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

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4answers
125 views

How to learn musical theory?

I am taking 1/2 hour lessons in classical guitar and progressing well. I guess I am at the high end of beginner level, just finishing Aaron Shearer's first book. But I don't know how to gain an ...
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2answers
73 views

What is first chair?

I am under the impression that first chair is the seat reserved for the best player of a particular instrument. Second chair would be reserved for the second best. Is that all there is to it? Or does ...
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1answer
66 views

What is this kind of singing called?

I'm not quite sure how to describe it, the genre is swing if that helps. Please see the link below which starts at around 3 minutes in:
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2answers
76 views

What pitch notation terms are used in Britain?

Is it Scientific pitch notation or Helmholtz pitch notation or something else entirely? I'm writing a not-so-short story set in a conservatory, and I'm a bit over my head with terminology, and it ...
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2answers
198 views

How are note durations named in the British system?

This looks like a dupe of Why are notes named the way they are? but it isn't. I want to know about rhythm. I understand that in the international (British) system, a breve is what we Americans call a ...
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1answer
57 views

What is an orchestra “reading session”?

On orchestra calendars I sometimes see events called "reading sessions", such as this one: Pittsburgh Symphony 11th Annual Reading Session What is a "reading session" and how does it differ from a ...
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2answers
181 views

Scale, Heptatonic Scale, Diatonic Scale, Major Scale

A scale with 7 notes, in an octave, is called a Heptatonic Scales. Heptatonic scales are further divided based on tone and semitones arrangements. If a Heptatonic scale have five tones and two ...
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6answers
184 views

Which time signatures are associated with particular types of music?

A waltz is always played in 3/4 time, but are there any other types of music that are associated with specific time signatures?
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3answers
36 views

Medley in musicals

Terminology: Toward the end of musicals, it is common to play a medley of previous tunes. Often they are interwoven. Does this kind of medley have a specific name?
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3answers
1k views

What's the name for the style of guitar on Reggae songs

I'm wondering if there's a word for the style of guitar on most Reggae songs, when they play chords on the upper strings and mute them after. I would love to know if there's a word for that, that ...
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4answers
158 views

Is there a term that describes straight 8ths / 16ths vs swing?

I'm a student and have been playing exercises that are either straight 8ths, swing 8ths, straight 16ths or swing 16ths. I'm wondering if there's a term for these different rhythms. If used in a ...
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1answer
159 views

Is there a name for this ending tag?

I'm talking about the last notes of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" -- the accompaniment cuts off suddenly on a i chord where its progression ought to end, and the vocals continue to riff for a second. Is ...
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1answer
32 views

Can a motif be found outside of a phrase?

Can motifs be found outside of phrases, like by itself? Or do you think that would actually make that "motif by itself" act like a phrase in it's own right?
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1answer
338 views

Are there any other common names for what I've heard called a “Crossover Guitar”

That is to say, a nylon (or gut, I guess) guitar that has certain features usually associated with a steel stringed acoustic. I'm talking about Spanish guitars with a thin neck, often with an ...
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2answers
93 views

What is the difference between temperament and intonation?

We talk of equal temperament but just intonation. From wikipedia, tempering is described as "the process of altering the size of an interval by making it narrower or wider than pure." where ...
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1answer
97 views

Term & abbreviation for number of tones or notes per octave - independent of temperament or intonation

In the context of characterizing a completely arbitrary instrument or piece of world music, when trying to describe the number of notes or tones per octave we tend quickly to get grounded in notions ...
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2answers
146 views

What does “7/8 3/4 13/16 alternating bar groove” mean?

On Twitter this morning I saw someone challenge the electronic musician Deadmau5 in this fashion: @deadmau5 challenge: 7/8 3/4 13/16 alternating bar groove. Must be listenable. He produced this ...
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1answer
50 views

What is a hypermeter?

I understand both the terms polymeter and polyrhythm, but when songs from bands such as Meshuggah are discussed the term 'hypermeter' keeps popping up. Can someone please explain?
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3answers
55 views

What is the difference between (guitar) articulation and dynamics, and how do they relate?

I have been looking into articulation and dynamics over the past week, primarily focused on guitar (but I'm sure any learning musician can benefit from this regardless of your instrument). I believe I ...
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1answer
63 views

What are guitar dynamics?

Good evening folks! I have a question this time about dynamics. Now I know that volume is considered part of 'dynamics'. But I'm wondering what else the term "dynamics" encompasses. Does guitar ...
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1answer
105 views

What is it called when a violinist quickly bows all strings in an 'arpeggio-like' flourish?

You can hear this 'arpeggiating' flourish in Heifetz's 'Last Recital' during Strauss's Sonata for Violin & Piano here (already cued to 45:48) and (in case you prefer animated movie soundtracks ...
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2answers
96 views

What is the name of and how to notate a “tremolo in random order”?

Given a chord, I can play its notes in random order (usually fast) for full note's duration. It's not an arpeggio, because arpeggios have ascending or descending order; and arpeggio ends when all its ...
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2answers
292 views

What's the name for a four, or five note chord?

A triad is the most used set of notes making a chord. Obviously it's 3! However, there must be a word/ term for a set of 4 notes - as in maj 7th, or min 6th chord, and maybe a different one for a set ...
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1answer
57 views

Name for same-note legato without the pedal

I am drawing a complete blank for the name of a particular technique for piano I learned a while ago, and I haven't the time to dig through my books to find it... A connecting technique for playing ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the sudden sharp pitch increase in Old Country/Rockabilly

You don't hear it much in country music nowadays but what is that technique or term where artists like Johnny Horton and the like make a sudden whoop or yelp at the end of a line (North to Alaska is a ...
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2answers
76 views

Can Appoggiaturas be doubled or tripled?

