Key Words and Meanings - Year 10 Music
  • Area of Study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
    BaroqueRelating to or denoting a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed Mannerism and is characterized by ornate detail. In architecture the period is exemplified by the palace of Versailles and by the work of 
    HarpsichordA keyboard instrument with horizontal strings which run perpendicular to the keyboard in a long tapering case, and are plucked by points of quill, leather, or plastic operated by depressing the keys. It is used chiefly in European classical music of the 1 
    Bass ContinuoBasso continuo is a form of musical accompaniment used in the Baroque period. It means "continuous bass". Basso continuo, sometimes just called "continuo", was played by a keyboard instrument and another bass instrument such as cello, violone (an old form 
    Chamber OrchestraA small orchestra 
    ContrapuntalAnything contrapuntal has to do with counterpoint, which is a type of music that has two melodic lines played at the same time. Many kinds of music (such as rock and country) are very simple, but others are more complex: such as contrapuntal tunes. 
    Figured BassA bass line with the intended harmonies indicated by figures rather than written out as chords, typical of continuo parts in baroque music. 
    ViolinA stringed musical instrument of treble pitch, played with a horsehair bow. The classical European violin was developed in the 16th century. It has four strings and a body of characteristic rounded shape, narrowed at the middle and with two f-shaped sound 
    ViolaAn instrument of the violin family, larger than the violin and tuned a fifth lower. 
    CelloA bass instrument of the violin family, held upright on the floor between the legs of the seated player. 
    Double BassThe largest and lowest-pitched instrument of the violin family, providing the bass line of the orchestral string section and also used in jazz and some country music. 
  • Area of Study 1: Set Work Analysis
    MelodyA sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying; a tune. 
    Middle Eight or BridgeThe bridge is basically the part that contrasts and sounds different from the rest of the song, and can also be used to connect two parts of a song together. 
    HarmonyThe combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect. 
    AccompanimentA musical part that provides support for another sound or voice. 
    Primary ChordIn music, a primary triad is one of the three triads, or three-note chords built from major or minor thirds, most important in tonal and diatonic music, as opposed to an auxiliary triad or secondary triad. Each triad found in a diatonic key corresponds to 
    Secondary ChordA secondary chord is a dominant function chord that is not the dominant chord in the key of the piece, but is the dominant of one of the other major or minor triads in that key. 
    MajorMusic in a major key (music whose scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major). 
    MinorMusic in a major key (music whose scale contains a major third upward from its "tonic," the starting note, so that the basic tonic chord is major). 
    MelismaticMelisma in music, is the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession. 
    Juke BoxA machine that automatically plays a selected musical recording when a coin is inserted. 
    MusicalRelating to music, having a pleasant sound, melodious or tuneful, a play or film in which singing and dancing play an essential part. Musicals developed from light opera in the early 20th century. 
    VaudevilleA type of entertainment popular chiefly in the US in the early 20th century, featuring a mixture of speciality acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance. 
    GlamGlam rock (also known as glitter rock) is a style of rock and pop music that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s which was performed by singers and musicians who wore outrageous clothes, makeup, and hairstyles, particularly platform-soled b 
    Multi trackRelating to or made by the mixing of several separately recorded tracks of sound. 
    AnthemA rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group, body, or cause, a musical setting of a religious text to be sung by a choir during a church service, especially in Anglican or Protestant Churches. 
    OutroThe concluding section of a piece of music or a radio or television programme. 
    ScalicOf or related to a musical scale - scalic patterns. 
    Extended ChordIn music, extended chords are tertian chords (built from thirds) or triads with notes extended, or added, beyond the seventh. Ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chords are extended chords. 
    OverdubbingRecord (additional sounds) on an existing recording. 
    SyncopationDisplace the beats or accents in (music or a rhythm) so that strong beats become weak and vice versa. 
  • Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble
    SoloIn music, a solo (from the Italian: solo, meaning alone) is a piece or a section of a piece played or sung by a single performer. Performing a solo is "to solo", and the performer is known as a soloist. The plural is soli or the anglicised form solos. 
