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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Pandeiro -- Tambourine; a round hoop (usually wooden) with metal discs or jingles attached. Common in Afro-Cuban and Brazillian music
 
Panpipe -- Wind instrument consisting of a series of small vertical tubes or pipes of differing length; sound is produced by blowing across the top
 
Pans -- (Steel drums) large oil drums that have had the tops cut off and hammered into a tuned percussion instrument. Common in the Caribbean Islands. Played with mallets
 
Pantomime -- Theatrical genre in which an actor silently plays all the parts in a show while accompanied by singing; originated in ancient Rome
 
Parody -- A composition based on previous work. A common technique used in Medieval and Renaissance music
 
Part -- A line in a contrapuntal work performed by an individual voice or instrument
 
Part Song -- Secular vocal composition, unaccompanied, in three, four or more parts
 
Partial -- A harmonic given off by a note when it is played
 
Partita -- Suite of Baroque dances
 
Passacaglia -- Baroque form (similar to the chaconne) in moderately slow triple meter, based on a short, repeated base-line melody that serves as the basis for continuous variation in the other voices
 
Passepied -- French Baroque court dance type; a faster version of the minuet
 
Pastorale -- Pastoral, country-like
 
Pattern Generator -- An electronic or computerized device or program that generates a multitude of rhythms
 
Pavane -- Slow solemn dance in duple (or sometimes triple) time, of Spanish origin; generally in three sections, each one repeated
 
Pax De Deux -- Dance for two that is an established feature of classical ballet
 
Pedal -- (Or foot pedal) - used to play the bass drum or hi-hat. A pedal can also be for guitar. Guitar players use effects pedals
 
Pedal Point -- Sustained tone over which the harmonies change
 
Pentatonic Scale -- Five-note pattern used in some African, Far Eastern and Native American musics; can also be found in Western music as an example of exoticism.
 
Pentatonic Scale -- A musical scale containing 5 distinct pitches, considered more exotic in Western music
 
Percussion Clef -- The staff commonly used in percussion (as opposed to bass clef) where it is not necessary to notate pitched instruments
 
Percussion Instrument -- Instrument made of metal, wood, stretched skin or other material that is made to sound by striking, shaking, scraping or plucking. The many varied percussion instruments fall into two basic categories: pitched (such as timpani and xylophone) and unpitched (snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine)
 
Percussion Instrument -- An instrument that is struck with your hands or an object such as a drumstick or mallet. Examples include a drum, cymbal, tambourine, bell, triangle, etc
 
Performance Art -- Multimedia art form involving visual as well as dramatic and musical elements
 
Permutation -- A term popularized in drumming over the last 10 years. It refers to beat displacement where all beats will move forward say, one eighth note. This method will create numerous variations of rhythmic possibilities
 
Perpetuum Mobile -- Type of piece characterized by continuous repetitions of a rhythmic pattern at a quick tempo; perpetual motion
 
Phasing -- A technique in which a musical pattern is repeated and manipulated so that it separates and overlaps itself, and then rejoins the original pattern; getting "out of phase" and back "in sync"
 
Phrase -- Musical unit; often a component of a melody
 
Phrasing -- How beats are distributed by the musician around on their instrument in context to the song or drum solo
 
Pianissimo -- The Italian term for "very soft", indicated in the musical score by the marking "pp"
 
Piano -- Italian term for "soft", indicated in the musical score by the marking "p"
 
Piano -- Keyboard instrument whose strings are struck with hammers controlled by a keyboard mechanism; pedals control dampers in the strings that stop the sound when the finger releases the key
 
Piano Quartet -- Standard chamber ensemble of piano with violin, viola and cello
 
Piano Quintet -- Standard chamber ensemble of piano with two violins, viola and cello
 
Piano Trio -- Standard chamber ensemble of piano with violin and cello
 
Piccolo -- The highest member of the orchestra, the piccolo is a little flute whose shrill timbre stands out against the full ensemble
 
Pipa -- Chinese lute with four silk strings; played as solo and ensemble instrument
 
Pizzicato -- Performance direction to pluck a string of a bowed instrument with the finger
 
Polka -- Lively Bohemian dance; also a short, lyric piano piece
 
Polonaise -- Stately Polish processional dance in triple meter
 
Polychoral -- Performance style developed in the late sixteenth century involving the use of two or more choirs that alternate with each other or sing together
 
Polyharmony -- Two or more streams of harmony played against each other, common in twentieth century music
 
Polyrhtym -- The simultaneous use of several rhythmic patterns or meters, common in twentieth-century music and in certain African musics
 
Polytextual -- Two or more texts set simultaneously in a composition
 
Polytonality -- The simultaneous use of two or more keys, common in twentieth century music
 
Portamento -- A mild glissando between two notes for an expressive effect
 
Prelude -- Instrumental work intended to precede a larger work
 
Prepared Piano -- Piano whose sound is altered by the insertion of various materials (metal, rubber, leather and paper) between the strings; invented by John Cage
 
Presto -- A direction in sheet music indicating the tempo is to be very fast
 
Program Music -- Instrumental music endowed with literary or pictorial associations, especially popular in the nineteenth century
 
Program Symphony -- Multimovement programmatic orchestral work, typically from the nineteenth century
 
Progression -- The movement of chords in succession
 
Psaltery -- Medieval plucked-string instrument similar to the modern zither, consisting of a sound box over which strings were stretched
 
Pulse -- The consistent "heartbeat" of a rhythm
 
Punk Rock -- Subgenre of rock popular since the mid 1970s, characterized by loud volume levels, driving rhythms and simple forms typical of earlier rock and roll; often contains shocking lyrics and offensive behavior
 
Pure Music -- Music that has no literary, dramatic, or pictorial program. Also pure music
 
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