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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Cabasa -- A Latin percussion instrument consisting of a round cylinder on a handle. There are metal beads (actually a chain) that surround the corrugated cylinder. It is held with one hand and rubbed with the other to create various rhythms
 
Cadence -- Resting place in a musical phrase
 
Cadenza -- Passage originally improvised by a performer
 
Cadenza -- Initially an improvised cadence by a soloist; later becoming an elaborate and written out passage in an aria or concerto, featuring the skills of an instrumentalist or vocalist
 
Cajon -- A hollow wooden box that has the tone of a conga. Non-tuneable as it has no drumhead. Origin - Latin America
 
Canon -- Device in which a melody announced by one voice or instrument is imitated
 
Cantabile -- Songful, in a singing style
 
Cantabile -- Appears often at the beginning of movements as in andante cantabile - at walking speed and in a singing style.
 
Cantata -- A cantata is generally a choral work of some length that also uses solo voices, usually with instrumental accompaniment
 
Cantilene -- A ballad or light popular song
 
Cappella -- Cappella, meaning chapel, is found particularly in the phrase 'a cappella' for unaccompanied choral singing
 
Capriccio -- Short lyric piece of a free nature for piano
 
Carol -- A song or hymn celebrating Christmas
 
Cascara -- A Latin percussion pattern often played with the right hand on the side of a timbale. This rhythm can also be played on drumset
 
Cassation -- A piece of music akin to a divertimento or serenade, music intended primarily for entertainment
 
Castrato -- Male singers who were castrated to preserve their alto and soprano vocal range
 
Cavatina -- A short and simple melody performed by a soloist that is part of a larger piece
 
Cavatina -- A melody of a simple form. A song without a second part or a "Da Capo" a humorous fanciful composition with a somewhat irregular form
 
Celesta -- A celesta (= French: céleste) is a small keyboard instrument developed in the later 19th century and using hammers that strike metal bars to give a ringing sound.
 
Cello -- The word cello is now in very general use instead of the longer word violoncello, a diminutive of the word violone, indicating the big viol, the double bass of the bowed viol family.
 
Cembalo -- The word 'cembalo' is usually used to indicate the harpsichord
 
Chaconne -- A chaconne (= Italian: ciaconna; earlier English: chacony) is in origin a dance popular in Spain in the early 17th century. It came to signify a form in which there are a series of variations over a short repeated bass or chordal pattern
 
Chamber Music -- It is music for a small ensemble of instruments, intended for performance in a room or chamber, as opposed to a church or larger building
 
Chamber Orchestra -- It indicates an orchestra smaller in size than the usual symphony orchestra.
 
Chanson -- A chanson is a French song. The word is used to indicate songs from the troubadour compositions of the Middle Ages to the art-songs of the 19th and 20th centuries
 
Chant -- Singing in unison, texts in a free rhythm. Similar to the rhythm of speech
 
Chimes -- A row of small, thin tubular bells that are brushed with the hand or gently with a drumstick or mallet. Chimes are often used in a soft ballad
 
Choir -- A choir is a group of singers. The word is generally used to indicate such a group in a church, or the part of the church in which such a group is normally placed
 
Chorale -- A chorale is a German Lutheran hymn-tune, a number of which were composed or arranged by Luther himself and adapted in later centuries to various harmonies
 
Chorale Prelude -- The chorale prelude, an introduction to a chorale, was developed in 17th century Germany as an organ composition based on a chorale melody
 
Chord -- A chord is the simultaneous sounding of two or more notes. The adjective is chordal. The study of harmony involves the correct placing of chords with relation to each other
 
Chord Progression -- A string of chords played in succession
 
Choro -- A typical Brazilian music genre deriving from a mix of different European styles like polka, Scottish, tango and havanaise. Melodies emphasizing 16th notes. Choro means "crying"
 
Chorus -- A chorus is a group of singers. The word is also used to indicate a refrain in a song
 
Chromatic -- Chromatic notes are those that do not belong to the diatonic scale. If an ascending scale is taken from the note C, in the form C, D, E, F, etc., chromatic notes would be C# (C sharp), D# (D sharp), etc., notes not found in the diatonic scale of C major, which has no sharps or flats
 
Chromatic Scale -- Includes all twelve notes of an octave
 
Clarinet -- A clarinet is a woodwind instrument with a single reed, as opposed to the oboe, which has a double reed. The clarinet was developed from the year 1800 onwards from the earlier chalumeau, which played notes only in the lower register
 
Clarino -- Clarino was the word often used in the 17th and 18th centuries for trumpet. Now the word describes the upper register of the trumpet, much used in the baroque period, when the trumpet, lacking valves, could only produce successive notes in the highest register, an art that later fell into temporary disuse
 
Classical -- In the most general meaning of the word, classical music may designate fine music or serious music. More technically the word may refer to a period in the history of music, the later 18th century
 
Classicism -- The period of music history which dates from the mid 1800’s and lasted about sixty years. There was a strong regard for order and balance
 
Clave -- A rhythm made up of a 2 bar phrase played as 2:3 clave (ex: 1 2,1 2 3) or 3:2 clave (ex: 1 2 3,1 2). Once the song starts, the clave will not change. Latin American countries often clap their hands to clave during the music
 
