Explanations and musical examples can be found through the Oxford Music Online, accessed through the invernessgangshow.net Library page at http://invernessgangshow.net.libguides.com/music. Click on Music Reference, then Oxford Music Online.
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Key terms and conceptsRelated to melody:contour: the shape of the melody as rising or fallingconjunct: stepwise melodic motion, moving mostly by step in intervals of a 2nddisjunct: melodic motion in intervals larger than a 2nd, often with a large number of wide skips range: the distance between the lowest and highest pitches, usually referred to as narrow (> octave) or wide (motive: a short pattern of 3-5 notes (melodic, rhythmic, harmonic or any combination of these) that is repetitive in a compositionphrase: a musical unit with a terminal point, or cadence. Lengths of phrases can vary.Related to rhythm:beat: pulsemeasures or bars: a metrical unit separated by lines in musical notationmeter: groups of beats in a recurring pattern with accentuation on strong beatsnon-metric, unmetrical: free rhythm, no discernable timesimple meters: beats subdivided into two parts (2/4, 3/4, 4/4)compound meters: beats subdivided into three parts (6/8, 9/8, 12/8)asymmetrical meters: meters with an uneven number of subdivisions (7/4, 5/8)mixed meters: shifting between metersmensurations: used in music from 1300-1600, the ratios of rhythmic durationsRelated to harmony:chords: three or more pitches sounding simultaneouslytriads: three notes that can be arranged into superimposed thirdsextended chords: thirds added above the triad, usually as a 9th, 11th or 13th consonance: a harmonic combination that is stable, usually in thirdsdissonance: a harmonic combination that is unstable, often including seconds or seventhsparallel motion: two or more parts moving in the same direction and same intervals, as in parallel fifthscontrary motion: two or more parts moving in the opposite direction oblique motion: occurs when one voice remains on a single pitch while the other ascends or descendscanon: (meaning rule) one melody is strictly imitated by a second part after a delay in the entrance of the second part. In order for the parts to end simultaneously, the canon may break down at the end of the composition. The canonic parts may occur at the unison or some other interval. round: an exact canon, ending at different times, as in ?Row, row, row your boat.?imitation: two or more parts that have the same or similar phrase beginning and with delays between entrances (as in a round or canon), but after the beginning of the phrase, the parts diverge into separate melodies Related to tonality:diatonic: a seven-note scale with a regular pattern of 5 whole and 2 half steps. Diatonic intervals are found within this type of scale.chromatic: using pitches outside of a particular diatonic scale, or using a succession of half steps.major tonality: pitches are related to a central pitch called the tonic. Major scales are used.minor tonality: pitches are related to a central pitch called the tonic. Minor scales are used.modal: refers to music using diatonic scales with Greek names (Western) or non-Western scales modulation: moving from one key area to another key atonality: music that is not tonal or not based on any system of keys or modesbitonality: the simultaneous use of two key areas.polytonality: the simultaneous use of two or more key areas.Related to texture:monophony (noun; monophonic = adjective, as in monophonic texture): literally ?one sound? - one melodic line, without harmony or any accompaniment, which can occur when one person or many people sing a melody simultaneously. Singing in octaves is considered a monophonic texture.homophony (noun; homophonic = adjective): one melodic line with a harmonic accompaniment that support the melody.polyphony (noun; polyphonic = adjective): two or more parts sung or played simultaneously.heterophony (noun; heterophonic = adjective): multiple voices singing a single melodic line, but with simultaneous melodic variants between the singers. Heterophony often occurs in non-Western music and sometimes in folk music.