    GlissandoIn music, a glissando [ɡlisˈsando] (plural: glissandi, abbreviated gliss.) is a glide from one pitch to another. It is an Italianized musical term derived from the French glisser, to glide. In some contexts it is distinguished from the continuous portamen 
    CrescendoThe use of the term 'crescendo' comes from its Italian definition, which is to grow, or become louder, and at its most basic, a crescendo, is a gradual increase in the volume of a passage of music, over time. 
    TempoThe word tempo came into English by way of Italian, tracing all the way back to the Latin word tempus, meaning time. It was originally used to describe the timing ofmusic, or the speed at which a piece of music is played. For example, a soothing song woul 
    RubatoTempo rubato [ˈtɛmpo ruˈbaːto] (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or th 
    Time signatureAn indication of rhythm following a clef, generally expressed as a fraction with the denominator defining the beat as a division of a semibreve and the numerator giving the number of beats in each bar. 
    ClimaxWhen something — like a movie or piece of music — reaches its most important or exciting part, that's the climax. A climax is a high point. When you're on a roller coaster and you reach the highest point, that's the climax of the ride. This word is also u 
    CadenceIn 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, secti 
    LeitmotifA leitmotif or leitmotiv /ˌlaɪtmoʊˈtiːf/ is a "short, constantly recurring musical phrase" associated with a particular person, place, or idea. It is closely related to the musical concepts of idée fixe or motto-theme. 
    MotifIn music, a motif (pronunciation) (help. · info) 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: "The motive is the smallest  
    Augmented chordIn music, an augmented triad is a triad, or chord, consisting of two major thirds (an augmented fifth). The term augmented triad arises from an augmented triad being considered a major chord whose top note (fifth) is raised, or augmented. 
    tremolandoIn music, tremolo (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtrɛːmolo]), or tremolando ([tremoˈlando]), is a trembling effect. There are two types of tremolo. 
    Colla VoiceAn indication to an accompanist carefully to take his tempos and rhythm from the soloist. 
    Bare fifthExamples of perfect fifth intervals. In music theory, a perfect fifth is the musical interval corresponding to a pair of pitches with a frequency ratio of 3:2, or very nearly so. In classical music from Western culture, a fifth is the interval from the fi 
    Polytonal chordsThe musical use of more than one key simultaneously. 
    VocalisationA musical composition consisting of the singing of melody with vowel sounds or nonsense syllables rather than text, as for special effect in classical compositions, in polyphonic jazz singing by special groups, or in virtuoso vocal exercises OR any such s 
  • Area of Study 2: Music for Ensemble (continued)
    TechnoTechno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan, in the United States during the mid-to-late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno in reference to a specific genre of music was in 1988. 
    GrooveIn music, groove is the sense of propulsive rhythmic "feel" or sense of "swing". In jazz, it can be felt as a persistently repeated pattern. It can be created by the interaction of the music played by a band's rhythm section (e.g. drums, electric bass or  
    FusionFusion is where types of music are combined together. Jazz fusion (also known as jazz-rock) is a musical genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined aspects of jazz harmony and improvisation with styles such as funk, rock, rhythm and bl 
    PadSomething that is used to fill in the space of a piece usually with chords. 
    DroneIn music, a drone is a harmonic or monophonic effect or accompaniment where a note or chord is continuously sounded throughout most or all of a piece. 
    MetreMeter can be categorized as simple, compound, or complex. These three categories can explain all rhythmic patterns in Western music. Each of the categories of meter is defined by the subdivision of beats. The number of beats per measure determine the term 
    SampleIn music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece. 
    LoopIn electroacoustic music, a loop is a repeating section of sound material. Short sections of material can be repeated to create ostinato patterns. 
    CodaCoda [ˈkoːda] (Italian for "tail", plural code) is a term used in music primarily to designate a passage that brings a piece (or a movement) to an end. Technically, it is an expanded cadence. It may be as simple as a few measures, or as complex as an enti 
    Static HarmonyA static harmony is a term you're concerned with, when you're analysing a songs "syntactic structure". It is a harmony made from roughly one chord (most often the tonic of the dominant), and the prolongation of this chord. A dynamic harmony, on the other 
    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 
  • Area of Study 3: Film Music
    RomanticismRomantic music is a term that denotes an era of Western classical music that began in the late 18th or early 19th century. 
