Key Words and Meanings - Year 8 Music
  • Blues and Jazz
    12 Bar BluesThe 12-bar blues or blues changes is one of the most prominent chord progressions in popular music. The blues progression has a distinctive form in lyrics, phrase, chord structure, and duration. In its basic form, it is predominantly based on the I-IV-V c 
    Blues ScaleA musical scale having intervals that mutate between major and minor and used especially in jazz 
    Blue NotesIn jazz and blues, a blue note (also "worried" note) is a note that—for expressive purposes—is sung or played at a slightly different pitch than standard. 
    SharpIn music, sharp, dièse (from French), or diesis (from Greek) [a] means higher in pitch and thesharp symbol raises a note by a half tone. 
    AccidentalsA symbol that modifies the pitch of a note, turning it into a sharp, a flat, or a natural; also refers to the modified notes themselves. 
    Beats in a BarIn musical notation, a bar (or measure) is a segment of time corresponding to a specific number of beats in which each beat is represented by a particular note value and the boundaries of the bar are indicated by vertical bar lines. 
    SyncopationA shift of accent in a passage or composition that occurs when a normally weak beat is stressed. 
    SaxophoneA wind instrument classified as a woodwind because it is played with a reed, although it is usually made of metal. Saxophones appear mainly in jazz, dance, and military bands. 
    Drum KitA set of drums, cymbals, and other percussion instruments, used with drumsticks in jazz and popular music. The most basic components are a foot-operated bass drum, a snare drum, a suspended cymbal, and one or more tom-toms. 
    TrumpetA brass musical instrument with a flared bell and a bright, penetrating tone. The modern instrument has the tubing looped to form a straight-sided coil, with three valves. 
    VocalsA part of music that is sung. 
    ImprovisationSomething that is improvised, in particular a piece of music, drama, etc. created spontaneously or without preparation. 
    Bass LineThe lowest part or sequence of notes in a piece of music. 
    Walking BassA bass part in 4/4 time in which a note is played on each beat of the bar and which typically moves up and down the scale in small steps. 
    RiffA short repeated phrase in popular music and jazz, frequently played over changing chords or harmonies or used as a background to a solo improvisation. 
  • Musicals
    MelodyA sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying; a tune. 
    VerseIn popular music, averse roughly corresponds to a poetic stanza. When two or more sections of the song have almost identical music and different lyrics, each section is considered one verse. 
    ChorusA piece of music for singing in unison. a part of a song that recurs at intervals, usually following each verse; refrain. 
    ScriptA text informing actors of what it is they are to say and when during a performance. 
    SegueIn music, segue is a direction to the performer. It means continue (the next section) without a pause. 
    SopranoThe highest range of the female singing voice. 
    AltoThe lowest range of the female singing voice, also called contralto. 
    TenorA tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is one of the highest of the male voice types. 
    BassThe bass is the lowest vocal range, below the soprano, alto, and tenor. 
    HarmonyThe sounding of two or more musical notes at the same time in a way that is pleasant or desired. 
    ChordsIn music, a chord is three or more notes that combine harmoniously. You can play chords on a piano or guitar, but not on an instrument that plays one note at a time, like a trumpet. Chord comes from the French word for agreement, accord, so in music it me 
  • Theme and Variations
    PhraseWhen a group of notes is performed together as one musical thought, regardless of the structure of the measures, it is called phrasing. A notation called a phrase mark is an arc placed over a group of notes to tell the musician how to phrase a particular  
    InversionIn music, the verb invert means to move the lowest note in a group an octave higher. 
    Retrograde InversionRetrograde inversion is a musical term that literally means "backwards and upside down": "The inverse of the series is sounded in reverse order." 
    CadenceA harmonic cadence is a progression of (at least) two chords that concludes a phrase, section, or piece of music. A rhythmiccadence is a characteristic rhythmic pattern that indicates the end of a phrase. 
    HarmonyHarmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. 