homorhythms: the same rhythms in all parts, as in the singing of a hymn.counterpoint (noun; contrapuntal = adjective): like polyphony in that it has two or more compatible melodies performed simultaneously.Related to tempo: consult the Oxford Music Onlinecommonly in Italian from the 17th-18th c., and then increasingly in other vernacular languageslargo, lento, adagio, andante, moderato, allegretto, allegro, presto, prestissimoqualifying terms: meno (less), pi (more), molto (very or much) poco a poco (little by little), assai (very) mosso (motion), sostenuto (sustained), non troppo (not too much)Related to expression:crescendodecrescendo/diminuendopianofortemezzoterraced dynamics: a sudden and dramatic shift from loud to soft or soft to loudaccelerandorubatoReleated to timbre: classifications of instrumentschordophone: string instrumentsaerophones: wind produces the sound (woodwinds and brass instruments)membranophone: a vibrating membrane produces the sound (drums)idiophone: sound is produced from the material (wood, glass, stone, metal)Related to ensembles:choir: vocal ensemblevoice ranges: bass, tenor, alto, soprano (from lowest to highest)choral: music written for a choira cappella: choral music without instrumental accompaniment, literally ?at the chapel?polychoral: two or more choirs in a composition, usually with an antiphonal or echo effectorchestra: large instrumental ensemble with stringsband: large instrumental ensemble without stringschamber ensembles: trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, octetStandard ensemble combinations:string trio: three string instrumentspiano trio: piano, violin, cellostring quartet: two violins, viola, cellopiano quintet: piano and a string quartetbrass quintet: 2 trumpets, french horn, trombone, tuba wind quintet: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, french hornRelated to text and music:syllabic: one syllable sung to each notemelismatic: one syllable sung to several notes sacred: religious music, often for the church liturgy (services) secular: worldly, non-religious music, usually in the vernacularvernacular: texts in the language of the people (English, French, Spanish, German, etc.)Related to musical forms: Generally capital letters are used to distinguish different sections of a composition. A capital refers to an exact repetition. A lowercase letter refers to the same music but new text. A prime number after the capital refers to a variation of the music from the original section. repetitive forms: strophic: a vocal form consisting of several phrases. The musical form is repeated using different verses of text, as in a hymn or folksong. modified strophic: simply means that the repetitions of the sections are varied slightly, but not so a lot that they are a significant variation or the original.bar form: two sections of music, with only the first section A repeated. Many hymns use the far form.binary form: two sections of music, usually with each A and B section repeated. This is typically used in dances. When a group dances are combined into a suite, the dances generally all stay in the same key.
processive forms: variation forms:
continuous variations: includes an ostinato -- a repeated bass line or set of chords (usually 4-8 measures) with continuous variations above the bass pattern. This term is also called a ground bass, a chaconne, and a passacaglia. These are common in the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
sectional variations: a theme and variation set, where usually each section is clearly marked. Usually in a theme and variations, the theme itself is identifiable. Variation sets are commonly used in the Classical period as the slow movement of a string quartet or symphony.
fugue: a one-subject (also called monothematic) composition in which the subject is continually restated on different pitches and in various keys, processing the modulations, fragments or registers of the subject. Like the other variation forms, there is usually a return to the subject in the original key.
return forms: the initial section returns following a contrasting middle section.
rounded binary: two sections, with a return of A in the second section: |: A :|: B A :| This form is typical the late Baroque dances and of minuets/scherzos and trios of the Classical period.ternary: ABA, with new material in the middle section and a return to the first A material (exactly or varied). The return to the final A section can be recopied in the music, denoted by a phrase above ns music (da capo), or a sign (da capo al segno), which is common in da capo arias. rondo forms: ABACA, ABACADA, etc. the initial section is contrasted with episodes in different keys and styles from the original A material. Rondos are typically used as the last movement of a Classical sonata, string quartet or symphony.rondeau: a medieval song/dance, ABaAabABvirelai: a medieval song/dance, AbbaAsonata form: two contrasting key areas in the first section (exposition) are developed in the middle section (development) and return in the final section (recapitulation) in the tonic key. The sonata form emerges from an expanded rounded binary form in the Classical period.
compound forms: any two forms combined to make a new, large form.
two binary forms can be combined (Minuet ? Trio - Minuet) to produce a larger ABA structure
sonata-rondo: combines the contrasting rondo sections ABA-C-ABA with the sonata principles of one exposition, development and recapitulation.
concerto-sonata form: derived from sonata form, but with two expositions (1. orchestra, 2. orchestra and soloist) and a solo cadenza between the recapitulation and the coda.
through-composed: continuous contrasting sections are composed together without repetitions of previous material. Ballad songs and improvisatory instrumental pieces, like the fantasia, toccata or prelude are examples of additive compositions. Some Renaissance genres (mass, motet, madrigal) are typically through-composed.
