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    Musical terminology

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    • Glossaries of music

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    • Arrangement

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    • Carnatic music terminology

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    • Formal sections in music analysis

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    • Hindustani music terminology

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    • Jazz terminology

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    • Opera terminology

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    • Ornamentation

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    • Sopranos

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    • Glossary of musical terminology

    • This is a list of musical terms that are likely to be encountered in printed scores, music reviews, and program notes. Most of the terms are Italian (see also Italian musical terms used in English), in accordance with the Italian origins of many European musical conventions. Sometimes, the special musical meanings of t ... Read »


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    • Glossary of Schenkerian analysis

    • This is a glossary of Schenkerian analysis, a method of musical analysis of tonal music based on the theories of Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935). The method is discussed in the concerned article and no attempt will be made here to summarize it. Similarly, the entries below will whenever possible link to other articles wh ... Read »


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    • List of musical forms by era

    • This is a list of musical forms and genres organized according to the eras of Classical music. The form of a musical composition refers to the general outline of the composition, based on the sections that comprise it or on specific details that are unique to a certain type of composition. For example, a rondo is based ... Read »


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    • Outline of music

    • The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to music: Music – human expression in the medium of time using the structures of sounds or tones and silence. It is expressed in terms of pitch, rhythm, harmony, and timbre. History of music Musical ensemble   (list of musical ensembles) M ... Read »


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    • List of makams

    • Here is a list of all makams of Ottoman classical music: 7. Acem-Kürdî 8. Acem-Murassa 9. Acem-Rast 10. Acem-Zemzeme 11. Acem-Zir-Keşîde 12. Acemli Rast 12.5. Acemli Yegâh 13. Âgâaze-i Kâbili 14. Aheng-i-Tarâb 15. Akberi 16. Anber-Efşân 17. Arabân 18. Arabân-Kü ... Read »


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    • List of music software

    • This is a list of notable software for creating, performing, learning, analyzing, researching, broadcasting and editing music. This article only includes software, not services. For streaming services such as iHeartRadio, Pandora, Prime Music, and Spotify, see Comparison of on-demand streaming music services. For stora ... Read »


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    • List of pitch intervals

    • Below is a list of intervals exprimable in terms of a prime limit (see Terminology), completed by a choice of intervals in various equal subdivisions of the octave or of other intervals. For commonly encountered harmonic or melodic intervals between pairs of notes in contemporary Western music theory, without consider ... Read »


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    • Index of music articles

    • This page is an alphabetized index of articles about music. A cappella – Absolute pitch – Accidental – Accompaniment – Ad libitum – Adagio – Added tone chord – Additive rhythm – Album – Aleatoric music – Allegro – Alto – Ambiguity – American Music Awards ... Read »


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    • List of Italian musical terms used in English

    • Many musical terms are in Italian, because many of the most important early composers from the Renaissance to the Baroque period were Italian, and that period is when numerous musical indications were used extensively for the first time. (See also sheet music.) Here are some of these expressions: ... Read »


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    • A cappella

    • A cappella [a kkapˈpɛlla] (Italian for "in the manner of the chapel") music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is usually accompanied singing. The term "a cappella" was originally intended to d ... Read »


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    • Accentus

    • Accentus (or Accentus Ecclesiasticus; Ecclesiastical accent) is a style of church music that emphasizes spoken word. It is often contrasted with concentus, an alternative style that emphasizes harmony. The terms accentus and concentus were probably introduced by Andreas Ornithoparchus in his Musicae Activae Micrologus, ... Read »


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    • All-star

    • All-star (also stylized as All-Star) is a term designating an individual as having a high level of performance in their field. Originating in sports, it has since drifted into vernacular and been borrowed heavily by the entertainment industry. It can also be used for a group of individuals who are popular in certain ar ... Read »


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    • Altered chord

    • In music, an altered chord, an example of alteration (see below), is a chord with one or more diatonic notes replaced by a neighboring pitch in the chromatic scale. The simplest use of altered chords is the use of "borrowed" chords—borrowed from the tonic minor of a major key, or from the tonic major of a minor ke ... Read »


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    • Altered scale

    • In jazz, the altered scale or altered dominant scale is a seven-note scale that is a dominant scale where all non-essential tones have been altered. This means that it comprises the three irreducibly essential tones that define a dominant seventh chord, which are root, major third, and minor seventh and that all other ... Read »


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    • Alto

    • The musical term alto, meaning "high" in (Latin: ), refers to the second highest part of a contrapuntal musical texture and is also applied to its associated vocal range, especially in choral music. More rarely it describes the highest male solo voice type (usually designated countertenor), and it is also the root wor ... Read »


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    • Andamento

    • Andamento is an Italian musical term used to refer to a fugue subject of above-average length. The term was coined by G.B. Martini in the second volume of his work Esemplare, ossia Saggio fondamentale pratico di contrappunto (1775), which also featured the terms attacco and soggetto to refer to short and average-lengt ... Read »


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    • Appropriation (music)

    • In music, appropriation is the use of borrowed elements (aspects or techniques) in the creation of a new piece, and is an example of cultural appropriation. Appropriation may be thought of as one of the placement of elements in new context, as for Gino Stefani who "makes appropriation the chief criterion for his 'popu ... Read »


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    • Artists and repertoire

    • Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label or publishing company; every activity involving ... Read »


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    • Audio signal

    • An audio signal is a representation of sound, typically as an electrical voltage. Audio signals have frequencies in the audio frequency range of roughly 20 to 20,000 Hz (the limits of human hearing). Audio signals may be synthesized directly, or may originate at a transducer such as a microphone, musical instrument ... Read »


