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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Nacaire -- A brass drum once much used in France and Italy. It has a loud, metallic sound
 
Nakers -- Medieval percussion instruments resembling small kettledrums, played in pairs; of Middle Eastern origin
 
Nakers -- Small Medieval kettledrums used mainly for martial music, but also for processionals, dance music, and ensemble music
 
Natural -- A symbol in sheet music that returns a note to its original pitch after it has been augmented or diminished
 
Natural -- A symbol placed by a note signifying that the note itself should be played as opposed to the sharp or flat of the note. This symbol is usually seen only where an accidental such as a sharp or flat is expected, thus assuring the performer that the note should be played without such an accidental
 
Natural Horn -- A horn without valves, keys, or slides; the old French horn
 
Natural Keys -- Those keys whose signature contains no sharps or flats; C major and A minor
 
Natural Minor Scale -- The natural minor scale has the same tones as the major scale, but uses the sixth tone of the major scale as its tonic. Thus, the semitones (half steps) are between the second and third tones and the fifth and sixth tones
 
Natural Trumpet -- A brass instrument from the trumpet family that lacks valves or keys to change pitches. These instruments only produce the pitches that are contained in the natural overtone series. These "natural" instruments often have crooks, or alternate lengths of tubing that change the key of the instrument, or the inherent pitches that the instrument can play. Experiences players can also produce tones outside of the overtone series through lipping techniques
 
Neapolitan Sixth -- A chord composed of a minor third and a minor sixth, based on the subdominant. In the key of C, the Neapolitan sixth would be F, A-flat, D-flat
 
Neck -- The part of a guitar, violin, lute, or other related instrument that extends from the pegbox to the body of the instrument and upon which the fingerboard is found
 
Negligénte -- A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition in a negligent, unrestrained manner
 
Neoclassical -- Movement in music where the characteristics are crisp and direct
 
Neumatic -- Melodic style with two to four notes set to each syllable
 
Neumatic -- A style of plainchant that sets one syllable of text to one neume. A neume is a symbol that denotes two to four notes in the same symbol, thus each syllable is sung to two to four notes. This style is opposed to syllabic, in which each syllable has one note, and melismatic, where one syllable has many notes
 
Neumes -- Early musical notation signs; square notes on a four-line staff
 
New Age -- Style of popular music of the 1980s and 1990s, characterized by soothing timbres and repetitive forms that are subjected to shifting variation techniques
 
New Age Music -- Compositions produced by the New Age movement that is conducive to meditation. Usually New Age music is produced by layering sounds over sounds to produce a deep, many-faceted wave of music. Often natural sounds such as waves, rain, birds, wind, etc. are used in the production of this music. Often the sounds are soothing and mellow, and almost religious in nature
 
New Orleans Jazz -- Early jazz style characterized by multiple improvisations in an ensemble of cornet (or trumpet), clarinet (or saxophone), trombone, piano, string bass (or tuba), banjo (or guitar) and drums; repertory included blues, ragtime, and popular songs
 
New Wave -- Subgenre of rock popular since the late 1970s, highly influenced by simple 1950s-style rock and roll; developed as a rejection of the complexities of art rock and heavy metal
 
Niente -- A directive to perform the indicated passage of a composition in a whisper with almost no sound
 
Nine Stroke Roll -- A standard drum rudiment in the category of roll rudiments and the sub-category of double stroke open roll rudiments that creates a sustained sound on a percussion instrument by rapidly alternating two strokes from each stick. The sticking pattern (shown below) is the accepted method of producing a nine stroke roll and consists of two strokes from each hand repeated and finished with an accented stroke (i.e. RRLL-RRLL-R) for a total of nine strokes
 
Ninth Chord -- Five-tone chord spanning a ninth between its lowest and highest tones
 
Ninth Chord -- A chord having usually, but not necessarily, five tones, the interval between the base note and the highest note being a ninth
 
No Chord -- A directive placed over a note (or a series of notes) in a composition signifying that the note (s) should be performed without accompaniment. This is typically found in popular music notation with either a melody with chordal accompaniment, two-staff score with chordal accompaniment, or a simple chord progression. N.C. is the abbreviated form of No Chord
 
Nocturne -- Night piece"; common in the nineteenth century, often for piano
 
Noh Drama -- Major form of Japanese theater since the late fourteenth century; based on philosophical concepts from Zen Buddhism
 
Non -- A term meaning not, and used to qualify a directive in the performance of a certain passage of a composition. For example, the term allegro non troppo would mean a fast tempo (allegro) but not too fast
 
Non Harmonic Note -- In part writing, a non-harmonic note is a note that is dissonant with other notes in the same chord, usually resolved in the next chord. Usually, but not always, a non-harmonic note is a style of ornamentation, such as an appoggiatura, anticipation, auxiliary tone, etc
 
Non Troppo -- A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition "moderately" or combined with other directives to mean "not too much"
 
Nonet -- A composition written for nine instruments
 
Nonmetric -- Music lacking a strong sense of beat or meter, common in certain non-Western cultures
 
Notation -- Referring to music notes on sheet music
 
Note Cluster -- An effect (typically on a piano) that is comprised of a dissonant group of notes that are very close together. It is usually performed by striking the piano keys with a fist or forearm. This effect can also be produced by using a strip of wood at the necessary length. This term was coined by Henry Cowell
 
Note Values -- The note value is the duration of a note, or the relationship of the duration of the note to the measure. The duration of a note is as follows in common time or 4/4 time
 
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