    RubatoTempo rubato [ˈtɛmpo ruˈbaːto] (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or th 
    ExpositionIn musical form and analysis, exposition is the initial presentation of the thematic material of a musical composition, movement, or section. The use of the term generally implies that the material will be developed or varied. 
    DevelopmentIn classical music, musical development is a process by which a musical idea is communicated in the course of a composition. It refers to the transformation and restatement of initial material. Development is often contrasted with musical variation, which 
    RecapitulationIn music theory, the recapitulation is one of the sections of a movement written in sonata form. There capitulation occurs after the movement's development section, and typically presents once more the musical themes from the movement's exposition. 
    Sonata FormDefinition of sonata form. : a musical form that consists basically of an exposition, a development, and a recapitulation and that is used especially for the first movement of a sonata. 
    CadenceIn 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, secti 
    ChromaticThe chromatic scale is a musical scale with twelve pitches, each a semitone above or below another. On a modern piano or other equal-tempered instrument, all the semitones have the same size (100 cents). In other words, the notes of an equal-tempered chro 
    FortissimoAll musical sounds have a dynamic level, which refers to amplitude or volume. In western music, the standard practice is to use Italian words to indicate dynamics. Fortissimo is a dynamic marking that indicates a VERY LOUD volume. It is one step up from f 
    PianissimoA part of a composition played very softly or quietly. 
  • Area of Study 3: Film Music (continued)
    Trio SonataThe trio sonata is a musical form that was popular in the 17th and early 18th centuries. A trio sonata is written for two solo melodic instruments and basso continuo, making three parts in all, hence the name trio sonata. ... The melody instruments used a 
    Dance SuiteIn the Baroque era the suite was an important musical form, also known as Suitede danses, Ordre (the term favoured by François Couperin), Partita or Ouverture (after the theatrical "overture" which often included a series of dances) as with the orchestral 
    Basso ContinuoBasso continuo is a form of musical accompaniment used in the Baroque period. It means "continuous bass". Basso continuo, sometimes just called "continuo", was played by a keyboard instrument and another bass instrument such as cello, violone (an old form 
    Figured BassFigured 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 
    OrnamentIn 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  
    MordentIn music, a mordent is an ornament indicating that the note is to be played with a single rapid alternation with the note above or below. Like trills, they can be chromatically modified by a small flat, sharp or natural accidental. 
    AppoggiaturaA grace note is a single note ornament such as the acciaccatura or appoggiatura. An acciaccatura is played as quickly as possible before the note that follows it. It is sometimes called a crush note. 
    Word PaintingWord painting (also known as tone painting or textpainting) is the musical technique of writing music that reflects the literal meaning of a song. For example, ascending scales would accompany lyrics about going up; slow, dark music would accompany lyrics 
    Syllabic Word settingThe term 'syllabic' refers to sung music. Music is syllabic when one pitch in the melody goes with one syllable in the words. When more than one pitch is assigned to a syllable, the term for the setting is melismatic. 
    Dissonant IntervalsConsonant intervals are usually described as pleasant and agreeable. Dissonant intervals are those that cause tension and desire to be resolved to consonant intervals. These descriptions relate to harmonious intervals. 
    SuspensionsSuspension, in music, a means of creating tension by prolonging a consonant note while the underlying harmony changes, normally on a strong beat. The resulting dissonance persists until the suspended note resolves by stepwise motion into a new consonant h 
    Tierce de PicardieIn music a Tierce de Picardie (meaning Picardy third) is a major chord at the end of a piece of music in a minor key. In the 16th to 17th centuries this was a very common way to end a piece in a minor key. 
    Da Capo AriaThe da capo aria (Italian pronunciation: [da kˈkaːpo]) is a musical form that was prevalent in the Baroque era. It is sung by a soloist with the accompaniment of instruments, often a small orchestra. The da capo aria is very common in the musical genres o 
    ObbligatoIn classical music obbligato usually describes a musical line that is in some way indispensable in performance. Its opposite is the marking ad libitum. 
    Binary FormBinary form is a musical form in two related sections, both of which are usually repeated. Binary is also a structure used to choreograph dance. In music this is usually performed as A-A-B-B 
    CantataA cantata [kanˈtaːta] (literally "sung", past participle feminine singular of the Italian verb cantare, "to sing") is a vocal composition with an instrumental accompaniment, typically in several movements, often involving a choir. 
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