Louis Armstrong

AKA Satchmo and Pops, he was a famous American jazz cornetist, trumpeter, and vocalist of the early to mid-20th c.


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Grew up in poverty in New Orleans, was a prodigy.


Mentored by King Oliver, he eventually created Louis Amrstrong and the Hot Five, which recorded some of the most influential jazz of the century.


Menmebrs inculded Earl Hines, Baby Dodds, and Johnny St. Cyr.


Also appeared in over 30 feature films


like Plato, extolled the virtues of music for education but also accepted it as a good form of relaxing entertainment (in Politics 330 B.C).


He believed that muisc contained strong ethos that imitated the passions and was capable of moving them.


Aristotle saw training in performance as neccessary to the development of musical judgment but he also warned against the empty technique of the virtuoso.


author of Harmonics and Rhythmics (mostly lost).


Aristoxenus is important for contrast with the Pythagoreans.  He viewed intervals as diastema, that is spatially conceived rather than mathematically conceived (as ratios) and declared perception more important than mathematics in making musica judgments (ex. consonance vs. dissonance).


He also divided the three genera of the tetrachord into various shades based upon tolerance bands of the frequencies of each of the four notes involved


In German nomenclature, B-A-C-H is spelled with the pitches Bb-A-C-B and has served as a motif for a single germinal idea in musical compositions.


Composers who used this motif include Bach himself, Schumann, Liszt, Reger, Busoni.


It was also widely used by the members of the 2nd Viennes school c/b of its inherent chormatic prospects.  One such example is Schoenberg’s Variations Op.31


One of the foremost German music publishing firms, founded in 1924 by Votterle.


Its editions are generally well-respected by musicians for their honest renderings of orginial manuscripts.


Also the first great German publishing house to produce its own gramophone records

Bay Pslam Book

The first American psalter as well as the first book printed in America, in 1640


Jazz mvt. that deeply influenced the genre.


Started in Harlem with Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk, later by Charlie Parker.


Superimposed melodic themes on harmonic structure that were improvisatory.


Marked by its speed of melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic motion, leading to every tense, compact and dense performance.

William Billings

American composer and teacher of choral singing based in Boston in the later half of the 18th C.


Though deformed physically, he was quite successful.


He wrote almost exclusively sacred choral compositions for unaccompanied 4-part chorus.


His widely popular New England Pslam Singer was the first tune book devoted solely to an Amercian composer

Malcolm Bilson

American contemporary keyboardist, still alive, known for his expertise in early music performance style and practice.


A teacher at ESM and full professor at Cornell, he was one of the first artists to make a persuasive case for the use of period instruments in Viennese Classical music.


Has recording with John Eliot Gardiner of the complete Mozart piano concertos


A secular, predominantly African-American folk music of the 20th C that was related to jazz.


Originas are not well documented, but it was probably associated with the African-American population after 1900.


The Blue scale is essentially a diatonic major scale with “bent” flat pitches on the 3rd, 5th, and 7th note that approximated the melodies of African work songs.


Improvisation was essential, handed down verbally and aurally, b/c most practicioners had little to no education.


To help with this improv, a standard set of 12-bar blues chords progressions emerged, most familiar of which consists of 4 phrase (I / IV-I / V-IV-I).


Important note is that jazzers employ many harmonies that are similar in function to I, IV, V, and throw in minor and 7th and 9th chord.


Percussive piano blues favored for its volume and momentum.


Played by honky-tonk and bar-room pianists.


Characterized by the use of blues chord progressions with a forceful and repetitive left hand bass figure.


Many pattern exist but the most familiar is the doubling of the simple blue bass or the walking bass in broken 8vas.


Also a dance performed to piano accomp., probably stemming from the instructions for performing the dance in Pine-Top’s Boogie-woogie, by Pine Top Smith

Bulgarian rhythms

Distinct use of asymmetrical rhythms built on conbinations of duple and triple meters strung together to make heterometric patterns.


Different patterns serve as the basis for one or  more dance types, which are differentiated by region and choreography.


Most famous dance is the rachenitsa, which is styled on an energetic 7/17 meter of 2+2+3

Carnatic Music

One of 2 styles of Indian classical music, the other being Hindustani music.


From the south, this music is primarily a vocal music, written within a vocal range and with idiomatically vocal elements.


Even when played instrumentally, it is expected to played in a singing style.


