A Capella

unaccompanied vocal music

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-created in Sistine Chapel where instruments were forbidden to accompany the singers

An elaborate lyrical song for solo voice
-reflective,emotional songs
-action pauses for aria
basso continuo
a small ensemble of at least 2 instrumentalists who provide a foundation for the melody, heard almost exclusively in Baroque music
A french term used broadly to indicate a lyrical song from the middle age into the 20th century
a male adult singer who had been castrated as a boy to keep his voice from changing so that it would remain in the soprano or alto register
Chamber music
music,usually instrumental music, performed in a small concert hall or private residence with just one performer on each part
is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir.
an instrumental genre in which one or more soloists play with and against a larger orchestra
a showy passage for the soloist appearing near the end of the movement in a concerto
Comic Opera
a type of opera from the 18th century that portrays everyday characters and situations, and using spoken dialogue and simple songs
a final and concluding section of a musical composition
Dance Suite
a collection of instrumental dances, each w/ its own distinctive rhythm and character

The center-most portion of sonata-allegro form, in which the thematic material of the exposition is developed and extended, transformed, or reduced to its essence;

often the most confrontational and ustable section of the movement


In a fugue, the opening section, in which each voice in turn has the opportunity to present the subject;


free section of a fugue
Gregorian Chant
unaccompanied vocal music with sacred latin text
syllabic singing
style of singing in which each syllable of text has one note
mellismatic singing
many notes sung to just one syllable
Early polyphony of the western church (9th-13th centuries)
Proper of the mass
The sections of the mass that are sung to texts that vary with each feast day
Ordinary of the mass
the 5 sung portions of the mass that never change
a type of secular poet musician that flourished in southern france during the 12th and 13th centuries
female poet musician of medieval southern france
a type of secular poet musician that flourished in northern france in the 13th and early 14th centuries

Renaissance belief that people have the capacity to create many things good and beautiful

-Emphasis on human worth

imitative counterpoint
type of counterpoint in which the voices or lines frequently use imitation

Composition for several solo voices

-usually 4 or 5 voices

-sing love poems

word painting
the process of depicting the text in music
Early Baroque solo song accompanied by a basso continuo
Figured bass
in musical notation, a numerical shorthand that tells the player which unwritten notes  to fill in above the written bass note
Terraced dynamics
shifting the volume of a sound suddenly from one level to another

a drame where actors sing their part

-uses elaborate stage & costumes

text of an opera
musically heightened speech, often used in an opera, oratorio or cantata to report dramatic action and advance the plot
a musical figure, motive, melody, harmony, or rhythm that is repeated again and again
Idiomatic writing
musical composition that exploits the strengths and avoids the weaknesses of particular voices and instruments
a large instrumental ensemble
an introductory movement usually for orchestra that precedes an opera, oratorio, or dance suite

“something sounded”

-a multi movement work for solo instrument, or instrument w/ keyboard accompaniment

Ritornello form
Form in which all or part of the main theme returns several times
melodic sequence
repetition of a musical motive at successively higher or lower degrees of the scale

a composition for 3 or more parts

-vocal or instrumental

Begins w/ successive statements of the subject(exposition)

continues w/ alternations of subject and episodes

-episodes change key internally & build tension

-subject is harmonically stable

primary musical idea in a fugue
pedal point

low note sustained under several different harmonies


Opera like composition on sacred theme w/o staging and costumes
Opera Seria

Serious opera

-dealt w/ nobility and glorifies them

Themes return in original order
a light, multi movement composition for strings or small orchestra
18th century period during which thinkers gave free rein to the pursuit of truth and the discovery of natural laws
Vienesse school
group of classical composers, including Haydn, Mozart,Beethoven,Schubert, whose careers unfolded in vienna
an ensemble, vocal or instrumental, with 3 performers
a modern dance in 3/4, though actually danced in patterns of 6 steps, w/ no upbeat but w/ highly symmetrical phrasing
transition (bridge)
In sonata-allegro form, the unstable section in which the tonality changes from tonic to dominant in preparation for the appearance of a 2nd theme
Kochel (K) number
identifies all of mozarts 600+ compositionsin chronological order
a genre of instrumental music for orchestra consisting of several movements; also the orchestral ensemble that plays this genre
a rapid, jovial work in triple meter often used in place of the minuet as the 3rd movement in a string quartet or symphony
String quartet
single I an II violin, viola, and a cello
ternary form
a 3 part musical form in which the 3rd section is a repeat of the 1st