Music Key Terms

A capella
Unaccompanied vocal music
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One or more weak-beat notes before the first strong beat of a phrase
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A note played immediately before the chord to which it belongs, creating a dissonance with the current chord
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Performance by different instrumentalists in alteration
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Ornamental note that falls on the beat as a dissonance and then resolves by step onto the main note
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The manner in which notes are played with regards to separation or connection
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Music that does not use a key or modes
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Lengthening of rhythmic values of a previously heard melody
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Pair of chords signifying the end of a phrase
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A showy passage for a soloist
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A form of imitation where the second part is an exact copy of the first
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A German hymn of the kind sung in the church at the time of JS Bach
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Circle of 5ths
A harmonic progression in which the roots of the chords move by descending 5ths (and/or descending 4ths)
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A passage concluding a piece of music
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A passage concluding one section of a piece of music
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Col legno
String technique of playing with the wood of the bow
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Melody that moves by step rather than larger intervals
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independent melody that complements a more prominent theme
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Simultaneous combination of two or more melodies that usually have different rhythms
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Cross rhythm
The use of 2 or more very different rhythms simultaneously in different parts
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Central section of a sonata-form movement which elaborates on material stated in the exposition
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Using notes that belong to the current key
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Diminished 7th
Dissonant 4 note chord made up of superimposed minor 3rds
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Shortening of rhythmic values of previously heard melody
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Moves by large intervals larger than a 2nd
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2 or more sounds that give the effect of a clash
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Fifth degree of a scale
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Dominant 7th
4 note chord built on dominant (V) note of the scale including triad plus a minor 7th above root
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Enharmonic equivalent
Same pitch notated in 2 different ways (eg Bb and A#)
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First section of a sonata-form movement which establishes key and states musical material to be developed later in movement
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Type of piece where the theme is treated in imitation by all the parts
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A slide between 2 notes
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Lightly touching a string to produce an artificial high sound
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Harmonic rhythm
The rate at which the harmony changes in a piece
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The articulation of 2 units of triple time (strong-weak-weak, strong-weak-weak) as 3 unis of duple time (strong-weak, strong-weak, strong-weak)
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Texture in which one part has a melody and other parts accompany.
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Imperfect cadence
An open-ended or inconclusive cadence ending with dominant chord (V) with the preceding chord usually I, II or IV
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Interrupted cadence
A cadence intended to create surprise or suspense, usually consisting of chord V followed by chord VI
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Leading note
7th degree of the scale
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Leger lines
Additional lines used above or beneath the stave to represent notes that fall outside of its range
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Script or words for a dramatic work that is set to music
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3rd degree of scale
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In vocal music a single syllable sung to several notes
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Music that uses the notes of one of the Western modes
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Process of changing key within a single work or movement
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Texture that consists of a single melodic line
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Short but distinctive musical idea developed in various ways to create a longer passage of music
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A concert piece for choir, soloists and orchestra
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A repeating melodic, harmonic or rhythmic motif heard continuously throughout part or the whole of a piece
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Passing note
Non-harmony note approached and quitted by step in the same direction
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Perfect cadence
Chord V or V7 followed by chord I at the end of a phrase
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Periodic phrasing
Balanced phrases of regular lengths
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Direction to pluck, instead of bow, strings
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Plagal cadence
Chord IV followed by chord I at the end of a phrase
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Texture consisting of 2 or more equally important melodic lines heard together
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Final section of a sonata-form which restates material from exposition in tonic key
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Movement for solo voice in opera which clear projection of words is the main concern
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Specific part of the range of a voice or instrument
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Relative minor and major
Keys that have the same key signature but different scale. Relative minor is 3 semitones lower than its relative major
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Fast piece usually in triple time
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immediate repetition of melodic or harmonic idea at a different pitch or succession of different pitches
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System of composing atonal music using a ore-determined series of the 12 chromatic notes to guarantee equality of all pitches
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Sonata form
Form in 3 sections - exposition, development and recapitulation often based on 2 contrasting groups of material (1st and 2nd subject). Typical of classical or romantic period
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4th degree of scale
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6th degree of scale
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Occurs at change of chord when one part hangs on to a note from the old chord, creating dissonance, after which the delayed part resolves (usually by step) to the new chord
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Placing accents in parts of the bar that are not usually emphasised
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Tierce de Picardie
A major 3rd in the final tonic chord of a passage in minor
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Writing or performing music at a different pitch than the original
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Rapid and continuous repetition of a single note or 2 alternating notes
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Ornament where 2 adjacent notes rapidly and repeatedly alternate
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Interval that is equivalent to 3 tones
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Full ensemble
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Simultaneous performance of the same note or melody by 2 or more players
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Small but fast fluctuations in pitch of a note to add warmth and expression
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Whole-tone scale
A scale in which the interval between every successive note is a whole tone
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


One or more weak-beat notes before the first strong beat of a phrase



Card 3


A note played immediately before the chord to which it belongs, creating a dissonance with the current chord


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Performance by different instrumentalists in alteration


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Ornamental note that falls on the beat as a dissonance and then resolves by step onto the main note


Preview of the back of card 5
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