Music Concepts

Music Flash Cards

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Minuet and Trio

French dance with three beats in the bar.

Minuet from Baroque era, Trio added in Classical era.

Minuet - Trio - Minuet

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Slow Air

Slow traditional melody in the style of a song. Usually played on violin or bagpipes. Many examples were written by Scott Skinner

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Ternary

"A B A". A form where the first section is always repeated at the end. It could begin with a short introduction and end with a Coda.

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Theme

A melody which is the main idea for a compsition or section of a composition. It can be the basis for a longer composition e.g.... theme and variations.

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Aleatoric

The elements of chance in music where the performer has some freedom to choose the pitch and rythym. No two performances are exactly the same.

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Atonal

No feeling of key, major or minor. Very dissonant. A feature of some 20th century music.

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Cadenza

A passage of music which allows a soloist to display their technical ability. Cadenza is usually found in a concerto.

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Imperfect Cadence

A cadence consists of two chords at the end of a phrase. In an imperfect cadence the second chord is the dominant (V) creating an unfisnished effect. In the key of C the second chord of an imperfect cadence would be the chord of G. See Perfect Cadence, Plagal cadence and interrupted cadence.

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Melismatic

Several notes sung to one syllable. Compare syllabic.

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Obbligato

A prominent solo instrument in a piece of vocal music.

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Tierce de Picardie

The final chord of a piece of music in the minor key is changed to major.

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Vibrato

A very slight wavering in pitch which brings warmth to the tone.

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Tremolo

Term for the rapid up-and-down movement of the bow on a stringed instrument creating an agitated, restless effect. The term also describes rapid alteration of two different notes at least a 3rd apart on a piano, strings or wind instruments.

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Tremolando

Trembling, quivering.

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Consonance

Notes which sound well when heard together.

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Staccato

The notes are short and detached.

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Legato

The notes are played or sung smoothly.

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Ensemble

A group of musicians playing or singing together.

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Rythmic repetition

A musical idea consisting of unpitched-notes heard mroe than once. See Melodic repetition, Ostinato, Riff.

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