Music Terms for Seniors

lunifer's version from 2017-01-11 21:57

Section 1

Question Answer
DynamicsThe various levels of volume in music, which may be consistent or change gradually or suddenly.
forte (f)loud
piano (p)soft
cresendo (cresc)gradually get louder
decrescendo (decresc)gradually get softer
mezzomedium. Not used alone; modifies forte or piano (mp, mf)
-issimo very (added as a suffix to piano or forte).

Section 2

Question Answer
TempoThe speed of the beat in music. (Tempi: The plural of tempo.)
AllegroA lively pace.
AndanteA walking pace.
ModeratoA medium pace.
LargoA slow pace.
AccelerandoA gradual speeding up of the established tempo.
Ritardando (rit)A gradual slowing down up the established tempo.

Section 3

Question Answer
TextureThe layers of sound in music, and the type of layer each one is (melodic, harmonic, percussive, etc.).
Unison (monophonic)One layer of sound (a single melodic line).
Melody with accompaniment (homophonic)A predominant melody with some type of accompaniment. The accompaniment can be an ostinato, chords, harmony, etc.
Competing Melodies (polyphonic)Melodies of equal importance occurring simultaneously. Common examples are rounds, canons, and partner songs.

Section 4

Question Answer
FormStructure or organization of the music (motifs, phrases, sections, movements, AB, ABA, rondo, etc.)
Theme and Variations (A A’A’’A’’’)A form in which the same section (theme) is presented several times with a different variation of it each time.
AB (verse/refrain)A two-part, or binary, form with contrasting sections.
Solo/Chorus (call/response)A form consisting of the alternation between a solo and a responding chorus or individual.
ABA (ternary)A three-part form with a contrasting middle section.
Rondo (ABACA)A form that keeps bringing back the "A" section after each new section.
CodaA special ending.
IntroductionA "preface" to the music.
TimbreThe unique qualities of a sound, often referred to as the tone “colour” or quality. The timbre of a voice or instrument can be rough, nasal, squeaky, bright, sweet, etc.
FermataHold the note until satisfied (or until the conductor signals).
BeatThe steady, underlying pulse in the music.
RhythmA pattern of short and long sounds and silences. The rhythm is usually superimposed over an implied steady beat.