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

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2answers
150 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
107 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
803 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
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2answers
150 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
59 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
145 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
135 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 symbol"...
3
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6answers
271 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
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3answers
525 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
732 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
104 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 A-Bb-C#-D-...
1
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2answers
2k 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 can ...
2
votes
3answers
77 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
77 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
3answers
872 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 ...
15
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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
3answers
188 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
174 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
288 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
3k 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 ...
1
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1answer
82 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
88 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
357 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
116 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
665 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
293 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
63 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?
9
votes
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
245 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
317 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 ...
1
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1answer
69 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?
5
votes
1answer
415 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
173 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
124 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
287 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
871 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?
2
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
1
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1answer
93 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
190 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
133 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
370 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
157 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
320 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 ...
9
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2answers
555 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.
5
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5answers
1k 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 ...