Ars Nova
Changes in musical style in the 14th century were so profound that music theorists referred to Italian and French music as the new Art. Syncopation being used, important rhythmic practice.
In medieval music, an Italian poetic and musical form with the structure A BB AA.
Cantus Firmus
Melody-often a Gregorian chant- used as the basis of a polyphonic composition.
a medieval dance, is one of the earliest surviving forms of instrumental music.
Gregorian Chant
Melodies set to sacred latin text, sung without accompaniment, Gregorian Chant was the official music of the Roman Catholic Church.
Sacred choral composition made up of 5 sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.
The “other worldy” sound of Gregorian Chant results partly from the unfamiliar scales used. Like major and minor scales, church modes consist of 7 different tones and an 8th tone that duplicates the first an octave higher.
Notre Dame school
Leonin and Perotin, developed rhythmic innovations used measured rhythm. First time notation indicated precise rhythms as well as pitches. The university of Paris, cathedral of Notre Dame.
Medieval polyphony that consists of Gregorian chant and one or more additional melodic lines.
Troubadours and Trouveres
Nobles 1st large body of secular songs surviving in decipherable notation were composed during the 12th and 13th centuries. Best known were Guillaume 1x, duke of Aquitaine, from southern France, and the trouvere Chastelain de Couci.
A Cappella
Choral music without instrumental accompaniment.
(fa-la) Dancelike song for several voices, mostly homophonic in texture, with the melody in the highest voice and the syllables fa-la occuring as a refrain after each stanza; common in English Renaissance music.
Plucked string instrument shaped like half a pear; used in Renaissance and baroque music.
Composition for several voices set to a short secular poem, usually about love, combining homophonic and polyphonic textures and often using word painting; common in renaissance music.
Polyphonic choral work set to a sacred latin text other than that of the mass; one of the 2 main forms of sacred renaissance music.
Pavane and Galliard
Court dances were often performed in pairs. A favorite pair was the stately Pavene, or passa mezzo, in duple meter, and the lively galliard, in triple meter.
Polychoral Motet
Motet for 2 or more choirs, often including groups of instruments.
A collection of over 300 dance tunes arranged for instrumental ensemble.
Venetian School
Composers of 16th and early 17th century Venice who-inspired by the 2 widely separated choir lofts of St. Marks Cathedral-often wrote music for several choruses and groups of instruments.
Word Painting
Musical representation of specific poetic images-for example, a falling melodic line to accompany the word descending-often found in renaissance and baroque music.
Basso Continuo
Baroque accompaniment made up of a bass part usually played by 2 instruments: a keyboard plus a low melodic instrument.
Composition in several movements, usually written for chorus, one or more vocal soloists and instrumental ensemble. The church cantata for the Lutheran service in Germany during the baroque period often includes chorales.
Male singer castrated before puberty to retain a high voice range; the most important category of vocal soloist in opera during the baroque period.
Concerto Grosso
Composition for several instrumental soloists and small orchestra; common in late baroque music.
Polyphonic compositioin based on main theme, or subject.
Drama that is sung to orchestral accompaniment, usually a large-scale composition employings vocal soloists, chorus orchestra, customes, and scenery.
Large scale composition for chorus, vocal soloists, and orchestra usually set to a narrative text, but without acting, scenery, or costumes; often based on biblical stories.
Ritornello Form
Compositional form usually used in the baroque concerto grosso in which the tutti plays a ritornello, or refrain, alternating with one or more soloists playing new material.
In baroque music, a set of dance-inspired movements all written in the same key but differing in tempo, meter, and character.
Trio Sonata
Baroque composition that has 3 melodic lines: 2 high ones, each played by one instrument; and a basso continuo, played by 2 instruments.
Chamber Music
Music using a small group of musicians, with one player to a part.
Extended composition for instrumental soloist and orchestra, usually in three movements: (1) fast, (2) slow, (3) fast.
Minuet & Trio
Compositional form-derived from a dance- in three parts: minuet(a), trio (b), minuet (a) often used as the 3rd movement of classical symphonies, string quartets, and other works. It is in triple meter (3/4 times) and usually in a moderato tempo.
Mass for the dead
Compositional form featuring a main theme (a) that returns several times in alternation with other themes, such as ABACA and ABACABA. Rondo is often the form of the last movement in classical symphonies, string quartets, and sonatas.
Compositional form in three parts (ABA), sometimes used as the third movement in classical and romantic symphonies, string quartets, and other works.Usually in triple meter, with a faster tempo than a minuet.
In baroque music, an instrumental composition in several movements for one to eight players. In music after the baroque period, an instrumental compositioin usually in several movements for one or two players.
Sonata Form
Form of a single movement, consisting of three main sections: the exposition, where the themes are presened; the development, where themes are treated in new ways; and the recapitualation, where the themes return. A concluding section, the coda, often follows the recapitulation.
String Quartet
Composition for two violins, a viola, and a cello; usually consisting of four movements.
Orchestral composition, usually in four movements, typically lasting between 20 and 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded range of tone color and dynamics of the orchestra.
Absolute Music
Absolute music having no intended association with a story, poem, idea, or scene; nonprogram music.
