A: 1. The musical pitch relating to 440
oscillations per second of
vibration, or any octave transposition of that
The key of A.
Music without associations outside of itself, in contrast to
music. e.g., Bach's
see perfect pitch.
A Cappella: "In
the manner of the chapel". Sung music without instrumental
A Capriecio: in a capricious style
Accelerando, accel: Gradually faster.
Accent: placed above a
indicate stress or emphasis.
natural signs that raise
or lower a given diatonic
pitch to deviate from its
A vocal or instrumental part that supports the primary part, or provides
background for a soloist.
Accordion: Cyrillus Demion of Vienna
patented this instrument in 1829. The accordion is a small and portable
instrument that, with pleated bellows, forces air through metal reeds. The
accordion has keyboards
at either end to produce
instrument that can provide sound without the use of electronic amplification.
Acoustics: 1. The
science relating to the creation and dissipation of sound waves. 2. The way in
which sound production is affected by the physical properties of the room or
chamber in which they are produced.
Adagio: Slow; slower than
andante, faster than
Ad libitum, ad lib: A term which
permits the performer to vary the tempo and/or to include
or omit a vocal or instrumental part. Synonymous with a piacere.
A due: Return to
religious observance which takes place in the four weeks immediately preceding
Aeolian Mode: A
scale pattern is that of playing
to A on the white keys of a
scale is also called
Agitato: Agitated; with excitement.
"Lamb of God". In the Mass, the fifth part of the
Air: A song or
Al, all', alla, alle:
To; used with other words, e.g. al Fine (to the end).
Alberti Bass: A
pattern of bass
notes that outlines the
being sounded in the pattern
Album: A full length recording. In pop
music, it contains a number of songs.
A page or leaf from a book, or a short, easy piece.
Al coda: "To the
Aleatory, or aleatoric
Chance music in which the performers are free to perform their own material
and/or their own manner of presentation.
Al fine: To the end.
Alla breve: Cut
time; meter in which there are two beats in each measure and a half note receives one beat.
A rather fast tempo, somewhat slower than allegro but faster than moderato.Allegro: Quick
cheerful tempo between allegretto and vivace. Between 120 and 168 beats per minute.
"German." A stately 16th-century German dance, initially in a duple meter. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was used as the first
The alphorn was originally used by shepherds in the Alps to bring home the
flock. It is a long wooden Natural
Sinfonia Pastorella for alphorn and
string orchestra - Leopold Mozart
Al segno: Return to
the sign, Dal segno.
use of a sharp or
flat to raise or
lower a pitch from its
A chord in which a
note has been changed from its normal position, usually
Alto: The Alto's
is between soprano and
tenor. It is the lower singing voice of the two main
divisions for female and young male voices. It is also called contralto or
In most choirs, the lowest female vocal part. Occasionally, extremely high
may be said to sing this part. 2. An
instrument in the
range. 3. A
clarinet is similar to the
clarinet except it is
longer and with an upward metallic bell. The
in F is made a
fourth below the ordinary B-flat
The Saxophone has now
replaced the latter.
Alto Clef: The
falling on third line of the
modern practice, is usually only used by
Also spelled Krummhorn, this double reed
wind instrument had its flowering in
the Renaissance. The
crumhorn is an
higher than the crumhorn.
Built like the concert Flute, the
alto flute's lowest
note is a fourth step in
tone below. It is also called the
G, and holds an important part in Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe
is a member of the Flute family. It is held vertically and was
created before the transverse Flute. It is equipped with finger holes, no keys
and a tapered mouthpiece. It is widely used for teaching
music in schools.
Also known as alto trombone.
from the metal wind instrument family, it remains popular in
E flat sax.
Shawms are made in different sizes and was a precursor to the
oboe family. Its
simple construction consists of two layers of thin cane or wood bored to a
hollow cylinder with finger holes and is play with a double reed. Later made of
wood with a wide conical bore. With refinement, the
oboe was born in the second
half of the seventeenth century.