Related to genres: compositional types or categories of works
examples of sacred vocal genres:
chant, plainsong or Gregorian chant mass motet oratorio chorale cantataexamples of secular vocal genres:
opera solo cantata madrigal song Lied chanson canion song cycleexamples of instrumental genres:
dance fantasia prelude toccata fugue sonata suite concerto symphony tone poem/symphonic poem program symphonyNota bene: Instruments, terms, concepts, tempi and expressions often go by different names in foreign languages. It is best to look up unfamiliar words when they are encountered.
Historical periods, musical styles and principal genres
Middle Ages (also referred to as medieval music): 600-1420. Generally called the Middle Ages, this long historical era can be broken into several distinct developmental periods and falls between Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance.
Students are encouraged to listen to several examples of each style at online sources available through Classical Music.net, Naxos, or other online sites and to listen for the characteristics given below.Early medieval music to 850: mainly plainsongs (chants) written in Latin for the churchsacred: worship music for the church, always in Latin texture: monophonicmotion: conjunct melodiestext settings: syllabic and melismaticrhythm: free rhythms based on the syllables of the textscales: modal, based on the pitches D (Dorian), E (Phrygian), F (Lydian), G (Mixolydian)ranges: narrow, usually less than an octavenotation: neumes --groups of notes in symbols, showing the direction of the melodic patterns. musical staff: ranging from one to four lines, c-clefs, no bar lines or metersaccidentals: B-flat onlysources: manuscripts are hand copied on parchmentgenres: numerous types of chants (songs in Latin for the church services)composers: mostly anonymousDevelopment of polyphony: 850-1300textures: polyphonic harmony: perfect consonances (perfect fourths, fifths and octaves)harmonic motion: parallel, then in contrary and oblique motionmelodic motion: conjunct in each voice parttext settings: syllabic and melismatic, mostly in Latinscales: modalrhythm: repetitive rhythmic patterns in compound time called rhythmic modesnotation: modal; signs (neumes) show the groups of notes that form each rhythmic unitmusical staff: four to five lines, c-clefs, no bar lines or meters, no dynamics or expression marks, voice designations: tenor, duplum, triplum, quadruplumsources: manuscripts are hand copied on parchmentgenres: organum (chant combined with polyphony), motet (polyphonic settings with new and separate texts added to each voice chants composers: Leonin and Perotin (Notre Dame in Paris), Hildegard of BingenDevelopment of secular music: 1100-1300secular: worldly music not written for religious servicestexts: vernacular languages - French, German, Spanish, Englishtexture: mostly monophonicmotion: conjunct melodiestext settings: syllabic and melismaticrhythm: mostly unmetered rhythms until 1250, metered for dancesscales: modal ranges: narrow, usually less than an octavetraditions: troubadours (South French), trouvres (North French), Minnesingers (German) instrumental dancesinstruments: organs, recorders, sackbuts (trombone), shawm (double reed), vielles (string)composers: Bernart of Ventadorn, Beatrice of Dia, Adam de la Halle, and hundreds of othersLate medieval music: 1300-1420 ?the New Art (Ars nova)textures: polyphonic texts: vernacular and Latin rhythm: complex rhythmic patterns, simple and compound metrical groups, often syncopatedmelodic motion: conjunct linesharmony: consonances: (P=perfect) P4, P5, P8, some thirdsranges: often an octave in each voicecantus firmus: a pre-existent melody (chant, for example) used in the lower voice (tenor)musical notation: mensural; early time signatures (mensuration signs), but still no bar lines 5-line staff with c and f clefs, flats and sharps used on individual notes, and flats at the beginning of a line apply throughout the line, but not as ?tonal? key signatures. voice designations: tenor, contratenor, triplum, cantus sources: manuscripts are hand copied on parchment genres: isorhythmic motets, masses, dance songs (ballade, virelai, rondeau) composers: Philippe de Vitry, Guillaume de Machaut, Francesco LandiniRenaissance ("rebirth"): 1420-1600scales: modal texture: polyphonic, often organized by imitation and canons, or homorhythmic motion: conjunct lines with some wider skipsrhythm: regular pulses, but often without a metrical pulse in vocal music; metrical rhythms and strong downbeats in dances and instrumental music harmony: triadic, but cadences on perfect fifths and octaves (some Picardy thirds at cadences ? the name Picardy comes from north French region where many of these composers originated) ranges: expand to utilize the full SATB registersgenres: growth of numerous sacred and secular genresvocal: predominant in sacred and secular musicsacred music: sung a cappellasecular music: can be sung with instrumentsnotation: mensural; early time signatures (mensuration signs), but still no bar lines. 