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Total Number of Terms : 1373
A Ballata -- In the style of a ballad. A simple song of natural construction
A Battuta -- As beaten; strictly in tempo
A Cappella -- One or more vocalists performing without an accompaniment
A tempo -- Return to the previous tempo
Accelerando -- A symbol used in musical notation indicating to gradually quicken tempo
Accent -- Emphasis placed on a particular note that gives it more stress than the others
Accesible -- Music that is easy to listen to and understand
Accompagnato -- Accompanied
Acid Rock -- Genre of American rock that emerged in the late 1960's, often associated with psychedelic drugs. Its style featured heavy amplification, instrumental improvisation, new sound technologies, and light shows
Acoustical Instrument -- Any musical instrument not relying on external power for operation. Virtually all standard orchestral instruments are acoustic instruments while most instruments used by Rock musicians are electric
Acoustics -- How a room sounds based on reverberation and other acoustical qualities
Action -- Term applied to the mechanical workings of an instrument, typically of keyboard instruments
Acutus -- The earliest form of musical notation from the two signs of Greek prosody (written text to be performed) indicating stress, pitch, length of syllables in the text. The acutus indicates a rising inflection of the voice
Ad Lib -- A term used in jazz music as a slang for an improvised solo, or a solo performed without written notation, but where the performer improvises a melody based around the melodic and harmonic structure of the original melody
Ad libitum -- Indication to omit a section or improvise
Adagietto -- A slow tempo marking between Largo and Andante, but slightly faster than Adagio
Adagio -- Quite slow
Adagissimo -- An extremely slow tempo marking slower than Largo
additive meter -- Groupings of beats that adds up to an overall
Aeolian -- A mode used in Gregorian chant based upon the sixth tone of the major scale. In the key of C, the Aeolian mode would be based on A, and would include A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A
Aerophone -- An instrument such as the flute, whistle, and horn that produces sound by using air as the primary vibrating means
Affabilita -- A directive to perform the indicated passage with ease and elegance; with affability; in a pleasing and agreeable manner
Affannoso -- A directive to perform the indicated passage with anxious expression
Affrettando -- A directive to perform the indicated passage in a hurried manner
Agilita -- A directive to perform the indicated passage with lightness or agility
Agitato -- Agitated or restless
Agrements -- The French term for ornament or embellishment. Originally, Embellishments introduced in French music of the 17th century typically in keyboard music
Air -- A tune, song or melody. Sometimes found in suites
Al Fine -- An indication to the performer to repeat a composition either from the beginning (da capo), or from the dal segno symbol, to the place marked fine (the end of the composition)
Alba -- In the repertory of the troubadours and Trouvères, a song dealing with a lover's morning departure from his beloved after an illicit tryst
Alberti Bass -- A stereotyped accompaniment played on a keyboard instrument with the left hand. The chords of the Alberti Bass are played as arpeggios, or broken chords. Named for Domenico Alberti ca. (1710 - 1740) who used them extensively, they are quite common to the works of Franz Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and early Ludwig van Beethoven
Aleatory Music -- Music in which the composer introduces the elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. This is not a 20th century invention as it was known in the 18th century in the form of dice music in which dice were used to determine which measures of the music would be performed
Alegria -- Joyful flamenco dance from the province of Cadiz
All Ottava -- This is a directive to perform an indicated note or passage of a composition one octave higher than notated. Typically, this is indicated by an 8va or 8 over the note or passage followed by a dotted line over the top of all notes to be transposed. The end of the dotted line has a downstroke indicating that the following notes should be performed as written. The directive loco ("at place") is often found at the end of an all' ottava passage that also directs the performer to perform the notes in their correct place or as written
Alla Breve -- A tempo marking indicating a quick duple meter with the half note rather than the quarter note getting the beat (2/2 rather than 4/4). Both the name and the sign are a vestige of mensural notation and of the proportions (Tempus imperfectum diminutum)
Alla Caccia -- A directive to perform the indicated passage in the style of hunting music
Alla Siciliano -- A directive to the musician to perform a composition in the style of a siciliana
Allant -- A directive to a musician to perform the indicated passage of a composition in a bustling or lively manner
Allargando -- Growing broader, getting slower and louder
Allegretto -- Just a "little allegro", slower than allegro
Allegro -- Fast, cheerful
Allemande -- German dance in 3/4 time, 16th/17th, rather slow. Like a landler. Often the first dance in the classic suite
Allemande -- A dance in moderate duple meter first appearing in the early 16th century and was frequently followed by a more lively dance in triple meter or, in the 17th century, by the courante. In the 17th century it became a stylized dance type that was regularly used as the first movement of a dance suite. These allemandes are in a very moderate 4/4 time
Alliteration -- A characteristic of ancient Northern European poetry such as Beowulf consisting of the use of words with the same initial letter. This principle was adopted by Richard Wagner in Der Ring des Nibelungen, for example, "Nach Welten-Wonne mein Wunsch verlangte aus wild webendem Bangen
Alternate Singing -- Two choirs singing in alternation in a religious service. The response made by one part of the choir to another, or the congregation responding to the priest in a Roman Catholic service
Alto -- Lowest of the female voices
Alto Crumhorn -- A Medieval and Renaissance wind instrument of the recorder family that plays in the alto range
