a single line of notes heard in succession as a coherent unit
a point of arrival signaling the end of a musical unit
a series of notes that provide the essential pitch building blocks of a melody
interval of eight diatonic degrees between two of the same tones
more than one performer playing or singing the same pitch or pitches at the same time
space between two notes
the central note and mode on which a melody or piece is based
major mode
a type of scale produced by singing do re mi fa so la ti do, or by playing the white keys of the piano between C and C, with the patter of steps: WWHWWWH. the sound of the major mode is often described as “bright” or “happy” in contrast to the minor mode
minor mode
a type of scale produced by playing the white keys on the piano between A and A, with the pattern of steps: WHWWHWW
the sound of the minor mode is often described as “dark” or “sad” in contrast to the major mode
an underlying pattern of beats that maintains itself consistently throughout the work
the sound created by multiple voices playing or singing together
three or more notes played or sung at the same moment
the note that establishes a key, based on its distinctive relationship with a particular set of harmonies or other notes in the underlying scale
a system of organizing pitches (both melodies and harmonies) around a central note, as opposed to atonality, a system with not tonal center
the number and general relationship of musical lines or voices to one another
a musical texture consisting of a single melodic line
a musical texture in which a melody is performed with a supporting accompianment
a musical texture consisting of multiple lines of equal importance
a style of writing in which every voice is a melody and all voices work together; basic to polyphonic texture
the character or quality of a sound
the volume of sound, determined by the size (amplitude) of each sound wave
the structure of a musical work; the way in which its individual units are put together
the category of a work, determined by a combination of its performance medium and its social function
string quartet
2 violins, viola, cello
in preiodic phrase structure, an opening phrase, which sets up the consequent phrase to follow
in periodic phrase structure, a closing phrase that follows an antecedent phrase and creates a sense of musical completion
theme and variation
a form in which a theme is presented and then altered in some way – through harmony, melody, texture, dynamics, or some combination of these – in a succession of individual variations
minuet and trio form
a ternary form (ABA) in which the opening section, known as the minuet proper (A), is followed by a contrasting trio (B), which is followed by a repeat of the minuet proper. the minuet is always in triple meter and its individual units – the minuet proper and the trio – are each in binary form
rounded binary form
a binary form in which the opening idea returns in the tonic key about halfway through the second section “rounding out” the form
rondo form
a form in which an opening theme (A) returns repeatedly over the course of the movement, interspersed with contrasting ideas (B, C, etc.) An example of the resulting patter would be ABACA
sonata form
a musical structure consisting of an exposition, development, and recapitulation, allowing for the presentation, development, and resolution of multiple themes within a single movement. sonata form was widely used throughout the calssical era and the nineteenth century
opera buffa
comic opera, a genre that uses many of the same conventions as serious opera, but with plots revolving around believable, everyday characters rather than mythical or historical figures
opera seria
serious opera, italian baroque opera on a serious subject, typically consisting of alternating recitatives and da capo arias
a style of singing that lies somewhere between lyrical song and speech; also, the operatic number that is sung in this style
any lyrical movement or piece for solo voice, usually with some kind of instrumental accompaniment
smallest unit of a piece of music
cyclic form
a form in which individual movements are linked in some tangible and distinctive way, usually through the use of a common musical idea
art song
a song set to serious poetry, usually for solo voice and piano, in the tradition of the german lied
german for song, a genre for voice and piano, popular form the late eighteenth century onward, particularly in germany but in many other countries as well
strophic form
additive method, repeated “stanzas”
program music
an instrumental work that is in some way associated with a story, event, or idea
absolute music
music for music’s sake
the manner in which various instruments are assigned to the musical lines
word painting
music that imitates, describes, or conjures images of the text being sung
a cappella
sung without instrumental accompaniment of any kind
in music, the use of melodies, rhythms, harmonies, or instruments that reflect the musical practices of a particular nation
expressive and rhythmic freedom by a bending of the tempo of a piece by the performer
borrowing a melody from another piece
the technical skill, fluency, etc. displayed by a performer or composition
a brief musical phrase or idea connected dramatically to some person, event, or idea in the drama
a scale consisting of five tones
a spirit that took hold in all the arts in the early twentieth century, representing a quest for novelty that far exceeded any such drive in the past
an artistic movement focused more on sensations, perceptions, and light than on the direct representation of objects. in music, the term was used by critics of the early twentieth century to describe harmonies, melodies, and forms they considered indistinct
whole-tone scale
a scale with only whole steps, no half steps; this eliminates any sense of a tonal center
diatonic scale
a scale consisting of whole and half steps
a style of writing that establishes no harmonic or melodic center of gravity; without a tonic, all notes are of equal weight and significance
a broad artistic movement that flourished in music, painting, and literature in the early decades of the twentieth century, in which psychological truth took precedence over beauty, and inner emotion took precedence over any sense of external reality
in german, “speech-voice”. a style of singing halfway between speech and lyrical song, in which the singer hits precise pitches and then allows them to tail off, rather than sustaining them, as in lyrical singing
a form in which each section has its own music, with very little or no repetition between sections
a style of music from the early twentieth century that emphasizes rhythmic syncopatio while continuing many of the characteristics of marches, cakewalks, two-steps, and popular songs from the late nineteenth century
a type of fhythm in which the notes run against the regular pulse of the musical meter, with accents on beats other than the ones usually accented
a musical genre derived from African american performance traditions that uses blue notes (flattened pitches) in its melodies and tells first-person stories of hard knocks and love gone wrong
blue notes
pitches performe dflatter than the standard major scale would indicate, usually occur as substitutes for the third and seventh (and occasionally the fifth) notes of the standard scale
12-bar blues
a common model for blues songs, in which each verse consists of three lines of text over twelve measures of music. each line receives four m easures in a predetermined harmonic pattern using chords built on the first, fourth, and fifth scale degrees
a rhythmic pattern of short and long notes, approximating a two to one ratio, but varying form piece to piece and performer to performer; the name given generally to a popular jazz of the 30s and 40s that prominently feature swing rhythm
new jazz style of the late 40s and early 50s that developed in response to the popularity of big band music. characterized by fast tempos, short bursts of melodic phrases, heavy and unexpected rhythmic accents, and virtuosic soloing
making up music as it is being played
a style of writing in which notes are drawn not from a scale, but from a predetermined series of notes. serial composition flourished between 1920 and 1980
twelve tone composition
a type of serial composition in which twentieth-century composeres manipulated a series consisting of all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, not repeating any one of these notes until all other eleven had been sounded, thereby effectively avoiding all sense of tonality
aleatory music
music composed using elements of chance
in music, a style in which a brief musical idea or group of ideas is repeated and varied incrementally over a long span of time, with a relatively slow rate of change
blends the sounds of rhythm and blues
a style in music and the other arts, beginning in the mid-twentieth century, in which modern and traditional elements are combined
the study of music
the study of cultural and social aspects of music and dance in local and global contexts
a short pattern of notes repeated over and over