The basic musical elements are the raga, or modes and melodic formula, and the tala, the cyclical rhythmic patterms.


The music of the south generally sounds more intellectual and restrained than the music of the more secular north


In many Roman Catholic countries, it is the festivities that occur in the last days and hours before the 40 days of Lent, where in earlier times people would fast and follow other ascetic practices.


In Venice and Rio, the festivities are elaborate and the people are often masked.


As a event that featured elaborate merrymaking, it has contributed to the development of vernacular song and folk dance and popular theater


the notion, borrowed from Byzantine music, that melody be constructed of short motives or “building blocks” similar to those associated with the oktoechos (Middle Ages).


This conception of melody is evident in some western chant


Translated Aristoxenus into Latin and delineated seven musical topics (notes, intervals, genera, scale systems, tonoi, modulation, and melodic composition) and discussed the various species of consonances including naming the seven octave species with ethnic names (Dorian, Phrygian, etc).  These names do not match the church modes with which we are familiar.


In atonal and set theory, it refers to the set of pitches Y that together with another set of pitches X, complete the 12 chromatic pitches.


A recurring counterpoint that accompanies a fugal answer.


Many fuges do not have countersubject, and instead feature free counterpoint that is different with each answer

Crab Canon

Also called cancrizans, if refers to a type of canon whereby one or more comes or followers enter to the regtrograde of the dux or leader.

De Musica

Aristides Quintilianus’ only surviving manuscript probably written in the second or third century A.D.


Attempts a compilation of all knowledge relevant to music.


It is divided into theoretical, practical and metaphysical sections.


Mainly contains summaries of Aristoxenus’ Harmonics and Rhythmics and Pythagorean mathematics.


Practical music treats both performance (instrumental, odic, and theatric) and composition (melodic, rhythmci and poetic).


The metaphysical sections treat questions of musical philosophy, treating music as a form of emotional therapy and servant of philosophy as well as ascribing a dualistic nature to musical materilas (rhythm vs melody, thesis vs arsis, conjunct vs disunct tetrachords, etc).  Often relating these dualisms to male/famle or virtue/ vice dichotomies.


Aristoxenus’s notion of musical space.


Aristoxenus divided musical space into two kinds: continuous (glissandi, no separate pitches per se) and discrete (our modern notion of pitch space.


Discrete intervals were visualized as having space or distance between them, comprising a musical interval or diastema

Diminshed Seventh Chord

A chord used more and more frequently towards the latter part of the 19th C, when music was becoming increasingly chromatic.


One of the reasons is that it is a highly versatile chord in that the modulatory possibilites are several, esp to more remote keys like the mediant or submediant.


It also has unique properties as regards atonal composition because of its inherent symmetry: in atonal theory it is an (0369), which can be read backwards and forwards, as well as transposing onto itselt at T3.;


It is also a 3-cycle and by extension its tritones imply symmetrical bisection of the octave

Die Irae

Latin “Day of Wrath”.


Attributed to Thomas of Celano, it is the opening words of a rhymed hymn, and forms part of the Office of the dead and the Requiem Mass.


The original melody had strong appeal to the Romantic period composers, most famously, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantistique, but also works of Vaughn-Williams, and Saint-Saens, and Liszt


In ancient Greek, a song in honor of Dionysus.


Aristotle described tragedy as having developed from the dithyramb.


As a title for works of the 19th and 20th c, the term suggests music of a passionate, Dionysian character

Don Randel

One of the nation‘s leading musicologists, he has served as editor for the Journal of American Musicology Society, Harvard Dictionary of Music, and the Harvard Dictionary of Music and Musicians.


Recent posts include the President of the U of Chicago, and president of the Mellon Foundation

Double Tonic Complex

A theory concerning associated with the music of Wagner and those who whared simjilar harmonic idioms.


According to Robert Bailey, a double-tonic complex is the pairing of together of two tonalities a minor third apart, with each tonality having its own chromatic mode.


They are so linked that either can serve as the local representative of the tonic.


They may coexist, such that one is in the primary position and the other in a subordinate position.; Either triad may predominate at the beginning or the end, so that the tonal design may or may not be progressive.

dynamic vs. static mese

a distinction made between the idea of a static mese, something like our notion of middle C on the piano, a note central to the usable range, and dynamic mese, something akin to our idea of tonic or scale degree 1 which moves depending on the key in use


A Spanish or Gaulish nun who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem ~381-4 and described the liturgy in use there.