5-line staff with c and f clefs, parts written on individual sections of the page, no dynamic markings voice designations: tenor, contratenor, cantus, later changing to cantus, altus, tenor, bassus. sources: music printing develops in 1501 in Italy. Manuscripts also continue to be hand copied.genres: single-movement compositions, except for the Mass cycle and dance pairsmass cycle: sacred choral, a capella composition with specific Ordinary sections of the Catholic company composed as a group, often with the same cantus firmus in the tenor part motet: sacred choral, a capella composition with words in Latin chorale: sacred hymn with words in German chanson: secular polyphonic composition with words in French madrigal: secular polyphonic composition with words in Italian Lied: secular polyphonic composition with words in German ayre: secular polyphonic composition with words in English canzona: instrumental composition in the style of a chanson dances: usually in pairs, like the slow pavan and the fast galliardmusical instruments: harpsichord (also called the virginal), clavichord, lute, viola da gamba family (additionally called viols), recorders, cornetto, shawm, sackbut. The violin is developed, but is mostly used outdoors. Instruments are not usually specified for compositions.ensembles: called ?consorts.? A whole consort is an ensemble of the same family (e.g., all recorders, SATB) and a broken consort is a mixed ensemble.composers: Du Fay, Dunstable, Binchois, Ockeghem, Josquin des Prez, Palestrina, Byrd, Morley, Dowland, Marenzio, Monteverdi, and hundreds or othersBaroque Era: 1600-1750textures: homophonic, polyphonic, and contrapuntal texturesrhythms: metrical rhythms, strong and weak beat pulsesmotives: short ideas become the basis for continuous pitch and register manipulation, often presented without regular pauses in the musicscales: major and minor scales developharmonic rhythm: changes often occur on every beat or every two beats basso continuo: bass line played by the harpsichord and cello or other solo bass instrument figured bass: develops c. 1600; number notations that inform the continuo player of the intervals and accidentals in relation to the bass notes; the realization of the harmonies is improvised.terraced dynamics: contrasting piano and forte in abrupt dynamic shiftsornamentation: melodic decorations, often improvised or added from symbols given in scoresaffections: music expresses specific emotionsconcertato style: contrast is emphasized through alternating groups of voices and/or instrumentspolychoral: a composition for multiple choirs or voices and/or instrumentsritornello: instrumental refrain that frequently returns, as in a concerto or between verses of a song notation: modern symbols, written in score notation with time signatures, key signatures, dynamics (piano and forte), measures with bar lines, instrument and voice designations. instruments: the violin family, horns and trumpets (without valves) are not new instruments, but they begin to appear and gain importance in specific ensembles. Harpsichords, and especially organs, become more fully developed as solo instruments. The oboe and bassoon replace the shawm and the dulcian as the principal double reeds.ensembles: string orchestras are expanded with individual instruments that contrast in timbre to each othergenres: numerous multi-movement compositions opera seria: Italian opera, serious in nature, in which the narrative (recitative) and reflective (aria) numbers are all sung, and including staging, costumes, scenery and dramatic acting.oratorio: work for soloists, chorus and orchestra, based on a sacred story; with no acting costumes or scenery.cantata: a composition for one or more voices and accompanimentchorale cantata: a work with soloists, chorus and orchestra, incorporating hymns into the composition.
