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Terminology Defined Terminology defined (Terminology 01 - Terminology 11)

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University of Alberta
Debra Lacoste

Terminology 1 Melody an organized musical line. The tune in music. Phrase section of a melody marked off by a pause (called a cadence). Pitch the exact highness or lowness of a note. Note names A to G. Interval distance between any two pitches. Half step distance between a white note on the piano and the black note next to it. Whole step distance between two white notes on the piano when there is a black note between them. Dynamics loudness or softness of sound. Pianissimo very soft (pp) Piano soft (p) Mezzo piano medium soft (mp) Mezzo forte medium loud (mf) Forte loud (f) Fortissimo very loud (ff) Crescendo gradual increase Decrescendo gradual decrease (diminuendo) Rhythm the organization of notes in time Beat regular pulse of the music Rest pause in music Measure grouping of beats Meter patterns of strong and weak beats in a measure (accent) Time signature tells how many beats in a measure and what type of rhythmic note gets one beat Syncopation when notes seem to come ahead of the beat. Stress or accent on a note is placed in an unusual spot in the measure. Tempo Speed of the music Largo - broad Adagio - easy Andante at a walking pace Moderato - moderate Vivace - lively Allegro - fast Presto very fast Terminology 2 Harmony melody plus its accompaniment Key called by the main note of the tonic Scale group of notes arranged in ascending or descending order Major WWHWWWH Minor WHWWHW Chromatic scale series of half steps from tonic to octave higher or lower Pentatonic scale a scale with only five notes. Often used in Asian music Modulation changing keys during the course of a composition Chords three or more notes played together Triad most common type of chord. Consists of one primary note and a third and fifth above it Arpeggio notes in a chord sounded one after the other instead of together Tonic the note that dominates the melody (keynote) Dominant a triad built on the fifth note of the scale Chord progression movement of harmony from one chord to the next Cadence stopping points in the music Texture the way in which musical sounds are combined Monophony melody with no accompaniment Homophony melody with accompaniment; melody predominates (song texture) Polyphony two or more distinct musical lines played at once Counterpoint the musical textures in which the separate musical lines are particularly clear and stay independent more or less throughout a piece is called counterpoint Round a special kind of counterpoint in which one line of music is sung at staggered intervals to produce interweaving lines Form the structural organization of a piece of music Genre a class or category of artistic work; a type of piece in music Musical style term used to describe the way in which the elements of music are used to create musicTerminology 3 Timbre - the distinctive sound of an instrument or voice (tone colour) Orchestra - any large group of instruments playing together Choir - group of singers Soprano, Tenor - High singer Mezzo-soprano, Baritone - Medium singer Alto, Bass - Low singer Strings - largest section of the orchestra Violin, viola, cello, bass - main instruments of the string section played primarily by drawing a bow across the strings (bow made of horsehair) also can be plucked (pizzicato) Harp, guitar - also played by plucking Woodwind - played by blowing air through the instruments Flute - originally made of wood but now made of silver, platinum, or gold and held sideways and played by blowing across a hole in the mouthpiece and produces different pitches by opening and closing holes with keys Piccolo - small version of the flute with a brilliant, shrill tone Oboe, basson - played with double reeds made of cane English horn - a lower pitched oboe Clarinet - played with a single reed made of cane and has 3 (low, middle, high) distinct registers Brass - tones are created by vibrating th
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