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    • Augmentation (music)

    • In Western music and music theory, the word augmentation (from Late Latin augmentare, to increase) has three distinct meanings. Augmentation is a compositional device where a melody, theme or motif is presented in longer note-values than were previously used. Augmentation is also the term for the proportional lengtheni ... Read »


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    • Bandboy

    • Bandboy (also expressed as band boy) is a bygone term for a job similar to for what now is known as a "roadie." They set up, tear down, and maintain equipment, and music. They help-out backstage, making sure there are towels, drinks, ice. Unlike a roadie, the bandboy was more like a personal assistant, or au pair, or ... Read »


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    • Barcarolle

    • A barcarolle (from French, also barcarole; originally, Italian barcarola or barcaruola, from barca 'boat') is a traditional folk song sung by Venetian gondoliers, or a piece of music composed in that style. In classical music, two of the most famous barcarolles are Jacques Offenbach's "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour", f ... Read »


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    • Baritone

    • A baritone is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the bass and the tenor voice types. It is the most common male voice. Originally from the Greek βαρύτονος (barýtonos), meaning deep (or heavy) sounding, music for this voice is typically written in the rang ... Read »


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    • Bass (voice type)

    • A bass (/ˈbeɪs/ BAYSS) is a type of classical male singing voice and has the lowest vocal range of all voice types. According to The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, a bass is typically classified as having a vocal range extending from around the second E below middle C to the E above middle C (i.e., E2–E4). I ... Read »


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    • Bell tone

    • A bell tone is a musical technique in which a voice or instrument is made to imitate the sound of a bell. It is characterized by a strong opening articulation followed by a rapid decay of sound. ... Read »


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    • Big band remote

    • A big band remote (a.k.a. dance band remote) was a remote broadcast, popular on radio during the 1930s and 1940s, involving a coast-to-coast live transmission of a big band. Broadcasts were usually transmitted by the major radio networks directly from hotels, ballrooms, restaurants and clubs. During World War II, ... Read »


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    • Biomusic

    • Biomusic is a form of experimental music which deals with sounds created or performed by non-humans. The definition is also sometimes extended to include sounds made by humans in a directly biological way. For instance, music that is created by the brain waves of the composer can also be called biomusic as can music cr ... Read »


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    • Blind octave

    • In music, a blind octave is the alternate doubling above and below a successive scale or trill notes: "the passage being played...alternately in the higher and lower octave." The device is not to be introduced into the works of "older composers," (presumably those preceding Liszt). Alternately, a blind octave may occu ... Read »


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    • Break (music)

    • In popular music, a break is an instrumental or percussion section during a song derived from or related to stop-time – being a "break" from the main parts of the song or piece. A solo break in jazz occurs when the rhythm section stops playing behind a soloist for a brief period, usually two or four bars leading ... Read »


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    • Bridge (music)

    • In music, especially western popular music, a bridge is a contrasting section that prepares for the return of the original material section. The bridge may be the third eight-bar phrase in a thirty-two-bar form (the B in AABA), or may be used more loosely in verse-chorus form, or, in a compound AABA form, used as a con ... Read »


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    • Busker

    • Street performance or busking is the act of performing in public places for gratuities. In many countries the rewards are generally in the form of money but other gratuities such as food, drink or gifts may be given. Street performance is practiced all over the world by men, women and children and dates back to antiqui ... Read »


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    • Cadence (music)

    • In Western musical theory, a cadence (Latin cadentia, "a falling") is "a melodic or harmonic configuration that creates a sense of resolution [finality or pause]." A harmonic cadence is a progression of (at least) two chords that concludes a phrase, section, or piece of music. A rhythmic cadence is a characteristic rhy ... Read »


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    • Catalogues of classical compositions

    • This article gives some details of the various catalogues of classical compositions that have come into general use. While the opus numbering system has long been the standard manner in which individual compositions are identified and referenced, it is far from universal, and there have been many different applica ... Read »


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    • Catchiness

    • Catchiness is how easy it is for one to remember a song, tune or phrase. It is often taken into account when writing songs, catchphrases, advertising slogans, jingles etc. Alternatively, it can be defined as how difficult it is for one to forget it. Songs that embody high levels of remembrance or catchiness are known a ... Read »


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    • Chamber music

    • Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a small number of performers, with one performer to a part (in contrast to orchestral m ... Read »


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    • Chart hit

    • A record chart also called a music chart is a ranking of recorded music according to popularity during a given period of time. Examples of music charts are the Hit parade, the Billboard Hot 100 or Top 40. Many different criteria are used in different charts, including sales of records, cassettes and compact discs, the ... Read »


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    • Chops (embouchure)

    • Embouchure or lipping is the use of the lips, facial muscles, tongue, and teeth in playing a wind instrument. This includes shaping the lips to the mouthpiece of a woodwind instrument or the mouthpiece of a brass instrument. The word is of French origin and is related to the root , 'mouth'. Proper embouchure allows ins ... Read »


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    • Choral symphony

    • A choral symphony is a musical composition for orchestra, choir, and sometimes solo vocalists that, in its internal workings and overall musical architecture, adheres broadly to symphonic musical form. The term "choral symphony" in this context was coined by Hector Berlioz when he described his Roméo et Juliette as ... Read »


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    • Chord progression

    • A chord progression or harmonic progression is a succession of musical chords. Chord progressions are the foundation of harmony in Western musical tradition. In tonal music, chord progressions have the function of establishing or contradicting a tonality. Arnold Schoenberg distinguishes progressions from successions, ... Read »


