Tabla: Tabla are a pair of
drums used in North Indian
music. The sitting player strikes
the conical right-hand drum and the kettle shaped left-hand
drum with his
Tabor: A percussion
instrument of Spain and France. It is a shallow drum slung over one
shoulder and played with one hand. The player may simultaneously play a fife.
Tambourine: A member of the percussion family. This is a small hand held shallow drum that
has mini cymbals set into its circular frame.
Tambura: A four stringed, pear shaped
lute used for its drone sound. This
Tam Tam: A percussion instrument, the tam tam is a type of
Gong. It is unpitched. Its
sides are turned under and it has somewhat of a flat shallow plate appearance.
It is suspended and struck with a dampened stick.
Tanto: Much, so much.
Tempo: The rate of
speed in a musical work.
Tempo primo: Return to the original tempo.
Tenor: "Holder." 1. A high male voice between
In early polyphonic music, it sang the
firmus in long held notes. 2.
Instruments in the
Tenor clef: The C clef falling on the fourth line of
German song, in which the tenor vocal line predominates, or
has the melody.
Tenuto, ten: Hold or sustain a
note longer than the indicated value, usually not as long a duration as the fermata.
Ternary form: Three-part form in which the middle sections is different from the other sections. Indicated by ABA.
Terraced dynamics: The
Baroque style of using sudden changes in dynamic
levels, as opposed to gradual increase and decrease in volume.
Tertian harmony: A
term used to describe music based on
chords arranged in intervals of
Tessitura: The general
pitch range of a vocal part.
Texture: The term used to describe the
way in which melodic lines are combined, either with or without accompaniment. Types include monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic, or contrapuntal.
Theme: 1. A phrase that serves as the subject, or
melody for a given work,
as in a fugue, or
form. 2. A conceptual idea that motivates a given work.
Theme and variations: A statement of musical subject followed by restatements in different guises.
Theorbo: A type of arch lute or bass lute. Some Theorbos are six to seven feet long.
Theory: The study of how
musical is put
Theremin: Invented by Leon Theremin in 1920. It was very difficult to play and the appeal
of the theremin faded quickly. It is described as an oscillator which generates
a single tone controlled by the
movement of the operator's hand to an antennae
that protrudes from it.Third: The third degree of the
the interval formed by a given
tone and the third tone above or below it, e.g. c up to e, or c down to a.
intervals of the third may be major,
minor, diminished, or augmented.
Through-composed: A term used to describe
a song in which the music for each
stanza is different.
The opposite of strophic. Ti: In solmization, the seventh degree of the major scale. Also called the
leading tone. Tie: A curved line over or below two or
more notes of the same
pitch. The first
pitch is sung or
played and held for the duration of the notes affected by the tie.
Picardie: When a piece of
music begins in one
key, for instance
minor, and finishes in
the opposite version of the same key e.g. E
major. A technique
much favoured amongst Baroque
Johann Sebastian Bach.
Time Signature: The numbers written on staff of any piece, indicating
which type of note gets a single beat, and also how many beats are in each measure.
Developed in the 18th century, the timpani is the first
percussion instrument with definite pitch. Also know as kettledrums. Made of brass or copper, they are
large and deep bowls that nest in a tripod.Tom-Tom: Double headed drums, cylindrical and without snares.
Music with a centre, or
tonic, which employs tones which relate to that tonic in a predictable and measurable manner.
Tonality: The term
used to describe the organization of the
harmonic elements to give a feeling of a key centre or a tonic pitch.
basis of music.
Tone clusters: The simultaneous sounding
of two or more adjacent tones.
Tonguing: On wind instruments, articulation with the tongue.
Tonic: The first
note of a key. Also, the name of the
chord built on the first degree of the scale, indicated by I
in a major key or i in a minor
Tone, key, pitch.
Tosto: (Ita) Quick
Not strictly speaking a musical term but applies in so much as when correctly
set adds to the fidelity of the playback (and reduces wear) of vinyl records.
The vertical pressure of the
stylus on the
record is a function of the balance of the Pickup on the Tone Arm adjusted by an
arrangement of springs or counterbalances. Ideally this should be adjusted to 6
grams but anywhere between 4 and 8 grams is usually okay. It may need to be
further corrected if the record is warped.
Tranquillo: (Ita) Tranquilly;
Transposition: The process of changing
the key of a composition.
Trautonium: An electronic
instrument that was made of metal bars and produced only one
pitch at a time. It was played by pressing a wire at varying points.
Tre: Three. Used with other terms, e.g. a tre voci, in three parts.
Treble: The highest
voice, instrument, or part.
Treble Clef: The G clef falling on the second line of the staff. Used with
the bass clef to form the
chord consisting of a root, and two other members, usually a
third and a
fifth, e.g. the C-major triad
Triangle: A small steel rod formed into a triangular shape, suspended to enhance sound and
struck with a metal bar.Trill: An
ornament performed by the rapid alternation of a given
note with a
major or minor second above.
Triple meter: Meter based on three beats,
or a multiple of three, in a measure.
Triplet: A group of three
notes performed in the time of two of the same kind.
Tromba Marina: A very long (up to seven feet in height) stringed triangular instrument, it
has one string and is played with a bow.
Trombone: It hasn't changed much since its predecessor the Sackbut. The
trombone family includes the tenor,
alto and bass designs. A contrabass trombone
was invented and used by Wagner. The most common trombone is the B flat tenor with its seven slide positions.
Troppo: Too much. Used with other terms,
e.g. allegro non troppo, not too fast.
Trumpet: An integral member of the brass
family. The soprano
brass trumpet is composed of
a cupped mouthpiece, bent tube formed into a rectangular shaped body, and ending
with a small flared bell. Trumpets are available in many sizes with various
Piccolo Trumpets carry the very highest register. The trumpet's
louder and more brilliant sound replaced the
Coronet in the 1920s.
Turn: A musical ornament characterized by the rapid performance of a given note, the
minor second above and
below, and a return to the given note.
member of the brass
family. It has a
huge conical bore ending in a wide flared bell. Typically the tuba has three to
six valves and carries the bass range of the orchestra.
Tuba Phone: Looks and is built similar to the Glockenspiel but made with metal tubes
rather than metal bars which produces a softer sound when struck.
Tubular Bell: Sometimes used to simulate church bells. These
bells emit a rich, warm sound.
large single headed barrel drum. The tumba in popular in Afro-Cuban music.
Tutti: All. A direction for the entire ensemble to sing or play simultaneously.
Tuvan Music: Best known for the two voices from one singer technique known as "khoomei'', or throat singing. More Info..... For listening you may like try the CDs of Yat-Kha.
Twelve-tone technique: A system of composition which uses the twelve tones of the
chromatic scale in an arbitrary arrangement called a
tone row or series. The row may be used
in its original form, its
in retrograde, and in the inversion of the retrograde. The system was devised by
Arnold Schoenberg in the early 20th century.