From this we can draw inferences as to the readings, prayers, and chants used in ancient Christian services

Duke Ellington

American jazz pianist who was the greatest of jazz’ bandleaders and composers of the genre.


Early 20s jazz orchestraion was rudimentary, serving only simple dance functions.  But Ellington was at the forefront of a style of arranging that was elaborate and diversified, and which incorporated the current hot style of solo improv.


His own role as pianist within his orchestra was often underrated, but he never sought the limelight himself.


He was the driving energy and the creator of ideas.


Great players from his orchestra include Tricky Sam Nanton n Bubba Miley, both experts in the growl and plunger style


a notion stemming from ancient Greek philosophy that music is capable of affecting mens’ emotions, mental state, and behavior.


Plato ascribes ethos to the various “modes”, each of which has a different effect on the listener.


Ethos was also ascribed to specific instruments, pieces, timbres, rhythms, etc

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

One of the greatest baritones of the 20th c, he had a powerful and rich voice, a probing intellect, and well known as much for his lieder as his opera roles.


Form of dance, song, and instrumental (mostly guitar) music for the Andalusian gypsies of southern Spain.


The essence is cante (song).


There are 3 categories, cante jondo (profound song that deals with very emotional subjects, cante intermedio (hybrid that employs elements of the fandango), and the cante chico (light song, which requires technical skill but is less emotionally invested.


A general name for the classic Indonesian orchestra and for the music it plays, of which there are many different kinds.


The instruments used in gamelan are often not just certain kinds, but specific instruments that have played together for many years.


Javanese music uses 2 different scale systems: a 5-tone system called slendro and a 7-tone systme called pelog.


A complete gamelan consists of 2 sets of instruments, one for pelog and one slendro, with as many as 80 instruments played by 30 players.


The most important are the percussion instruments, consisting of gong, drums, xylophones, and kettles.;


The texture is dense.; The central melodic theme is played by metal xylophones.


There are 2 leaders, the largest drum for tempo and a fiddle for melodic variations.


The three version of Greek tetrachord.


All three span a perfect fourth, but the size of the pyknon (the bottom three notes) in each differs.


The genera are: diatonic (EFGA for example), chormatic (CFF#A for example) and enharmonic (EF#FA, F#=a quarter tone between F and F)


Aristoxenus discusses “shades” of genera in which the acutal intonation of the middle two notes is variable and genera are defined by “tolerance bands” of frequency for the various shades

Greater Perfect System

The ancient Greek pitch space, spanning two octaves which comprised four tetrachords plus an added note at the bottom (proslambenomenos).


The names for the various notes came from the strings of the Greek kithara and were modified depending on which tetrachord they appeared in.

Greek instruments

The most important of the Greek instruments were the kithara, lyre and aulos.


The oboe-like aulos was often featured in Dionysian rites and was associated with a wild, orgiastic ethos and was often featured as a solo instrument or an instrument to accomp dance.


The kithara and lyre were Apollonian stringed instruments, more intellectual than emotional in nature.; They were more often used to accomp song, ode, and theater and featured a calming, soothing ethos.

The Ghosts of Versailles

An opera in 2 acts by John Corigliano, who write it for the 100th anniversary of the Met Opera House.


The original cast included Renee Fleming, an Eastman grad.


Corigliano considers it a grand opera buffa, grand for its large choruses and special effects, and the buffa for its silliness.


It is not part of the standard repertory

Dizzy Gillespie

An American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, who was one of the seminal leaders of the bebop movement.


In the 30s and 40s he played in a number of famous bands, the likes of Ellington and Fitzgerald.


His “Woddy an’ you” was featured on the first bebop recording session, which included him and Coleman Hawkins.


In the late 40s he formed his own orchestra, soon considered one of the finest, with intricate arranging and virtuosity, and which was split between Bebop and Cubop

Benny Goodman

Early 20th C American jazz clarinetist, composer and bandleader.


A leading freelance jazz musician in NYC in the early 1930’s.


Recorded on the Columbia and Victor labels and led his own big band in the mid-1930’s


His solo in “After you’ve gone” examplifies his mature style: a flawless technique, use of the complete range of the instrument, and a fondness for the blue 3rd and desciplined explorations of harmony


The ancient scales or modes.


There were seven harmonia which corresponded with the seven octave species.


Each of the harmonia was given a different ethnic name (Dorian, Lydian etc.) and was said to have a specific ethos.