Alto Flute -- Woodwind instrument of the flute family that plays in the alto register
Am Steg -- A directive to string players to play a particular passage very near, or directly on top the bridge
Ambrosian Chant -- A purely diatonic series of sacred melodies or chants collected and introduced into the Church by Saint Ambrose
Amorevole -- A directive to a musician to perform a selected passage of a composition in a loving manner
Anacrusis -- An Upbeat or a pickup note(s); a term used for unstressed notes at the beginning of a phrase of music
Analysis -- The study of music that focuses on the form or structure of the music itself. There are several methods of analysis, including analysis by harmonic structure, theme, by form, and by phrase
Anapest -- A musical foot consisting of two short notes or syllables, followed by one long
Andante -- Moderately slow or walking pace
Andante -- Word used to suggest the speed of a piece of music
Animé -- A directive to a musician to perform the indicated passage of a composition in a lively and animated manner
Anonymous -- Term attached to a musical composition when the composer is unknown
Answer -- Second entry of the subject in a fugue, usually pitched a fourth below or a fifth above the original subject. If the theme is altered slightly in the answer, then it is said to be a 'tonal' answer, if it is entirely unaltered, it is said to be a 'real' answer
Antara -- Andean panpipes typically made of cane or clay
Anthem -- Short vocal composition
Antibacchius -- A musical foot of three syllables, the first two long or accented, the third short, or unaccented
Anticipation -- A musical foot of three syllables, the first two long or accented, the third short, or unaccented
Antiphonal -- A performance style in which an ensemble is divided into two or more groups, performing alternately as separate groups and in unison
Antique Cymbals -- A set of two small disks of brass each held in one hand of the performer that are played by being struck together gently and allowed to vibrate. The antique cymbals are pitched percussion instruments and can be mounted as a chromatic set
Appassionato -- A directive to a performer to play a certain passage passionately, or with intense emotion or feeling
Appoggiatura -- Leaning note; grace note; note of embellishment usually one step above (sometimes, though seldom, it is one step below) the main note. Before an even or unaltered note, the appoggiatura generally receives its face value, that is one-half the value of the note that follows; before a dotted note it receives more than its face value, that is to say that it should be given two-thirds of the value of the following note. If the note is of the same pitch as the principal note of the appoggiatura, the grace note receives the entire value of its principal note, but is carried to the next note with strong portamento
Arabesque -- Decorative musical material
Architectural Acoustics -- The term used to describe how the structure of a room or building affects the flow of sound. Also, the study and design behind creating acoustically balanced concert halls and theaters
Arco -- Indication to string-players that they should use the bow
Aria -- Lyric song expressing intense emotion
Aria -- It indicates formally constructed songs in opera
Arpeggio -- When the notes of a chord are played individually (or one note at a time) as opposed to simultaneously
Arrangement -- The selection and adaptation of a composition or parts of a composition to instruments for which it was not originally designed or for some other use for which it was not at first written
Ars Antiqua -- Term used by 14th century writers to distinguish the French sacred polyphonic musical style of the 13th century (c. 1260 - 1320) from that of the Ars nova (new art). The term 'antiqua' is now generally extended to include the earlier music of the Notre Dame period (that of Léonin and Pérotin), thus covering the musical styles from c. 1160 - 1320
Ars Nova -- French musical style of the 14th century. The term is generally used to distinguish the music from the time period of c.1316 to the death of composer Guillaume de Machaut (1377) from the earlier musical style of the Ars antiqua. During the ars nova period, musical themes were transformed increasingly from religious to secular
Arsis and Thesis -- Terms used respectively for unstressed and stressed beats, or upbeats and downbeats
Art Rock -- Genre of rock music that uses larger forms and more complex harmonies than other popular styles; occasionally quotes examples from classical music
Art Song -- A song of serious artistic purpose designed for the concert hall as opposed to traditional songs or folk songs. An art song is usually sung by a solo voice with accompaniment. In German it is called lieder, in French, chanson. An art song is a complete composition in itself and is not part of a larger work such as an opera or and oratorio
Articulation -- Sign that affects how the music is played and connected together, consisting of accents, slurs, or phrase marks
Asperges me -- The opening of the Mass in the Catholic service; it is not a number of the musical Mass itself, but sung during the purification of the alter at the beginning of the service
Assai -- Indications to performers of the speed of a piece of music
Assembly -- A military bugle call, in the category of formation calls, played to signal troops to assemble at a designated location
Atonal -- Music that has no specific tonality
Attaca -- Proceed without a pause between movements
Attention -- A military bugle call, in the category of warning calls, played to warn the troops that they are about to be called to attention
Aubade -- Morning-song
Aubade -- A morning music, the opposite of a serenade
Autoharp -- A zither-type folk instrument of German origin, popular in the USA since the late 19th century. The player strums the strings with fingers or plectrum with one hand, while the other hand controls a system of dampers. Each damper dampens all the strings except those of the chord required. It is usually rectangular having 15 to 20 strings and a range of two to four octaves
Auxiliary Tone -- In part writing, an ornamentation such as a grace note, which is an unaccented, non-harmonic note immediately above or below a principal or harmonic note
Avec -- With, as in avec verve "with spirit"
Axe -- Slang for instrument
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