This is the letter page G of the Musical Dictionary from Classical and Jazz


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Musical Dictionary: G


G: The key of G.

G Clef: A clef that indicates which line represents G on a staff, as opposed to a C clef, or an F clef.

Gallant: An 18th century compositional style that was light, elegant, non-contrapuntal, and highly ornamented.

Gamelan: Important music of Indonesia. A style of orchestra that uses various types of Gongs, bowed and plucked strings, Flute or Oboe and Drums and is primarily used to accompany religious ceremonies. Two sets of instruments are tuned to two different scales.

German Sixth Chord: An augmented sixth chord, which contains a flat third from the tonic.

Gig: A job for a musician.

Giocoso:  (Ita)  Playful.

Gittern: Refers to a medieval Guitar. The large Guitar-like structure was carved from a single piece of wood with a hole pierced behind the fingerboard for the player to hold with his thumb. The bridged strings attached to a button at the bottom.

Giubilante:  (Ita) Exultant, jubilant.

Glass Harmonica: In 18th century Italy the glass harmonica was very popular. Actually called musical glasses. They are a set of up to 26 drinking glasses filled to various levels with water to reach the desired pitch. They are then played by rubbing wet a finger around the edge.

Glissando: Gliss. The rapid scale achieved by sliding the nail of the thumb or third finger over the white keys of the Piano. Glissando is commonly used in playing the Harp. For bowed instruments glissando indicates a flowing, unaccented playing of a passage.

Glockenspiel: Also referred to as a Clarillon. Constructed by a set of steel bars that are hit with a mallet to produce bell like sounds. There are two forms. The marching band form is Lyre-like shape and held upright. The mallet style is laid out in a keyboard form like a Xylophone.

Gloria: "Glory". In the Mass, the second part of the ordinary.

Golden Section: A mathematical proportion where the ratio between a small section and a larger section is equal to the ratio between the larger section and both sections put together. Used by many 20th century composers, especially Bela Bartok, to determine the point of climax for a given work.

Gong: A gong is a large circular metal plate usually suspended from a frame to assist with resonation of its sound. In orchestra, its called tam-tam but the gong's only difference is having a convex circular nucleus or raised central boss in the plate's middle.

Gong Chimes: They consist of several tuned Gongs that are supported in a frame so that the player can reach each Gong.

Grace Note: A note, or notes that are played quickly, usually before the beat. See ornaments.

Grand Opera: Opera on a large scale, usually entirely sung, in contrast to comic opera.

Grand pause: A rest for the entire ensemble.

Grand piano: A Piano with a winglike shape and a horizontal frame, strings, and soundboard.

Grand Staff: The combination of a staff line notated in treble clef with one notated in bass clef. Used primarily in scoring for Piano, and other keyboard instruments, this staff is also sometimes used to score vocal works, such as hymns.

Grave: Slow, solemn.

Grazia: Grace. Con grazia, with grace.

Grazioso:  (Ita) Graceful.

Gregorian Chant: A body of chants of the Roman Catholic Church, most of which are part of two liturgical rites, the Mass and the Offices. Origins traditionally are ascribed to the period of Pope Gregory I (590-604).

Grosso, grosse:  (Ita) Great, large

Guitar: A universal term for the popular stringed instruments from Spain (but dating back to the Greek Kithara), with a large, flat-backed sound box, Violin-like curved shape, a fretted neck, and six strings.

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