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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

8
votes
2answers
119 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.
4
votes
4answers
114 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
38 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?
3
votes
3answers
151 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
90 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Lead sheets / fake sheets without score

Several of the groups of people I play music with use song sheets that are similar to lead sheets, but without the stave showing the melody line: Note that unlike many chord sheets you can find ...
1
vote
2answers
55 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
14k views

Why is a C7 chord named a dominant seventh chord?

I understand that a C7 chord contains a flattened 7th note in the C major scale, but what specifically makes this a dominant 7th chord? To me there is nothing 'dominant' about taking a note out of ...
25
votes
6answers
13k views

What is the difference between a “band” and an “orchestra”

Growing up, my father listened to big band music. These bands are usually referred to as "Glenn Miller and his orchestra" Or "Paul Schaeffer and the CBS Orchestra". Is it that an orchestra has ...
9
votes
4answers
737 views

What is it called when a music has two concurrent tempos

I've recently watched a BBC documentary about the history of music and recall an episode where they talk about music that has two distinct tempos (and possibly time signatures) at the same time for ...
5
votes
2answers
59 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?
13
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the definition of 'playing in the pocket'?

The phrase 'playing in the pocket' is used sometimes, in jazz, hip hop, funk etc. It sometimes refers to the way a drummer plays, sometimes to how an ensemble works together. I've Googled the term, ...
2
votes
2answers
93 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
5k views

What's the difference between genre and style?

Is there anybody in world who know what's the difference between genre and style in music? In wikipedia there are articles: list of music genres and list of music styles, but when we will go to ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
53 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" ...
3
votes
1answer
177 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
640 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What does Grt. and Sw. mean in this organ score?

I've come across a piece of sheet music for an organ and I was just curious what the Grt. marking above measure 1 and 17 means and what the Sw. marking above measure 9 means. I've seen it before in a ...
3
votes
1answer
127 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
votes
1answer
92 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
221 views
2
votes
1answer
877 views

What is the name for this rhythm?

I think basic rhythms sometimes have names but I'm not sure where to get started finding names for easily recognizable rhythms and basslines. For example, 50 Cent's Hate it Or Love it appears to use ...
1
vote
1answer
106 views

What is the name of perfomance technique used in the chorus of Celldweller — Last Firstborn?

I am currently obsessed with the track by Celldweller called "Last Firstborn". Is there any name for the keyboard technique used in the chorus? In this YouTube video you can hear it from 1:28 right ...
10
votes
1answer
518 views

What is the technical term for Bass 'growl' or 'roar'?

I've been looking everywhere for the past 2 days for the terms of these two awesome electric bass techniques and couldn't find 'em. I want to know their technical or common names.. When you slide ...
2
votes
2answers
280 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 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
vote
1answer
54 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
602 views

Are there names for referring to the top or bottom numbers in a time signature?

In a time signature of 3/4 (three by four), what is the name given to the 3 and the 4? I know it in my own language, but can't find the answer for the English equivalent.
0
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
137 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.
6
votes
7answers
804 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What do we call music which is not played on the beat?

What do we call music which is not played on the beat?
11
votes
5answers
10k views

Polymeter vs Polyrhythm

What is the difference between a polymeter and a polyrhythm? Do these words mean anything different for different instruments? PS: I'm a drummer.
10
votes
2answers
645 views

What does “gajo” mean as a musical directive on sheet music

One of the pieces in the current ABRSM Grade 7 violin pieces is Moritz Moszkowski's Spanischer Tanz No. 2 from his Spanische Tänze Op. 12. At the start of bar 49 is the marking "gajo". According to ...
2
votes
2answers
73 views

What do you call the melodic pattern with 3 notes?

I've noticed that in most, nearly all, popular music, the part that the singer sings usually follows the same pattern. Each bar has an emphasized note, and the same three notes are repeated in a ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Chord Melody vs Chord Solo: Are these terms interchangeable?

When I read any descriptions of either term, it generally explains the process of harmonizing the melody line as the highest note of a chord voicing. I have noticed that when I see something called a ...
5
votes
1answer
131 views

Word for part of a beat

I'm writing an article describing the musical tradition of a particular culture, but I'm at a loss for general terms for durations shorter than a beat. Simple prolation (such as 2/4 or 3/4) divides a ...
32
votes
3answers
41k views

What are the differences between tone, note and pitch?

I was wondering what differences are between "tone", "note", and "pitch"?
6
votes
3answers
418 views

What does the indication 9 7 mean?

I' m studying classical harmony, and on the chapter with the V9, I came upon this numbered bass: What does 9 7 mean? I know that it includes the 9th, but why is there the 7th there? Does it tell me ...
0
votes
3answers
91 views

Is there a name for this type ascending inversions of a repeated chord?

I was messing around on one of my guitars one day and stumbled upon this interesting ascending progression. I ended up writing a song using the progression even though I wasn't even sure what the ...
8
votes
3answers
929 views

How does one read very loud or very soft dynamic markings (e.g. ffff, ppp)?

Sometimes, scores contain notations like "fff", which presumably indicates that the section in question should be one dynamic level louder than "ff", or "fortissimo". In my limited musical ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

Is there a name for a piece of music that wanders about in tempo?

There are some pieces of music that work very well when played without keeping a consistent tempo, in popular music I'm thinking of songs such as Colorblind by Counting Crows or the intro to Shanghai ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a name for “slapping” a hammond organ?

Just wondering if there was a technical name for the keyboard "slap" technique found here at around 4:00ish: ...
9
votes
2answers
557 views

Is there a term for a chord progression that chromatically ascends or descends an octave?

I've noticed a pattern in music that is very interesting where a progression will start with one chord and chromatically ascend or descend until the starting chord is reached again. For example: a ...
2
votes
4answers
137 views

Is there a word can I use to express the fact that a piece of music has no notes in?

I was wondering if there was a word to describe a (lack of) tonality of a piece of music - or section of a piece of music - to the extent that it is without any identifiable notes? A couple of ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

(1/√π)/√⅔ as a time signature?

I recently found this article on wikipedia about lists of musical works in unusual time signatures and the first unusual time signature is (1/√π)/√⅔. I looked up the piece that was listed as having ...