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organization of musical elements in time; concerned principally with the structure and coherence of a musical work


verbatim restatement of something heard earlier in a work


substantial change in a work, usually in more than one element


the compositional technique of applying changes to one or more elements of a musical work

binary form

two-part form in which both the first and the second parts are typically repeated

rounded binary form

two-part form in which the second part needs with a substantial or complete restatement of the first part

variation form (theme and variations)

form that typically begins with a theme, with the rest of the work being an intdeterminate number of variations based on the melody, harmony, and/or other musical elements of the theme

strophic form

vocal form in which different lyrics are sung to each repetition of the same melody


a consistent and comprehensive set of choices that define a body of music from a time, place, culture, or creative entity (a composer, performer, or group)

secular music

nonsacred music


everyday language of a particular region


secular French song of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries


monophonic liturgical music


early polyphonic music with a simple secondary part added to a chant melody


basic melodic part in chant, in which each note was held far longer than usual


musical texture in which two or more instruments simultaneously play different versions of the melody


association of professionals with common interests or concerns

Divine Office

periods of daily prayer in monasteries, which occurred at regular intervals in the day, from sunrise to after sunset

plainchant (chant)

music used in both the Mass and the Divine Office

Gregorian chant

the most widely used chant in western Europe


used to describe chant text setting having one note per syllable of text


used to describe chant text setting that generally has two to four notes per syllable


used to describe the most elaborate form of text setting, in which a single syllable may be sustained for many notes


chant with prose text, sung before and sometimes after a psalm


note continuously sounding throughout a piece or a large section of a piece


code of behavior expected oft eh medieval noble class

courtly love

rigid medieval social protocol in which a man could think of having an adulterous relationship with a woman but could not consummate it


multifaceted entertainer who, by the thirteenth century, was typically an instrumentalist usually attached to a court


poet-musician who wrote and sang about courtly love


multipart song with a recurrent refrain

mensural notation

notation developed into the mid-thirteenth century that, for the first time, indicated specific rhythmic relationship as well as pitch


dance for couples, popular in France and Italy from the twelfth through the fourteenth centuries

cantus firmus

preexisting melody that serves as the starting point for a polyphonic composition

ABA form

three-part form featuring an opening section, a contrasting middle section, and the repetition of the opening section

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