• the shape of a musical composition as defined by all of its pitches, rhythms, dynamics,and timbres
  • single forms-“tonally self-contained and formally complete” and can’t be taken apart from the other parts and still be a complete work
  • compound forms-2 or more single forms


  • pattern of sound made by the elements of a work
  • aspects of texture:  spacing, tone color, loudness, rhythm

a single line of melody with no accompaniment
has more than 1 line of music to be simultaneous; melody is distributed
melody concentrated in 1 part with a subordinate accompaniment

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chordal style

a style/texture with simultaneously sounding chords

a melody stated by 2 or more parts one after the other in turn

3 types:  canon, fugue, free imitation

a composition with at least one imitiationand is composed of at least 2 relatively independent melodies played together
1 person starts, the next comes in at the beginning of the melody when the part before before reaches a certain point, etc.
figured bass
a bass part that Arabic numbers were added to to indicate the accompanying harmonies
thoroughbass/basso continuo
an independent bassline throughout a piece
stile representativo
dramatic style of recitative characterized by rhythmic freedom and phrasing irregularity; vocal and accompaniment dissonance

  • added notes or some change in the music that makes it “more beautiful or effective or to demonstrate the abilities of the interpreter.”
  • graces, diminuations, paraphrase, variation, elaboration of pauses, cadenzas


  • solo song with instrumental accompaniment
  • popular in the 1st half of the 17th century

2 or more lines of melody put together

  • a short, simple vocal composition with melody and verse text
  • verse is usually poetic (regular lines, rhyme scheme)
  • the music of a song may be related to the text (form, structure, sound, and meaning)

art song

  • a song intended for concert use (NOT folk or pop songs)
  • specified accompaniment (rather than improvised)

folk music/folksong

  • music in oral tradition, usually a simple style, often performed by non-professionals
  • characteristic of a nation, society, or ethnic group


  • a German poem (lyric and strophic)
  • a song with this type of poem for its text (usually a solo song for voice and piano accompaniment)


  • a poem with made up units, all with the same numbers of lines, rhyme scheme and meter
  • in a song, characterized by repitition of the same music for all strophes

word painting

  • the musical illustration of the meaning of words in vocal music, esp. the literal meaning of individual words/phrases

a pattern that is persistently repeated throughout a performance or composition or a section of one
Franz Peter Schubert

  • born January 31, 1797
  • died November 19, 1828


  • Frence melody
  • a solo song with accompaniment-usually the French art song of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • the French counterpart of the German lied

Gabriel Faure

  • born May 12, 1845
  • died November 11, 1924

song cycle

  • a group of songs, usually for solo voice and piano constituting a literary and musical unit
  • primarily associated with the 19th century German lied
  • poems for lyrics are usually by a single author and are part of a poetic cycle


  • a song cycle by Schumann consisting of settings of 16 poems

Schone Mullerin

  • a cycle of 20 songs by Schubert
  • setting poems by Wilhelm Muller


  • a cycle of 24 songs by Schubert, in 2 parts
  • setting poems by Wilhelm Muller

An die ferne Geliebte

  • “To the distant Beloved”
  • a cycle of 6 songs by Beethoven
  • on poems by Alois Jeitteles

Frouenliebe und-Lieben

  • “Woman’s love and Life”
  • a cycle of 8 songs for voice and piano by Schumann
  • setting poems written by Adalbert von Chamisson and published with the same title


  • a self-contained composition for solo voice, usually with instumental accompaniment and occurring within the context of a larger form such as opera, oratorio or cantata

a group of more than a few notes sung to a single syllable, especially in liturgical chant
an improvised or written out ornamental passage performed by a soloist
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • born January, 27, 1756
  • died December 5, 1791
  • showed musical talent at age 4

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

  • 4 songs for low voice and orchestra/piano by Mahler
  • setting his own poems

Des Knaben Wunderhorn

  • “the Youth’s Magic Horn”
  • a group of German folk-song texts collected and published in 3 volumes by Ludwig Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano


