Use this tag for questions about musical terms. Questions about symbols should use the "notation" tag.

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5
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2answers
957 views

Is there a name for the points on the body of electric guitars?

I was trying to describe a part of the guitar to a friend a I could not come up with the proper name for it. I was try to refer to the two points on the body of an electric guitar where typically part ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

What does the pre shape, and EQ In/Out buttons do on my guitar?

I just bought a second hand ovation celebrity and I was wondering what some of its buttons do. Do they change the sound (distortion/loudness)? If not what do they do?
5
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7answers
532 views

What is the difference between “a lead guitarist” and “a solo guitarist”?

What is the difference between "a lead guitarist" and "a solo guitarist"?
2
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1answer
56 views

What's the difference between a tonal center and a guide tone?

A "guide tone" search generates a slew of hits. A "tonal center" search generates a slew of hits. A "guide tone tonal center" search generates one hit. In that thread the term guide tone appears ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

What do people mean when they ask me what the chord progression of a song is?

I an amateur pianist and I have theory knowledge. I know what a chord progression is. Although I mostly read from score I can easily listen a music and reproduce it on the piano. People often ask me ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

What is it called when the same melody is played by two different voices but not starting at the same time and on a different pitch?

Complete the following sentence: The 1st violin ______ the 2nd violin at the start of the extract.
5
votes
2answers
56 views

What is the difference between tessitura and range?

I was trying to look up the definition of tessitura, and it seems as though it refers to the range within which most notes fall in a piece. I thought this was what range was though? or are they the ...
4
votes
2answers
270 views

What does the tempo marking “Andando” mean?

I'm reading through Nelson Riddle's book on arranging. As you'd expect, the musical examples use common Italian tempo markings, such as Andante, Andantino, Allegro and so on. However, the marking ...
4
votes
1answer
73 views

Name for instruments that can only play one octave, vs one that can play many octaves?

Is there a word for instruments that are limited to only one octave, as opposed to instruments that can play multiple octaves? I think this is a matter of classifying instruments with a certain narrow ...
1
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1answer
45 views

What is the difference between a prime order, tone row and serial, if there is one?

I'm studying Op. 22 by Anton Webern for my AS music. I have 2 teachers and a revision guide, each of which uses one of the terms listed in the question and avoids the other two. I just wanted to see ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Music Terminology: Difference between Additive and asymmetric?

I've been reading up on Tippett's Concerto for Double String Orchestra and came across the two terms 'additive rhythm' and 'asymmetrical grouping'. I would assume they are synonymous... Is there a ...
0
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2answers
56 views

Is there a single word to describe the loudest point in a musical composition?

Coloquially, crescendo is often used--inaccurately--to refer to this. Climax might be used, but a musical climax is not necessarily about volume, and this term is not included in the Oxford Dictionary ...
18
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6answers
2k views

Why is it called the chromatic scale?

The definition of chromatic as given by Google: adjective: chromatic MUSIC: relating to or using notes not belonging to the diatonic scale of the key in which a passage is written. (of a scale) ...
6
votes
3answers
65 views

What is the difference between Taktteile and Taktglieder?

I am reading a book about Metric Manipulations by Danuta Mirka and the author refers to some German words. In this book, he writes that Takt refers to measure, Taktteile to parts of a measure, ...
4
votes
2answers
89 views

Is there a dynamics equivalent of the marking “a tempo”?

Is there a marking (or a term) that means "go back to the dynamic played at before the last (de)crescendo"? I'd prefer to not specify a particular dynamic immediately before the crescendo (in order to ...
5
votes
1answer
84 views

What does it mean when there is a letter c in front of the tempo on a score?

For example, "c. 108". I need to practice and I have absolutely no idea what it means!
3
votes
2answers
99 views

What is Tanam in Music?

What is Tanam in Indian music ? Is tanam used in Cinema music ? i.e After Pallavi of a song a piece of music playing it might be 8 bar or 16 bar etc. Is it Tannam ?
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Schoenberg's Hexachord decoded

I had a question regarding the cryptogram of Schoenberg's famous hexachord. The Schoenberg hexachord has a pitch class set of (012569) and a vector of <3,1,3,4,3,1>. In other words, the notes are ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

What is the proper name for a sequence of durations?

In contrast to pitch, rhythm refers to the length and accentuation of a sequence of notes. If we focus exclusively on the durations, what would be a proper term? Example: 1/4, 1/2, 1/4 no tempo, no ...
0
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2answers
64 views

Notehead or note head?

Is the head of a note properly referred to as a note head, or a notehead? As far as I can determine, the Sibelius and Finale programs use the compound word in their interfaces and documentation, but ...
4
votes
4answers
123 views

What does the key of a song mean?

I want to know what it means, in terms of the scales and chords involved, when we say that a song is played in a certain 'key'.
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What is the term for a chord change from 0-5-7 to 0-4-7?

From what I understand, the 0-5-7 triad is a sus4 and 0-4-7 a major. So if I have C-F-G and descend a semitone from F to E into a C major chord what would be the technical term for it? I like to use ...
7
votes
6answers
513 views

Is there a term for chords like F/G and C/D?

Chords like F/G and C/D are really quite common in jazz, blues and soul music yet I have never heard or been able to find a concise name for them. To be clear, I am referring to any major (or indeed ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

What is a definition of “oscillator” that is suitable for all musical instruments?

I understand from my music theory class that for reed and brass instruments, the "primary oscillator" is the modulation of an airstream. Comparatively, for wood winds, the "primary oscillator" is the ...
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2answers
46 views

Musical sound production mechanisms

According to my very informal understanding, most instruments produce music through a similar process. Human uses muscles to make something vibrate The vibrating thing makes an acoustic wave which ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

What does “Time on” mean in the context of a Lead Sheet?

