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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Sackbut -- Early brass instrument, ancestor of the trombone
 
Sacred Music -- Religious or spiritual music, for church or devotional use
 
Salsa -- Spicy"; collective term for Latin-American dance music, especially forms of Afro-Cuban origin
 
Saltarello -- Italian "jumping dance", often characterized by triplets in a rapid 4/4 time
 
Samba -- Afro-Brazilian dance, characterized by duple meter, responsorial singing, and polyrhythmic accompaniments
 
Sampler -- Electronic device that digitizes, stores and plays back sounds
 
Sarabande -- Stately Spanish Baroque dance type in triple meter, a standard movement of the Baroque suite
 
Sarangi -- Bowed chordophone from north India with three main strings and a large number of metal strings that vibrate sympathetically
 
Sarrusophone -- A wind instrument designed by Sarrus in 1856. The sarrusophone has a double reed similar to a bassoon or oboe, but is made of brass, and resembles the saxophone in fingering and range. The sarrusophone was mainly invented as a substitute for oboes and bassoons in military bands
 
Savart -- Term describing the logarithmic measurement system of intervals invented by Felix Savart. In an octave, there are 301.03 savarts
 
Saxhorn -- A family of wind instruments invented by Adolphe Sax in 1845. There have been at least seven sizes of saxhorn ranging from sopranino to contrabass, and have been confused with the flugelhorn. The saxhorn has a cup mouthpiece, valves, and a tapered bore
 
Saxophone -- Woodwind instrument made of metal and sounded with a single reed; the saxophone is a more recent instrument addition to the orchestra
 
Scale -- Series of tones or pitches in ascending or descending order. Scale tones are often assigned numbers (1-8) or syllables (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do)
 
Scat Singing -- A jazz style that sets syllables without meaning (vocables) to an improvised vocal line
 
Scherzo -- Composition in A-B-A form, usually in triple meter; replaced the minuet and trio in the nineteenth century
 
Scherzo -- Pertaining to the sonata form, a fast movement in triple time
 
Scordatura -- The retuning of a stringed instrument in order to play notes below the ordinary range of the instrument or to produce an usual tone color
 
Secco -- Operatic recitative that features a sparse accompaniment and moves with great freedom
 
Secular Music -- Nonreligious music; when texted, usually in the vernacular
 
Semitone -- Also known as a half step, the smallest interval commonly used in the Western musical system
 
Septet -- A set of seven musicians who perform a composition written for seven parts
 
Sequence -- A successive transposition and repetition of a phrase at different pitches
 
Serenade -- Classical instrumental genre that combines elements of chamber music and symphony, often performed in the evening or at social functions. Related to divertimento and cassation
 
Serialism -- Method of composition in which various musical elements (pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tone color) may be ordered in a fixed series.
 
Seventh Chord -- Four-note combination consisting of a triad with another third added on top; spans a seventh between its lowest and highest tones
 
Sextet -- A set of six musicians who perform a composition written for six parts
 
Sextuple Meter -- Compound metrical pattern of six beats to a measure
 
Sforzando -- Sudden stress or accent on a single note or chord, indicated in the musical score by the marking "sf" or "sfz"
 
Shacker -- Any percussion instrument that can be shaken. Usually a hollowed out container filled with beads or pebbles
 
Shakuchaki -- A Japanese end-blown flute
 
Shamisen -- Long-necked Japanese chordophone with three strings
 
Shape Note -- Music notation system originating in nineteenth century American church music in which the shape of the note heads determines the pitch; created to aid music reading
 
Sharp Sign -- Musical symbol (#) that indicates raising a pitch by a semitone
 
Shawm -- Medieval wind instrument, the ancestor of the oboe
 
Shekere -- A large hollow gourd surrounded by woven beads. Common in Afro-Cuban music
 
Siciliano -- A soft, slow peasant dance in 6/8 or 12/8 time, often in a minor key. Rather similar to a Pastorale, usually in ABA form. It usually has a melody in dotted rhythms, with a broken chord accompaniment
 
Simple Meter -- Grouping of rhythms in which the beat is subdivided into two, as in duple, triple, and quadruple meters
 
Sinfonia -- Short instrumental work, found in Baroque opera, to facilitate scene changes
 
Sinfonia -- Short instrumental work, found in Baroque opera, to facilitate scene changes
 
Singspiel -- Comic German drama with spoken dialogue; the immediate predecessor of Romantic German opera
 
Sitar -- Long-necked plucked chordophone of northern India, with movable frets and a rounded gourd body; used as solo instrument and with tabla
 
Ska -- Jamaican urban dance form popular in the 1960s, influential in reggae
 
Slide -- Glissando or portamento. Also refers to the moving part of a trombone
 
Slide Trumpet -- Medieval brass instrument of the trumpet family
 
Slur -- A curve over notes to indicate that a phrase is to be played legato
 
Snare Drum -- Small cylindrical drum with two heads stretched over a metal shell, the lower head having strings across it; played with two drumsticks
 