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    • Chording

    • Chording means pushing several keys or buttons simultaneously to achieve a result. In music, more than one key are pressed at a time to achieve more complex sounds, or chords. Chording, with a chorded keyboard or keyer allows one to produce as many characters, as a QWERTY keyboard, but with fewer keys and less mo ... Read »


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    • Chordioid

    • A chordioid, also called chord fragment or fragmentary voicing or partial voicing, is a group of musical notes which does not qualify as a chord under some preferred chord theory or other, but still useful to name and reify for other reasons. The main use of chordioids is to form "legitimate" chords enharmonically in ... Read »


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    • Close and open harmony

    • Close harmony is an arrangement of the notes of chords within a narrow range, usually notes that are no more than an octave apart. It is different from open harmony or voicing in that it uses each part on the closest harmonizing note (such as C4–E4–G4), while the open voicing uses a broader pitch array (like ... Read »


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    • Composer

    • A composer (Latin ; literally "one who puts together") is a person who creates or writes music, which can be vocal music (for a singer or choir), instrumental music (e.g., for solo piano, string quartet, wind quintet or orchestra) or music which combines both instruments and voices (e.g., opera or art song, which is a ... Read »


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    • Composer tributes (classical music)

    • Musical tributes or homages from one composer to another can take many forms. Following are examples of the major types of tributes occurring in classical music. A particular work may fit into more than one of these types. Variations on a theme by another composer. These are usually written as discrete sets of var ... Read »


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    • Concert aria

    • A concert aria is normally a free-standing aria or opera-like scene (scena) composed for singer and orchestra, written specifically for performance in concert rather than as part of an opera. Concert arias have usually been composed for particular singers, the composer always bearing that singer's voice and skill in mi ... Read »


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    • Conclusion (music)

    • In music, the conclusion is the ending of a composition and may take the form of a coda or outro. Pieces using sonata form typically use the recapitulation to conclude a piece, providing closure through the repetition of thematic material from the exposition in the tonic key. In all musical forms other techniques incl ... Read »


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    • Conducting

    • Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. The primary duties of the conductor are to set the tempo, ensure correct entries by various members of the ensemble, and to "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. To convey their ideas and interpretation, a conductor com ... Read »


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    • Contrafact

    • In jazz, a contrafact is a musical composition consisting of a new melody overlaid on a familiar harmonic structure. Contrafact can also be explained as the use of borrowed chord progressions. As a compositional device, it was of particular importance in the 1940s development of bop, since it allowed jazz musicians to ... Read »


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    • Contralto

    • A contralto (Italian pronunciation: [konˈtralto]) is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type. The contralto's vocal range is fairly rare; similar to, but different from the alto, and almost identical to that of a countertenor, typically between the F below middle ... Read »


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    • Count off

    • A count off, count in, or lead-in is a verbal, instrumental or visual cue used in musical performances and recordings to ensure a uniform entrance to the performance by the musicians and to establish the piece's initial tempo, time signature and style. Although a count off usually lasts just one or two bars, it is able ... Read »


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    • Countertenor

    • A countertenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is equivalent to that of the female contralto or mezzo-soprano voice types. The countertenor range is generally equivalent to a contralto range, extending from around G3 to D5 or E5, although a sopranist (a specific kind of countertenor) may mat ... Read »


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    • Cover band

    • A cover band (or covers band), is a band that plays mostly or exclusively cover songs. New or unknown bands often find the format marketable for smaller venues, such as pubs, clubs, or parks. The bands also perform at private events, for example, weddings and birthday parties and may be known as a wedding band, party b ... Read »


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    • Cross-beat

    • In music, a cross-beat or cross-rhythm is a specific form of polyrhythm. The term cross rhythm was introduced in 1934 by the musicologist Arthur Morris Jones (1889–1980). It refers to when the rhythmic conflict found in polyrhythms is the basis of an entire musical piece. The term "cross rhythm" was introduce ... Read »


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    • Decet (music)

    • In music, a decet—sometimes dectet, decimette, or even tentet (Gerhart 2005)—is a composition which requires ten musicians for a performance, or a musical group that consists of ten people. The corresponding German word is Dezett, the French is dixtuor. Unlike some other musical ensembles such as the string q ... Read »


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    • Descant

    • Descant, discant, or discantus can refer to several different things in music, depending on the period in question; etymologically, the word means a voice (cantus) above or removed from others. A descant is a form of medieval music in which one singer sang a fixed melody, and others accompanied with improvisations. Th ... Read »


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    • Divertimento

    • Divertimento /dᵻˌvɜːrtᵻˈmɛntoʊ/ (Italian: [divertiˈmento]; from the Italian "to amuse") is a musical genre, with most of its examples from the 18th century. The mood of the is most often lighthearted (as a result of being played at social functions) and it is generally composed for a ... Read »


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    • Divisi

    • In musical terminology, Divisi ("div.") is an instruction to divide a single section of instruments into multiple subsections of instruments. This usually applies to the violins of the string section in an orchestra, although violas, cellos, and double basses can also be divided. Typically, 4-part French Horn sections ... Read »


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    • Double concerto

    • A double concerto (Italian: Doppio concerto; German: Doppelkonzert) refers to two distinct variations on the concerto. Most often, it refers to a concerto featuring two performers, as opposed to the usual single performer, in the solo role. These two performers' instruments may be of the same type, as in Bach's, Concer ... Read »


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    • Duet

    • A duet is a musical composition for two performers in which the performers have equal importance to the piece. It is often used to describe a composition involving two singers. It differs from a harmony, as the performers take turns performing a solo section rather than performing simultaneously. In classical music, th ... Read »


