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47 Cards in this Set

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Beat
A continuous, periodic pulse that underlies most types of music.
Canon
The playing or singing of a melody (or other musical pattern) against itself. It is one type of imitative polyphony.; in its most common form, the same melodic line is staggered across musical voices. One example is Pachelbel's Canon in D major.
Major/Minor
Western music recognizes a fundamental between the two; the major refers to a chord or scale that is based on a major 3rd interval. It is associated with a lighter, happier affect. Minor refers to a chord or a scale with the minor third between the first and third notes.
Melody
The horizontal organization of music (with one note after another). Refers to pitches in succession.
Counterpoint (Contrapuntal)
A technique of composing two or more melodic lines against one another in accordance with certain rules to produce a complimentary effect. Put another way, polyphony describes the coexistence of several discernible lines, while counterpoint suggests the movement of the lines against one another.
Dynamics
A set of musical notations that indicate the intensity of volume with which notes and sounds are/are intended to be expressed . Examples would be piano, mezzo forte, and fortissimo.
Fugue
Features sections of imitative polyphony based on a single theme, which alternate with free sections. These themes are usually staggered to give the effect of "flight" or "chase". One example is Bach's Art of the Fugue.
Harmony
The vertical organization of music, referring to chord structures, which is when 3 or more notes are played simultaneously.
Madrigal
A polyphonic musical setting of poetry in the vernacular, originally in Italian, later also in English and, much more rarely, in German and other languages. Usually these pieces make heavy use of word painting and emphasize the affect of a certain phrase or note. An example is Weelkes' "As Vesta was from Latmos Hill Descending"
Meter
A regular, repeating pattern of strong and weak beats. An example would be 4-4 or 6-8 time.
Organum
This is the earliest type of polyphony and has survived in notion from ca. 1000. It is a plainchant melody with a different melody added to it.
Polyphony (imitative)
Polyphony is music with two or more simultaneous melodies, where the voices are considered equal and move independently. In Imitative polyphony, the musical texture features two or more equally prominent, simultaneous melodic lines that are similar in shape and sound.
Polyphony (non-imitative)
Polyphony is music with two or more simultaneous melodies, where the voices are considered equal and move independently. Non-imitative polyphone is a musical texture feating two or more eually prominent, simultaneous melodic lines that are DISsimilar in shape and sound.
Range
The distance from the lower note used in a melody to the highest note used in that melody.
Register
The division of a range of musical pitches into high, medium, and low; each subdivision is referred to as a register. "Higher register" may refer to the octave higher than the one being currently performed. Registers usually have distinctive sound qualities. Castrati were famous for having an incredible vocal range.
Rhythm
The placement/organization of sounds in musical time that usually correspond with the beat. The rhythm can be the length of a beat, or it can variate on the beat (triplets). Rhythm dictates the placement of sounds in relation to one another, but tempo determineds absolute durations of a note.
Scale
A collection of pitches traversing the interval of the octave by step. The first tone is considered the "tonic" and gives the scale its name; musically, it is considered particularly stable.
Ritornello
A ritornello is a recurring instrumental passage. It is characteristic of Baroque instrumental music, notably in the concerto; and also in vocal music, particularly in the aria. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto features a ritornello.
Texture
Applies to the vertical aspects of a work or passage, and the spacing of chords may be considered as aspect of texture. The "thickness/heavines" or "lightness" of a sonority is determined by the number of notes performed at a given time.
Tonic
The tonic is the first note in a scale and gives it is name. It is considered particularly stable.
Word-painting
A musical or sonic expression of the lyrics; the joining of a word, phrase, or idea to a musical analogy. An example would be having a scale rise to correspond with lyrics of moving upwards.
Plainchant (aka Gregorian chant)
Plain, unaccompanied, monophonic music for voices without fixed rhythm or meter
Castrati
Phenomenon began in Italy in the mid 16th century, where young boys would be surgically altered so that they never reached vocal maturity; instead, they would have the quality of a child-like voice but the physique and lung power of a grown man. Oftentimes they would have extraordinary ranges, and Farenelli is supposed to have had a 3.5 octave range. They would play both male and female parts in the opera.
Continuo
Smaller ensemble w/in the concerto grosso? DON'T ANSWER THIS ONE
Concerto grosso
Concerto between 3 and 6 movement with soloists (concertino) alternates with a larger groups (concerto grosso). Bach's Brandenburg concerto uses this form, although he changes the convention by giving the harpsichord part a virtuosic candenza.