The Trombone has a rich history in the
brass family. Its lower
a slide rather than finger holes. In the early
Renaissance, it was known as a
and has a reputation for ominous. The
trombone is tuned a
fifth step above its partner, the
Its Italian origin means
Viola for the leg. This meaning may stem from the
position the instrument is held. It is held vertically, supported on the lap
and/or between the players legs. It was popular in the
periods. The alto is one of six
Viola sizes, having a slightly nasal
Viola Da Gamba
favour in the mid 1800's.
Gregorian chant is an
example of music without a meter.
Metrical music became the norm after the
Anacrusis: An upbeat
or a pickup note(s); a
term used for unstressed notes
at the beginning of a phrase
Analysis: The study
of the form and structure of
Ancora: (Ita) Repeat.
Andante: (Ita) Moderate
tempo. Between 76 and 108
beats per minute.
Can quite often the second
movement of a large
Andantino: (Ita) Slightly faster than
A niente: (Ita) To nothing, e.g. to ppp.
Animato: (Ita) Animated;
Anklung: An Indonesian
Anklung is made of bamboo tubes of different length. The bamboo tubes may be hit
with a mallet or shaken like a Tambourine.
Answer: In a
the second entry of the subject.
first phrase of a
period. In a
vocal composition, often with a religious or political
lyric, with or without
accompaniment, written either for performance in a church, or another place with
significance to the song itself.
the fugue, the
A piacere: Freedom in performance.
Synonymous with ad libitum.
that is approached by leap and resolved by step, normally in the opposite
Arabesque: A fanciful
Piano piece. Ornate
passage varying or accompanying a theme.
Archittern: The Archittern was made in the
Baroque period following the original Chittern of the 17th century. It was
originally made in the 18th century and produced in France and Italy. The new Archittern was made with gut strings instead of metal.
Archlute was the larger of
the lute family designs. It was often used as
They took on different configurations and looked much like the
usually found in an opera or
which generally dwells on a single emotional
theme of one of the characters.
Arietta: A short
Armonica: Also known as glass armonica,
glass harmonica, hydrocrystalophone. Using a series of graduated in size glass
bowls this instrument
tones by means of
Arpeggio: (Ita) A term
used to describe the pitches of a
as they are sung or played one after the other, rather than simultaneously.
adaptation of a given composition into a form other than as originally composed.
"Old Art". Refers to the old musical
practices of Europe during the
12th and 13th centuries.
Ars Nova: "New
Art". A term invented by Philippe
De Vitry to describe the music of his era, the 14th century, as opposed to
the music of earlier generations.
Articulation: The degree to which
notes are separated or connected, such as
Art Song: A serious
vocal composition, generally for voice and
Piano. Denotes a self-contained work,
as opposed to an aria.
A tempo: Return to the previous
lacks a tonal centre, or in which all
pitches carry equal importance.
Compositional technique in which a melodic
repeated in longer note
values. The lengthening of note values used in a
theme to alter the
melody without changing the
pitches. The opposite of
The term for a major or
interval which has been enlarged by one
half-step, e.g. c-g, (an
fifth,) or c-d, (an augmented
Also used for a triad
with an augmented
fifth, e.g. the augmented
triad in C
major, C+, c-. Or in other words the raising of a
by one half-step.
chord which contains a
root, a major
and an augmented
Sixth Chord: A chord which contains an
sixth above the
bass, in addition to
tones, which determine whether the
chord is a
Sixth Chord, French Sixth Chord,
Sixth Chord, Neopolitan Sixth, or
Augmented Sixth Chord
Aulos: The ancient Greeks adopted this
instruments made of bone, ivory, reed or wood. Its shape resembled a
"V" and was connected with a double or single reed. It took
considerable lungpower to play and both hands were used to cover symmetrical
finger holes, but not simultaneously. It has a shrill and penetrating sound.
A cadence that starts of the
of the key, and resolves to the
A style or music
considered to be experimental or advanced.
send me any additional words together with the