Glossary of Music Theory Vocab 2

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at a slow tempo
Agogic accent
stress of length–a certain note is played longer than the others in rhythmic pattern
Alberti bass
a stereotyped accompaniment played on a keyboard instrument with the left hand
at a brisk lively tempo
Alto clef
staff symboled with an arrow point on the third line indicating Middle C
note(s) preceding the first downbeat of a musical period
moderately slow
Antecedent phrase
subject of fugue or canon–first phrase of musical period
early sounding of tone(s) of a succeeding chord to form temporary dissonance
embellishing note/tone preceding essential melodic note/tone usually written as a note of smaller size
Arpeggiated 6/4 chord
A way of creating motion without changing harmony, occurs after a root position or first inversion of the triad. The harmony does not change and the bass moves among members of the triad, i.e., CEG, EGC, GCE
production of the tones of a chord in succession and not simultaneously
the way notes are joined one to the other to form a musical line, e.g., staccato, legato, tenuto, glissando, slur, phrase mark, accents, sforzandos, rinforzandos, etc.
Asymmetric meter
or 'asymmetrical time signature', usually, meters (time signatures) with 5 or 7 as the top number, although these meters are more properly examples of 'additive meter' or 'additive rhythm'
Augmentation dot
a dot placed after a note or rest to extend its duration. A single dot extends a note or rest by a further half of its undotted duration. A second dot extends a note or rest by a further quarter of its undotted duration
Augmented triad
a modified major triad obtained by raising the fifth note one semitone (half step). It is two major thirds, one on top of the other. An _________is denoted by appending a "+" to the major triad name
Authentic cadence
a closing harmonic progression consisting of the dominant chord followed by the tonic chord (V-I)
Binary form
__________ is sometimes characterized as having the form AB, although AA' is also frequently used. In the former case (AB) the first section (A) begins usually in the key of the piece (say C major) and ends on the dominant (in this case, G major). It may then be repeated. The second section (B) starts in the key in which the first section ended (in this case, G major) but finishes in the key in which section A started (in this case C major). The second section too may be repeated. In the latter case (AA') the two halves are very similar in rhythmic and melodic shape and, where written for a mixed ensemble, the instrumentation does not vary between the sections. Binary form is commonly found in Baroque dance movements such as the allemande, courante, sarabande, etc.
Borrowed division
a term used to describe when a note is divided into an unusual number of smaller notes, for example, when three crotchets (quarter notes) are to be played in the time of a minim (a half note), i.e. as a triplet
(Latin, meaning 'short') a double whole note equal to two semibreves (whole notes)
This is a specific and most common use of second inversion triads, found frequently at the end of phrases. It consists of a second inversion tonic triad, followed by a root position dominant chord, which then usually resolves according to form a cadence.
Cadential 6/4 chord
often at cadences, the root position dominant is preceded by a chord that has the same bass note as the dominant, but contains the notes of the tonic triad. Since the chord contains the notes of the tonic, it seems logical to label the chord
6/4. The purpose of the sixth and fourth above the bass is to embellish and therefore intensify the dominant harmony. The fourth is a suspension that delays the entrance of the leading tone over the dominant bass. The fifth can also be delayed by suspending the sixth above the bass.
Changing tone
also called nota cambiata, a device in strict counterpoint where a non-harmonic note is used on an accented beat, which then passes by step to a consonance, or by skip to a note belonging to another chord
(from the Greek, chroma meaning 'colour') pertaining to notes that are foreign to a given key, scale or chord, for example, a chromatic scale, notes that, if the key signature reflects the current key, might be marked with accidentals. When applied to a musical instrument, a term indicating that the instrument is capable of producing the full twelve-note chromatic scale, as opposed to a more restricted diatonic scale in one particular key
Chromatic scale
the scale that uses all twelve pitches, composed solely of semitones
Church modes
Any of eight scales of medieval music, each distinguished by its ending note, its arrangement of pitches in intervals, and its range (Ionian, Dorian, Lydian, Phrygian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian)
Circle of fifths
we can draw this
Closely related keys
keys having similar key signatures (e.g. a minor and C major and G major)
Compound meter
a meter that includes a triple subdivision within the beat. e.g. 6/8
Consequent phrase
a concluding response to or resolution of a preceding phrase, known as the antecedent, with which the said phrase often shares a similar rhythm and/or pitch contour
an acoustically stable complex of two or more pitches; mathematically, the ratios of pitches formed from the Tetrad (the series 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.)
abbreviation for basso continuo; figured bass
Contrasting period
a complex of two phrases in which phrases A and B differ enough melodically so as to sound dissimilar, or contrasting
(It. Growing) increasing loudness
Cross rhythm
a rhythm in which the regular pattern of accents of the prevailing meter is contradicted by a conflicting pattern; extended syncopation
In a piece whose texture consists clearly of a melody with accompaniment, an accompanying part with distinct, though subordinate, melodic interest
Deceptive cadence
the harmonic progression V-vi
the natural scale, consisting of five whole tones and two semitones
Diminished chord
when a perfect or minor interval is made a half step smaller
the presentation of a subject in halved values so that the quarter note becomes an eighth note
decrease volume, indicated by this sign: >
not pleasing to the ear
the 5th degree of the major or minor scale, so called on account of its “dominating” position in harmony as well as melody
Dominant Seventh
usually acts as a substitute for V
has key signature of note a step below it (i.e. D scale will have no sharps and flats because it has key signature of C)
Dynamic Accent
A __________is a stress of loudness, whereby a certain note is played louder than other notes within the rhythmic pattern.