Snare Drum -- One of the more common drums in marching bands and drumlines and the primary drum of a drumset. The "snares" are the wires on the bottom of the drum that give it that "buzz" sound. Standard size is usually 14" diameter by 5 1/2" in depth but can vary greatly
 
Snares -- The long wiggly shaped wires stretched across the bottom of a snare drum. These wires create a preferred buzz sound
 
Soft Rock -- Lyrical, gentle rock style that evolved around 1960 in response to hard-driving rock and roll
 
Sonata -- Instrumental genre in several movements for soloist or small ensemble
 
Sonata Allegro -- The opening movement of the sonata cycle, consisting of themes that are stated in the first section (exposition), developed in the second section (development), and restated in the third section (recapitulation). Also sonata form or first-movement form
 
Sonata Cycle -- General term describing the multimovement structure found in sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, concertos and large-scale works of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
 
Sonata da Camara -- Baroque chamber sonata, usually a suite of stylized dances. Also chamber sonata
 
Sonata Da Chiesa -- Baroque instrumental work intended for performance in church; in four movements, frequently arranged slow-fast-slow-fast. Also church sonata
 
Sonata Form -- A complex piece of music. Usually the first movement of the piece serving as the exposition, a development, or recapitulation
 
Sonatina -- A short or brief sonata
 
Sonatina -- A short sonata, smaller, with less and shorter movements and the subjects not developed at length
 
Song Cycle -- Group of songs, usually Lieder, that are unified musically or through their texts
 
Sousaphone -- Brass instrument adapted from the tuba with a forward bell that is coiled to rest over the player's shoulder for ease of carrying while marching
 
Spiritual -- Folklike devotional genre of the United States, sung by African-Americans and whites
 
Spiritual Minimalism -- Contemporary musical style related to minimalism, characterized by a weak pulse and long chains of lush progressions, either tonal or modal
 
Sprechstimme -- A vocal style in which the melody is spoken at approximate pitches rather than sung on exact pitches; developed by Arnold Schoenberg
 
Staccato -- Short, detached notes, marked with a dot above them
 
Staff -- Made up of five horizontal parallel lines and the spaces between them on which musical notation is written
 
Steel Drum -- (Pans) 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
 
Steliconcitato -- Baroque style developed by Monteverdi, which introduced novel effects such as rapid repeated notes as symbols of passion
 
Stile Reppresentativo -- A dramatic recitative style of the Baroque period in which melodies move freely over a foundation of simple chords
 
Stopping -- On a string instrument, altering the string length by pressing it on the fingerboard. On a horn, playing with the bell closed by the hand or a mute
 
Strain -- Series of contrasting sections found in rags and marches; in duple meter with sixteen-measure themes or sections
 
Stretto -- Pertaining to the fugue, the overlapping of the same theme or motif by two or more voices a few beats apart
 
String Family -- The members of the string family include two types of instruments: bowed and plucked. The standard bowed string instruments, from highest to lowest, are violin, viola, cello and double bass. The harp and guitar are common plucked string instruments. String instruments often play special effects, including trill, pizzicato, harmonic and arpeggio
 
String Quartet -- The string quartet was one of the most common chamber ensembles. Its makeup is two violins, viola and cello
 
String Quintet -- Standard chamber ensemble made up of either two violins, two violas and cello, or two violins, viola and two cellos
 
String trio -- Standard chamber ensemble made up two violins and cello, or violin, viola and cello
 
Strophic Form -- Song structure in which the same music is repeated with every stanza (strophe) of the poem
 
Sturm and Drang -- Storm and stress"; late eighteenth century movement in Germany toward more emotional expression in the arts
 
Style -- Characteristic manner of presentation of musical elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, form, etc.)
 
Subdominant -- The fourth scale step, fa
 
Subdominant Chord -- Chord built on the fourth scale step, the IV chord
 
Suite -- Multimovement work made up of a series of contrasting dance movements, generally all in the same key.
 
Swing -- Jazz term coined to describe Louis Armstrong's style; more commonly refers to big band jazz
 
Swing -- In drumming it refers to the swing cymbal rhythm or what the old masters would call "spang-a-lang". This rhythm and variations of it is the driving force behind swing (jazz) music
 
Syllabic -- Melodic style with one note to each syllable of text
 
Symphonic Poem -- One-movement orchestral form that develops a poetic idea, suggests a scene or creates a mood, generally associated with the Romantic era. Also tone poem
 
Symphony -- Large work for orchestra, generally in three or four movements
 
Syncopation -- Deliberate upsetting of the meter or pulse through a temporary shifting of the accent to a weak beat or an offbeat
 
Synthesizer -- Electronic instrument that produces a wide variety of sounds by combining sound generators and sound modifiers in one package with a unified control system
 
System -- A combination of two or more staves on which all the notes are vertically aligned and performed simultaneously in differing registers and instruments
 
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