Music Fundamentals: Terminology
Music 103 (Honors)
Prof. Michael Rowlett
Musical Related Terms Things to Listen For
beat/pulse Beat: Strongly accented? Hard to feel?
rhythm accent Repeated rhythmic patterns (long-short, etc.)
tempo Level of rhythmic activity: rhythmically active (many rapid notes)? or more relaxed
meter (more sustained notes)?
downbeat Tempo: Fast? Slow? Moderate?
syncopation Special rhythmic effects: syncopation, unusual accents
12 pitches in an Major key or minor key?
flats and sharps Change of key?
Melodic shape (ascending, descending, arch-shaped, etc.)
melody phrase Melodic motion (conjunct, disjunct)
sequence Melodic phrasing (units of melody): long or short units? all the same length?
conjunct, disjunct Melodic character: lyrical, motivic, other qualities (soaring, static, persistent, etc.)
motive Repeated melodic motives, repeated melodies
cadence Cadences (where are they located?) Rowlett/Music Terminology