I was looking though my real book and saw an interesting phrase that I've never seen before in the song Stuff by Miles Davis. On the first and last bar there is the phrase "Time on D♭7(#9)" with ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

Songs with off-beats?

I found this a lot in old songs, but also in quite a few new ones. I love songs that have this, off-beat music playing in the background. I know the song 'Bernadette' by IAMX has it. The beginning of ...
0
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1answer
38 views

How to pronounce chord numbers

When someone says "one four five" chord progression, could that refer to a "i-iv-v" chord progression? Do I have to say "minor one, minor four, minor five"?
2
votes
2answers
78 views

What is the 'head' in this song?

I'm using this music sheet from the New Real book 1 to play Grover Washington Jr's Make Me A Memory, and I'm trying to understand the structure of the song, as it is written at the bottom right corner:...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there a term in Western music theory for the underlying mood of a music genre?

Though this doesn't seem to apply to all music genres, I get the impression that some of them have an "underlying mood". For instance, flamenco (the genre I specialize in) has strong melancholy ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Definition of Sonority for Flutists

I have not been able to find a specific explanation of what "Sonorous" or "Sonority" means for a Flutist. I have a vague understanding that it refers to sound quality. Can anyone please help me to ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a specific name for music that sounds like it has no rests?

Example: Prelude no. 2 from Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”. That piece sounds like it has no rests. It’s a constant flow of music the entire time. I love pieces like that. I want to know if there’s a ...
5
votes
2answers
111 views

Is there a name for the sound of a performer physically interacting with their instrument?

Is there a name for the sound produced by the mechanical action of a musical instrument? I'm referring specifically to sounds not usually associated with the instrument's voice—the movement of a ...
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2answers
138 views

What does “cut. S. D.” Mean in sheet music?

What does cut. s.d. mean when written in sheet music?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Fast note progression - Terminology

I have no idea how to call these. basically, it is when you have fast long strings of note progressions, spanning multiple octaves. These would be my examples, as I don't know how to describe it: The ...
11
votes
1answer
121 views

What is the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions?

I am reading "A Generative Theory of Tonal Music" by F. Lerdahl and R. Jackendoff and I don't understand the difference between grouping overlaps and elisions (this is explained in section 3.4). The ...
4
votes
3answers
193 views

Why is a major second not called a perfect second? [duplicate]

Apart from a second, intervals can be described as either {Diminished, Perfect, Augmented} or {Dim, Minor, Major, Aug} depending on whether or not the major and minor scale share that interval. For ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Terminology queries

I'm new to music and just getting to know the terms, so I read a bit on sites like wikipedia and watched some videos, but I still find hard to answer the following things about Copland's 1938 Billy ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

What do the ratios of the partials in inharmonic spectra deviate from?

There is a paragraph where author talks about harmonic and inharmonic spectra, and he points out that the harmonic spectra have partials that deviate from the precise ratios (for example the term "...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

What is a “stunt guitarist”?

Snarky Puppy's about page (with profiles of the artists) says this about guitarist Mark Lettieri: Mark Lettieri is a guitarist, composer and sometimes producer residing in Fort Worth, TX. Lettieri ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

What is the term for singing around a stable tone?

What is the term for when a stable tone is being preceded by a previous tone and a following tone? E.g., in C major, Si-Re-Do, Re-Fa-Mi, and Fa-La-Sol.
4
votes
2answers
246 views

What's the difference between the tritone and the blue note?

For a while I thought they were one and the same, now I'm confused. This Wiki Article on the subject asserts that the blue note isn't even a real note, i.e. a note that's not part of the standard ...
5
votes
2answers
623 views

What does 'Poco Meno' mean?

I am currently studying Simandl's 30 Studies for String Bass, and on the 6th one I came upon this term: Since I'm not acquainted with Italian Musical Terms, I used this site to find out what Poco ...
8
votes
6answers
483 views

Difference between mixing and mastering

I am a musician, and I have amateurish-ly recorded my own musical inspiration. I am curious to learn, though, and one of the most confusing things is - as so often - in terminology. I am looking for ...
6
votes
5answers
144 views

What is the study of song structure called?

I'm describing native Hawaiian songs as part of a research project. The songs are sung by a single performer without instruments. We transcribed the song into stanzas and now see a number of patterns ...
0
votes
2answers
92 views

What is this (“frequent vibrato”) vocal technique called?

What is this vocal technique called and any hints/links on how to master it? Here is one example: It sounds like a frequent type of vibrato. But searching web for "...
1
vote
3answers
95 views

Is there a name for this trope in music writing

It's something I now hear everywhere, once I heard it a few times. Take a song like Papa Roach - Between Angels And Insects. As the chord progresses in the first few riffs, there is a repeated melody ...
2
votes
3answers
44 views

Little 'aside' in a vocal

What is the proper term for an 'aside' in music (mostly in vocals, but sometimes the score)? Many times these 'asides' MAY not be actually noted in the lyrics. Two examples: In Taylor Swifts 'Shake ...
5
votes
1answer
478 views

What does Opt. S.D. mean?

I was looking at the sheet music for the Star Spangled Banner arranged for the U.S. Marine Band, and I saw that each instrument has an Opt. S.D. in the beginning. What does it mean?
1
vote
2answers
91 views

What is the name for the scale that is Aeolian with a lowered root?

This track at the beginning has some kind of an augmented scale. The first sounds I hear are C, D#, G#, E, A, F#. While analyzing it to give it as least as possible ...