Theorists argued about whether the harmonia were fixed with regard to pitch (like out untransposed church modes, dorian is always on D) or not (major mode can be in any key)

harmony of the spheres

An idea introduced by the Pythagoreans and later picked up by Plato that astronomy, music, and mathematics were one in the same.


Thus the motions of the heavenly bodies caused actual sounds to occur and made a sort of celestial music


Double reed woodwind instrument resembling the baritone oboe.


It was prefected by Heckel in 1904, but the original request for th instrument came from Wagner 20 years earlier.


He wanted an instrument that was a cross between an alphorn and oboe


A texture assumed by modern scholars to have been prevalent in the ancient world in which one voice or instr. created a melody which was simultaneously sounded and embellished upon by a second voice or instr.


A collection of six pitches.


Hexachords are important in the history of solmization and in 20th c twelve tone theory.


Solmization by means of hexachords prevailed from the 11th c with its development by Guido throught the 16th C.


According to Guido’s system, there were three hexachord (C,F,G) that could be used and overlapped in order to create the “gamut”. 


Pitches in the hexachords are considered music recta, and pitches not in the hexachords were musica ficta


It refers to meter beyond notated measures.  That is, the sense that measures, or groups of measures, organize into hypermeasures, analogous to the way beats organize into measures

Immutable system

Greater Perfect Systen plus the option of adding the synemmenon tetrachord from the Lesser Perfect System

Interval Cycle

In atonal theory, it is set class comprised of repeating motion by the same interval.


Example is a 3-cycle (0369) = dim 7th chord.


There are 6 types, from intervals 1-6.


A 1-cycle is chormatic, 2-cycle is WT, and 5-cycle is pentatonic

Interval Vector

Labels the exact interval-classes within a given set-class.


A special case is when 2 set classes are not related by inversion or transposition, i.e. not in the same set-class, but share the same interval class vector, then they are said to be Z-related

Invertible counterpoint at the 12th

Invertible counterpoint is the contrapuntal design of two or more parts in a polyphonic texture so that any of these parts may serve as the highest part or as the bass.


The underlying principle is that invertible counterpoint is the inversion of intervals with respect to some fixed interval.


For example, In 2 parts, when the counterpoint is inverted at the 12th (or 5th), the voices switch positions so that 8vas become 5ths, and 3rds stay the same.


However, the 6ths, previously consonant, now become 7ths, which are dissonant and are for instance, forbidden in 1st speices, and allowable in 2nd species only on weak beats

Jerome Kern

One of the most significnat composers in the history of American popular music theater.


The major turning point in his career was meeting Oscar Hammerstein, with whom he had a long lasting relationship.  Their greatest work together, and Kern’s most often revived work, was Showboat in 1927.


Famous songs from Showboat include “Ol’ Man River” and Can’t Help Lovin dat man”.


This was the first musical that integrated music and plot in to a cohesive story, deviating from the usual musical revue of that era.

Later in life he worked successfully in Hollywood as a film composer, and his song “The Way you look tonight” won an Academy Award for Best Song

Joseph Kerman

An American scholar and critic.

Founder-editor of the journal 19th C music, and his forceful views and pliant prose has given new life to a discipline usually seen as scientific.


Other publications of his views include his book Operas as Drama and an article called Comtemplating Music


Musicologist, composer and publisher most famous for his cataloguing the works of Mozart in 1862, hence the “K” for Kochel that stands in front of the numbered when referring to Mozart’s composition.


This was the first catalogue of this scale with such a level of scholarship behind it.

Lamentations of Jeremiah

In the Greek and Latin Bible, these are the 5 laments that bear the name Jeremiah, which follow the Book of the Prophecy of Jeremias.


In Greek, they are called Threnoi, in Latin, Lamentationes.


In all 5 elegies, the construction of the verses follows an alphabetical arragement.;


All except the 3rd lament have 22 verses, 22 being corresponding with the number of letters on the Hebrew alphabet.


The 3rd has 66.


These laments hold particular distinction in the Liturgy of the Church in the Office of Passion Week.

Lesser Perfect System

Similar to Greater Perfect System, the Lesser employs a conjunct thred tetrachord speeled A-Bb-C-D and a disjunct fourth tetrachord.


Allowed the intro of Bb into the musical system.


Later scholars (Aristides) associated the ease of moving up to the third conjunct tetrachord with easy virtue and soft effeminacy

Gustav Leonhardt

A 20th C Dutch harpsichordist, organist and conductor.