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    • Duettino

    • A duettino is an unpretentious duet with a concise form.Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart offers several well-known examples of the type, including "La ci darem la mano" from Don Giovanni and "Duettino No. 3" from La clemenza di Tito, a song only twenty-four measures long. He also described "Via resti servita" in The Marriage of ... Read »


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    • Dumka (musical genre)

    • Dumka (Ukrainian: думка, dúmka, plural думки, dúmky) is a musical term introduced from the Ukrainian language, with cognates in other Slavic languages. The word "dumka" literally means "thought". Originally, it is the diminutive form of the Ukrainian term duma, pl. dumy, "a Slavic (s ... Read »


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    • Duodecet

    • In music, a duodecet—sometimes duodectet, or duodecimette—is a composition which requires twelve musicians for a performance, or a musical group that consists of twelve people. In jazz, such a group of twelve players is sometimes called a "twelvetet". The corresponding German word is duodezett. The French equ ... Read »


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    • Dynamics (music)

    • In music, dynamics are instructions in musical notation to the performer about hearing the loudness of a note or phrase. More generally, dynamics may also include other aspects of the execution of a given piece. The two basic dynamic indications in music are: More subtle degrees of loudness or softness are indica ... Read »


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    • Earworm

    • An earworm, sometimes known as a brainworm,sticky music, or stuck song syndrome, is a catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. Phrases used to describe an earworm include "musical imagery repetition", "involuntary musical imagery", and "stuck song syndrome". ... Read »


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    • Elastic scoring

    • Elastic scoring is a style of orchestration or music arrangement that was first used by the Australian composer Percy Grainger. This technique of orchestration is used to provide composers with the option of allowing a diverse group of voices or instrumentalists the ability to perform their music. An example of th ... Read »


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    • Embouchure

    • The embouchure is the use of facial muscles and the shaping of the lips to the mouthpiece of woodwind instruments or the mouthpiece of the brass instruments. The word is of French origin and is related to the root bouche, 'mouth'. The proper embouchure allows the instrumentalist to play the instrument at its full range ... Read »


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    • Extant music

    • Extant literature and extant music refers to texts or music that has survived from the past to the present time, as opposed to lost work. Extant literature can be divided into extant original manuscripts, copies of original manuscripts, quotations and paraphrases of passages of non-extant texts contained in other works ... Read »


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    • False relation

    • A false relation (also known as cross-relation, non-harmonic relation) is the name of a type of dissonance that sometimes occurs in polyphonic music, most commonly in vocal music of the Renaissance. The term describes i) a "chromatic contradiction" between two notes sounding simultaneously, (or in close proximity), in ... Read »


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    • Fanfare

    • A fanfare (or flourish) is a short musical flourish that is typically played by trumpets or other brass instruments, often accompanied by percussion (Tarr 2001), a "brief improvised introduction to an instrumental performance" (Griffiths 2004). By extension, the word may also designate a short, prominent passage for br ... Read »


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    • Fate motif

    • Fate motif refers to a musical motif in a number of different works: ... Read »


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    • Figured bass

    • Figured bass, or thoroughbass, is a kind of musical notation in which numerals and symbols (often accidentals) indicate intervals, chords, and non-chord tones that a musician playing harpsichord, organ, lute (or other instruments capable of playing chords) play in relation to the bass note that these numbers and symbol ... Read »


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    • Formula composition

    • Formula composition is a serially derived technique encountered principally in the music of , involving the projection, expansion, and Ausmultiplikation of either a single melody-formula, or a two- or three-voice contrapuntal construction (sometimes stated at the outset). In contrast to serial music, where the structu ... Read »


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    • Ghost band

    • A ghost band is, in the case of big band jazz, a band that performs under the original name of a deceased leader. In the case of rock, under a relaxed definition, it is a band that performs under the name of the original band whose founders are either deceased or have left the band. Use of the phrase may refer to a rep ... Read »


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    • Gig (music)

    • Gig is slang for a live musical performance. Originally coined in the 1920s by jazz musicians, the term, short for the word "engagement", now refers to any aspect of performing such as assisting with performance and attending musical performance. More broadly, the term "gigging" means having paid work, being employed. ... Read »


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    • Outline of guitars

    • The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to guitars: Guitar – plucked string instrument, usually played with fingers or a pick. The guitar consists of a body with a rigid neck to which the strings, generally six in number, are attached. Guitars are traditionally constructed of various ... Read »


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    • Hauptstimme

    • In music, Hauptstimme (German for primary voice) or Hauptsatz is the main voice, chief part; i.e., the contrapuntal or melodic line of primary importance, in opposition to Nebenstimme. Nebenstimme (German for secondary voice) or Seitensatz is the secondary part; i.e., a secondary contrapuntal or melodic part, always oc ... Read »


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    • Hemiola

    • In music, hemiola (also hemiolia) is the ratio 3:2. The equivalent Latin term is sesquialtera. In pitch, hemiola refers to the interval of a perfect fifth. In rhythm, hemiola refers to three beats of equal value in the time normally occupied by two beats. The word hemiola comes from the Greek adjective ἡμ ... Read »


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    • Impresario

    • An impresario (from the Italian impresa, 'an enterprise or undertaking') is a person who organizes and often finances concerts, plays, or operas, performing a role similar to that of an artist manager or a film or television producer. The term originated in the social and economic world of Italian opera, in which from ... Read »


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    • Incidental music

    • Incidental music is music in a play, television program, radio program, video game, film, or some other presentation form that is not primarily musical. The term is less frequently applied to film music, with such music being referred to instead as the "film score" or "soundtrack". Incidental music is often "backgroun ... Read »


