Comparitive musicology
Original term used to describe ethnomusicology. In comparative musicology, music is collected and compared in a lab. Uses armchair approach, and does not concern itself with cultural/social context. It seeks to find connections between music around the world.
A branch of musicology that involves fieldwork and participation observation. Evaluates and studies music in context of its original culture.
Field work
Immersing oneself in a culture and participating in the day to day life and traditions to better understand socio-cultural context
Cultural relativism
Cultural traits belong to their own culture, and are not absolute but exist in relationships to their cultures. The principle that music should be evaluated in the context of its mother culture.
Making judgements or assumptions about another culture from the perspective of your culture, and neglecting to understand the social context of their culture. Judging a culture to your own cultural standards.
Traditional orchestras that play Balinese music. Made up of xylophones, gongs, drums and metallophones. Instruments are usually in pairs and tuned a little differently to create an unsteady sound.
A genre or form of gamelan music. Means to “burst forth”. New in the 20th century. It is quick and bright and considered to be “popular gamelan music”.
A traditional war dance piece of gamelan music. An example of kebyar.
The nuclear melody of a gamelan piece.
The interlocking harmony in gamelan played under the pokok. Creates a layering effect.
An ancient gamelan orchestra set made from iron.
An ancient gamelan set made from wood and bamboo.
Semar pengulingan
Type of gamelan music played in the courts of nobility for royal love-making. (Semar= God of love, pengulingan= lying down).
Sanghyang deling
Means “holy puppets”. Virgin girls are placed in a trance and are possessed by spirits. Function of music is to restore cosmic balance.
Known as “the monkey chant”. Originally developed by Walter Spies, kecak is based on the Sanghyang Deling trance dances and is a chorus of men chanting “chak” over and over again. Popular form of tourism and all a cappella.
Indian solfege system.
Rag/ Raga
A musical mode used in Indian music as a structure for improvisation. Contains cultural associations (time of day, season, etc.). Rags have important ascending and descending sequences and can only be performed at certain times.
Tampura/ Tambura
An Indian stringed instrument used to create a drone effect. Has a buzzing sound.
Acal/ Cal svar
Moveable and immoveable notes of the Sargam system.
That/ Thath
A scale system used in Indian music to classify Hindustani music.
The improvisation at the beginning of a rag. Typically unmetered.
Composed, metered portion of a rag. Follows alap.
A musical mode, similar to rag but used in North Africa, Middle East (Arabian cultures).
‘Ud/ Oud
A pear-shaped lute used in traditional Arabian music.
The improvisation in a maqam. Taqasim can only be created once student has mastered maqam.
Two small, tuned drums from North India. Can be used as a solo instrument or as an accompaniment. They are tuned to the drone and use bols to dictate patterns. Symbol of India. But often, tabla players are looked down upon for being associated with the tawaif.
Steady pitch that defines tonal centre for instrument.
Vocables used to dictate tabla patterns. Rhythmic symbols for the tabla (onomatopoeic sounds). An example of oral notation.
Indian rhythmic system (metric cycles used in particular piece).
Framework of bols identifying the tal (basic accompanying pattern).
Courtesans of India. Educated, intelligent women hired to entertain nobility with singing, dance, poetry, conversation and sex. Could not be owned, but could acquire wealth.
Interlocking melodies (one melody fills the holes of the other)
West- African double bell used to maintain rhythmic pattern.
West African xylophone with wooden keys.
West African “thumb piano”. Has metal prongs that are plucked and typically amplified by a hollow gourd. Played in pairs (duets).
The leading part of a mbira duet.
Following part of a mbira duet.
21- stringed harp/lute that is played in West Africa by professional musicians.
Political/ social system of forced segregation in South Africa from 1945-1990. South Africa refused to sign the Declaration of Human Rights which led to racial intolerance.
A canonic form of Ainu singing. Means “take something to each other” which indicates the importance of listening to one another while singing.
