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

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2answers
66 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

What to call finger positions on fretless bass?

Guitarists typically refer to finger positions as “frets.” For example, you can refer to the lowest G on a guitar as “the third fret of the E string.” What’s the analogous terminology for a fretless ...
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3answers
346 views

Musical construction in rock - what does this mean?

Andrew Chester writes (emphasis mine): Western classical music is the apodigm of the extensional form of musical construction. Theme and variations, counterpoint, tonality (as used in classical ...
4
votes
2answers
457 views

Is that a hemiola or what?

I found myself listening to Mumford and Sons' Babel, and my friend and I couldn't quite agree on how to describe the rhythm. I won that battle since my way led to groups of four figures, whereas his ...
4
votes
3answers
203 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 ...
4
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2answers
240 views

Velocity sensitivity or attack

I have a confusion about the two concepts of velocity sensitivity and attack. Considering these two apps: ...
4
votes
1answer
75 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
4
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2answers
294 views

Name for music that imitates speech

I have searched and asked others for the answer to this but have come up dry: what is the name or technique in music where musical notes approximate/imitate speech? Note that I am not talking about ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

What is the word for 'repeating the tonic at the “end” of spelling a scale?'

I am referring to the practice of repeating the root or tonic of a scale when spelling (not playing) a scale. I recall being told to __ my scale but I cannot remember the word… at all.
4
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
4
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1answer
96 views

Meaning of marking “armonici”

In particular, looking at the cello part from the 1924 Casa Ricorda edition of Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances (Universal Music Co). Third movement, there's a divisi with both parts playing a G ...
4
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1answer
116 views

What are “sweeping phrases”?

I am studying music, and English is not my first language. In the follwing sentence, what does "sweeping phrases" mean? Does it have a special meaning? "Laitman’s vocal melodies have large, ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Terminology for tension idioms in composition

As a hobby composer I often reason about the flow of a composition and I often find myself inventing words for what the composition does during a certain passage. E.g. I found that many guitar riffs ...
4
votes
2answers
65 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
115 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
494 views

Is there a name for the dotted eighth - sixteenth rhythm pattern?

I find myself using the dotted eight - sixteenth rhythm pattern/figure a lot and I would like to know if there is a specific name for it. I know the reverse pattern sixteenth - dotted eighth is ...
4
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0answers
46 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
701 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
705 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
2answers
302 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 ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

What is a “producer” in hip-hop music?

I was having a look at some hip hop albums on Wikipedia and I noticed that on the track list, there's often a "writer" column and a "producer" column. I can see who the writers are, but what are the ...
3
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2answers
325 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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3answers
827 views

In a song in G major the sound F appears and sounds good. Is there a name for such a phenomenon?

The song "Misty Moisty Morning" by Steeleye Span is in a major key. My knowledge of music theory is fragmentary so I may have gotten it wrong but I believe it's true. I don't remember which key it is ...
3
votes
2answers
67 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 ...
3
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2answers
373 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
250 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
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1answer
2k views

What does “1 x Tacet” mean?

What does 1xTacet mean? Does it mean "play the following in 1st round only"?
3
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
102 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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
3
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3answers
255 views

name of the strumming technique

I was watching the following video: Can you please tell me the name of the strumming technique the guitarist used in the beginning of the video? I have been looking ...
3
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4answers
532 views

Is there a name for this guitar technique for Paganini's Capriccio #6?

I've spent several years working up Paganini's Capriccio #6 for the violin on the guitar and I wonder if the idea already exists and has a name. For the violin, the piece is a coninuous double-stop ...
3
votes
1answer
372 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?
3
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
999 views

What's the difference between “feat”, “artist1 X artist 2”, “artist1 Vs. artist2” and “artist1 & artist 2”?

In songs with multiple artists, I've seen 4 different ways to credit the other artists. 'Feat.', '&', 'X' and 'Vs'. How are they used? (I have no example of 'V', but I've seen it used.)
3
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1answer
251 views

What are horogram patterns and how do they relate to time signatures?

When I was exploring some alternate time signatures, I came across two references in the Wikipedia to "horogram patterns". Now, Google thinks this is a spelling error for hologram, and so searching ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Figuring out the difference between major and relative minor scales?

I always seem have difficulty determining whether a song is in a major scale, or the relative minor. (the 3rd note back into it, but minor) Lets use the Pokemon theme song for example. As I ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Melodic Equivalence of a rhyme?

It is very common in most songs with lyrics for the end of a vocal phrase to rhyme with the end of another vocal phrase. It also very common for solo instruments to play the same phrase twice and have ...
3
votes
1answer
951 views

How should staccatissimo be played?

How should staccatissimo be played on Handel, Beethoven, and Liszt pieces? I have read that it is like staccato only shorter, but it seems like it is used when notes should be staccato and accented. ...
3
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4answers
182 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

What is a Musician? [closed]

A friend of mine recently asked me a simple question that I had trouble answering myself "What is a Musician?". I had the general idea in my head but I couldn't express it well so I decided to look it ...
3
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1answer
87 views

What is urgency when referring to music

I've heard commentators call certain songs and artists "urgent" or say the phrase "he plays with such urgency" I have no idea what this describes.
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2answers
238 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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votes
5answers
720 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
500 views

What's the name of an area split by Bar Line (s) called?

What is the unit name of an area split by Bar Line(s) called ? (See the red-circled area in below picture) The translation from my native language to English results in Time Signature . I feel ...
2
votes
3answers
39 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 ...