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    • Interdominant

    • In music, an interdominant is a temporary dominant, the dominant of a key other than the tonic. Since a composition generally begins and ends with the tonic, the dominant of notes other than the tonic would be found in the middle. ... Read »


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    • Internet band

    • An Internet band, also called an online band, is a musical group whose members collaborate online through broadband by utilizing a content management system and local digital audio workstations. The work is sometimes released under a Creative Commons license, so musicians can share their "samples" to create collaborati ... Read »


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    • Lining out

    • Lining out or hymn lining, called precenting the line in Scotland, is a form of a cappella hymn-singing or hymnody in which a leader, often called the clerk or precentor, gives each line of a hymn tune as it is to be sung, usually in a chanted form giving or suggesting the tune. It can be considered a form of call and ... Read »


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    • Melisma

    • Melisma (Greek: μέλισμα, melisma, song, air, melody; from μέλος, melos, song, melody, plural: melismata) is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. Music sung in this style is referred to as melismatic, as opposed to syllab ... Read »


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    • Melograph

    • The Melograph, similar to the Melodiograph, is a mechanical apparatus for ethnomusicological transcription usually producing some sort of graph that can be preserved and filed, similar to a recording of music. Beginning with attempts by Milton Metfessel in 1928, assorted devices such as this have been developed or manu ... Read »


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    • Minnesang

    • Minnesang (German: [ˈmɪnəˌzaŋ], "love song") was a tradition of lyric and song writing in Germany that flourished in the Middle High German period. This period of medieval German literature began in the 12th century and continued into the 14th. People who wrote and performed Minnesang were known as Minne ... Read »


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    • Moldy figs

    • Moldy figs are purist advocates of early jazz, originally those such as Rudi Blesh, Alan Lomax, and James Jones who argued that jazz took a wrong turn in the early 1920s with developments such as the introduction of printed scores. Blesh, for example, dismissed the work of Duke Ellington as "tea dansant music" with no ... Read »


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    • Multilingual titling

    • The term multilingual titling defines, in the field of titling for the performing arts (musical theatre, drama, audiovisual productions), the chance for the audience to follow more than one linguistic option. In the audiovisual field, multilingual titling was made possible by the introduction of DVD (1996) in whi ... Read »


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    • Multimedia translation

    • Multimedia translation, also sometimes referred to as Audiovisual translation, is a specialized branch of translation which deals with the transfer of multimodal and multimedial texts into another language and/or culture. and which implies the use of a multimedia electronic system in the translation or in the transmiss ... Read »


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    • Museme

    • A museme is a minimal unit of musical meaning, analogous to a morpheme in linguistics, "the basic unit of musical expression which in the framework of one given musical system is not further divisible without destruction of meaning." A museme may: The term was brought to popularity by Philip Tagg, derived from the wor ... Read »


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    • Music manuscript

    • Music manuscripts are handwritten sources of music. Generally speaking, they can be written on paper or parchment. If the manuscript contains the composer's handwriting it is called an autograph. Music manuscripts can contain musical notation as well as texts and images. There exists a wide variety of types from sketch ... Read »


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    • Music written in all major and/or minor keys


    • Musical acoustics

    • Musical acoustics or music acoustics is a branch of acoustics concerned with researching and describing the physics of music – how sounds are employed to make music. Examples of areas of study are the function of musical instruments, the human voice (the physics of speech and singing), computer analysis of melody, ... Read »


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    • Musical Pairing

    • Musical Pairing is a patented technique of pairing music with food and beverages using a mathematical formula. This phrase is the registered trademark of Musical Pairing Inc. The company was named as a Top 10 Pop-up Restaurant by Fodor's in 2015. Founded by chef and author Barbara Werner, Musical Pairing: The Art ... Read »


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    • Musical prefix

    • A musical prefix is a numeral or other prefix used in music theory, specifically musical tuning. ... Read »


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    • Musical quotation

    • Musical quotation is the practice of directly quoting another work in a new composition. The quotation may be from the same composer's work (self-referential), or from a different composer's work (appropriation). Sometimes the quotation is done for the purposes of characterization, as in Puccini's use of The Star-Span ... Read »


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    • Musical repertoire

    • Musical repertoire is a collection of music pieces played by an individual musician or ensemble, or composed for a particular instrument or group of instruments, voice or choir. ... Read »


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    • Musical syntax

    • When analysing the regularities and structure of music as well as the processing of music in the brain, certain findings lead to the question of whether music is based on a syntax that could be compared with linguistic syntax. To get closer to this question it is necessary to have a look at the basic aspects of syntax ... Read »


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    • Musicality

    • Musicality (music) is "sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music" or "the quality or state of being musical", and is used to refer to specific if vaguely defined qualities in pieces and/or genres of music, such as melodiousness and harmoniousness. These definitions are somewhat hampered by the difficulty of def ... Read »


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    • Niente (musical dynamic)

    • Niente (Italian pronunciation: [ˈnjɛnte]), also called quasi niente [ˈkwaːzi ˈnjɛnte], is a musical dynamic often used at the end of a piece to direct the performer to fade the music away to little more than a bare whisper, normally gradually with a diminuendo,al niente. It is often written as "n" ... Read »


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    • Nonchord tone

    • A nonchord tone (NCT), nonharmonic tone, or embellishing tone is a note (i.e., a pitch) in a piece of music or song that is not part of the implied or expressed chord set out by the harmonic framework. Similarly, a chord tone is a note that is a part of the functional chord (see: factor (chord)). Nonchord tones are mos ... Read »


