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

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21 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 ...
1
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0answers
30 views

Is “soundtrack” really a genre? [migrated]

I have a lot of music composed for video games which I enjoy listening to. So naturally, I imported it into iTunes on my computer for ease of playback, playlists, sharing to devices, etc. I noticed ...
6
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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
93 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
105 views

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

What does cut. s.d. mean when written in sheet music?
0
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1answer
37 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 ...
6
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0answers
52 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 ...
3
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3answers
103 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
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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
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2answers
67 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
103 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 ...
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1answer
37 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
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2answers
154 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
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2answers
254 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
331 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
108 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
75 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
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3answers
86 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
40 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
383 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
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2answers
78 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
134 views

Learn to write music

I enjoy music very much and often find myself writing a part of a song, or playing a tune in my head. The problem is, even if I do manage to write what I am creating mentally onto paper, there is ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Difference between the words Note, Key, and Tone [closed]

Musicians operate with a collection of twelve things, ordered in an ascending manner, but I've never found a general name for these things. One might think they are called "notes", "keys", or "tones", ...
2
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5answers
732 views

Can I say all black keys are enharmonic equivalents?

I just started reading a piano book (Pinao Lessons by Mantius Cazaubon). In chapter 1 explaining about keys and notes in the sections of The Black Keys and The White Keys. It is very clear from first ...
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2answers
114 views

What is an Em chord plus the G on the high E string called?

I was thinking Emadd10 ... is this right? Wasn't sure since the third/tenth is minor in the Em chord. This would be implied since I have already specified we are talking about Em, right?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the melodic minor scale with a flattened 5 called?

I can't find the answer anywhere on the internet. Except for that it can be seen as a whole-half scale with the sixth note left out. However this explanation doesn't satisfy my desire for an official ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Name for scale contain the notes C, D, E, F G#, A, A#

Is this an actual scale mode, like Phrygian, Locrian, etc, or is it just a constructed scale? C, D, E, F G#, A, A# (C) So, root, major second, major third, perfect forth, augmented fifth, major ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Is there a specific name for the arpeggio symbol?

Is there a specific name for the squiggly arpeggio symbol? If so, are there different names for arpeggio symbols that point up or down or spans both clefs? I find having to write out "arpeggio ...
3
votes
4answers
183 views

Music Theory Classification Systems

For musical instruments there are a number of hierarchical classification systems in use worldwide, amongst them the well-known but somewhat limited Hornbostel-Sachs system. I find myself wondering ...
4
votes
3answers
493 views

What's the correct term for a 'professional' composer?

The orchestra I play in is planning to commission a piece of music for our 50th anniversary concert in 2017. We've commissioned music in the past, and had music written for us, by amateur composers. ...
3
votes
1answer
707 views

Is 'dur' another way of saying flat (b)?

I found this sheet music for a quartet by Haydn: As you can see, on the cover it says B♭ major/ B-Dur / Si♭ majeur. I can understand the first and the third terms, but is B-Dur another way of ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is the Phrygian Dominant Scale thusly named?

I recently started experimenting with the Phrygian dominant scale. As I understand, it is the 5th mode of a harmonic minor scale. For example an A Phrygian Dominant consists of the notes ...
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2answers
1k views

What is the name of this musical symbol (squiggly line)?

If you look super close at the music chart, you will notice that the last notes of each part (for example, the low G in the bass part) has a squiggly line attached to it. What is this called, and ...
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3answers
60 views

Is there a term to describe an augmented second as a step or tone instead of an interval?

Typically when describing a scale its very typical to describe the pattern in terms of semitones and tones or half steps and whole steps as follows: A major scale is a diatonic scale. The sequence ...
4
votes
2answers
67 views

Why is 1/128th note's prefix “semihemidemisemi”?

I've searched throughout the Internet, and so far they only states the fact that 1/64th note is named "hemidemisemiquaver" and 1/128th note is "semihemidemisemiquaver", with no mention why the prefix ...
3
votes
2answers
389 views

Open/Close Position Chords: What I am missing?

Working through Hindemith's harmony I encountered the following diagram of all the valid positions for a C-Major chord in strict four-part writing. I am befuddled as to why the third chord in the ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is double about the double bass?

One of the most common (English) names for the contrabass, is 'Double Bass'. I can understand the other names for it, like 'Upright bass', 'Acoustic String Bass' etc, but what is double about it and ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

Technique in which student repeats notes teacher plays

I came across an interesting essay on playing by ear, in which the author describes a method he called "Call and Response Teaching" (section 2 in the article). The description is thus: The ...
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is the 2nd note of a chord called major third?

On a piano, the root note of the C major chord is referred to as 1. The second note played is E, which is actually the fifth key when starting at C. Not 3? Yes this makes senses to call it a 3 when ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

What do the terms “pitch relationships” and “vertical dimension” signify in relation to harmony?

I am trying to learn more about the neurological basis of harmony perception. However, I am having a bit of trouble understanding the musical technical terminology being used by the authors in a ...
2
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2answers
55 views

What is such deviation and reconciliation called?

Can anybody please suggest what it is called when different instruments that play in an agreement to the melody, suddenly deviate from each other by couple of notes creating an asymmetry and then ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Do different instruments playing single notes simultaneously form a chord?

Wikipedia says about chords: A chord, in music, is any harmonic set of three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. The Glossary of musical terms by naxos.com defines a ...
2
votes
5answers
250 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
874 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
77 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:
2
votes
2answers
86 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
87 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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vote
2answers
411 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
234 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?