the frequency of the tone (i.e. # of vibrations per second)
distance from the lowest to the highest pitch
combination of pitch, and rhythm, and timbre
music in which a voice (or voices) has the melody with a chordal accompaniment
(“point against point”): the relationship between 2+ voices that are harmonically interdependent (polyphony) but independent in contour and rhythm; the art of putting together different lines of music in a way that sounds good
vocal range that is usually the lowest female voice in choral music; also used to describe range of musical instruments
recognizable melody; musical subject of a section but can be the complete musical expression itself; can also have countertheme (sonata)
Ex. Most fugues are monothematic and most pieces in sonata form are polythematic
ternary form
3 main sections in ABA pattern
aspect of music that pertains to simultaneous combinations of notes, the intervals and chords that result, and the correct succession of chords
music in which the progression of the melody and harmony gives the strong feeling that the piece has a note and chord that are its home base. i. e. “Row, Row, Row your Boat”
major mode/key
a key whose harmony is based on the major scale; sounds brighter, cheerier
timbre (tone color)
the color in music; the quality that distinguishes voices and instruments, has nothing to do with sound’s pitch, loudness, or length
technique of changing the note (pitch) of a syllable of text while it is being sung
in a mode or chant, the reciting tone; in polyphony of 12th and 13th centuries, the voice part that has the chant or other borrowed melody; highest male voice
binary form
comprised of 2 complementary sections, each repeated; first section usually ends on the dominant or relative major while the second returns to the tonic
intensity: level of loudness or softness
pattern of music’s movement in time; particular pattern of short and long durations
recurring patterns of strong and weak beats in regularly recurring units of equal duration
minor mode/key
a key whose harmony is based on the minor scale; sounds darker, sadder
music that combines 2+ melodic lines simultaneously
– Imitative: individual lines are similar in their shapes and sounds (if they are not similar, then it is non-imitative)
the art of matching musical rhythm to the rhythm of a text
lowest part in an ensemble work; low male voice; low instrument, especially the string bass or bass viol
unit of melody or of an entire musical texture that has a distinct beginning and ending and is followed by a pause or other articulation but does not express a complete musical thought
of a poem, consisting of 2+ stanzas that are equal in form and can each be sung to the same melody
combination of elements in a piece or passage, such as the number and relationship of independent parts (as in monophony, heterophony, polyphony, or homophony), groups (as in polychoral music), or musical events
music written in a single melodic line
duple/triple meter
duple – some beats can be divided by 2 vs. divided by 3
particular combination of musical instruments employed in a composition
high female voice; part for such a voice in an ensemble work
melodic or harmonic succession that closes a musical phrase, section, or composition
“time,” speed of performance; relative pace of the music
composed throughout, as when each stanza or other unit of a poem is set to new music rather than in a strophic manner to a single melody
chanting without instrumental accompaniment to keep melody pure; unaccompanied song particularly a liturgical song to a Latin text
Gregorian chant
named after Pope Gregory, also known as plainchant
Ex. Monophony, the Mass (consist of a Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus/Benedictus, and Agnus Dei)
earliest kind of polyphonic music; developed from adding voices above a plainchant; used from 1100s-1200s
“after sound,” early device to create interest; sound against sound
short in composition with sections of homophony
rhythmic pattern and melodic pattern; alternation between parts
characteristic of Medieval European music; music that is not in a particular key based on a major or minor scale so it was based on a particular mode (series of intervals used to construct a scale); collection of melodies/patterns
a Renaissance choral piece, usually unaccompanied
in counterpoint, the restatement of a theme, motif, or phrase in another part
using musical gestures to reinforce or suggest images in a text, such as rising on the word “ascend”
a particularly evocative – or, if used in a disparaging sense, a thoroughly conventional – instance of word-painting
period of music history from 1600 to 1750 overlapping the late Renaissance and early classic periods
composition or section of a composition in imitative texture that is based on a single subject and begins with successive statements of the subject in voices
in a 14th century madrigal, the closing section, in a different meter from the preceding verses
– In 16th- and 17th- century vocal music, instrumental introduction or interlude between sung stanzas
– In an aria, an instrumental passage that recurs several times, like a refrain; typically played at the beginning, as interludes and again at the end, and it states the main theme