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    • Novelette (music)

    • A novelette is "a short piece of lyrical music, especially one for the piano". The word was used by the composer Robert Schumann as a title for some piano pieces, a choice that reflected his literary background and interests. The music in question (op. 21, and op. 99 no. 9) is episodic, however, and does not especiall ... Read »


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    • Number (music)

    • In music, number refers to an individual song, dance, or instrumental piece which is part of a larger work of musical theatre, opera, or oratorio. It can also refer either to an individual song in a published collection or an individual song or dance in a performance of several unrelated musical pieces as in concerts a ... Read »


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    • Obbligato

    • In classical music obbligato, also spelled obligato, usually describes a musical line that is in some way indispensable in performance. Its opposite is the marking ad libitum. It can also be used, more specifically, to indicate that a passage of music was to be played exactly as written, or only by the specified instru ... Read »


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    • Offstage brass and percussion

    • An offstage brass and percussion part is a sound effect used in classical music, which is created by having one or more trumpet players (also called an offstage trumpet call), horn players, or percussionists from a symphony orchestra or opera orchestra play a note, melody, or rhythm from behind the stage. This creates ... Read »


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    • Opus number

    • In musical composition, the Opus number is the "work number" that is assigned to a composition, or to a set of compositions, to indicate the chronological order of the composer's production. Opus numbers are used to distinguish among compositions with similar titles; the word is abbreviated as "Op." for a single work, ... Read »


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    • Orchestral build

    • Orchestral build is a term used in disco music to describe the systematic overlapping of prerecorded elements of the symphony orchestra during an of a song. On the song's break, the melody was reintroduced on top of the drums, timpani, and percussions, by sequential highlighting of the various rhythm instruments, suc ... Read »


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    • Orchestration

    • Orchestration is the study or practice of writing music for an orchestra (or, more loosely, for any musical ensemble, such as a concert band) or of adapting music composed for another medium for an orchestra. Also called "instrumentation", orchestration is the selection of different instruments to play the different pa ... Read »


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    • Oriental riff

    • The Oriental riff, also known as the Asian riff, is a musical riff or phrase that has often been used in Western culture as a trope or stereotype of orientalism to represent the idea of the Orient, China, Japan or a generic East Asian theme. The riff is sometimes accompanied by the sound of a gong. The Oriental ri ... Read »


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    • List of ornaments

    • Ornaments are a frequent embellishment to music. Sometimes different symbols represent the same ornament, or vice versa. Different ornament names can refer to an ornament from a specific area or time period. Understanding these ornaments is important for historically informed performance and understanding the subtletie ... Read »


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    • Ornament (music)

    • In music, ornaments or embellishments are musical flourishes that are not necessary to carry the overall line of the melody (or harmony), but serve instead to decorate or "ornament" that line. Many ornaments are performed as "fast notes" around a central note. The amount of ornamentation in a piece of music can vary fr ... Read »


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    • Ossia

    • Ossia [osˈsiːa] is a musical term for an alternative passage which may be played instead of the original passage. The word comes from the Italian for "alternatively" and was originally spelled o sia, meaning "or be it" (Fallows 774). Ossia passages are very common in opera and solo piano works. They are usually ... Read »


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    • Ostinato

    • In music, an ostinato [ostiˈnaːto] (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English, from Latin: 'obstinate') is a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, usually at the same pitch. Well-known ostinato-based pieces include both classical compositions such as Ravel's Boléro and popu ... Read »


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    • Outro (literary)

    • An epilogue or epilog (from Greek ἐπίλογος epílogos, "conclusion" from ἐπί- "in addition" and λέγειν légein, "to say") is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature, usually used to bring closure to the work. It is presented from the perspective of ... Read »


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    • Partimento

    • Partimento (from the Italian: partimento, plural partimenti) is an instructional bass line with either figured bass or unfigured bass. Partimenti were used mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries as pedagogical aids for the teaching of harmony, counterpoint and improvisation. The Partimenti evolved in the late 17th ... Read »


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    • Perpetuum mobile

    • In music perpetuum mobile (Latin, English pronunciation /pəːˌpɛtjʊəm ˈməʊbɪleɪ, ˈməʊbɪli), moto perpetuo (Italian), mouvement perpétuel (French), 'movimento perpétuo' (Portuguese) movimiento perpetuo (Spanish), literally meaning "perpetual motion", has two distinct mea ... Read »


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    • Pesante

    • Pesante (Italian pronunciation: [peˈzante]) is a musical term, meaning "heavy and ponderous." It is often used in Latin languages, such as Spanish or Portuguese, with the word pesado meaning heavy in both of these languages. The French equivalent is pesant. In performance, "pesante" is often interpreted as a tem ... Read »


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    • Reduction (music)

    • In music, a reduction is an arrangement or transcription of an existing score or composition in which complexity is lessened to make analysis, performance, or practice easier or more clear; the number of parts may be reduced or rhythm may be simplified, such as through the use of block chords. An orchestral reduct ... Read »


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    • Piano six hands

    • Music described as piano six hands (or piano trio) is for three pianists at one piano, as distinct from piano duet which is music for two pianists at one or two pianos. Because of the limited range available to each player, many of the pieces written for this combination are elementary in nature; many more are arrangem ... Read »


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    • List of pipe organ stops

    • For audio examples, please see the article on organ stops. An organ stop can mean one of three things: Organ stops are sorted into four major types: principal, string, reed, and flute. This is a sortable list of names that may be found associated with electronic and pipe organ stops. Countless stops have been design ... Read »