Art Song
Setting of a poem for solo voice and piano, translating the poem’s mood and imagery into music, common in the romantic period.
Chromatic Harmony
use of chords containing tones not found in the prevailing major or minor scale but included in the chromatic scale (which has twelve tones); often found in romantic music.
Use of melodies, rhythms, or instruments that suggest foreign lands; common in romantic music.
Short musical idea associated with a person, object, or thought, characteristic of the operas of Wagner.
Inclusion of folk songs, dances, legends, and other national material in a composition to associate it with the composer’s homeland; characteristic of romantic music.
In French, night piece; a composition, usually slow, lyrical, and intimate in character, often for piano solo.
Program Music
Instrumental music associated with a story, poem, idea, or scene, often found in the romantic period.
Slight holding back or pressing forward of tempo to itensify the expression of the music, often used in romantic music.
Thematic Transformation
Alteration of the character of a theme by means of changes in dynamics, orchestration, or rhythm, when it returns in a later movement or section; often found in romantic music.
Tone Poem
(symphonic poem) Programmatic composition for orchestra in one movement, which may have a traditional form (such as sonata or rondo) or an original, irregular form.
Chance music- music composed by the random selection of pitches, tone colors, and rhythms; developed in the 1950s by John Cage and others.
Absence of tonality, or key, characteristic of much twentieth-century music.
Musical style stressing intense, subjective emotion and harsh dissonance, typical of German and Austrian music of the early twentieth century.
Musical style which stressed tone color, atmosphere, and fluidity, typical of Debussy (flourished 1890-1920).
Music characterized by steady pulse, clear tonality, and insistent repetition of short melodic patterns; its dynamic level, texture, and harmony tend to stay constant for fairly long stretches of time, creating a trancelike or hypnotic effect; developed in the 1960s.
Musical style marked by emotional restraint, balance, and clarity, inspired by the forms and stylistic features of eighteenth-century music, found in many works from 1920 to 1950.
Use of two or more contrasting and independent rhythms at the same time, often found in twentieth-century music.
Approach to pitch organization using two or more keys at one time, often found in twentieth-century music.
Tone cluster
Chord made up of tones only a half step or whole step apart, used in twentieth-century music.
Tone Color Melody
Succession of varying tone colors serving as a musical idea in composition, used by Schoenberg and his followers.
Any instrument-such as a flute or trumpet-whose sound is generated by a vibrating column of air.
Instrument-such as a harp or lute-whose sound is generated by a stretched string.
Heterophonic Texture
Term describing music in which one main melody is accompanied by chords.
Instrument-such as bells, a gong, a scraper, a rattle, or a xylophone-whose sound is generated by the instrument’s own material (no tension is applied)
Instrument with thirteen silk or nylong strings stretched over a hollow soundboard about 6 feet long; each string is tuned by adjusting the placement of a movable bridge. The koto is an important instrument in Japanese music.
Instrument-basically, a drum-whose sound is generated by a stretched skin or another membrane.
Pattern of notes serving as a melodic framework for the creation of an improvisation, characteristic of Indian classical music.
Most popular chordophone of north India. It is a long-necked lute with nineteen to twenty-three movable frets. Seven strings are plucked, and nine to thirteen strings vibrate sympathetically.
Pair of single-headed drums in which the right-hand drum is generally tuned to the tonic note and the left-hand drum functions as a bass drum; the most important percussion instrument in north Indian music.
Repeated cycle of beats organizing the rhythm in Indian classical music.
Long-pecked lute with four metal strings that are continually plucked in succession; the main drone instrument in Indian music.
Bebop (bop)
Complex jazz style, usually for small groups, developed in the 1940s and meant for attentive listening rather than dancing.
Term referring both to a style of performance and to a form; an early source of jazz, characterized by flatted, or “blue”, notes in the scale; vocal blues consist of 3-line stanzas in the form a a’ b.
Cool Jazz
Jazz style related to bebop, but more relaxed in character and relying more heavily on arrangements; developed around 1950.
Dixieland (New Orleans Jazz)
Jazz style in which the front line, or melodic instruments, improvise several contrasting melodic lines at once, supported by a rhythm section that clearly marks the beat and provides a background of chords; usually based on a march or church melody, a ragtime piece, a popular song, or 12-bar blues.
Free Jazz
Jazz style which departs from traditional jazz in not being based on regular forms and established chord patterns; developed during the 1960s.
Front Line
In New Orleans or Dixieland jazz, the group of melodic instruments that improvise on a melody, supported by the rhythm section.
Style of composed piano music, generally in duple meter with a moderate march tempo, in which the pianist’s right hand plays a highly syncopated melody while the left hand maintains the beat with an “oom-pah” accompaniment. Ragtime was developed primarily by African American pianists and flourished rom the 1890s to about 1915.
In jazz, a short repeated phrase that may be an accompaniment or a melody.
Scat Singing
Vocalization of a melodic line with nonsense syllables, used in jazz.
Jazz style that was developed in the 1920s and flourished between 1935 and 1945, played mainly by “big bands.” Also, verb for what jazz performers do when they combine a steady beat and precision with a lilt, a sense of relaxation, and vitality.