GCSE Music Vocab

Vocabulary

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  • Created by: Amy Hill
  • Created on: 10-11-10 19:02

Accent

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A note given special emphasis, either because of it's prominent position, or because it is marke with a symbol (such as >) to indicate that it should stand out.

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Acciacatura

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An ornament, printed as a small not with a slash through its tail, which is played as quickly as possible before the main note that follows it.

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Accidental

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A sharp, flat or natural sign used during the course of a composition rather that as part of the key signature.

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Accordion

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An instrument with hand-operated bellows that force air to vibrate with metal reeds. The sound is controlled from small buttons on both sides of the bellows, although piano accordions have a small vertical keyboard on the right-hand side instead of buttons. This instrument is often used in folk music.

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An added 6th chord

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A chord formed from a triad plus a 6th above the root.

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Alap

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The slow introductory section in a performance of North Indian rag. The soloist introduces the notes of the rag in free time, accompanied by a drone.

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Alto

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A low female voice. Alto parts can also be performed by men singing  falsetto.

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Alto Clef

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A clef which indicates that middle C is on the middle line of the stave.

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Anacrusis

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One or more weak-beat notes before the first strong beat of a phrase. Often called "pick up" in jazz and pop music.

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Arco

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An instruction for a string player to use the bow, usually after playing pizzicato.

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Arpeggio

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A chord played as succesive rather than aimultaneous notes.

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Articulation

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The precise way in which notes are played, such as legato, staccato or accented.

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Atonal

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Western music that is not in a key or a mode and that is often dissonant.

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Augmentation

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A proportionate increase in the note lenghts of a melody.

Opposite of diminution

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Augmented chord

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A chord consisting of two majoy 3rds stacked above eachother (e.g. C-E-G#)

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Backbeat

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A term used in pop music to describe accenting the normally weak second and fourth beats in 4/4 time.

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Backing Vocals

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Sung parts that accompany the main singer in a pop song. Sometimes labelled in scores as bvox.

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Balafon

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A west-African xylophone with wooden bars and resonators made from bottle-shaped gourds.

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Bansuri

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A large bamboo flute with fingerholes but no keys. One of the oldest Indian instruments.

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Bara

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A small drum from west africe, made from a gourd, with a head of thin goatskin.

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