4 beats
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2 beats
2 of 174
1 beat
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½ beat
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¼ beat
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Dotted semibreve
6 beats
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Dotted crotchet
1½ beats
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Dotted quaver
¾ beat
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Simple time signature
Each beat of the pulse divides into 2 - "1 and 2 and..."
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Compound time signature
Each beat of the pulse divides into 3 - "1 and a 2 and a..."
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Very slow and stately
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Walking pace, medium speed
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Moderate speed
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Lively and fast
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Fast (faster than allegro)
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Gradually getting faster
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Gradually getting slower
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With some freedom of time
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An off-beat rhythm
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Layering more than one rhythm on top of each other
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Layering more than one rhythm on top of each other
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Layering one rhythm on top of another
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A repeating pattern
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Where the first quaver in a pair is longer than the other - it sounds like a dotted rhythm
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Dotted rhythm
A rhythm where every other note is dotted and so longer than the second
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In a 3/4 time signature, where three minims are used giving the effect of a temporary move to 2/4
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Rhythmic augmentation
Every note value of a rhythm is doubled, making it sound slower
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Rhythmic diminution
Every note value of a rhythm is halved, making it sound faster
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Weaving together two or more equally important melodic lines
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One instrument plays a melody and then another one joins - it starts by imitating the previous instrument but not exactly
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All of the instruments or voices play or sing at exactly the same pitch
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All of the instruments or voices play or sing the same thing an octave apart
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Melody and accompaniment
A melody with everything else acting as an accompaniment
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Instruments or voices play or sing different things but in the same rhythm, making them sound as chords
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A musical phrase is passed between different groups of instruments - like call and response
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Where the different instrumental or vocal parts play or sing as a round - exactly the same thing is played but all with staggered entries
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Notes move mainly by step
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Notes move mainly by leap with larger intervals between them
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Melody uses the three notes of a triad chord
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Uses notes that form a scale either going up or down
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Going up and down the notes of a broken chord
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Passing note
A note in a melody which connects two notes that are part of a melody
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A note played very quickly before the note it is next to - written as a very small note with a dash through it
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A note played as half the value of the note it is next to - written as a very small note without a dash through it
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Alternating quickly between two notes
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Going up a note, back to the original, down a note and back to the original again
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Quickly going up or down to the next note and back again - the symbol with a slash through it is for a lower mordent and the symbol without a slash is for an upper mordent
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The melody only uses notes of the key it was written in with no accidentals
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The melody includes notes which are not in the scale of the key
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The scale has five different pitches in the octave (eg C, D, F, G, A)
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Whole tone
A scale made up of whole tones between notes (D, D, F#, G#, A#)
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Uses notes of ancient scales which sound like a mixture of major and minor scales
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Playing notes of melody smoothly
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THe notes are played short and detached - signified with dots above the note
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Curved line above or below the note head showing two notes should be played smoothly together
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A sudden accent in the music
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A curved line is used to show which notes are to be played as a musical phrase
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Blue notes
Used in blues music, these notes are played a semitone lower than in the normal scale
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Ascending sequence
A short fragment of melody which is repeated but goes up a tone each time
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Descending sequence
A short fragment of melody which is repeated but goes down a tone each time
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When a tune is turned 'upside down' so that the intervals which rise now fall and vice versa
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Sliding from one note to another
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Sliding from one note to another
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Sliding from one note to another, particularly in singing
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Pitch bend
When a note is raised or lowered slightly in pitch, often done on the guitar
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When a musician invents new music spontaneously during a performance
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Violin, viola, cello, double bass
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Piccolo, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone
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French horn, trumpet (cornet), trombone, tuba
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Untuned percussion
Drum kit, bongos, wood block
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Tuned percussion
Xylophone, glockenspiel, vibraphone, marimba, steel pans
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Keyboard instruments
Piano, keyboard, harpsichord, organ
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Acoustic, electric, bass, banjo
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Indian instruments
Sitar, tabla (drums), sarangi (bowed string instrument used for accompanying singing), bandura (Indian flute), shenhai (Indian oboe)
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African instruments
Djembe drums, conga drums, bongos, xylophone
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Caribbean instruments
Steel pans
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Highest female voice
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Mezzo soprano
Moderately high female voice
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Lowest female voice
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Unbroken, high male voice (boys)
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High, broken male voice (adult)
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Medium male voice
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Low male voice
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Con arco
Play a string instrument with the bow
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Play a string instrument by plucking
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Con sordino
Play a string instrument with a mute - sounds quieter and thinner
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Double stopping
Playing two notes on a string instrument at the same time
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Wobbling the bow quickly up and down on a string instrument
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Making the note wobble in pitch on a string instrument by moving the left hand, or wobbling the note while singing - this creates a warmer sound
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Flutter tonguing
Rolling your 'r' while blowing down a flute to create a fluttering effect
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Used with brass instruments - makes a more piercing sound
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Drum roll
