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

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3
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1answer
33 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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0answers
18 views

Why are the Tags not in alphabetical order ? [migrated]

As a newcomer I need to look in various mixed up boxes with no logical order .Why not have a switch to create alphabetical access to new information ?
0
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2answers
53 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 ...
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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
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3answers
58 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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
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1answer
60 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
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2answers
87 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
73 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
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3answers
96 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
58 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
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4answers
108 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
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2answers
54 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
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6answers
484 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
51 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
41 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
47 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
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0answers
45 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
35 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
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2answers
65 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
89 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
36 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
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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
107 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
128 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
43 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
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1answer
112 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
votes
3answers
142 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
83 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
209 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
40 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
204 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
446 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
396 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
133 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
84 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
94 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
42 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
440 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
88 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
205 views

Difference between keys and scales?

I am a Tabla (a North Indian percussion instrument) player and I am trying to learn the western music theory. My study was going well until I stumbled upon keys and scales. Now though I know what ...
7
votes
2answers
148 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 ...
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0answers
95 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
votes
5answers
783 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
132 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
58 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
131 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
113 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
6answers
263 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 ...