Famous for his interpretations of Frescobaldi, Froberger, and Louis Couperin.


His standards of interpretative style have won wider audiences for these composers.


His harpsichord playing is tasteful, and subtle, with a firm rhythmic pulse.


His organ playing is sober and austere.


A staunch advocate of performing and recording on historically constructed antique instruments that are linked to the music of specific periods and national schools

David Lewin

American music theorist, music critic and composer.


His influential theoretical works includes the development of transformational theory, which involves the application of mathematical group theory to music

Alfred Mann

Noted musicologist and recently passed professor emeritus at Eastman.


Noted for his translation and commentaries on J Fux‘s treatises, including Gradus ad Parnassum.


He was a well-respected choral conductor, and has a critical edition of Handel’s Messiah.


He also recorded Handel’s 6 Chandos Anthems with the Rutgers Collegium Musicum

Leonard B. Meyer

American musicologist and writer on aesthetics.


Became well-known for the theory of musical meaning expounded in Emotion and Meaning in Music.


He blends Gestalt psychology and American pragmatism of Pierce.


Meyer’s central position is that music’s expressive content or meaning could be observed at those moments when an established pattern had engendered a habitual response, but the pattern had been interrupted in some way


Short for Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.


It is the largest and most comprehensive music encyclopedia, and as a Western music reference source it is comparable only to the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians in size and scope.


It is published by Barenreiter and Metzler


A single string with moveable bridge.


Used by the Pythagoreans and many later musical scholars up through the Renaissance (and into the Baroque) to demonstrate the string length ratios determined musical intervals


A single-voiced texture probably prevalent in ancient music.


Monophonic music could have been created by one singer or instrumentalist, or any number of musicians singing or playing in unisions or octaves

Robert Morris

American composer and theorist, on the facultyESM at .


He has served on faculty at University of Pittsburgh and Yale.


His specialty is atonal music theory and he has published several seminal papers on various subtopics.  He combines atonal procedures with technical processes from other music.


His Motet on Doo-Dah (from “Camptown Races”) combines 14th C isorhythmic motet style with 12-tone technique, with ornamentations from Korean court music

Musical iconography

The science of identification, description, classification, and interpretation of 1. Instruments and their structure, playing techniques, and usage.  2. Performers and composers.  3. Relationship of a type of instrument to a social class, gender, theological, and philosophical framework.  4.  Musical notation.  5.  Performance setting.  6. social function of music.


Examples of prominent institutions for musical iconography is the RCMI Reserch Center for Musical Iconography developed in 1972, and the Gesellschaft der Musicfreunde Wien

Music Index

Published since 1949, it is the single most comprehensive subject-author guide to musical periodical literature.


It surveys data from more than 800 periodicals from over 40 countries in 22 languages


the process whereby a certain note was taken as if it were in one hexachord and quitted as if it were in another, allowing a melody to exceed a six-note range, thus changing from one hexachord to another

Neapolitan Sixth

A triad of major quality in 1st inversion, whose root is scale degree b2.


It most often occurs in minor keys, the 3rd of the chord is most often doubled, and it most often functions as a predominant going directly to V. 


Occasionally there is an intervening chord between the N6 and the Vm usually a vii07/V, creating multiple chromatic stepwise motions, or delayed V in the form of a cadential 6/4


Marks used for the notation of plainchant.

Non-diastematic neumes indicate the melodic direction but not the precise melodic intervals


Diastematic neumes grew out of the 13th C French square notation not only show the direction, but also precise intervals on a musical staff

Roger Norrington

English conductor who started his career as a tenor and choral scholar.


He studied conducting with Adrian Boult and later founded the Heinrich Schutz choir, with whom he made many recordings.


He went on to direct the Kent opera and create the London Classical Players.


He is widely sought after all over Europe, and has served as chief director of the Salzburg Camerata and the Orchestra of St. Lukes

New Wave

Most commonly associated with Western popular music of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. 


The term has roots in the French New Wave movement of film directors, and like them, these bands (i.e. Talking Heads), were anti-corporate experimental, and a generation that had grown up as critical consumers of the music they now practiced

Phrygian cadence

A half cadence of iv6-V in minor, so named because the outer voice motion resembles the Phrygian mode.

Pivot Chord Modulation

In Classical harmony, a pivot choard in a modulation is the chord that functions in both keys, thus it is the transition chord from one key to the next.