Blues
Blues are a vocal and instrumental form that uses blue notes, usually in 12-bar form. B.B. King is a famous mid-20th century blues guitarist. One song is appropriately titled, "Why I Sing the Blues". The form of blues often alternates between a soloist and the accompaniment.
Blue notes
Flatted notes added to a major scale to give it its characteristic blues sound.
12-bar form
A musical form consisting of 3 4-measure phrases. It is the most common form used in blues. The beginnings of each phrase often correspond to the first, fourth, and fifth notes of the tonic.
Opera Buffa
Is a form of comic opera, that developed in Italy in the 18th century. (Classical period.) It usually addresses common themes relating to the common man.
Recitative
Is melodic speech set to music. It is a style of singing that mimics the natural intonations in speech.
Opera seria
is an Italian musical term which refers to the noble and "serious" style of Italian opera that predominated in Europe from the 1720s to ca 1770. The popular rival to opera seria was opera buffa, the 'comic' opera that took its cue from the improvisatory commedia dell'arte. Opera seria cast castrati, and Handel wrote a number of opera seria with castrati parts.
Scprechstimme
Sprechstimme is a vocal style that combines elements of song and speech. Like a conventional vocal melody, Sprechstimme uses musical notation that indicates rhythm and pitch. But instead of singing the pitches, the performer recites them. It was popular in early 20th century Germany. One example is Arnold Schoenberg's "Pierrot lunaire".
Timbre
is the quality of a musical note or sound that distinguishes different types of sound production or musical instruments. It is also known as sound quality or color. An example would be John Cage's experimental music on piano; he altered the instrument itself to give it a different timbre.
Lied, Lieder
A setting of a lyrical (or dramatic) poem in German, usually for voice and piano. Lied could be grouped into larger collections. One famous song cycle is Schubert's Winter's Journey.
Rhythm changes
In jazz, rhythm changes are a modified form of the chord progression of George Gershwin's song "I Got Rhythm", which form the basis of countless (usually uptempo) jazz compositions. They appear in a 32-bar form.
John Cage
Was an American composer in the 20th century, who was interested in experimental music, as well as Zen philosophy and I-ching. He based his much of music on the idea of "purposeless play", as is evident in his piece, 4'33". He often altered instruments to give them a different sound.
John Coltrane
Was a jazz saxophonist in the 20th century, and his compositions are described as having "sheets of sound" - long, rapid lines of music. He wrote a piece called Naima.
Ruth Crawford Seeger
was a folk musician in the early 20th century. She was interested in intentional dissonance, as is evident in her piece, "Piano Study in Mixed Accents." Although it is difficult to perceive when listening to this piece, it is composed in a surprisingly mathematical and symmetrical manner.
Miles Davis
Was a prominent Jazz musician in the later 20th century. He played trumpet, as well as writing music of his own. He re-interpreted "Someday My Prince Will Come", a popular Disney tune, and transformed it into a jazz piece.
Don Giovanni
Is an opera buffa by Mozart, written during the Classical period around 1787. The story revolves around a licentious nobleman and his many affairs.
4'33"
This was one of John Cage's experimental pieces, in three movements. The performer is not meant to play a single note. Hence, unintended noises from the concert space become the performance. Welcomes silence and unexpected noise.
Planet Rock
is a song (an album) by Afrika Bambaataa, wich was released in the early 1980s. It was extremely influential in future rap music and inspired house music.
Queen Latifah
was a prominent female hip-hop in the early 1990s. Her song, "Ladies First" discusses issues of female independence and strength, in what was a predominantly male genre.
The Rite of Spring
was a ballet composed by Stravinsky in 1912-3, that was infamously ill-received at its premiere. Its insistence on dissonance, and its persistent rhythmic styling was shocking to his Parisian audience. The audience was in a near-riot state.
Arnold Schoenberg
was a Viennese composer, born in 1874 and who died in 1951. He was a famous music theorist, and is especially famous for his "Pierrot Lunaire", which uses schprechstimme and counterpoint. He was known for his increased chromaticism and atonality.
Carmen
an opera written by Bizet in the Romantic period, in 1875. It is a story about a gypsy who toys with men's hearts. One aria, the "Habanera" is unique because it uses it a descending chromatic scale. Also, the heroic character is not only a woman, but a mezzo (not soprano).
"I got rhythm"
originally written by Gershwin for a musical, the melody (and its chord progression) has often been elaborated on in jazz music.