Rapidly alternating sticks to create a continuous sound
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Drum fill
A break from the main beat during gaps in the vocals or melody
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Using the force of the left hand while playing the guitar to sound a new note rather than plucking it again
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Power chord
A chord which only has the root and fifth (no third) which is used in rock music on the guitar
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Sustain pedal
Holding down a pedal while playing a keyboard instrument so that all the notes are sustained
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When a male singer sings very high - much higher than their normal range
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Often used in rock music on the guitar, this electronic affect makes the sound fuzzy and aggressive
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Creates the effect of performing in a large space - the sound lasts longer
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A recorded voice or instrument is multiplied electronically so it sounds like many
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Works like auto-tune and can be used to change the character of the sound to make it sound more electronic and robotic
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A recording technique where the different instruments are recorded separately on different tracks
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An electronic device used to record, edit and play back using MIDI
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Boosts the levels of the quieter sounds in a piece to create a more balanced sound
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The sound is passed from one speaker to another or separated into different speakers
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Patterns are recorded and then played on repeat
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Combines strings, woodwind, brass and percussion
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String quartet
Two violins, viola, cello
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String ensemble
A larger group of string players with more than one player per part
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Wind quintet
Flute, clarinet, oboe, French horn, bassoon
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Brass band
Only brass instruments and sometimes percussion
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Big band
Brass and woodwind instruments often with percussion
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Barbershop choir
A small male voice group (usually four people) which sing in close harmony
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Female voice choir
Choir of women
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Male voice choir
Choir of men and sometimes boys with unbroken voices
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Mixed choir
Choir of male and female voices
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A cappella
Just voices with no accompaniment
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Mezzoforte (mf)
Moderately loud
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Forte (f)
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Fortissimo (ff)
Very loud
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Fortepiano (fp)
Loud then immediately soft
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Sforzando (sfz)
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Pianissimo (pp)
Very quiet
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Mezzopiano (mp)
Moderately quiet
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Piano (p)
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Gradually getting louder
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Gradually getting quieter
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much/more eg. molto crescendo means get much louder
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Poco a poco
Little by little ie. change very slowly
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AB - two sections of roughly equal length
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ABA - three sections, the first and last being the same
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ABACA... - several sections but one (the A section) keeps returning with other 'episodes' in between
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Arch shape
ABCBA - a symmetrical structure so that a plan of music represents an arch
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Theme and variations
A theme is played at the beginning and then repeated a number of times but each time it returns it is changed
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The same music is repeated with different words (verse, verse, verse) - often found in hymns
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A structure used frequently in pop music which comprises of verses and choruses - occasionally with extra sections such as intros, bridges, outros etc
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The piece constantly changes and develops
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Features constant repetition of short patterns - as the piece continues the patterns are developed through small changes in texture and dynamics in order for the piece to slowly evolve
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12 bar blues
This is a twelve bar pattern in which the chord sequence is: I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, I - this is used in almost all blues pieces and sometimes pop songs
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Call and response
Where a musical phrase is played or sung byone musician and is immediately followed by a responding phrase from another musician or the whole group
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Da capo aria
Like ternary form, a da capo aria is a song from an opera with the structure ABA
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Ground bass
A melody in the bass which is repeated throughout the music - while the bass line repeats the higher parts change and develop over the top
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A section just before the end of a piece in which a soloist shows of their virtuosic (highly technical) instrumental skills through a complicated passage of music, usually unaccompanied and sounds improvised
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The Baroque 'rhythm section' - one bass instrument (usually cello) and one chord instrument (usually a harpsichord or lute) is used to thicken out the harmony of the piece
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A short repeating pattern in pop music
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A short melodic fragment which is very catchy and 'hooks' the audience's interest
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An upbeat - a note or small group of notes which is played before the first beat of the bar
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Sounds happy
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Sounds sad
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The music has no key - it sounds very strange
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Sounds somewhere between major and minor
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A chord in which the notes sound right together
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A chord in which the notes clash to create a 'dischord'
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A repeated note in the bass which does not change
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Inverted pedal
A repeated note in a higher part than the bass which does not change
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One or more notes which are sustained under the rest of the music
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The first degree of the scale
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The second degree of the scale
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The third degree of the scale
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The fourth degree of the scale
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The fifth degree of the scale
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The sixth degree of the scale
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Leading note
The seventh note of the scale
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Perfect cadence
Chords V to I - a complete close to a phrase or piece
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Plagal cadence
Chords IV to I - sounds like the 'amen' at the end of a hymn
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Imperfect cadence
Chords I to V - sounds unfinished and is found at the end of a phrase before another one
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Interrupted cadence
Usually chords V to IV - it is going to be a perfect cadence and the piece/phrase is going to end but is 'interrupted' by the 'wrong' chord
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When the piece changes key
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Major chord
4 semitones between the bottom two notes and 3 semitones between the top two notes
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Minor chord
3 semitones between the bottom two notes and 4 semitones between the top two notes
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Dominant 7th chord
Sounds like a major chord with an extra note 3 semitones above the top note
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


2 beats



Card 3


1 beat


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


½ beat


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


¼ beat


Preview of the back of card 5
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