– In a fast movement of a concerto, the recurring thematic material played at the beginning by the full orchestra and repeated, usually in varied form, throughout the movement and at the end
da capo aria
aria form with two sections – the first is repeated after the second section’s close, which carries the instructions “from the head” creating an ABA form
in a fugue, a passage of counterpoint between statements of the subject
– a subsidiary passage between presentations of the main thematic material
opera seria
“serious opera,” genre of Italian opera in 1700s, on a serious subject but normally with a happy ending, usually without comic characters and scenes
passage or section in an opera as a type of vocal singing that approaches speech and follows the natural rhythms of the text
theme, used especially for the main melody used in a fugue or other imitative work
“little book,” literary text for an opera
“plural concerto,” composed in 3 movements in which 1 solo instrument is accompanied by an orchestra (concerto grosso is the same but with a small group of instruments)
musical piece for vocal soloists, orchestra, and chorus usually based on religious story with text from Bible
song for solo voice within an opera
secondary theme heard against subject; countertheme
passage or section in the style of a brilliant improvisation, placed near the end of a solo composition
ensemble of instruments or voices with 1+ instrument or a work for such an ensemble
– Composition in which 1+ solo instruments contrasts with an orchestral ensemble
“full,” in a solo concerto or concerto grosso, designates the full orchestra
group of singers who perform together, usually with several singers on each part
– A movement or passage for such a group in an opera
– Refrain of a popular song
in a fugue, a set of entries of the subject
– In sonata form, the first part of the movement, which the main themes are stated beginning in the tonal and usually closing in the dominant
large work for orchestra, usually in 4 movements
string quartet
standard chamber ensemble consisting of 2 violins, viola, and cello
self-contained unit of music, complete in itself, that can stand alone or be joined with others in a larger work; some types of composition typically consist of several movements
contrasting section which also prepares for the return of the original material section (AABA form?)
sonata form
expansion of rounded binary form, described in 800s as consisting of an exposition, development, and recapitulation based on a limited number of themes
in sonata form, the 3rd main section which restates the material from the exposition, normally all in the tonic
short melodic or rhythmic idea that recurs in the same or altered form
dance in moderate triple meter, two-measure units, and binary form
process of reworking, recombining, fragmenting, and varying given themes or other material
– In sonata form, the section after the exposition which modulates through a variety of keys and in which themes from the exposition are presented in new ways
piece or movement in which the first or main section recurs, usually in the tonic, between subsidiary sections or episodes

**In rondo form, a principal theme (sometimes called the “refrain”) alternates with one or more contrasting themes, generally called “episodes,” but also occasionally referred to as “digressions” or “couplets.” Possible patterns in the Classical period include: ABA, ABACA, or ABACADA. The number of themes can vary from piece to piece, and the recurring element is sometimes embellished and/or shortened in order to provide for variation.
The Baroque predecessor to the rondo was the ritornello. Ritornello form was used in the fast movements of baroque concertos. The entire orchestra (in Italian, tutti) plays the main ritornello theme, while soloists play the intervening episodes. While Rondo form is similar to ritornello form, it is different in that ritornello brings back the subject or main theme in fragments and in different keys, but the rondo brings back its theme complete and in the same key.

supplementary ending to a composition or movement; a concluding section that lies outside the form as usually described
opera buffa
“comic opera,” genre of Italian comic opera in 1700s sung throughout
theme and variations
musical form in which a theme is stated, then varied in a succession of musical statements; theme is the original composition of music that has not been changed whereas the variation is the theme changed by adding more notes, harmonizing, changing the rhythm, etc. but still has to be recognizable as the original them
– At the beginning of a movement, the theme is clearly stated. Each section thereafter in the movement is a variation on the theme. The variations may be as simple as a change in key or accompaniment, or a complicated restatement of the theme which may not be recognizable as the original theme. There may be any number of variations on the theme. The end of the movement will have a coda, an extended conclusion to the movement.
orchestral piece introducing an opera
musical subject of a composition or section, or of a set of variations