The loudness or softness of a composition. Piano (p) is soft. Forte (f) is loud. Also included in dynamics are the crescendo ("slowly growing louder"), decrescendo ("slowly growing softer"), and the sforzando ("sudden loudness").
The perception, after the fact, of a metrically weak final chord (of a chord progression) as being in a strong position as the initial chord of the next progression.
Embellishing tones
NCT’s such as suspensions, passing tones, appoggiaturas, escape tones, neighbor tones, etc.
The phenomenon that two separate notations stand for the same sound. For example, the enharmonic spelling of F-sharp is G-flat.
Escape Tone
non-harmonic note (tone), the opposite of an appoggiatura, being approached by a tone (whole step) or semitone (half step) and resolving to a chord note by a leap
Figured Bass
the bass part generally of a Baroque composition that is marked so as to indicate the harmonies that should go with each note.
Half Cadence
any chord to a V chord
Harmonic Minor
the ___________ is the same as the natural minor scale, except that the leading note, the seventh degree VII, is raised by a half step both when the scale is ascending and when it is descending.
Harmonic Rhythm
the rate of harmonic change
also called 'cross-rhythm', a rhythmic pattern where two notes are played in the time allotted to three or where three notes are played in the time allotted to two (the latter is also called a 'triplet')
commonly used to mean music written in a chordal or familiar style (i.e. homophony), as opposed to music that is polyphonic (having many independent parts) or antiphonic (where musical lines alternate)
the repetition of a phrase, usually at a different pitch, by another voice or part, i.e. fugal writing. The original statement is called the 'antecedent' while the repetition is called the 'consequent'
Imitative polyphony
polyphony during which the two or more voices imitate each other with sequences or other motives
Imperfect authentic cadence
V (any inversion) to I (any inversion)
where the notes in a chord or triad do not follow their standard order which is, reading from the bottom note up, root - third – fifth (-seventh)
modal scale with the key signature of its starting pitch; equivalent to the modern major mode
(Italian) broad, a slow tempo
pattern of beats; term used for regular succession of rhythmical impulses, or beats, in music with ¾ and 6/8 being described as different kinds of meters. Time-values of notes actually heard are the rhythm.
Minor Triad
the lower interval is a minor third and the upper is a major third. The outer is a perfect fifth.
The Church Mode that takes the key signature of the note a perfect fifth below the starting pitch.
names for each of the ways of ordering a scale
Modified Sequence
a sequence where the repetitions of the pattern are neither tonal nor real
a shift of tonal center that takes place within an individual movement
having a single unaccompanied melodic line
a recurrent phrase or figure that is developed through the course of a musical composition
Natural Minor Scale
The __________ is like a major scale with a lowered 3, 6, and 7.
Neighbor Tone
a non chord tone that is approached by a step and left by a step in the opposite direction.
Nonchord tones
a tone, either diatonic or chromatic, that is not a member of the chord
Leading tone
(US) the seventh degree of a major, harmonic minor or rising melodic minor scale. If the note is flattened in descending minor keys it is then called a 'flattened __________'(for which theorists reserve the name 'subtonic')
on plucked instruments three techniques are used for _______ effect, namely 'hammer-ons', 'pull-offs' and 'legato slides'
seldom used mode consisting of the rising interval sequence S-T-T-S-T-T-T, (T=tone or whole-step, S=semitone or half-step)
modal scale with the key signature of the note a fourth below its starting pitch
Major scale
a mode consisting of the rising interval sequence T-T-S-T-T-T-S, (T=tone or whole-step, S=semitone or half-step)
Major chord
a chord that has a major third and a perfect fifth
(English, Danish, Swedish, Dutch) the third degree of the scale, so called because it is midway between the first degree of the scale (the tonic) and the fifth degree of the scale (the dominant)
Melodic minor
also called 'tonic minor' and widely used in jazz, a scale with a minor 3rd, a major 6th and 7th (which, unlike the ________ minor scale described below, in the same up and down). This scale and its modes (e.g. mode 3, the augmented major 7th; mode 4, the Lydian dominant; mode 6, the half-diminished; mode 7, the altered) form the basis of '_________ minor harmony'
Melodic contour
the quality of movement of a melody, including nearness or farness of successive pitches or notes in a melody. This may be described as conjunct or disjunct, stepwise or skipwise, respectively.

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