Iyuta upopo
A form of Ainu antiphonal singing usually done while cooking. Demonstrates how identity is structured in listening to one another.
Chou Dynasty
Period of Chines history where music was officially for political/ education uses. Spies were sent out to outer villages to investigate song and dance being used.
Believed that “good music” could instil moral and ethical attitudes, while “bad music” does the opposite.
Enlightenment through quiet contemplation and abandonment of earthly concerns. Challenged basic values of Chinese culture
A 7- stringed plucked zither in Chinese music.
Nationalist Revolution
1911- China began to adopt Western culture music principles. Western- style music conservatories were built and music was arranged for orchestras.
Rise of Communism
Mao Zedong gained power in China and China became communist. He created the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art (1942) which regulated the principles of music. Main rule was that music music have a political and aesthetic value.
Cultural Revolution
1966-1976: Zedong’s wife banned all music except for 8 pieces.
A native Australian instrument. A hollow piece of Eucalyptus (usually 4 feet long). Creates a drone noise and uses circular breathing techniques. Symbol of Australia.
Public song genre from Northern Australia. Performed at ceremonies, or during boys’ circumcisions. It is believed that dead spirits provide the songs to song men (dreamtime music). Uses strophic text and vocables, microtonal intervals, ornaments, the didjeridu and clapsticks. Mostly non-metrical.
A complex spiritual view on the world, practiced by the Aborigines of Australia. Believe in cosmic forces and parallel dimensions. Wangga music is the result of tapping into these forces. Mutual interdependence of nature and society. Leads to paranormal experiences (trances, etc.)
Umbrella term for all Right Wing Extremist music.
Entartete Musik
“Degenerate music”. Music that was labeled by the Nazi party as “not pure” and did not conform to the principles of the Nazi party. The Nazi party banned all “Entartete Musik”. Suppressed all Jewish musicians.
Triumph of the Will
A 1935 Nazi propagande film that glorified in Hitler. Used powerful imagery and “pure” German music (Richard Wagner).
Byah ke git
Indo-Trinidadian wedding song that has been preserved in Trinidad though the original meaning of the text is not understood. (Example of cultural retention).
Collective music genre attributed to the Ashkenazic Jewish diaspora in North America.
Community of Jewish diaspora that was displaced to Western Europe.
A community of Jewish diaspora displaced from Central Europe to North America.
Language of the Ashkenazic Jews. German-based language with Hebrew words.
A Jewish cantor (call and response), unaccompanied florid and virtuoso style. Uses old modes and religious texts.
Jewish wordless songs. Melodies bypassed the burden of words in quest for oneness with God.
A group of diaspora from India that were displaced to Spain. Gypsies. The original founders of flamenco music and dance.
Spanish gypsy dance and music style that is an expression of personal/communal triumph over despair and hardship. Proud, aggressive display of self esteem.
“Song” element of flamenco. Rough tone, shouting, sobs, pauses and breaks, strong body/facial gestures. Fierce expression of pain.
“Touch/instrumental” element of flamenco. The guitar accompaniment of flamenco song. Accompaniment organizes rhythmic element of song.
“Dance” element of flamenco music. Expression in movement of songs. Physical and emotional control over the body: head and torso are erect. Intricate footwork.
Supportive and encouraging shouts from the audience and other performers at flamenco performers.
Finger snapping percussive accompaniment to flamenco music and dance.
Hand-clapping percussive accompaniment in flamenco music.
Nueva flamenco
The new genre of flamenco that mixes traditional flamenco music with popular music.
The biggest group of indigenous Taiwanese people.
Two-stringed bowed Chinese instrument. “Chinese spike fiddle”.
“Professional” in Afghanistan. Earns money from music. Low status, but necessary for entertainment.
“Amateur” term in Afghanistan. Those who have the skill set to play music, yet do not earn money from it.
Clothing worn by Muslim women to cover their bodies in public.
Call to prayer in Islamic religions.
The person appointed to call the Azan in Islamic religions.
