Art song
composition for solo voice and piano.
Program music
instrumental music associated with a story, poem, idea or scene.
expressed when romantic composers deliberately created music with specific national identity using the folk songs, dances, legends, and history of their homelands.
in french, night piece; a composition, usually slow, lyrical, and intimate in character, often a piano solo.
in french, study; a piece designed to help a performer master specific technical difficulties
slight holding back or pressing forward of tempo to intensify the expression of the music, often used in romantic music
musical style which stresses tone color, atmosphere, and fluidity, typical of Debussy
musical style stressing intense, subjective emotion and harsh dissonance, typical German and Austrian music of the early 20th century.
absence of tonality, or key, characteristic of much music of the 20th and early 21st century
evocation of primitive power through insistent rhythms and percussive sounds.
in german, speech voice; a style of vocal performance halfway between speaking and singing typical of Schoenberg and his followers.
approach to pitch organization using two or more keys at one time, often found in 20th century music
Tone cluster
chord made up of tones only a half step or a whole step apart, used in music after 1900
polyphonic composition based on one main theme, or subject
in baroque music, an instrumental composition in several movements for one to eight players. In music after the baroque period, an instrumental composition usually in several movements for one or two players.
Gregorian chant
melodies set to sacred latin text, sung without accompaniment; Gregorian chant was the official music of the Roman Catholic church
polyphonic choral work set to a sacred latin text other than that of the mass; one of the two main forms of sacred Renaissance 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
A cappella
choral music without instrumental accompaniment
song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, usually expressing an emotional state through its outpouring of melody; found in operas, oratorios, and cantatas.
Basso continuo
baroque accompaniment made up of a bass part usually played by two instruments: a keyboard plus a low melodic instrument
extended composition for instrumental soloist and orchestra, usually in three movements: (1) fast (2) slow (3) fast.
Terraced dynamics
abrupt alternation between loud and soft dynamic levels; characteristic of baroque music
vocal line in an opera, oratorio, or cantata that imitates the rhythms and pitch fluctuations of speech, often serving to lead into an aria.
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.
Pentatonic scale
scale made up of five different tones, used in folk music and music of the far east.
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 from the 1890s to about 1915.
vocalization of a melodic line with nonsense syllables, used in jazz.
accenting of a note at an unexpected time, as between two beats or on a weak beat. Syncopation is a major characteristic of 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.
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
complex jazz style, usually for small groups, developed in 1940s and meant for attentive listening rather than dancing.
Cool jazz
jazz style related to bebop, but more relaxed in character and relying more heavily on arrangements; developed around 1950
jazz rock
(fusion) style which combines the jazz musician’s improvisatory approach with rock rhythms and tone colors; developed in the 1960s.
Orchestral composition, usually in four movements, typically lasting between 20 and 45 minutes, exploiting the expanded rang of tone color and dynamics of the orchestra.
String quartet
composition for two violins, a viola, and a cello; usually consisting of four movements.
fragment of a theme, or short musical idea that is developed within a composition.
organization of beats into regular groups.
Monophonic texture
single melodic line without accompaniment
series of seven different tones within an octave, with an eighth tone repeating the first tone an octave higher, consisting of a specific pattern of whole and half steps; the whole step between the second and third tones is characteristic.
series of seven tones within an octave, with an eighth tone repeating the first tone an octave higher, composed of a specific pattern of whole and half steps; the half step between the second and third tones is characteristic.
relative highness or lowness of a sound.
Polyphonic texture
performance of two or more melodic lines of relatively equal interest at the same time.
Pentatonic scale
scale made up of five different tones, used in folk music and music of the far east.
Whole tone scale
scale made up of six different tones, each a whole step away from the next, which conveys no definite sense of tonality; often found in the music of debussy and his followers.
Timbre/tone color
quality of sound that distinguishes one instrument or voice from another
central tone of a melody or larger piece of music. When a piece is in the key of C major, for example, C is a keynote.
basic pace of music
Homophonic texture
term describing music in which one main melody is accompanied by chords.
degrees of loudness or softness in music.
Dominant chord
triad built on the fifth note of the scale, which sets up tension that is resolved by the tonic chord.
tone combination that is unstable and tense.
tone combination that is stable and restful.