For example if one modulates to CM to GM, of the most commonly used pivot chords would be I and V in CM because in GM they function respectivaly as IV and I. (???)

Plagal Cadence

A plagal cadence in traditional tonal harmony is a subdominant chord followed by a tonic chord, noramlly both in root position.


It is also called the Amen cadence because of its frequent use in hymns


ca. 427- 347 BC.


Author of two dialogues which discuss music: Timaeus and the Republic (380 BC).


Plato’s beliefs on music theory were basically Pythagorean.


Socially, he believed music should be used only for education, in balance with gymnastics (mental vs. physical).


Plato invokes the notion of ethos by proclaiming Dorian and Phrygian the only modes with beneficial effects on man.


Plato strongly believed in simple music (no mixed modes) used for education and warned against complex or impressive music for entertainment

Cole Porter

American songwrite of the early 20th C, who was published very early in his life.


Went to Yale and Harvard, an eventually started writing for Broadway.


His success in writing for the show Paris, resulted in a string of musical comedies including Anything Goes, and Kiss me Kate.


At the same time, he was also writing for motion pictures, with songs such as “I get a Kick out of you” and “Ive got you under my skin”


literally “the note we take as an extra“.


This note was added to the bottom of the Greek Greater Perfect System to fill out a complete two octave range


2nd century AD.; He was an important mathematician and the most systematic of the ancient theorists.


He laid out the various species of the consonances in terms of tones and semitones.


He also represented a compromise between Pythagorean and Aristoxenian views of music.


He belived in ratios, but also decreed that the perfect fourth must be a consonance since it sounds like one, thus admitting both mathematics and perception into the realm of musical judgment.


Ptolemy also pared Aristoxenus‘ “excessive” thirteen tonoi down to seven

Pythagorean Comma

Purely tuned 8ve and 5ths in the Pythagorean tuning system result in intonational discrepancies;  (3:2) 12 is unequal to (2) 7 and (9:8) 6 does not equal 2.


That is 12 5ths do not equal 7 octaves and 6 WT do not equal one octave, the way do on a modern piano.


In each case, the discrepancy between these two ratios is 23.5 cents, or the Pythagorean comma


Leader of the ancient Greek Pythagoreans (5th -6th C BC).


None of his writings perse survive but we know that the Pythagoreans were responsible for the notion of expressing musical intervals in terms of ratios.


For them, math, music, and astronomy were one and the same (“harmony of the spheres“)


In the Classical music of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, it is the melodic framework for composition and improvisation.


It is based on a scale of a given set of notes and a typical order of which they appear in melodies, and characteristic musical motifs.


Each raga has a mood or atmosphere that is unique. 


It is analogous to the Arbic maqam


A propulsive and syncopated musical style and a forerunner of jazz, it was the predominant American popular music from the turn of the 20th c to ca 1920.


It was influenced by minstrel-show songs, African-American banjo style, and dance rhythms of the cakewalk.


Normally in 2/4 or 4/4.


Scott Joplin was known as the “Ragtime King“, and one of the most popular rags was the Maple Leaf Rag

Rhythm and Blues

Term used to describe several types of post WWI African-American popular music, as well as some white rock music that derived from it.


The term was coined by Jerry Drexler in 1947, when he was editing the trade yournal Billboard.


The previous descriptive names, like “sepia”, had been demeaning.


Most commonly used to describe the sophiticated urban music that had been developed since the 1930s, when Louis Jordan’s group started making blues-based records with an upbeat rhythm, which owed equally to boogie-woogie and classic blues.


Many later prominent artists included Charles Brown and Big Joe Turner


One of the most comprehensive guides to publications on all kinds of music anywhere in the world.


Its international center is in NY and has entires of publications in over 140 languages.


It was established in 1966

Roman instrument

The most important Roman instruments were the tibia (analogous to the Greek aulos), tuba, cornu, and buccina (horns)

Rounded Binary

A binary form is a complete work that can be separated into 2 sections, A and B.


Through the common practice period both sections were almost always repeated.


Rounded binary form has melodic and harmonic traits: melodically speaking, the opening thematic material returns in the second half of the second section.; Harmonically there is very often a structural half-cadence just before the return of the opening material in the second section.


The presence of the structural HC gives the imnpression of the RB form as a large-scale interrupted period.


The most prevalent kind of RB form is the continuous RB, which ends its 1st section on a HC, giving further harmonic sweep to the overall form.


