Gregorian Chant
consists of a single line melody; monophonic, lacks harmony and texture
ascending and descending symbols written above the words of Georgian chants that suggested the contours of the melody
addition of a second voice to a Gregorian melody at the interval of a fifth or a fourth; earliest form of polyphonic music
word painting
making music reflect the meaning of words
cantus firmus
a fixed melody in polyphonic music around which other eloborate voices can revolve
polychoral music
two or three choruses that answer each other antiphonally
groups singing in alternation and then together
a solo song with an instrumental accompaniment
The Camerata
aristocratic humanists who aimed to resurrect the musical-dramatic art of ancient Greece
basso continuo
continuous bass; system in which one musician performs a bass line while the other fills in harmonies
return to the dominant home key in a restatement of the first and second themes
extension of the closing idea that leads to the final cadence in the home key
proper part of mass
changes depending on time in Church calendar
ordinary part of mass
unchanging: kyrie (mercy), gloria (praise), credo (belief), sanctus (praise), agnus dei (mercy)
basically a step up from organum – serene worship (religious) piece in Latin utilizing word painting
A sustained bottom voice over which different notes are sung to create polyphony
Short melodic pattern which is repeated in a work
isorhythmic motet
A motet with a fixed pattern of pitches and a repeating rhythmic pattern
a capella
Literally means “as in the chapel” ; music without instruments
imitation (continuous imitation)
When one voice repeats what is sung by another voice
The Church’s response to Protestant Reformation, they reviewed themselves and their practices, took secular elements out of Church music
Italian madrigal
Basically the secular version of a motet, written in vernacular language
stile rappresentativo
Dramatic, recitative style; more expressive than speech, but not as melodious as song
figured bass
Notation in which the composer puts a number above or below the bass note, indicating a specific chord
Dynamic contrast (terrace dynamics)
The mixing of loud and soft sounds to create polyphonic music
Rise of the Virtuoso Musician
Development of advanced playing techniques, broader vocal range; virtuoso – root: true (veritas) musician
Doctrine of Affections
The idea of using opposing emotions to create affect

love/hate, joy/sorrow, wonder/desire

recitative (opera term)
Musical speech, moves forward the plot
aria (opera term)
Main emotional song
ensemble (opera term)
Duet, trio, quartet featured in an opera
overture (opera term)
Instrumental piece played before opera, conveys theme
libretto (opera term)
Script/text of the opera
Tragedie Lyrique
Portrayed heroic adventure and love through colorful dance scenes and choruses
Consists of a movement in sections contrasted by contradictory harmonies and tempos
sonata de camera
Chamber sonata – had stylized dances
sonata de chisea
Church sonata – more serious in tone
concerto solo
One prominent instrument (often violin) with other instruments supporting
concerto grosso
Opposition of a small group of instruments and a large group of instruments
Imitation in which one voice after another enters in
sonata-allegro form
The form of a first movement of a symphony
exposition (in sonata-allegro form)
Presents two opposing keys, each with its own theme
development (in sonata-allegro form)
Conflict and action, builds tension
lyrical melody
Very clear melodies through methods of symmetry, repetition, and sequence
homophonic texture
Melody with an accompanying harmony
rhythmic regularity
Use of one of the four basic meters – 2/4, 3/4. 4/4, 6/8
The Nature of Symphony
Extensive use of rocket theme (quick rise from low to high) and crescendo; use of an ensemble with all four instrumental families
Musical setting of Mass for the dead
the Romantic song (2 different forms?)
1) strophic, same melody repeated each stanza, 2) through-composed, which uses different music in each section or is not broken into sections
incidental music
Music performed in between the acts of plays or in important scenes
concert overture
portrays literary or patriotic idea
idee fixe
recurrent theme of a symphony
Romantic Choral Music
Amateur musicians formed choirs as a musical outlet in lieu of purchasing expensive instruments
grand opera
Serious historical opera with dramatic effects
Light, comic opera with spoken dialogue
verismo opera
Realistic opera, a corollary to naturalistic writers