic, often by use of secondary dominants.
Nonharmonic tone: approached by leap, left by step.
Musical flourishes performed as "fast notes" around a central note. Includes grace notes, trills, mordents, turns, etc.
double neighbor (neighboring group, changing tones, cambiata)
Two consecutive nonchord tones: step away, leap toward, step toward. Escape tone + appoggiatura.
Tone preceding the suspension. It is the same note that is suspended, during its initial playing (while a harmonic tone on the first chord).
Approached by same tone, left by step up. Resolves after the chord plays.
Approached by same tone, left by step down. Resolves after the chord plays.
The resolved note of a suspension repeats on the beat.
Resolution of one suspension serves as the preparation for the next.
cross relation (false relation)
The simultaneous or adjacent occurrence of a note and the same note with an accidental in different voices. Avoid.
crossed voices (voice crossing)
A lower voice that has a pitch higher than a higher voice and vice versa.
direct fifths/octaves (hidden fifths/octaves)
Results when the outer voices move in similar motion to either a P5 or P8, with a leap in the soprano voice. Avoid.
Two voices move together and the lower voice passes above where the upper voices was, or vice versa.
A tone that is harmonically or melodically unstable and tends to naturally resolve itself either upward or downward.
The repetition of a contrapuntal passage with two voices that exchange their parts in the repeated portion.
Characterized by two groups simultaneously playing different parts that respond to each other.
Sudden changes in dynamics from loud to soft with no crescendo or decrescendo.
Faster than andante, but slower than moderato.
Immediate decrease in tempo.
An accent characterized by a note that has a longer duration than surrounding notes.
An accent that increases the dynamic level of a particular note.
An accent on a strong beat of a measure, usually the first beat.
Displacement of a rhythmic figure a certain amount of beats ahead or behind.
A group of 2 notes that lasts one beat in a compound time signature.
Two bars in simple triple time are articulated as if they were three bars in simple duple time.
Singing several notes over one syllable of text.
Each syllable of text is matched to a single note.
Arpeggiated bass accompaniment, where the notes of the chord are presented in the order lowest, highest, middle, highest.
A contrapuntal composition that employs a melody with one or more imitations. "Rounds" are a type of canon.
Simultaneous variation of a melodic line.
Several voices or parts move together.
Sameness of rhythm in all parts.
A single melody without accompaniment.
Instruments that provide the harmonic structure of music, such as a keyboard and cello.
Played exactly as written.
A motif or phrase that is persistently repeated in the same voice, usually identically.
The range of a singer or instrument.
A piece with a singer singing the primary melody over an orchestral accompaniment.
A song that is meant for lyric poetry, not part of a staged work, and/or intended for formal recital.
A composition, usually comprising three movements, in which a solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra.
A composition in two or more voices built on a theme that is introduced at the beginning in imitation (repetition at different pitches) and recurs frequently.
A musical form comprising an exposition, development, and recapitulation.