I know the basic definition of the nonharmonic tone an appoggiatura is a nonharmonic tone that is approached by skip/leap and then resolves by step in the opposite direction. I've recently heard the ...
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1answer
147 views

What is the Lydian Chromatic Concept?

I've recently found out about George Russell's book the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization and I've been curious about exactly what the Lydian Chromatic Concept is and how it can be used ...
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2answers
152 views

What is a “Stable” Chord?

What makes a chord "stable"? What makes a chord "unstable"? Just saw this in my piano book, but it doesn't really explain what it means.
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5answers
202 views

What's the difference between arpeggio and broken chord?

I always thought of them as synonyms, but googling around found that some people see them as different, with the distinctions changing depending on who you ask. Is there a formal distinction between ...
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1answer
196 views

Which category of music theory would the topic of “which scales to play over which chords” fall into?

For example, in blues it's common to play a minor pentatonic scale over a major chord, and in a lot of rock music it is common to play the corresponding major/minor pentatonic scale over a major/minor ...
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4answers
93 views

Is the bass line accompaniment in a song classed as its own melody / voice?

Lets take Fur Elise as an example. Would we class the left hand accompaniment as a melody in its own right? If this is so, would this be considered contrapuntal writing?
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3answers
172 views

what is the correct musical term for arpeggios where the notes are left ringing?

Hi I am wondering what the correct term is for play a sequence of notes where you leave all the notes ringing together. I'm not talking about rolled chords, I'm talking about having a larger amount of ...
5
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1answer
134 views

Term for central note in melody

Is there a music theory term to describe when a melody revolves around one key repeated note? For example, in a piece I am playing, the melody is: F C G C Ab C Bb C. Or, in my version of "spatial ...
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1answer
96 views

Question about terminology for a music sheet

I have developed an application for musicians that produces this output and I am not sure if we are using the correct terminology. We currently use Chords and lyrics sheet but I think this is not the ...
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2answers
78 views

What is the difference between a chord progression and a riff?

I am just wondering what the difference between a chord progression and a riff is? My assumptions are that riffs are generally 2 measures long, and they are pretty much classed as being played over a ...
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2answers
72 views

What are “half positions” in reference to barre chords?

I have heard the term "half positions" for a technique used in the context of barre chords. What does it mean? What are its advantages?
3
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1answer
198 views

What is it called when the note pattern is the same in each bar but the actual pitch and note are different?

I have a question for music theory asking me about what I notice about the rhythm in bars 3-6 and the note pattern is the same : crotchet, 4 quavers, crotchet, minim. But the actual name of the note ...
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1answer
59 views

The emotional response to a tune

I'd greatly appreciate if you could link me a few academic articles on the impact of music on emotions and feelings. I wonder if anyone ever analyzed how the structure of the tune itself and not the ...
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2answers
231 views

What is a 6-string bass guitar with normal guitar tuning called?

As I know, there're 6-string bass with B – E – A – D – G - C tuning. But, MusicMan release kind-of 6-string bass with guitar tuning which is E - A - D - G - B - e. You can see the bass here. Is it ...
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3answers
64 views

What's a “chord register”?

Someone said: "When you're doing more than one person who does the rhythm part, do your chord in another register, maybe higher or maybe lower." What's really the definition of the "register" ...
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3answers
661 views

What is the difference between a “triplet” and a “trill”

This may be an easy question... but I have limited Theory knowledge so... I have heard the word Trill being used to describe a method of adding multiple notes into one beat. Now from what I ...
3
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1answer
144 views

Is sensitive a vaild alternative name for the leading tone?

I was reading the sample version of Modern Harmony Step By Step and one passage caught my eye: In the passage above it seems that what is typically referred to as the leading tone is revered to as ...
4
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1answer
112 views

Singing the words to one song along with the music for another - what is this called?

Years ago I was setting out chairs during a pre-show rehearsal and since it was before everyone was due (rehearsal was scheduled to start in about five to ten minutes), folks were just playing around ...
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2answers
304 views

How does one place a beat 'on' a given note/rest value?

I am reading a book about music for digital artists, and am reading through an intro to drumming. This is the part I am confused with: ''The ride element can be placed on the quarters, eighths, or ...
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1answer
68 views

Repeatedly strumming one string: name and technique

Is there a name or word for the action of repeatedly and quickly strumming a single string on a guitar, ukulele, lute or other similar instrument?
1
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1answer
61 views

Terminology: note and “note class”

In music, the term note sometimes refers to a note in a specific octave (like "C♯4") and sometimes to the set of all notes with the same name, regardless of octave (like "C♯"). Which terms should one ...
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2answers
92 views

Guitar technique

How do you call guitar technique for playing one instrument, but making it sound like there are at least two guitars? Example of that might be, probably well known, Tommy Emmanuel's Classical Gas ...
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1answer
96 views

Is there a name for the technique where a singer uses the falsetto register on releasing a note?

As per the title, is there a name for the technique where a singer (especially a female one) voices a pitch in the falsetto register on releasing a note? Examples include:- Alanis Morissette You ...
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3answers
159 views

With respect to right hand guitar technique, what does it mean to not scoop?

Scooping comes up in in this answer: Move your hand in parallel with the strings (i.e. don't scoop) What exactly does that mean? I've only seen it in reference to tone.
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7answers
865 views

What is a chord with a diminished third called?

The third of the chord is one of the criteria to determine the name of the chord. If the third is major (and the fifth is perfect), the chord is called major chord ; if the third is minor and the ...