Not to be confused with a ternary form like a Minuet and Trio or da capo aria form, since these feature independently closed sections

Royal Academy of Music

London association of noblemen, supported by the king, founded in 1718-19 for the promotion of Italian opera (in London at Handel’s time)

Stanley Sadie

British musicologist, critic, and editor.


He served as editor of the New Grove Dictionaries starting in 1970 for many years.


He is also well known for his critical editions of Mozart piano sonatas as well as works by JC Bach and Booccherini

Paul Sacher

A 20th C Swiss conductor, archivist and musical patron.


Specialized in early and modern music.


Founded the Basle Chamber Orchestra and Choir, which explored unusual music from the pre-Classical and modern periods.


He was a tireless champion of 20th C music, and commissioned works by Bartok, Berio, Boulez, Birstwhistle, Carter, Dutilleaux, and many others.


He often conducted the works himself, this includes Strauss’ Metamorphosen.


He also has a number of influential recording

La Scala

An opera theater in Milan, it is the leading opera house in Italy, and one of the best in the world.


It tends to have a repertory more varied than the other important Italian houses.


It was finished in 1778 at the behest of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria.


It suffered in both World Wars, but with Toscanini‘s help it raised enough funds to survive.


One of its golden periods was during Toscanini‘s reign.


It went through extensive renovations in 2001, but reopened in 2004 with the same Salieri opera that opened the house back in 1778

Carl Schachter

A pupil of the great Austrian theorist Schenker, and perhaps the most influential Schenkerian analyst since Schenker himself.


Has co-written influential texts with F Salzer (Counterpoint in Composition: A study in Voice-Leading) and Edward Aldwell (Harmony and Voice Leading).


His renowned students include Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Frederic van Stade, and has held positions at Mannes, Juilliard, and Harvard

Heinrich Schenker

Austrian music theorist whose insights into the structural hierarchies of 18th and 19th music led to a new understanding of melodic and harmonic construction and form.


He studied composition with Bruckner and was an accompanist before turning his energies to theory.


One theory with wide-ranging applications was his concept of Zug, or linear progression, defined as direct passing between 2 non-adjacent notes.


With this idea he was able to describe melodic movement with great precision: departures, arrivals, detours, etc


An Alsatian-German theologian, organist, and philosopher.


He was a world firgure in theological studies while becoming an accomplised organist.


His teacher Widor recognized his unique insights into Bach and asked him to write a book on the composer’s life and art.


The result was JS Bach – le musicien-poete.


He likened Bach to a religious mystic and his music to impersonal and cosmic forces of the universe

Nicholas Slominsky

1894-1995.  A 20th C Russian-American conductor, pianist, and musicologist.


He conducted the world premiere of Varese’s Ionisations and Ive’s 3 places in New England.


He also conducted premieres of Henry Cowell.


Also published a compilation of important musical events in the 20th C call Music since 1900 and the Theasurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, which influenced John Coltrane and John Adams


Probably Persian in origin, it is a large, fretted (movable, allowing fine gradations in intonation) long neck lute with 3-4 playing strings, 3-4 drone strings, and many sympathetic strings.


The typical sitar has more than 20 strings in total.


It is used predominantly in Hindustani classical music.


The player sits cross-legged, holds the siter diagonally at the torso, and plucks the strings with a mizrab.


The characterstic tang sound and buzzing quality is a result of numerous overtones.


It is a prominent instrument in the classical music of the north and central regions of South Asia

Shape note

A system of musical notation used to facilitate congregational singing.


They have been used for over two centuries in a variety of sacred music traditions practiced primarily in the southern part of the US.


Generally, instead of only using notes on a staff to denote pitches, shape note notation used a staff as well as different note-head shapes to match up with solfege syllables.


There is a 4-note and 7-note shape system

Ravi Shankar

Indian sitar player and composer.


Started out as a dancer in his brother’s company in Paris.


After meeting Allaudin Khan, he gave up dancing to pursue music.


By the mid-20th C, he was India’s most sought after classical musician.


His liberal outlook led him to collaborate with many western musicians, including Yehudi Menuhin, Zubin Mehta, and Philip Glass.


He has also composed music for several films


Sometimes refers to a vocal course that studies the musical intervals and their notation.


They are known as vocal exercises on solmization syllables (do, re, mi… etc) and by extension, exercises sung to a single vowel, often florid and difficult to master.


