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Glossary of Music Theory Vocab

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accelerando
gradually getting faster
accent
stress of one tone over others
accidental
music symbols placed at left side of head of a note to raise, lower, or return to normal pitch of note
adagio
slow tempo
agogic accent
accent effected by longer duration of note
alberti bass
accompaniment playd on keyboard instrument with left hand, with chords broken
allegro
fast tempo
andante
walking tempo
andantino
moderate tempo slightly faster than andante and slower than moderato
antecedent
first of a pair of musical statements
anticipation
unaccented, non-harmonic note that belongs to and is repeated in harmony immediately following
appogiatura
note preparatory to another
arpeggio
broken chord in which individual notes are sounded one after another
articulation
directions through symbols and icons on a musical score that indicate characteristics of attack, duration, and decay of a given note
augmentation
lengthening of note value in a melodic line
augmented
triad major third and augmented fifth
authentic cadence
V-I
bar line
lines dividing certain number of beats into measures
bass
lowest parts
beat
temporal unit of composition - acoustical phenomenon resulting from interference of two sound waves of slightly different frequency
binary
music divided into two parts
brass
term applied to wind instruments made of brass
bridge
contrasting section which also prepares for the return of the original material section
cadence
chordal/melodic progression that occurs at the end of a phrase, section, or composition
cadential extension
the prolongation of a cadence by additional material beyond the point at which the cadence is expected
cambiata
nonharmonic tone insterted between a dissonance and its resolution
canon
strict counterpoint in which each voice exactly imitates previous voice at fixed distance
changed note
nonharmonic note is used on an accented beat then passees by step to a consonance or by skip to a note belonging to another chord
changing meter
music in which there are changing time signaturees
chorus
line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse
chromatic
scale consisting of twelve half-tones to the octave
close position
all notes in chord are arranged as close as possible
compound beat
beath which has background of three equal positions
compound interval
interval greater than octave
concerto
a musical work in which one solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra
consequent
second of a pair of musical statements
consonance
accord of sounds sweet and pleasing to ear
constrasting
two different phrases
contour
shape of a melody
contrapuntal
point against point/note against note
contrary motion
when two voices move in opposite directions
countermelody
melody designed to fit against the principal melody
counterpoint
art of combining two or more melodies to be performed simultaneously and musically
crescendo
increase the volume of phrase/passage
cross relation
chromaticism occuring between two different voices in adjacent chords
cross rhythm
juxtaposition of simultaneous but conlicting rhythmic patterns
deceptive cadence
V-VI - V to any chord except I
iii6-vi, vii6-vi, V-IV6
diatonic
scale consisting of whole and half-tone steps
diminished
triad minor third and diminished fifth
diminished seventh
chord diminished triad and diminished seventh interval above root
diminuendo
decrease the volumee of phrase/passage
diminution
shortening of note values in a melodic line
direct fifths
motion to a fifth in similar motion
direct octaves
similar motion of outer voices to an octave in chord progression
dissonance
two or more notes sounded together which are discordant
dominant
fifth tone of scale
dominant seventh
major-minor seventh chord built on ffifth scale degree in either major and harmonic minor tonality
dorian
similar to natural minor except its sixth is raised
dot
used after a note to indicate augmentation of its value by one-half; above a note to indicate staccato
dotted rhythm
in jazz, cross-rhythm based on dotted quarter notes, extending through passage