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    • Power duo

    • A Power duo is a two-piece rock band that follows a similar blues rock style to a traditional power trio, and whose primary lineup consists of a drummer and a guitarist (such as Two Gallants, The White Stripes, Pressione Su Malta, Winnebago Deal, The Like Young, The Black Keys, Local H, Japandroids, No Age, Wye Oak, Gi ... Read »


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    • Power trio

    • A power trio is a rock and roll band format having a lineup of guitar, bass and drums, leaving out the second guitar or keyboard that are used in other rock music quartets and quintets to fill out the sound with chords. While one or more band members typically sing, power trios emphasize instrumental performance and ov ... Read »


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    • Precomposition

    • In music, precompositional decisions are those decisions which a composer decides upon before or while beginning to create a composition. These limits may be given to the composer, such as the length or style needed, or entirely decided by the composer. Precompositional decisions may also include which key, scale, mus ... Read »


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    • Principal (music)

    • The principal musician in an orchestra or other large musical ensemble is the leader of the group of musicians playing that instrument. Every instrumental group (or section) has a principal who is generally responsible for leading the group and playing orchestral solos. The violins are divided into two groups, first vi ... Read »


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    • Program music

    • Program music or programme music is a type of art music that attempts to musically render an extra-musical narrative. The narrative itself might be offered to the audience in the form of program notes, inviting imaginative correlations with the music. A classic example is Hector Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, which r ... Read »


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    • Refrain

    • A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat", and later from Old French refraindre) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina. The use of refrains is particularly associated ... Read »


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    • Rhythm

    • Rhythm (from Greek ῥυθμός, rhythmos, "any regular recurring motion, symmetry" (Liddell and Scott 1996)) generally means a "movement marked by the regulated succession of strong and weak elements, or of opposite or different conditions" (Anon. 1971, 2537). This general meaning of regular recurrence o ... Read »


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    • Ripieno

    • "Ripieno" (Italian pronunciation: [riˈpjɛːno], Italian for "stuffing" or "padding") refers to the bulk of instrumental parts of a musical ensemble who do not play as soloists, especially in Baroque music. These are the players who would play in sections marked tutti, as opposed to soloist sections. It is mo ... Read »


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    • Ripieno concerto

    • The ripieno concerto is a somewhat later type of Baroque music, the term concerto here reverting to its earlier meaning of work for an ensemble. The word is from the Italian for "padding". The concerto ripieno was sometimes referred to as a "concerto a quattro" (or "a cinque" if the orchestra included two viola parts, ... Read »


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    • Riyaz

    • Riyaz (also Riyaaz) is an Urdu language term used for music practice, for honing of Hindustani classical music vocal as well as instrument skills.Sadhakam or Sadhana in Carnatic music. It is followed rigorously by the students as well as exponents of vocal as well as dancing forms. The Riyaaz or Sadhakam, which often ... Read »


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    • Round (music)

    • A round (also called a perpetual canon [canon perpetuus] or infinite canon) is a musical composition, a limited type of canon, in which a minimum of three voices sing exactly the same melody at the unison (and may continue repeating it indefinitely), but with each voice beginning at different times so that different pa ... Read »


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    • Rule of the octave

    • The rule of the octave is a way of harmonizing each note of the diatonic scale, reflecting common practice, and has its origin in the practice of thorough bass, or basso continuo. The rule of the octave also formed the cornerstone of the "regole" (rules) of partimento collections. The rule of the octave was first menti ... Read »


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    • Sharawadji Effect

    • The Sharawadji Effect, not to be confused with Sharawadgi, is a musical phenomena described by Claude Shryer as "a sensation of plenitude sometimes created by the contemplation of a complex soundscape whose beauty is inexplicable." It is important to note that Sharawadji is not a stimulus, but rather a reaction to a st ... Read »


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    • Song plugger

    • A song plugger or song demonstrator was a vocalist or piano player employed by department and music stores and song publishers in the early 20th century to promote and help sell new sheet music, which is how hits were advertised before quality recordings were widely available. Music publisher Frank Harding has been cre ... Read »


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    • Songshark

    • Songshark is a term for a dishonest music publisher, whose main source of income is the naivete of new songwriters, whom they charge for services a reputable publisher would provide free to their clients. "Song shark" is the trade name for any individual, or firm who, with the deliberate intention to defraud, solicits ... Read »


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    • Soprano

    • A soprano [soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) =880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above mi ... Read »


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    • Stretto

    • The term stretto [ˈstretto] (plural: stretti) comes from the Italian past participle of , and means "narrow", "tight", or "close". It applies in a close succession of statements of the subject in a fugue, especially in the final section. In stretto, the subject is presented in one voice and then imitated in one or m ... Read »


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    • Syncopation

    • In music, syncopation involves a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make part or all of a tune or piece of music off-beat. More simply, syncopation is a general term for "a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm": a "placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn't ... Read »


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    • Tacet

    • Tacet is Latin for "it is silent". It is a musical term to indicate that an instrument or voice does not sound. In vocal polyphony and in orchestral scores, it usually indicates a long period of time, typically an entire movement. In more modern music such as jazz, tacet tends to mark considerably shorter breaks. It w ... Read »


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    • Tarantella Napoletana

    • The "Tarantella Napoletana" is the tarantella associated with Naples. It is familiar to North American viewers of popular media as a stereotypically "Italian" musical riff or melody. Examples of its use include Gioachino Rossini's "La Danza" from Soirées Musicales (1830–1835). ... Read »