    StylisedTo give a conventional or established stylistic form to. 
    DevelopmentIn classical music, musical development is a process by which a musical idea is communicated in the course of a composition. 
    StructureHow a piece of music is built. Song structure or the musical forms of songs in popular music are typically sectional, repeating forms. 
    FormThe term musical form (or musical architecture) refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections. 
    MotifIn music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, an important recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition. 
  • Reggae (off beat)
    Off BeatAny of the normally unaccented beats in a bar, such as the second and fourth beats in a bar of four-four time. They are stressed in most rock and some jazz and dance music, such as the bossa nova. 
    CaribbeanCaribbean music genres are diverse. They are each syntheses of African, European, Indian and Indigenous influences, largely created by descendants of African slaves (see Afro-Caribbean music), along with contributions from other communities (such as Indo- 
    BassThe word bass has two main meanings with separate pronunciations —bass with a high vowel sound (like base) ironically refers to very low sounds — bass instruments and singers are in the lowest part of the musical range, like the low rumble of a bass guita 
    RiffA short rhythm phrase used in music, that is often played when a soloist is performing or when chords and harmonies are changing. An example of a riff is a repeated phrase that is used to lead up to an improvisational solo or used behind a solo in a song. 
    VocalsVocal music is a type of music performed by one or more singers, with or without instrumental accompaniment (a cappella), in which singing provides the main focus of the piece. 
    VerseIn popular music, averse roughly corresponds to a poetic stanza. When two or more sections of the song have almost identical music and different lyrics, each section is considered one verse. 
    ChorusA part of a song that recurs, usually following each verse; refrain. 
    StructureSong structure or the musical forms of songs in popular music are typically sectional, repeating forms. 
    SkaSka is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. Ska combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. It is characterized by a walking bass line acce 
    BeatBeat is defined as a rhythmic movement, or is the speed at which a piece of music is played. An example of beat is the beating of a heart. An example of beat is the rhythmic noise played on a drum. An example of a beat is the tempo at which a conductor le 
    TempoIn music, the speed at which a piece is performed. It is the Italian word for “time.” 
  • Recycled Rhythms
    TimbreThe quality of a musical note, sound, or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion. 
    TextureHow the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece. 
    LayeringRecording (or playing) a musical part with other several similar sound patches playing simultaneously to add more body or fullness to the recording. 
    Off BeatA musical beat or part of a musical beat that is not accented. 
    SyncopationMusical rhythm in which stress is given to the weak beats instead of the strong beats. 
    ConductingTo direct the performance of (an orchestra or chorus, for example). 
    FormThe term musical form (or musical architecture) refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections. 
    StructureSong structure or the musical forms of songs in popular music are typically sectional, repeating forms. 
    ThemeIn music, a theme is the material, usually a recognisable melody, upon which part or all of a composition is based. 
  • Hip Hop, Pop and Dance
    MCingMCing. In the 1970s and 1980s, the term MC (short for Master of Ceremonies, and sometimes misrendered emcee) was generally associated with what is now called rapping in hip hop music. 
    RappingStylistically, rap occupies a grey area between speech, prose, poetry, and singing. The word (meaning originally "to hit") as used to describe quick speech or repartee predates the musical form. 
    Spitting the micRapping. 
    Single timeRefers to regular speech or singing to music. 
    Double timeRefers to speech or singing which is at speed. 
    SlangA type of language consisting of words and phrases that are regarded as very informal, are more common in speech than writing, and are typically restricted to a particular context or group of people. 
    RhymeWords that sound the same e.g. hike and bike. 
    RhythmA strong, regular repeated pattern of movement or sound. 
    BeatBeat is defined as a rhythmic movement, or is the speed at which a piece of music is played. An example of beat is the beating of a heart. An example of beat is the rhythmic noise played on a drum. An example of a beat is the tempo at which a conductor le 
    TempoThe speed at which a piece is performed. It is the Italian word for “time.” 

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