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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
total serialism
The application of the principles of the 12-tone method to musical parameters other than pitch, including duration, intensities, and timbres. Everything is determined, no chance.
prepared piano
An invention of John Cage in which various objects, such as pennies, bolts, screws, or pieces of wood, rubber, plastic, or slit bamboo, are inserted between the strings of a piano resulting in complex percussive sounds when the piano is played from the keyboard.
An approach to composition, pioneered by John Cage, in which the composer leaves certain aspects of the music unspecified. Should not be confused with chance.
chance music
Approach to composing music pioneered by John Cage, in which some of the decisions normally made by the composer are instead determined through random procedures, such as tossing coins. Chance differs from indeterminacy but shares with it the result that the sounds in the music do not convey an intention and are therefore to be experienced only as pure sound.
i ching
Ancient Chinese book of prophecy (means book of changes). Method of divination by tossing coins six times to determine the answer from a list of sixty-four possibilities. Cage devised charts of possible sounds, dynamics, durations, and tempos and used the method from the I-Ching to select which were to be used.
electronic music
Music based on sounds that are produced or modified through electronic means.
musique concrete
French, concrete music. Term coined by composers working in paris in the 1940s for recorded sounds, working “concretely” with sound itself rather than with music notation.
First successful electronic instrument, invented in 1920 by Lev Thermen, changed pitch according to the distance between the instrument’s antenna and the performer’s hand.
tone cluster
Term coined by Henry Cowell for a chord of diatonic or chromatic clusters.
The combination of elements in a piece or passage, such as the number and relationship of independent parts, groups, or musical events.
Characteristic color or sound of an instrument or voice
Can quote a melody/texture but go on to your own. Old idea, often done in literature. Popular song is basis of new song. Reworking pre-existing material.
Work or passage that uses multiple quotations without following a standard procedure for doing so such as medley. Bringing together materials in one artwork that wouldn’t otherwise be juxtaposed.
a trend of the late 20th century in which composers adopted the familiar tonal idiom of 19th century Romantic music and incorporated its sounds and gestures.
One of the leading musical styles of the late twentieth century, in which materials are reduced to a minimum and procedures simplified so that what is going on in the music is immediately apparent. Often characterized by a constant pulse and many repetitions of simple rhythmic, melodic or harmonic patterns. Silence is viable.
phase shifting
In the compositional technique phasing, popularized by composer Steve Reich, the same part (a repetitive phrase) is played on two musical instruments, in steady but not identical tempo. Thus, the two instruments gradually shift out of unison, creating first a slight echo as one instrument plays a little behind the other, then a doubling with each note heard twice, then a complex ringing effect, and eventually coming back through doubling and echo into unison. What results when two things aren’t synchronized.
performance art
A type of art that first came to prominence in the 1960s, based on the idea that performing a prescribed action in a public place constitutes a work of art. Theatrical, self conscious, may be political.
Sections of a piece can be different styles and/or blended.
Trend in the late twentieth century that blurs the boundaries between high and popular art, and in which styles of all epochs and cultures are equally available for creating music. Social awareness, fully reembracing tonality.
cross-over music
Fusion of different musical influences
additive rhythm
The beat, meter and melodic rhythm are all fashioned from multiples of the smallest unit. Constantly expanding unit, no longer equal units. Tonal, conceptual piece.
A literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
In music, parody often takes the form of distortion of materials. An inappropriate context may also suggest parody.
Audio-frequency generator. Beat-frequency oscillator (BFO), which produces sine waves of frequencies within the range audible by the human ear as the difference between the frequencies of two VHF oscillators, one of fixed and the other of variable frequency; and the voltage-controlled oscillator. Create pedal points, glissandos.
resulting pattern
Something emerges out of the intersection of phase shifting. New rhythmic patterns are created.