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trio sonata: two solo instruments, keyboard and continuous bass instrument fantasia/prelude/toccata: improvisatory compositions, often paired with a fugue fugue: paired with an improvisatory composition (fantasia, toccata or prelude)suite: a collection of dances (allemande, courant, saraband, gigue)solo concerto: a solo instrument and a chamber orchestraconcerto grosso: a small group of solo instruments contrasted with a chamber orchestra. A multi- movement compositionoverture: instrumental movement used at the beginning of an opera or oratoriocomposers: Monteverdi, Schtz, Corelli, Couperin, Handel, Vivaldi, J. S. BachClassical Era: 1750-1800 aesthetic: balance, symmetry and formality, reflecting the rational objectivity of the Enlightenment melody: sometimes tuneful and folk-like; at other times motivically constructed; lyrical themes contrast through dramatic onesphrasing: periodic, in multiples of 4, usually separated by rests; balanced antecedent-consequent expression relationships tonality: major and minor keys, with major more prevalent texture: homophonic, with occasional counterpoint, especially in developmental sections harmony: triadic with 7th chords used for color and tension; primary chords (I ?IV-V-I) predominateharmonic rhythm: slow, changing every two to four beatsmodulations: to closely related keys (e.g., to IV or V in Major; to III in minor).accompaniments: broken triadic patterns (Alberti bass); repetitive broken octaves (murky bass)instrumentation: homogeneous sounds (orchestras with doubling of winds), musical material organized by families; standardized combinations of instruments within a genre; piano and clarinet (both invented in the Baroque) added to the repertory forms: standardized sonata form, theme and variations, minuet & trio, rondo, concerto-sonata dynamic gradations and expansions: crescendos, diminuendos, piano and forte dynamic (pp & ff exceptionally occasionally); occasional accents on off-beats, sforzandosgenres: opera seria comic opera oratorio mass Lied sonata, especially keyboard sonatas string quartet symphony solo concertocomposers: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven Romantic Era: 1800-1900, or nineteenth-century musicaesthetic: freedom from boundaries, including those that separate the arts: music becomes more programmatic, merging with literature, art, and philosophy; programmatic elements reflect this trend; interest in the subjective, including the emotions and the supernatural, in contrast with the more objective and rational Classic. melody: long, emotional, and memorable, using wide leaps for expressionphrases: of irregular lengths, with less symmetry than those of the Classicrhythm: displaced accents, shifting and overlapping of duple and triple patternstexture: homophony predominates, highlighting the melody, but counterpoint appears at times harmony: more extensive, with chord extensions and greater dissonancetonality: tonal, but with distant chord progressions and modulations; chromaticism is used extensively; vital areas often change freely within movements; minor mode predominates, in contrast with the Classic accompaniment: complex, sometimes contrapuntal, with wide ranges and disjunct intervalsdynamics: dramatic, at extremes of the dynamic range; tempi use expressive terminologymeter and tempo: freer meters and tempiforms: less clearly defined by sections and tonalityinstrumentation: larger forces of the orchestra, with a greatly expanded range of timbres that inquiry instrumental evolution (valves for brass instruments, more keys for winds, larger and stronger pianos, pedaled harps; new instruments, including the tuba, saxophone, and celeste); inclusion of voice and chorus in later symphonic works scale: on one hand, short, intimate compositions for piano (character piece) or voice and piano (lied, chanson); on the other, expansion of proportions of the symphony, chamber music, concerto, sonata, mass; opera roles demand bigger voices to match more grandiose dramatic concepts genres: cyclic symphony symphonic poem/tone poem symphonic suite concert overture concerto ballet chamber music Lied and chanson song cycles music drama nationalistic opera lyric opera mass and oratorio piano sonata single-movement character pieces and dances for pianocomposers: Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, Verdi, Brahms, Twentieth-century music: 1900-2000 wide range of tonal, modal, whole tone, atonal, serial, and approaches to composition wide range of harmonic structures: triadic, quartal, clustersrhythms: polymeters, asymmetrical metersmelodies: disjunct, Sprechstimme (half sung/half spoken) timbres: non-traditional uses of instruments, global instruments, electronic soundsmixed media: music combined with film, art, theaterform: traditional and non-traditional structuresexpression: ranges from subdued works (Impressionism) to excessive exaggeration (Expressionism) nationalism and folk elementsreturn to musical characteristics of earlier periods: Neo-Classicism (including Neo-Baroque elements) and Neo-Romanticismminimalismjazz and other African-American influencescomposers: Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Debussy, Bartok, Ives, Barber, Copland, Cage, and Glass. 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