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DICTIONARY OF MUSICAL TERMS. 1. AB form - A musical plan that has two different parts, or sections. See form. ABA form - A musical plan. art-music: a general term used to describe the "formal concert music" traditions of the West, art song: (genre) a musical setting of artistic poetry for solo voice. literature. These are words and phrases which I have found in solo and Any serious student of music should own a copy of the Harvard Dictionary of Music.

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Musical Terms Pdf

The Musical Terminology and Symbols represented here are the basic terms They also know how to perform a musical composition when these terms and. In mediaeval music the term accent was also applied to musical notation, the first two and most common of the signs being the accentus acutus, and accentus. Glossary of Common Musical Terms. A cappella – Singing without an accompaniment. Accelerando - Gradually quicken tempo. Adagio - A tempo having slow.

These terms are the fundamental building blocks of all music. Music from every era and style is constructed using the elements these terms represent. Understanding these terms is an essential starting point for piano study. As you become a more advanced pianist, you will build on and expand your knowledge of these terms. Melody: A tune or theme that you would sing along with; a group of single tones played one after the other that the listener hears as a complete unit or idea Harmony: A group of tones that is played underneath or around the melody to make it more interesting and give it a particular mood; Changing the harmony, even if the melody is the same, can create a completely different mood for the piece.

Those written in the major mode are often heard as being happy, light, and positive while those in the minor mode are typically sad, dark, and serious. Scale: A series of different tones played one after the other and arranged from lowest to highest or highest to lowest. Scales generally have 8 to 12 notes.

A half-step is the smallest distance between two tones, and on the piano, it is the distance between one piano key to the very next key.

A whole step or whole tone is twice as big as a half step semitone. These two notes have the same name and sound similar, the only difference is that one sounds higher than the other. Octaves are also used as a marker of distance.

Scales are often divided into octaves one-octave, two-octave, three-octave, four-octave. Scale degree: The tones of a scale numbered one through seven. The eighth tone of the scale is the octave, so it is not generally numbered. The tonic is the most important tone of the scale.

It is related to keys. It is the second most-important tone of the scale. Major scale: A scale pattern of whole steps and half steps that contains all of the tones of any major key played in order of lowest to highest or highest to lowest; there are 12 of these.

Minor scale: A scale pattern of whole steps and half steps that contains all of the tones of any minor key played in order of lowest to highest or highest to lowest; there are 12 of these. Usually, triads have a particular arrangement of tones, whole steps and half steps.

Chord progression: A series of chords played one after the other. Form: The large-scale structure and organization of a piece of music Binary AB form: This form consists of 2 sections, an A section and a B section. Each section is different to the other section. Usually, each section is played twice repeated all the way through before going on to the next section.

It is sometimes repeated before going on to the B section which features different material. After the B section, the A section returns to complete the piece; it is often written out immediately following the B section, or there may be symbols to direct you to simply return to the top of the piece and perform the opening A section again. Theme and Variations: This form has a main theme melody presented at the opening of the piece.

After that, a series of variations are used to add a different character to the melody. For example, a different harmony might be added, rhythms might be changed, or a different articulation may be used to add variety. They tell you exactly how a piece goes which pitches to play, etc. Score: The formal name for the sheet music for a song or piece; professionals prefer this term Staff: A set of 5 horizontal lines and 4 spaces on which notes tones are placed; The lines are connected by a vertical line drawn at the left and right corners.

Notes can be placed either on a line or in a space. In treble clef, the second line counting up from the bottom is the note G. These measure numbers act as a reference point that allows you to quickly find your place in rehearsals with other people. Bar lines look like this Ledger line: a line that acts as an extension of the staff and is used to notate pitches that cannot fit within the 5 staff lines because they are too high or low; an example of a ledger line is 8va: Symbol that indicates you should play the given passage one octave away from the notes that are printed.

If 8va is printed above the printed notes, play them an octave higher than printed; if written below the printed notes, play them an octave lower than printed. H right hand : An abbreviation indicating that a given passage should be played by the left hand if L. Trill Tr. Grace notes are common in the music of the composer Bach i.

Italian Musical Terms

They typically look like this Key signature: An arrangement of sharps or flats see below found on the far left of every staff indicating which pitches are to be played for a particular piece or section.

An example of a key signature is the one for G Major, which looks like this Accidental: Any of the symbols sharp, flat, natural that indicate the raising or lowering of a pitch and appear next to the notes themselves instead of in the key signature. Flat: A symbol which looks like located to the left side of a particular note that indicates you are to play it a half-step lower than its natural tone that is notated.

For example, if you see a printed tone of E with a next to it, you are to play E-flat which is a half-step lower than E. E is a white key on the piano, and E-flat is the black key immediately to its left.


Natural: A symbol placed to the left of a note that indicates you are to play it at the given pitch without any alteration higher or lower. For example, if you see a G with a natural sign beside it, you are to play a G-natural which is the same as the note G. Notes with a natural sign will always be white keys on the piano. The symbol for a natural sign is Repeat sign: This symbol indicates that a section of music is to be played again immediately.

It often appears at the end of A and B sections in binary form. The symbol for a repeat sign is First 1st and second 2nd endings: Multiple endings that may occur at a repeat sign. You play the first ending first, then after repeating the section, you go directly to the second ending, skipping the first.

Like the previous category, understanding the concepts contained in these terms is essential to learning to read music. These terms will help you know how long you should play a given pitch or how long a period of silence should be.

Sometimes spelled as ballade. Baroque — Music ranging from the s to around is generally described as belonging to the baroque era. Examples of baroque composers include Vivaldi, Bach and Handel.

Crescendo — A gradual increase in volume of the music. Diminuendo — Usually written in sheet music to indicate that the player should reduce the volume of their playing. Dissonant — The sound of notes played together that lack harmony.

Dissonant chords often convey feelings such as discomfort, doom or anger. Elegy — A piece of music that expresses grief or sorrow.

[pdf] Glossary Of Musical Terms - The Music Of Drew Fennell

Forte — An instruction in sheet music to play loudly; often abbreviated as f. Glissando — Glissando is a descriptive word for when a slide is performed over several notes. Harmony — When several notes are played together to form chords in some type of progression, it is known as a harmony. In general, harmonies form a pleasing sound.

Interlude — An interlude is a piece of music that acts as a bridge to join two other pieces or works. Key Signature — In sheet music, each section typically shows a key signature. The key signature is denoted as a combination of flats or sharps to indicate the key in which the piece should be played. Largo — Largo, translated literally from Italian, means broad.

Grade Five Music Theory - Lesson 2: Foreign Terms Alphabetical List

In a musical context, it is an instruction to play slowly. Legato — When notes are played legato, they are played smoothly so that they flow together seamlessly. Metronome — A metronome is a small device that makes a steady ticking sound according to the tempo that it is set at. Metronomes are used to help players practice a piece at different speeds.

When people mention playing or recording to a metronome, it simply means that a metronome was set in the background. Mezzo — Mezzo means half, and it is used in conjunction with other words. For example, mezzo-forte would mean half as loud as normal. Nocturne — A piece of music that is evocative of night-time moods, usually sleepy or romantic.

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