  • “Songs on the Death of Children”
  • a cycle of 5 songs with orchestra/piano accompaniment by Mahler
  • poems by Friedrich Ruckert (an eley on the death of his 2 children)

Das Lied von der Erde

  • “The song of the Earth”
  • a cycle of 6 songs by Mahler for alto/baritone, tenor and orchestra
  • 1st performed after Mahler’s death

Gustav Mahler

  • born July 7, 1860
  • died May 18, 1911
  • composer and conductor
  • studied in Vienna with J. Epstein and R. Fuchs

a capella

  • chapel
  • pertaining to choral music without instrumental accompaniment


  • the repitition of a rhythmic pattern throughout a voice part
  • 14th and 15th century motets
  • 2 rhythmic patterns

in 13th and 14th centuries, a stylistic device or a self-contained composition characterized by the distribution of a melodic line between 2 voices in such a way that as one sounds the other is silent

  • a major musical genre from the 13th to 18th centuries
  • 1200-1450-a tenor derived from chant that serves as the foundation for newly composed upper voices
  • 1450-1600-a genre; a polyphonic setting of a sacred Latin text
  • after1600-a style; serious, imitative style of church polyphony derived from Palestrina

Josquin des Prez

  • 1440-1521
  • composer
  • 20 Masses
  • 110 motets
  • 75 secular works

a vocal setting, polyphonic and unaccompanid for the most of its history
Luca Marenzio

  • 1553-1599
  • composer
  • virtuoso madrigalists of the late Renaissance in Italy
  • composed nearly 25 books of madrigals, 75 motets and related pieces

Caudio Monteverdi

  • 1567-1643
  • pupil of Marc Antonio Ingeegneri
  • took holy orders in 1632
  • operas, spiritual madrigals and other sacred vocal works, secular vocal works (9 books of madrigals)


  • a composite vocal genre of the Baroque era consisting of a succession of recitatives, ariosos, and set pieces
  • secular of sacred
  • range from intimate, small-scale works for solo singer/singers and restricted accompaniment forces to larger groups with chorus and orchestra accompaniment
  • often composed for a special occasion

a congregational song or hymn of the German Protestant (Evangelical) church
chorale cantata

  • a cantata based on the words or on both words and melody of a German Protestant chorale
  • Bach’s works are full of several types

chorale fugue

  • a work for organ in which the first phrase of a choral is made the subject of a fugue
  • composed principally by middle-German composers of the later 17th and early 18th centuries

chorale motet
a polyphonic vocal work in the style of a motet and based on German-Protestant chorale melody
most developed procedure of imitative counterpoint in which the theme is stated successively in all voices of the polyphonic texture, tonally established, continuously expanded, opposed and reestablished
bel canto

  • a manner of singing that emphasizes the beauty of sound, with an even tone throughout the range of the voice
  • fine legato phrasing dependant on mastery of breath control
  • agility in florid passages
  • apparent ease in reaching high notes


  • born January 24, 1705
  • died July 15, 1782
  • soprano castrato
  • studied with porpora


  • a style of text setting that imitates and emphasizes the natural inflections, rhythms, and syntax of speech
  • avoids extremes of pitch and intensity and repitition of words, allowing the music to be primarilu a vehicle for the words
  • most often used for dramatic music (like operas)


  • the text of an opera or oratorio
  • the small book containing the text, printed for sale to the audience
  • at min.-gives cast list and the words that are to be performed

a composition for orchestra intended as an introduction to an opera or other dramatic or vocal work
opera buffa
comic opera
opera seria

  • a form of opera prevalent through the 18th centuries
  • set to Italian librettos
  • characters usually drawn from acient history
  • generally in 3 acts


  • a musico
  • dramatic work with a German text, especially a work written in the 18th to early 19th century in which spoken dialogue alternates with songs and sometimes with ensembles, choruses or more extended musical pieces
  • settings more frequently rural
  • characters offten lower-middle class

extended musical drama with a text based on religious subject matter

passion music

a musical setting of Jesus’ sufferings and death as related by 1 of the 4 Evangelists