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    • Tasto solo

    • Tasto solo is an Italian term used in music scores, usually on the continuo part, to indicate that a note or section should be played on its own, without harmony. The term tasto is Italian for key (as Italian “tastiera” is for fingerboard), so the part is to be played solo by the fingerboard instrument (e.g. ... Read »


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    • Tempo

    • In musical terminology, tempo [ˈtɛmpo] ("time" in Italian; plural: tempi [ˈtɛmpi]) is the speed or pace of a given piece or subsection thereof, how fast or slow. Tempo is related to meter and is usually measured by beats per minute, with the beats being a division of the measures, though tempo is often ind ... Read »


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    • Tenor

    • Tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is one of the highest of the male voice types. The tenor's vocal range (in choral music) lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, and A4, the A above middle C. In solo work, this range extends up to C5, or "tenor high C". The low extreme for ten ... Read »


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    • Terp (music industry jargon)

    • Terp is music and dance industry jargon for "dance". The term is an eponym for Terpsichore, the Greek muse of dramatic chorus and dance. The term, still in use, was more common from the 1930s to the 1970s by dance professionals and music entertainment industry magazines, including Billboard, which uses the terms "terp ... Read »


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    • Territory band

    • Territory bands were dance bands that crisscrossed specific regions of the United States from the 1920s through the 1960s. Beginning in the 1920s, the bands typically had 8 to 12 musicians. These bands typically played one-nighters, 6 or 7 nights a week at venues like VFW halls, Elks Lodges, Lions Clubs, hotel ballroom ... Read »


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    • Terzschritt

    • In music theory, Terzschritt (De: third step) is a dualistic major third relationship, in which the ascending progression from a major tonic triad to major mediant triad is equivalent to the descending one between a major tonic triad and a flat subdominant minor triad. The major chord on the mediant is itself the Terzk ... Read »


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    • Text declamation

    • Text declamation refers to the manner in which a composer sets words to music. Aesthetically declamation is conceived of as "accurate" (approximating the natural rhythms and patterns of human speech) or not, which informs perceptions about emotional power as expressed through the relationship between words and music. ... Read »


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    • Thematic catalogue

    • A thematic catalogue is an index used to identify musical compositions through the citation of either the opening notes (incipit) or main theme of the work. Such catalogues can be used for many purposes, including as guides to a specific composer's works, as an inventory of a library's holding or as an advertisement of ... Read »


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    • Thirty-two-bar form

    • The thirty-two-bar form, also known as the AABA song form, American popular song form and the ballad form, is a song structure commonly found in Tin Pan Alley songs and other American popular music, especially in the first half of the 20th century. Examples of 32-bar AABA form songs include: "Over the Rainbow", "What ... Read »


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    • Titling

    • The word Titling, in the performing arts (opera, drama, audiovisual productions), defines the work of linguistic mediation encompassing subtitling and surtitling. Subtitling developed starting from 1917, during the silent film era, whereas surtitling has been used in the live performing arts since 1983 (at the daw ... Read »


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    • Tone (musical instrument)

    • Tone and sound are terms used by musicians and related professions to refer to the audible characteristics of a player's sound. Tone is the product of all influences on what can be heard by the listener, including the characteristics of the instrument itself, differences in playing technique (e.g. embouchure for woodwi ... Read »


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    • Tonus peregrinus

    • Tonus peregrinus, or the ninth tone, is a reciting tone in Gregorian chant. As a reciting tone the tonus peregrinus does not fit in any of the original eight church modes, because a verse recited in this tone has a different tenor note in the first half of the verse as in the second half of the verse. Traditional ... Read »


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    • Treble voice

    • A treble voice is a voice which takes the treble part. In the absence of a separate descant part, this is normally the highest-pitched part, and otherwise the second highest. The term is most often used today within the context of choral music in reference to youthful singers. The American Choral Directors Association ... Read »


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    • Triad (music)

    • In music, a triad is a set of three notes (or "pitches") that can be stacked vertically in thirds. The term "harmonic triad" was coined by Johannes Lippius in his "Synopsis musicae novae" (1612). When stacked in thirds, notes produce triadic chords. The triad's members, from lowest-pitched tone to highest, are called: ... Read »


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    • Trumpet voluntary

    • Trumpet Voluntary is the name given to several English keyboard pieces from the Baroque era. A trumpet voluntary is most commonly played on the organ using the trumpet stop, hence the name. Trumpet voluntaries usually consist of a slow introduction followed by a faster section with the right hand playing fanfare-like f ... Read »


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    • Tutti

    • Tutti is an Italian word literally meaning all or together and is used as a musical term, for the whole orchestra as opposed to the soloist. It is applied similarly to choral music, where the whole section or choir is called to sing. Music examination boards may instruct candidates to "play in tuttis", indicating that ... Read »


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    • Ursatz

    • In Schenkerian analysis, the fundamental structure (German: Ursatz) describes the structure of a tonal work as it occurs at the most remote (or "background") level and in the most abstract form. A basic elaboration of the tonic triad, it consists of the fundamental line accompanied by the bass arpeggiation. Hence the f ... Read »


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    • White label

    • White label records are vinyl records with plain white labels attached. There are several variations each with a different purpose. Variations include Test Pressings, White Label Promos, and Plain White Labels. Test Pressings, usually with Test Pressing written on the label, with catalogue number, artist and recording ... Read »


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    • Woodwind doubler

    • A woodwind doubler (or reed doubler) is a musician who can play two or more instruments from the five woodwind families (clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons and flutes) or other folk or ethnic woodwind instruments (e.g., recorder, panflute, irish flute), and can play more than one instrument during a performance. A ... Read »


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