Key Words and Meanings - Year 9 Music
  • Rock and Roll
    ChordA 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. 
    StructureThe building blocks or components of a piece of music. 
    SequenceThe order of something. 
    MelodyA pleasing succession or arrangement of sounds. 
    HarmonyHarmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. 
    Backing VocalsVoices that sing behind a main singer as a compliment to the main sound. They may use different notes to the main singer. 
    ThemeAn idea or topic. 
    SyncopationIn 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. 
    Walking BassA bass line (low notes) often featured in a variety of jazz styles. It goes for a walk, up and down a pattern of notes, and is often played on a double bass. 
  • Chords, Riffs and Hooks
    ChordA 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. 
    HookA hook is a musical idea, often a short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to "catch the ear of the listener". The term generally applies to popular music, especially rock music, R&B, hip hop, dance music, 
    RiffThe definition of a riff is a 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 u 
    OstinatoAn ostinato (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English: 'obstinate') is a motif or phrase that persistently repeats in the same musical voice, usually at the same pitch. 
    MajorMusic in a major key is music thats scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major. 
    MinorMusic in a minor key thats tonic chord is minor, since the scale on which it is based has a minor third from the starting note. The larger third that defines the major triad has a different emotional quality, it seems, from that of the smaller minor third 
    HarmonyThe use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. 
    UnisonTogether. 
    SyncopationIn 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. 
    RhythmRhythm is what makes music move and flow. Rhythm is made up of sounds and silences. These sounds and silences are put together to form patterns of sound, which are repeated to create rhythm. A rhythm has a steady beat, but it may also have many different  
    TempoThe speed. 
    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 
    PulseA beat that mimics the beating of the heart and is continuous. 
    SeventhsA seventh chord is a chord consisting of a triad plus a note forming an interval of a seventh above the chord's root. 
  • Popular Song
    ThemeIdea; topic. 
    TopicSubject. 
    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 at intervals, usu. following each verse; refrain. 
    StrophicStrophic form (also called "verse-repeating" or chorus form) is the term applied to songs in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music. 
    Through ComposedThe opposite of strophic form, with new music written for every stanza, is called through-composed. 
    MajorMusic whose scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major. 
    MinorThe scale on which it is based has a minor third from the starting note. The larger third that defines the major triad has a different emotional quality, it seems, from that of the smaller minor third that distinguishes the minor triad. 
    ArrangementHow and when instruments are played together. 
    LoopingA repeating section of sound material. 
    SequencingIn music, a sequence is the restatement of a motif or longer melodic (or harmonic) passage at a higher or lower pitch in the same voice. It is one of the most common and simple methods of elaborating a melody in eighteenth and nineteenth century classical 
  • An introduction to Classical Music
    Phase ShiftingWhen two different parts are played together, but not in a way that they are in unison. 
    LayeringRecording (or playing) a musical part with other several similar sound patches playing simultaneously to add more body or fullness to the recording. 
    LoopingIn electroacoustic music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections of material can be repeated to create ostinato patterns. 
    Harmonic movementUsually the interplay between chords in a piece of music creates the feeling of movement and change. Some chord combinations sound uplifting, others sound sombre, and some sound like ocean waves. 
    Rhythmic deviceTools used to vary rhythm. 
    DissonanceA simultaneous combination of tones conventionally accepted as being in a state of unrest and needing completion; an unresolved, discordant chord or interval. 
    ResolutionResolution in western tonal music theory is the move of a note or chord from dissonance (an unstable sound) to a consonance (a more final or stable sounding one). 
    TextureIn music, texture is how the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic materials are combined in a composition, thus determining the overall quality of the sound in a piece. 
    TripletA group of three notes having the time value of two notes of the same kind. Also called tercet. 
    PhraseIn music and music theory, phrase and phrasing are concepts and practices related to grouping consecutive melodic notes, both in their composition and performance. A musical work is typically made up of a melody that consists of numerous consecutive phras 
  • Soundtracks
    Mickey-MousingIn animation and film, "Mickey Mousing" (synchronized, mirrored, or parallel scoring) is a film technique that syncs the accompanying music with the actions on screen. 
    Sound EffectIn motion picture and television production, a sound effect is a sound recorded and presented to make a specific storytelling or creative point without the use of dialogue or music. The term often refers to a process applied to a recording, without necess 
    SoundscapeThe component sounds of a piece of music. 
    ElectronicaElectronic dance music (also known as EDM, electronic dance, dance music, club music, or simply dance) is a broad range of percussive electronic music genres produced largely for nightclubs, raves, and festivals. 
    AccompanyAccompaniment is the art of playing along with an instrumental or vocal soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner. 
    StoryboardA rough, pictorial outline of the different scenes, camera angles, or perspectives in a movie or interactive sequence, such as a video game. 
    LeitmotifA short, constantly recurring musical phrase associated with a particular person, place, or idea. 
    MotifIn music, a motif or motive is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition. 
    DiageticSound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: voices of characters. sounds made by objects in the story. 
    Non-DiageticSound that does not occur as part of the action, and cannot be heard by the film's characters. 
    UnderscoreIn film production, underscoring is the playing of music quietly under dialogue or a visual scene. It is usually done to establish a mood or theme. 
  • Independent Learning Projects
    HarmonyHarmony is the use of simultaneous pitches (tones, notes), or chords. 
    MelodyA rhythmically organised sequence of single tones so related to one another as to make up a particular phrase or idea. 
    StructureThe building blocks or components of a piece of music. 
    Historical ContextThe past and how it influences a piece of music or work. 
    InfluencesA person's past experiences will affect their work. 
    GenresA music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. 
    PoliticsA person's opinions regarding how a place or thing should be led which relates to their beliefs about human beings and how they interact. 
    AudienceListener; watcher. 

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