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ONLINE GLOSSARY

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Total Number of Terms : 1363
 
Tabla -- Pair of single-headed, tuned drums used in north Indian classical music
 
Tablature -- A system of notation for stringed instruments. The notes are indicated by the finger positions
 
Table Book -- A form of written music popular in the Renaissance printed in such a way that the performers could sit around a table and read their own various parts
 
Tabor -- Cylindrical medieval drum
 
Tacet -- An indication in the music that a performer is to be silent for some time. Typically, for an entire section or movement of a composition
 
Tag -- Jazz term for a coda, or a short concluding section
 
Tailgate -- A slang term for a trombone Glissando in Dixieland jazz and is the basis for the tailgate trombone style of performing in Dixieland jazz
 
Tala -- Fixed time cycle or meter in Indian music, built from uneven groupings of beats
 
Tala -- Fixed time cycle or meter in Indian music, built from uneven groupings of beats
 
Tam-Tam -- A percussion idiophone similar to a gong. Although it looks very similar to the gong, it is typically thinner with a smaller rim and has no nipple or protrusion in the center. The tam-tam tends to be either flat or saucer-shaped. The shape and construction produce a great difference in sound. The gong has a definite pitch center with a fundamental note producing rich overtones, and the tam-tam should have no discernable pitch or fundamental note, simply a crash of dissonant frequencies
 
Tambourine -- Percussion instrument consisting of a small round drum with metal plates inserted in its rim; played by striking or shaking
 
Tango -- A dance originated in the streets and salons of Buenos Aires, Argentine. It is characterized as very as passionate
 
Tanto -- A term meaning so much or as much and used to qualify a directive in the performance of a certain passage of a composition. For example, the term allegro non tanto would mean a fast tempo (allegro) but not so much (or so fast). The term allegro tanto possibile would mean a fast tempo (allegro) as much as possible. This term can be used in the same way as troppo
 
Tantum Ergo -- A hymn of the Roman Catholic Church sung at the Benediction
 
Tarantela -- Rapid Italian dance (supposed to cure the bite of a tarantula)
 
Te Deum -- Song of praise to God; a text from the Roman Catholic rite, often set polyphonically
 
Temperament -- Refers to the tuning of an instrument
 
Tempo -- Rate of speed or pace of music. Tempo markings are traditionally given in Italian; common markings include grave (solemn; very, very slow); largo (broad; very slow); adagio (quite slow); andante (a walking pace); moderato (moderate); allegro (fast; cheerful); vivace (lively); presto (very fast); accelerando (getting faster); ritardando (getting slower); and a tempo (in time; returning to the original pace)
 
Tenor Drum -- Percussion instrument, larger than the snare drum, with a wooden shell.
 
Tenso -- A stylized, poetic debate between troubadours or trouveres in which the participants argue opposing views on a given topic
 
Tenth -- An interval spanning the distance of 10 pitches away from the original pitch
 
Tenuto -- A directive to perform a certain note or chord of a composition in a sustained manner for longer than its full duration
 
Terce -- The fourth service of the Divine Office, usually performed at 9:00 a.m. The service consists of several responsories and psalms which are sung
 
Ternary Form -- Three-part (A-B-A) form based on a statement (A), contrast or departure (B), and repetition (A). Also three-part form
 
Terraced Dynamics -- Expressive style typical of Baroque music in which volume levels shift based on the playing forces used
 
Tertian Harmony -- Harmony based on the interval of the third, particularly predominant from the Baroque through the nineteenth century
 
Tessitura -- The range of an instrumental or a vocal part
 
Texture -- The interweaving of melodic (horizontal) and harmonic (vertical) elements in the musical fabric. Texture is generally described as monophonic (single line), heterophonic (elaboration on a single line), homophonic (single line with accompaniment), or polyphonic (many voiced)
 
Texture -- Term which refers to the vertical structure of a composition. That is to say, how many parts or voices there are, what the configuration (close, open, etc.) of the voices is, how the voices interact, etc
 
Thematic Development -- Musical expansion of a theme by varying its melodic outline, harmony or rhythm. Also thematic transformation
 
Theme -- Melodic idea used as a basic building block in the construction of a composition
 
Theme -- A melodic or, sometimes a harmonic idea presented in a musical form
 
Theme Group -- Several themes in the same key that function as a unit within a section of a form, particularly in sonata-allegro form
 
Theme Variations -- Compositional procedure in which a theme is stated and then altered in successive statements; occurs as an independent piece or as a movement of a sonata cycle
 
Third -- Interval between two notes that are two diatonic scale steps apart
 
Third Stream -- Jazz style that synthesizes characteristics and techniques of classical music and jazz; term coined by Gunther Schuller
 
Through- composed -- Song structure that is composed from beginning to end, without repetitions of large sections
 
Tibia -- Wind instrument of the ancient Romans. The tibia consisted of two pipes and was used in religious ceremonies, rituals, and theatre
 
Timbales -- Shallow, single-headed drums of Cuban origin, played in pairs; used in much Latin-American popular music
 
Timbre -- The quality of a sound that distinguishes one voice or instrument from another. Also tone color
 
Timbre -- The quality of a sound; that component of a tone that causes different instruments (for example a guitar and a violin) to sound different from each other while they are both playing the same note
 
