Music Terms

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Music and Culture
Ken Mc Leod

Music Terminology Frequency rate of sound vibration Pitch high = rapid frequency low = slow frequency Dynamics amplitude of sound vibrations loudnesssoftness of sound Forte (loud) vs. Piano (soft) Crescendo gradually getting louder Decrescendo gradually getting softer Tone ColorTimbre quality of sound dependent on instrument of production i.e. Brass, Strings, Woodwinds, Percussion, Piano, Voice etc. - usually described in terms like warm woodwinds bright brass, dark strings, etc. Rhythm arrangement of duration of sounds pattern of tension and release over time Beat basic unit of musical duration regular recurring pulse Accent - emphasizing strong or weak beats Meter grouping of beats into recurring patterns MeasureBar a single occurrence of the recurring pattern Simple Meter: (dupletriple) main beats not subdivided or subdivided into two i.e. 24, 34, 44 Compound Meter main beats are subdivided into three i.e. 68 Syncopation accenting a normally unaccented beat or portion of beat (off beat) T
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