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
57 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
214 views
2
votes
1answer
838 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
504 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
241 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
52 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?
20
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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
584 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
74 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
79 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
127 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
772 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
9k 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
576 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
57 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
57 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
120 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
38k views

What are the differences between tone, note and pitch?

I was wondering what differences are between "tone", "note", and "pitch"?
6
votes
3answers
399 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
86 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
864 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
50 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
701 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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
473 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
131 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 ...
35
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 ...
2
votes
4answers
156 views

Is there a term for learned “perfect” pitch?

When I was about 11 years old, my music teacher tried to test me and started playing notes on the piano, expecting me to name them. I knew he was trying to see if I had perfect pitch, but I got them ...
12
votes
5answers
932 views

Collective word for sharps and flats in the key signature

On a mailing list I'm subscribed to, someone recently asked what the collective name was in English for the sharps and flats you find in the key signature. Apparently, the closest translation from ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

What does it mean for a sound to be “dirty”?

An effect that many electronic music creators go for is a "dirty bass synth" or something similar. What exactly does this term mean, if it has a precise definition at all? What qualities of a synth ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views
4
votes
5answers
301 views

Does an implied tie exist

Is there such a thing as an implied tie? Like some kind of symbol or notation that would specify to hold a note through the duration of all the notes on a pitch as if they were tied together. Edit: ...
8
votes
2answers
304 views

What is meant by a “release”?

In a Tom Cosm video tutorial on making beats in Ableton Live, he states (12:20): See, we have that kind of suck now. That's another kind of tension thing. I find with these kind of tension ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

What is the difference between splicing and superimposition?

In music editing, what is the difference between these two terms? Both involve overlaying some track onto another, but I don't see the difference, even though I am told by my professor there is one. ...
9
votes
2answers
698 views

Is there a name for the screeching sound made when changing chords on a guitar?

When listing to the song "The Only Exception" by Paramore (see YouTube), there's a screeching sound when changing chords, which I find quite unpleasant. Question: Is there a name for the ...
12
votes
3answers
312 views

Is there a name for this sort of ambiguity with respect to the rhythm of a piece, and/or is this a recognized technique in composition?

If you listen to the first 40 seconds or so of Veridis Quo by Daft Punk, you'll probably feel like you have a pretty good idea of the beat of the song, each of the chords starting on the first beat of ...
2
votes
3answers
696 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
122 views

Is there a name for this: text syncopates otherwise unsyncopated vocal music?

There's an interesting musical phenomenon in "O Virgo Splendens" (14th century, in the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat) as it is consistently interpreted across all editions I have ever encountered. The ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Is there a name or common usage of this piano damper pedal effect?

I've noticed an effect that I use when playing acoustic piano. Play a note or chord staccato, and quite quickly after playing it, press the damper pedal. The effect is rather like an echo which ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

How does one analyze tricky time shifts?

It can be hard to analyze time changes if one isn't used to odd rhythms. If we take a section of the track Divine Moments of Truth by Shpongle as an example, since it's changing timing several times ...
5
votes
1answer
43 views

What's the Italian musical term for “in minuet steps”?

I am writing down some choir music in which, beginning at a certain point, the bass starts to sing continuous eighths in a particular manner: the first eighth is tied to the second one, but the second ...
14
votes
1answer
555 views

What is a Neapolitan 6th?

In studying music theory I have hear the term Neapolitan 6th a quite few times, but I'm not quite sure what it is. What is a Neapolitan 6th and how is it used in a composition?
2
votes
4answers
319 views

Is there a word for a type of song about a 'thing'?

Is there a word for a song about a noun, object, or a specific person? I was reading that an ode expresses an emotion, but if I had a song about coffee, what could it categorized as? Edit: Also, ...
6
votes
3answers
485 views

The origin of “Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father”

The order of the flats is given by the mnemonic "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father", and the order of sharps by the reverse ("Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle"). What is the history ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is “groove”?

How's possible to trigger it? Is there a technical reason for the groove to happen? Is it just when you stuble across any kind of rhythm / melodic progression interaction that "moves"? Please do not ...
7
votes
4answers
883 views

What are some interesting ways notes and chords are spelled in cultures outside of the U.S.?

I've heard that German musicians spell the seventh note of the C major scale with an "H" where an American musician would use a "B". And, for the fourth note of the F major scale, where an American ...
10
votes
4answers
42k views

What exactly does “feat.” mean?

Does anyone know what does the "feat." mean exactly? Some song titles have the word "feat" in it, for example "I wanna love you clean Akon feat. Snoop dog". What does "feat." mean?