Music Terminology

These music cards will help you to understand music terminology, and be able to apply your knowledge in your exams and score high marks, as well as being popular with bored examiners!!

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Off beat notes

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When instruments come in at different points in the same time. This means that the music is structured like this:





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When the music starts on an upbeat. E.g. if the music is written in 4/4 time, and the first bar only consists of a quaver beat, before going on to full bars. (This means that the piece must finish with a bar of the value that, added with the first bar with the anacrusis, makes the total time signature).

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When all instruments play the same rhythm at the same time

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When each verse of a somg has the same music

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Concerto grosso

A concerto written for a group of soloists and an orchestra

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When the instruments play arpeggios, it is described as being arpeggaic

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When notes clash to make a more unpleasant sound

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False relations

When a note in one part in one bar is followed by a chromatic version of it in the next beat in a different part. E.g. if the 1st violin has a B flat in bar 2 beat 1, then the 2nd violin has a B natural OR an A in bar 2 beat 2.

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Where the main range of the piece lies. E.g. Shostakovich's 4th string quartet has a low tessitura.

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More cards coming soon!!

I will try my best to make some more cards as soon as I can!

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