Claves -- Percussion instrument; a pair of cylindrical wooden sticks (usually around an inch and half thick) that are clicked together to make a high pitched sound marking clave in Latin music. Sometimes made from synthetic material
 
Clavichord -- The clavichord is a small early keyboard instrument with a hammer-action. The strings are struck by a tangent, a small oblong strip of metal, eliciting a soft sound. The limited dynamic range of the clavichord make it unsuitable for public performance
 
Clavier -- The keyboard of a stringed instrument
 
Clef -- The five lines generally used in musical notation have no precise meaning without the addition at the left-hand side of a clef, a sign that specifies the note to be indicated by one of the lines, from which other notes may be gauged
 
Coda -- A coda (Italian: tail) is the ending of a piece of music. This may be very short, but in a composition on a large scale may be extended
 
Coloratura -- Originally signifying colouring, the word coloratura is generally used to describe vocal music that is extensively ornamented and calls for ability in a very high register
 
Common Time -- 4/4 time, indicating 4 beats to the measure with the quarter note receiving the beat
 
Concert Master -- The first violin in an orchestra
 
Concertante -- A concertante part in a piece of music is a part that calls for some element of solo performance, as in a classical concerto
 
Concertino -- The concertino is the small group of solo instruments used in a concerto grosso in contrast to the whole body of the orchestra, consisting of ripieno players
 
Concerto -- A concerto is a piece of instrumental music that contrasts a solo instrument or a small group of solo instruments with the main body of the orchestra
 
Concerto Grosso -- A small group of soloists, often two violins, cello and harpsichord, the concertino, is contrasted with the whole string orchestra, the concerto grosso, with its less skilled ripieno players. The concerto grosso may involve wind instruments as well as strings. The form has been revived by some 20th century composers, at least nominally
 
Conductor -- One who directs a group of performers. The conductor indicates the tempo, phrasing, dynamics, and style by gestures and facial expressions
 
Conga -- A drum with African/Cuban origin that is played with the hands. Shaped like a barrel, it sits on the floor or on a stand and can be played sitting or standing. It has a head on one side only. The conga is the "middle" drum of a typical conga set of drums
 
Conga -- A drum with African/Cuban origin that is played with the hands. Shaped like a barrel, it sits on the floor or on a stand and can be played sitting or standing. It has a head on one side only. The conga is the "middle" drum of a typical conga set of drums
 
Conguero -- One who plays the conga drums
 
Consonance -- Groups of tones that are harmonious when sounded together as in a chord
 
Consort -- Consort, used in earlier English, indicates a group of instruments, as, for example, a consort of viols in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. A broken consort is a consort of mixed instruments, strings and wind
 
Continuo -- A continuo part, a regular feature of much instrumental music in the 17th and 18th centuries, was played by a keyboard-player or performer on a chordal instrument such as a lute or harp, reading from the bass line of a composition, generally with numbers to indicate the choice of chords, which would then be filled out, with other melodic and contrapuntal embellishments
 
Contralto -- Lowest female singing voice
 
Cor Anglais -- The cor anglais is the English horn, a tenor oboe that sounds a fifth lower than it is written
 
Cornet -- The cornet is a valved brass instrument, resembling a trumpet but with a wider bore. It was used in the second quarter of the 19th century before the full development of the valved trumpet, but is now principally found in brass bands
 
Cornetto -- The cornetto or cornett is a wind instrument made of wood or ivory, or nowadays reproduced in fibre-glass. It has a cup-shaped mouthpiece, like brass instruments, but finger-holes, like a recorder, and was much used in the 17th and earlier 18th centuries, often to support or even replace treble voices. The bass of the cornetto family is the serpent, once found in village church bands in England and now revived
 
Counterpoint -- Counterpoint is the combination of two or more melodic lines, the second or later additional melodies described as counterpoints to the first. If harmony is regarded as vertical, as it is in conventional notation, signifying the simultaneous sounding of notes in chords, counterpoint may be regarded as horizontal
 
Countertenor -- A countertenor voice is that of a male alto. Sometimes a distinction is made between the two, the second indicating the English falsetto tradition and the first a natural voice of similar range
 
Courante -- The French courante, a triple-time dance movement found frequently in the baroque dance suite, generally follows the allemande, the opening German dance. It is sometimes not distinguished from the Italian corrente, although the corrente is generally simpler in texture and rhythm than its French counterpart
 
Crash -- (Or "crash cymbal"). A cymbal used for accentuation. A drummer will use this cymbal to emphasize a certain beat or accent beat one of the new measure. They generally come in sizes 15" to 18"
 
Crescendo -- Crescendo (Italian: growing, becoming louder) is frequently used as a dynamic instruction to performers
 
Crotales -- A chromatic set of small cymbals mounted on a frame
 
Cueca -- Chilian dance written in 6/8 time with the accompaniment in 3/4 time
 
Cuica -- A Latin percussion instrument which sound resembles a dog barking
 
Cycle -- A song cycle is a set of songs intended to be performed as a group
 
Cymbal -- A copper/bronze disk struck with a drumstick to ride or emphasize beats. With the hands. Two cymbals can also be played together such as in a marching band or hi-hat cymbals
 
Cymbals -- Cymbals (= Italian: piatti, German: Becken, French: cymbales) are pairs of round metal plates, generally made of an alloy of tin and copper, which may be struck together
 
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