Holy Book of Islam, the Word of God as revealed by His messenger the Prophet Muhammed.
The reading of the Qu’ran.
A branch of Islam religion that uses music to achieve connection with God and ecstasy.
Means “remembrance”. The sufi practice of chanting God’s name “Allahu”. This leads to hyperventilation which then results in an altered state of consciousness.
Turkish order of Sufism. Followers of Rumi.
Mevlevi ritual that uses music, dance and recitation of mystical poetry to attain ecstasy. The dancers spin around and around and around.
Mystical Sufi poetry.
Modal musical system of Azerbaijani music. Original purpose is to create mystical states.
Fretted skin-bellied, long-necked lute. Played in Azerbaijan.
Skin-bellied, spike fiddle. Played in Azerbaijan.
Religion of Japan. Practiced 2500 years ago. The ritual purpose is to keep bad spirits away. Animism, ancestral worship and no scripture are primary elements.
Sacred spirits representing wind, rain, mountains, trees, rivers, and fertility.
The traditional court music of Japan. Played by three groups of instruments: percussion, winds and strings. Made up of 12 pitches, slow and stately, precise, sparse musical texture, shrill, bending pitches, sudden punctuation by percussion.
Dance accompanied by gagaku. Associated with the Shinto religion. Only revealed to the public in the 1950’s. Function: reinforces role of Emperor and promotes balance and harmony in cosmos.
Popular Japanese drama. First performed in 1598 by prostitute actresses. It includes music, dance, elaborate costumes and make up, creative staging. All female roles are now played by men. Function is for entertainment and to enforce Japanese identity.
A style of popular music in Jamaica that emerged from reggae. Riddims (instrumental Reggae tracks) are layered with sound effects like echoes, reverb effects, panning. There are little or no vocals.
An alternate interpretation of an existing song that stemmed from reggae production practices.
A technique used by deejays to connect two tracks to create one continuous track. Emerged during the disco era. Facilitates dancing.
Musical interludes that emphasize rhythm and beat where the listeners are meant to dance.
The appropriation of a whole record, or part of a record for the purposes of producing a new record.
Movement by Scotland to restore the Stuart line of kings to the Scottish throne.
Scottish pipe music. Hereditary pipers to Highland Chiefs.
Scottish song, or singing.
A Scottish folk song, or a tune who were identified in folksong collections along with the poetry.
Tea Table Miscellany
Collection of Scottish tunes. Contained only poetry and the name of the air. For Scottish audiences in particular who had familiarity with tunes. It challenged the centre, London.
Scots Musical Museum
Collection of Scottish songs in six volumes edited by James Johnson and Robert Burns.
A family of rhythmic modes in Middle/Near Eastern music. A social line dance in Lebanese culture.
A fretted, long-necked lute instrument played across the Middle/Near East.
Educated, intelligent females hired by Indian nobility for entertainment. Trained in singing, dancing, love-making, conversation, and poetry. Not able to be owned, but can acquire wealth and property.
World’s largest film industry. Combination of Mumbai+Bombay. All films are musicals.
Lineage, property rights are passed to the daughters of courtesans. Courtesans can not be owned by men, and can acquire property and pass it to their daughters.
A seductive song genre performed by the courtesans of India.
Private, intimate salon dances for the patrons performed by courtesans.
Seductive dances performed by Indian courtesans. Dances are accompanied by thumri songs, tabla and sarangi.
Playback singing
Voices are recorded prior to recording the movie by playback singers (like Lata Mangeshkar) and the actors mime the words to the song, while acting in Bollywood films.
Means “old-style”. Style of unaccompanied, ornamented singing in Irish/Gaelic. Sung by Irish speakers. Reflects Irish culture.
Oireachtas na Gaelige
The national festival and competition for Irish sean-nos song and dance.
Irish Folklore Committee
Irish government institution that sought to collect and preserve Irish traditions and culture.
The nasal tone produced by most sean-nos singers. Describes brief humming before and after a singer sings.