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Musical Dictionary: N

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Nach: After (as "in the manner of"); behind.

Nachschlag: An ornament consisting of an unaccented note or notes at the end of the main note, or at the end of a trill.

Nachtmusik: "Night Music", a seranade.

Nakers: A pair of small kettle drums originally from the Middle East. Now seen in India and throughout Europe.

Natural: A note that has not been raised or lowered from its named pitch. On a Piano, naturals are the white keys. Sharps or flats may be used to alter a natural pitch up or down a half step, respectively.

Natural Horn: Refers to a French Horn without the valves or pistons.

Natural Trumpet: also natural horn, natural Trumpet

Nay: Used in Persian and Turkish folk music. This is a Flute from Middle East measuring about 60 cm. It has six finger holes and a thumbhole. Spelled ney in Turkey.

Neopolitan: Any chord built upon the flat second degree of the tonic key.

Neopolitan Sixth Chord: An augmented sixth chord built upon the flat second degree of the tonic key.

Neumatic: One style of chant in which two to four pitches occur on one syllable; in contrast to melismatic and syllabic.

Ngoma: A large hand beaten drum important in South African ceremonial music. It is part of a trio of drums. Ngoma is the bass  drum, thungwa is the tenor drum, and murumba is the alto drum.

Ninth: The interval of nine diatonic degrees.

Nocturne: A night-piece, or serenade.

Non: No; not.

Nonharmonic tones: A designation for tones outside the harmonic structure of the chord. Two frequently used examples are the passing tone and the appoggiatura.

Non troppo: Not too much. Used with other terms, e.g. non troppo allegro, not too fast.

Notation : A term for a system of expressing musical sounds through the use of written characters, called notes indicating pitch and rhythm.

Note: The symbol which, when placed on a staff with a particular clef sign, indicates pitch.

Nuance: Subtle variations in tempo, phrasing, dynamics, etc., to enhance a musical performance.

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