Solfege collections survive from the 17th C onwards, with examples by leading opera composers such as Nicolas Porpora (also a famed teacher) and the 18th C and Cherubini in the 19th C


It: “Tight” or “narrow”.


In a fugue, the procedure of beginning a second statement of the subject before the preceding statement has finished.


Recognized since the mid-17th C by composers such as Bononcini and Reincken, among many others, stretto implies that multiple entrances of statements are compressed for effect, usually near the end of a piece or near a cadence for increasing excitement and intensity, thus leading a piece or phrase to a suitable close.


It was a popular compositional technique among contrapuntal Renaissance composers.


the alternate tetrachord in the Lesser Perfect System which comprises the notes A-Bb-C-D thus forming a conjunction between the third and fourth tetrachords.


Adding this tetrachord as an option to the Greater Perfect System formed the Immutable System

Syntonic Comma

The difference between 4 perfect 5ths and 2 8ve + a M3 amounts to 21.5 cents.


Equal tempered tuning like on the modern piano has no discrepancy, with 4 perfect 5ths a 2 8vas + major 3rd equal to each other.


The discrepancies of the syntonic comma and the Pythagorean comma, are responsible for different tuning systems.


For example, quarter-comma meantone tuning, first described by Pietro Aron, was the most popular tuning system for the 16th and 17th C.


It uses justly tuned major 3rd but flattened 5ths by a quarter of a syntonic comma

Richard Taruskin

Formerly a choral conductor and viol player, this American musicologist studied and then taught at Columbia University in the 1970s and 80s.


His specialty is Russian music, esp opera, from the 18th C onwards.


His interests are wide-ranging however, and encompass the 15th C chanson, and the early music movement and performance practice, and specific work on Stravinsky.


He is also music critic, and his commentaries have been featured in NY Times and Opera News


A term whose relevance is most evident in discussion of the Greek tetrachord, which has 3 version that together are called the genera.


All three span a perfect fourth, or diatessaron, but the size of the pyknon (the bottom three notes) in each differs.


The genera are: Diatonic (E-F-G-A), chormatic(E-F-F#-A) and enharmonic (E- F# F- A, F# + a quarter tone between E and F).


Aristoxenus discusses “shades” of genera in which the actual intonation of the middle two notes is variable and genera are defined by “tolerance bands” of frequency for the various shades

tetraktys of the decad

Pythagorean pyramid diagram comprising ten dots used to illustrate the number 1 through 4 and the manner in which they can be combined to form the ratios of the string lengths which, when combined, form consonant sonorities

Tonal answer

In fugue, the answer is transposed up the fifth to the dominant.


An answer is real if it is an exact transposition of the subject, or, as is often the case, tonal is the transposition that has been slightlyt altered to avoid a true change of key


The only Platonic dialog known to the Middle Age (via Cicero).


Plato concerns himself in this work with “inner harmonies” (the Platonic musical ideal) and their manifestation in the natural world (music of the sphere, human music etc)


This correlation led Plato to believe that music could be used to correct “discords” in the soul


a sticky point with the ancient theorist.


Some of them, like Aristoxenus, seem to have conceived of tonoi like we conceive of key.  That is, the tonoi was an octave scale built upon one of the thirteen chormatic pitches (our twelve chormatic pitches plus one to complete the full octave).


Others, like Ptolemy, argued that the purpose of tonoi was to bring into range one of the harmonia (or modes), thus there are only seven tonoi, since there are only seven modes.


This conception of tonoi is more similar to our notion of mode or octave species


It is a treatment of a pitch other than the overall tonic as a temporary tonic in a composition.


It is achieved through the use of harmonies and use of the scale of the tonicized key.


It is not very different form modulation, because Schenker says “there’s no such thing as modulation in music”, because a modulation is nothing more than a long tonicization.

Lester Young

One of the great jazz saxophonist of the 20th C.


Rose to prominence in Count Basie’s band, and was known for his relaxed smooth style in sharp contrast to the aggressive apprach of Coleman Hawkins, who was the dominant tenor sax player of his day.


He was a true improviser; often two takes of the same solo were significantly different.


Many view the time he spent with Basie’s band as the zenith of the band


Gr for “Fundamental line“, and in Schenkerian analysis it is the melodic aspect of the fundamental structure or Ursatz, specifically a stepwise descent from one of the triadic notes to the tonic. i.e. 3-2-1, 5-4-3-2-1, 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1