double dot
appearing to the right of a note or rest, note/rest is given one and one-half its original value
double period
two antecedents and two consequents
doubling
tone of chord sounds simultaneously in another voice in unison or octave
duple
regular grouping to time units by two
duplet
group of two notes played in time of three
duration
relative length of tone or rest
dynamic accent
accent achieved by increase in volume
dynamics
loudness or softness of composition
echapee
ornamentation between notes proceeding in stepwise fashion in which ornamental note will go the opposite way of the progression
embellishment
ornamentation
figured bass
indicates harmonies that should go with each note
first inversion
third of triad is placed in bass
flatted fifth
diminished fifth
forte
loud
fragmentation
breaking up a subject into small segments
fugue
most mature form of imitative counter-point
half cadence
any cadence ending on V preceded by ii, IV, or I, or any other chord

half-diminished seventh
chord minor third, diminished fifth, minor seventh
harmonic minor
natural scale except leading note is rased by semitone both when scale is ascending and when it is descending
harmonic rhythm
rate of harmonic change
hemiola
two notes are played in time allotted to three or where three notes are played in the time allotted to two
heterophonic
difference of sound
heterophony
two or more musicians simultaneously performing slightly different versions of the same melody
homophony
style of comp. in which there is one melody, all voices + accomp. move rhythmically together
imitation
repetition in second voice or part of theme, motif, phrase prresented by first voice
imperfect authentic cadence
highest voice is not tonic, could be inverted - V6-I
improvisation
without previous preparation or any written notes
instrumentation
art of arranging composition for performance by instrumental ensemble
interval
distance between two pitches
introduction
the opening part of a piece of music
inversion
position of a chord when fundamental is not the lowest note
inversion of an interval
complement of an interval
key signature
convienient grouping of accidentals used in a piece
largo
slow and solemn tempo
lead sheet
'fake music' all that is required to be able to play a head arrangement, written representation of the theme and accompanying chords
leading tone
major seventh of scale
legato
smooth, graceful, connected style
lento
slow
lydian
same as major except its fourth degree is raised one semitone
major
major third and perfect fifth
major seventh
seventh chord major triad and major seventh interval above root
major-minor seventh
seventh chord major triad and minor seventh above root
mediant
third note of scale
melismatic
use of many notes for one syllable of text
melodic minor
descending, 6th and 7th are flattened so that the scale is the same as a descending natural minor scale
melody
tune, succession of notes comprised of mode, rhythm, and pitches arranged to achieve musical shape
meter
basic scheme of note values and accents
mezzo forte
somewhat loud
minor
minor third and perfect fifth
minor seventh
chord minor triad and minor seventh above root
minor-major seventh
seventh chord minor triad and major seventh interval above root
mixolydian
same as major except its seventh is lowered one semitone
modality
choice of tones between which the relationship of tonality exsists
mode
specific selection and arrangement of tones forming the tonal substance of a composition
moderato
moderately fast
modulation
process of changing from one key to another
monophony
music written for only one voice or part
motive
smallest identifiable element of melody or rhythm, basis of largee themes/phrases that gives a musical work a sense of cohesion
musical genre
referring to particular style of music
natural minor (aeolian)
rising interval sequence WWWHWW
neighboring tone
nonharmonic note that leaves and returns to the same chord note by a whole or half step
note value
indicates relative duration of note (color, shape, stem, flag)
oblique motion
one voice remaining on same pitch while other moves
octatonic (diminished scale)
WHWHWHWH.
