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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Rackett -- An organ stop played at the sixteen-foot pitch with a gentle tone and distinctive timbre. The resonators were not of a consistent shape or material from organ to organ but they were always short. This stop was common on small northern European organs and on the secondary manuals of large organs at the end of the 16th century
 
Raddolcendo -- A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition with a gradually reduced volume; increase in softness; grow gentler, sweeter, and calmer
 
Radical Bass -- An bass line produced by linking the fundamentals of the chords in a progression, as described in Rameau's theory of harmony (Traité de l'harmonie, 1722)
 
Raga -- Melodic pattern used in music of India; prescribes pitches, patterns, ornamentation and extramusical associations such as time of performance and emotional character
 
Ragtime -- Late nineteenth century piano style created by African-Americans, characterized by highly syncopated melodies; also played in ensemble arrangements. Contributed to early jazz styles
 
Rain Stick -- A long hollowed out piece of wood that is filled with beads or pebbles. When turned upside down, it makes the sound of rain falling. This instrument is often used in band and orchestra for special percussion effects
 
Raking -- A technique of performing broken chords on the lute
 
Rallentando -- Getting gradually slower
 
Range -- Distance between the lowest and highest tones of a melody, an instrument or a voice. This span can be generally described as narrow, medium or wide in range
 
Rant -- A country dance of Scotland and Northern England related to the jig. The rant is in duple meter and binary form. Surviving examples are dated from the 17th and 18th centuries
 
Rap -- Subgenre of rock in which rhymed lyrics are spoken over rhythm tracks; developed by African-Americans in the 1970s and widely disseminated in the 1980s and 1990s
 
Rap -- An American style of rhythmic chanting consisting of improvised rhymes performed to rhythmic accompaniment
 
Rasch -- A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition in a spirited, swift style
 
Ravvivando -- A directive to perform a certain passage of a composition with a quickening pace
 
Realize -- Term used for the performing of a composition that is not notated in its entirety. For example, a figured bass may be realized by the continuo performer, even though the entire harmonization is not notated. Also, a solo performer will realize ornamentation that is not notated, but left to the taste and fancy of the performer
 
Rebec -- Medieval bowed-string instrument, often with a pear-shaped body
 
Recapitulation -- Third section of sonata-allegro form, in which the thematic material of the exposition is restated, generally in the tonic. Also restatement
 
Recital -- A solo concert with or without accompaniment
 
Recitative -- Solo vocal declamation that follows the inflections of the text, often resulting in a disjunct vocal style; found in opera, cantata, and oratorio
 
Recorder -- End-blown woodwind instrument with a whistle mouthpiece, generally associated with early music
 
Reed -- Flexible strip of cane or metal set into a mouthpiece or the body of an instrument; set in vibration by a stream of air
 
Reel -- Moderately quick dance in duple meter danced throughout the British Isles; the most popular Irish traditional dance type
 
Refrain -- Text or music that is repeated within a larger form
 
Regal -- Small medieval reed organ
 
Reggae -- Jamaican popular music style characterized by offbeat rhythms and chanted vocals over a strong bass part; often associated with the Christian religious movement Rastafarianism
 
Register -- Specific area in the range of an instrument or voice
 
Registration -- Selection or combination of stops in a work for organ or harpsichord
 
Reinassance -- A period in history dating from the 14th to 16th centuries. This period signified the rebirth of music, art, and literature
 
Relative Key -- The major and minor key that share the same key signature; for example, D minor is the relative minor of F major, both having one flat.
 
Relative Major & Minor -- The major and minor keys that share the same notes in that key. For example: A minor shares the same note as C major
 
Relative Pitch -- Ability to determine the pitch of a note as it relates to the notes that precede and follow it
 
Reng -- A reed mouth organ from China
 
Repeat Sign -- Musical symbol that indicates repetition of a passage in a composition
 
Repetition -- Within a form, repetition fixes the musical material in our mind and satisfies our need for the familiar; it provides unity to a form
 
Reprise -- To repeat a previous part of a composition generally after other music has been played
 
Requiem -- A dirge, hymn, or musical service for the repose of the dead
 
Resolution -- Conclusion of a musical idea, as in the progression from an active chord to a rest chord
 
Resonance -- When several strings are tuned to harmonically related pitches, all strings vibrate when only one of the strings is struck
 
Response -- Short choral answer to a solo verse; an element of liturgical dialogue
 
Responsorial Singing -- Singing, especially in Gregorian chant, in which a soloist or a group of soloists alternates with the choir.
 
Retrograde -- Backward statement of melody
 
Retrograde Inversion -- Mirror image and backward statement of a melody
 
Rhythm -- The controlled movement of music in time
 
Rhythm & Blues -- Popular African-American music style of the 1940s through 1960s featuring a solo singer accompanied by a small instrumental ensemble (piano, guitar, acoustic bass, drums, tenor saxophone), driving rhythms, and blues and pop song forms
 
Ricercar -- Elaborate polyphonic composition of the Boroque and Renaissance periods
 
Ride -- (Ride cymbal) - the primary cymbal that you "ride" much of the time while playing a standard beat. It is usually larger than the rest at around 18" to 22"
 
Rigaudon -- A quick 20th century dance written in double time
 
Rimshot -- Hitting the snare head and the snare drum rim at the same time. The effect is a louder, punchier sound or backbeat
 
Ring Shout -- Religious dance performed by African-American slaves, performed with hand clapping and a shuffle step to spirituals
 
Ritard -- Gradually slowing the tempo down, often at the end of a piece
 
Ritornello -- Short recurring passage that unifies an instrumental or vocal work
 
Rock Band -- Popular music ensemble that depends on amplified strings, percussion, and electronically generated sounds
 
Rock'n Roll -- American popular music style first heard in the 1950s; derived from the union of African-American rhythm and blues, country-western, and pop music
 
Roll -- Drum roll. Rolls (single stroke, double stroke, 5 stroke, etc.) that help make up the 40 drum rudiments
 
Romance -- Originally a ballad; in the Romantic era, a lyric instrumental work
 
Ronde -- Lively Renaissance "round dance", associated with the outdoors, in which the participants danced in a circle or a line
 
Rondo -- Musical form in which the first section recurs, usually in the tonic. In the Classical sonata cycle, it appears as the last movement in various forms, including A-B-A-B-A, A-B-A-C-A, and A-B-A-C-A-B-A.
 
Roneat-Ek -- Cambodian xylophone with 21 tuned wooden keys
 
Root -- The principal note of a triad
 
Rosin -- Substance made from hardened tree sap, rubbed on the hair of a bow to help it grip the strings
 
Roto Toms -- Mounted, shell-less drums that changes pitch when rotated by hand
 
Round -- Perpetual canon at the unison in which each voice enters in succession with the same melody (for example, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat")
 
Rounded Binary -- Compositional form with two sections, in which the second ends with a return to material from the first; each section is usually repeated
 
Rubato -- Borrowed time", common in Romantic music, in which the performer hesitates here or hurries forward there, imparting flexibility to the written note values. Also tempo rubato
 
Rudiments -- Rudimentary beats used to create independence between the two hands (and feet) in drumming. These beats can then be manipulated around the drumset. There are currently 40 drum rudiments (or standardized drum rudiments)
 
Rumba -- Latin-American dance of Afro-Cuban origin, in duple meter with syncopated rhythms
 
Rural Blues -- American popular singing style with raspy-voiced male singer accompanied by acoustic steel-string guitar
 
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