music listening exam notes

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A cappella - One or more vocalists performing without an accompaniment

Accelerando - A symbol used in musical notation indicating to gradually quicken tempo.

Accessible - Music that is easy to listen to and understand. Adagio - A tempo having slow movement; restful at ease.

Allegro - A direction to play lively and fast.

Atonal - Music that is written and performed without regard to any specific key.

Baroque - Time in music history ranging from the middle of the 16th to the middle of the 17th centuries. Characterized by emotional, flowery music; written in strict form.

Beat - The unit of musical rhythm.

Cadence - A sequence of chords that brings an end to a phrase, either in the middle or the end of a composition.

Cadenza - Initially an improvised cadence by a soloist; later becoming an elaborate and written out passage in an aria or concerto, featuring the skills of an instrumentalist or vocalist.

Cadenza - Originally an improvised cadence by a soloist. Later it became a written out passage to display performance skills of an instrumentalist or performer.

Canon - A musical form where the melody or tune is imitated by individual parts at regular intervals. The individual parts may enter at different measures and pitches. The tune may also be played at different speeds, backwards, or inverted.

Cantabile - A style of singing which is characterized by the easy and flowing tone of the composition.

Cantata - Music written for chorus and orchestra. Most often religious in nature. Capriccio - A quick, improvisational, spirited piece of music.

Carol - A song or hymn celebrating Christmas.

Castrato - Male singers who were castrated to preserve their alto and soprano vocal range.

Cavatina - A short and simple melody performed by a soloist that is part of a larger piece.

Chamber music - Written for 2 to 10 solo parts featuring one instrument to a part. Each part bears the same importance.

Chant - Singing in unison, texts in a free rhythm. Similar to the rhythm of speech.

Choir - Group of singers in a chorus.

Chorale - A hymn sung by the choir and congregation often in unison.

Chord - 3 or 4 notes played simultaneously in harmony.

Chord progression - A string of chords played in succession. Chorus - A group singing in unison.

Chromatic scale - Includes all twelve notes of an octave.

Classical - The period of music history which dates from the mid 1700’s to mid 1800’s. The music was spare and emotionally reserved, especially when compared to Romantic and Boroque music.

Classicism - The period of music history which dates from the mid 1800’s and lasted about sixty years. There was a strong regard for order and balance.

Clavier - The keyboard of a stringed instrument.

Clef - In sheet music, a symbol at the beginning of the staff defining the pitch of the notes found in that particular staff.

Coda - Closing section of a movement. Concert master - The


Georgia Loddi-Hill


good basics

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