Timbrel -- Ancient percussion instrument related to the tambourine
 
Time Signature -- A numeric symbol in sheet music determining the number of beats to a measure
 
Timpani -- Percussion instrument consisting of a hemispheric copper shell with a head of plastic or calfskin, held in place by a metal ring and played with soft or hard padded sticks. A pedal mechanism changes the tension of the head, and with it the pitch
 
Tin Whistle -- Small metal end-blown flute commonly used in Irish traditional music
 
Toccata -- Virtuoso composition, generally for organ or harpsichord, in a free and rhapsodic style; in the Baroque, it often served as the introduction to a fugue
 
Toccata -- Brilliant, prelude-like composition
 
Tom-tom -- Cylindrical drum without snares
 
Tombeau -- An Instrumental funeral composition or a composition which commemorates the death of someone
 
Tonal -- Based on principles of major-minor tonality, as distinct from modal
 
Tonality -- Principle of organization around a tonic, or home, pitch, based on a major or minor scale
 
Tone -- A sound of definite pitch
 
Tone Cluster -- Highly dissonant combination of pitches sounded simultaneously
 
Tone row -- An arrangement of the twelve chromatic tones that serves as the basis of a twelve-tone composition
 
Toneless -- Unmusical, without tone
 
Tonic -- The first note of a scale (the tonic or keynote do), which serves as the home base around which the other pitches revolve and to which they ultimately gravitate
 
Total Serialism -- Extremely complex, totally controlled music in which the twelve-tone principle is extended to elements of music other than pitch
 
Track -- A single song, or continuous musical selection on a vinyl record, or a single continuous musical selection on a CD or other recording medium
 
Tract -- A Chant in the Proper of the Roman Mass performed in place of the Alleluia on special days
 
Traditional Music -- Music that is learned by oral transmission and is easily sung or played by most people; may exist in variant forms. Also folk music
 
Tragedie Lyrique -- French serious opera of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with spectacular dance scenes and brilliant choruses on tales of courtly love or heroic adventures; associated with J.B. Lully
 
Transcription -- The result of transcribing a piece of music
 
Transposition -- Shifting a piece of music to a different pitch level
 
Treble -- The playing or singing the upper half of the vocal range. Also the highest voice in choral singing
 
Tremolo -- Rapid repetition of a tone; can be achieved instrumentally or vocally
 
Tremolo -- Quick repetition of the same note or the rapid alternation between two notes
 
Triad -- A common chord type consisting of three pitches built on alternate scale tones of a major or minor scale (e.g., 1 - 3 - 5 or 2 - 4 - 6)
 
Triangle -- The triangle is a slender rod of steel bent into a three-cornered shape and struck with a steel beater; its sound is bright and tinkling in this march
 
Trill -- Ornament consisting of the rapid alternation between one tone and the next above it
 
Trio Sonata -- Baroque chamber sonata type written in three parts: two melody lines and the basso continuo; requires a total of four players to perform
 
Triple Meter -- Basic metrical pattern of three beats to a measure
 
Triple Stop -- Playing three notes simultaneously on a string instrument
 
Triple Time -- Time signature with three beats to the measure
 
Triplet -- Group of three equal-valued notes played in the time of two; indicated by a bracket and the number 3
 
Triplum -- Third voice in early polyphony
 
Tritone -- A chord comprised of three whole tones resulting in an augmented fourth or diminished fifth
 
Tritonic -- Three-note scale pattern, used in the music of some sub-Saharan African cultures
 
Trobadours -- Medieval poet-musicians of southern France
 
Trombone -- The trombone (Italian for "large trumpet") features a moveable U-shaped slide that alters the length of the vibrating tube. Its timbre, illustrated here, is rich and full
 
Trouvéres -- Medieval poet-musicians of northern France
 
Trumpet -- The trumpet is the highest pitched member of the brass family; this example illustrates its clear and brilliant sound
 
Tuba -- Bass-range brass instrument that changes pitch by means of valves
 
Tubular Bells -- A member of the chimes family, tubular bells are long metal tubes (around 5' or more) that are struck with a special hammer. This percussion instrument is common in school bands, marching bands (pit), and orchestras, as well as symphonies
 
Tumba -- (Or tumbadora) - the largest of the typical 3 conga drums family
 
Tune -- A rhythmic succession of musical tones, a melody for instruments and voices
 
Tuning -- The raising and lowering a pitch of an instrument to produce the correct tone of a note
 
Tutti -- Passage for the entire ensemble or orchestra without a soloist
 
Twelve Tone Music -- Compositional procedure of the twentieth century based on the use of all twelve chromatic tones (in a tone row) without a central tone, or tonic, according to prescribed rules
 
Twelve Tone Music -- Music composed such that each note is used the same number of times
 
Twelve-bar Blues -- Musical structure based on a repeated harmonic-rhythmic pattern that is twelve measures in length (I-I-I-I-IV-IV-I-I-V-V-I-I)
 
Tympani -- (Kettle drums) Kettle drums are pitched instruments that are considered a part of the melodic percussion family. They are very large drums made of copper or brass, most often used in orchestras and symphonies. These drums have a foot pedal that is attached to the head mechanism. When the foot pedal is depressed, the kettle drums make a unique, "boing" type of sound back to top
 
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