octave displacement
melody with notes played in differing octave registers
open position
occurs if any note is placed one octave up or down from 'close' position
ornament
decorative notes of short duration
ostinato
short melodic, rhythmic, or harmonic pattern repeated throughout a composition or some portion of it
parallel fifths
two voices moving in parallel motion from one perfect fifth to another perfect fifth
parallel key
majorand minor founded on same key note
parallel major or minor
minor key having same tonic note as major key
parallel motion
two or more melodic lines which move at same interval spacing from one position to next
parallel octaves
two voices moving in paralllel motion from onee octave to another octave
parallel period
antecedent/consequent pairing
passing tone
nonharmonic note that appears between two notes in stepwise motion
pedal point
low, sustained tone that remains steady in the bass of a composition while other voices move
pentatonic
scale of five tones
percussion
instruments that are sounded by striking, shaking, plucking, or scraping
perfect authentic cadence
chords are in root position and root of final chord is in the highest voice - V-I
period
phrase consisting usually of an antecedent and a consequent and totaling about 8 measures in length
phrase
section of usic relatively self contained and coherent over a medium time scale
phrasing
allows each phrase to be conceived as a single unit - breathing in correct places, using rhythm, dynamics, and musicianship to give music shape
phrygian
similar to natural minor scale except its second degree is lowered one semitone
phrygian half cadence
HC from iv6-V in minor key
pianisimo
very softly
piano
soft
picardy third
ending a composition with a major chord when the rest is in a minor key
pizzicato
indicated notes are to be plucked with fingers rather than bowed
plagal cadence
IV-I
polyphonic
style of composition that has many voices, each with its own melody
polyrhythm
simultaneous use of striking contrasting rhythms in different parts of musical fabric
presto
quite fast
pulse
underlying beat over which rhythm is superimposed
quadruple
regular grouping to time units by four
quality
particular choice of third, fifth, and seventh in a chord
realization
the performing of a composition that is not notated in its entirety
realization of the figured bass
by the continuo performer, even though the entire harmonization is not notated
register
division of range of instrument or singing voice
relative key
key which has the same key signature as its major and minor counterpart
relative major
major relative to minor key, tonic lies a minor third below its own
relative minor
minor relative to major key, tonic lies minor third above its own
resolution
resolving of a dissonant sound to consonant sound in following chord
retardation
lackening, slowing down of the tempo
retrograde
moving backwards
rhythm
alternating tension and relaxation in duration of tones
rhythm section
performers of percussion instruments of an ensemble
ritardando
gradually delay tempo
ritenuto
slowing of tempo more suddenly and extremely than ritardando
root
generating note of triad or any of its inversions
root position
root of triad is placed in bass
rounded binary
form with two seections in which second ends with a return to material from first
rubato
taking part of duration from one note and giving it to another
second inverstion
fifth of triad is placed in bass
sequence
systematic transposition of motive to different scale degrees
seventh chord
four-tone chord built in thirds above given root
similar motion
two parts moving in same direction but not necessarily same distance
slur
curved line drawn over or under a series of notes indicating that they should be played legato
sonata
instrumental composition, usually for a solo instrument, in three or four contrasting, extended movements
song form
term used to describe ABA or ternary structure
soprano
highest voice
staccato
detached, separated, distinct mannr
stanza
section of music
strings
any musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings
strophic
form in which same music is repeated for each verse
subdominant
fourth of scale
submediant
sixth of scale
subtonic
seventh degree of natural minor scale
supertonic
second note of scale
suspension
single note of one chord is held over into another chord
swing rhythm
first of pair of written eighth notes is played longer than second
syllabic
use of one note for each syllable of text
symphony
an extended piece for full orchestra
syncopation
deliberate upsetting of normal pulse of meter, accent, rhythm
tempo
speed of rhythm of a composition
ternary
music dividedn into three parts
tessitura
general range of composition or of particular voice of composition
theme
subject, musical motto serving as baisis of a composition or movement
through-composed
form with no pre-established musical structure
tie
curved line placed over note and repetition to show that two shall be performed as one unbroken note
timbre
quality of a sound
time signature
symbol indicating the type of meter and unit of beat
tonal
one w/o intervals of semitone
tonality
all notes in scale related to one central tone
tonic
note upon which sale/key is based
transposition
process of shifting music from one tonality to another
triad
fundamental harmoning consisting of root, third, and fifth
triple
regular grouping to time units by three
triplet
group of three notes to be performed in place of two of the same kind
tritone
musical interval spanning three whole tones
turnaround
in jazz, using a set of chords played at the end of one section to provide a smomoth transition into the next section
twelve-bar blues
a chord progression using a rhythmic scheme of twelve 4/4 bars to the verse with swing or shuffle
unison
same pitch
variation
transformation of theme by means of harmonic, rhythmic, melodic changes
verse
section of the song in which different sets of words are sung to the same repeated melody
vivace
lively/brisk manner
voice crossing
writing of four-part music in which certain voice is above or below an adjacent voice
walking bass
bass line that moves steadily in rhythm contrasting to that of upper parts
whole-tone
scale composed of only six notes, all whole step from each other
woodwinds
instruments that are made of wood and sounded by means of air

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