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Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about the terms used to describe music or the language used within the musical field. Questions about symbols should use the "notation" tag.

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What is it called when a melodic progression stays the same but the chord progression changes?

I hear this from time to time and love it, but I have no idea what this is called. The melody stays the same, the chord progression changes, and the whole feel of the song shifts. Here is an example. ...
Guestposter33000's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
40 views

What are the terms figure, segment and cell?

According to the Wikipedia article on Cell, it "may be distinguished from the figure", however the definition that is later quoted as "the smallest indivisible unit" is very ...
Allan Felipe's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
396 views

What does "prevailing harmony" mean?

While I was reading up on passing tones, I encountered this example: Example 15–7 presents an expansion of a C-major chord over two beats: the lower voice leaps down from the third of the chord to ...
Sean's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
133 views

scale degree notation question

While watching Seth Monahan's Youtube videos on Classical harmony and counterpoint, I noticed that he used ^1 ^2 ^3 ^4 ^5 ^6 ^7 for minor scale. I have read harmony books on different genres other ...
Sean's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
78 views

What is the difference between a Musical Mashup and a DJ Mix?

The difference between them confuses me.
Dave Little's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
599 views

Quantification of listed tempos

Where get definitive numbers for tempos in my music book, specifically Mel Bay's (Roger Filiberto's, New Sounds for Electric Bass and Guitar? Specific examples include wanting BPM of the following ...
Junction Jack's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
524 views

What does Pedale ad lib mean?

I want to know what Pedale ad lib means. I have tried many ways to find out, but I still don’t understand what it means. Can anyone help me please?
Charlotte's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is it called when the root is omitted from a chord?

I am learning chord notation and I noticed that the Wikipedia page does not mention any specific notation for a chord where the root is omitted. Omitting the root note seems to be quite commonplace, ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 415
1 vote
4 answers
124 views

Modes Scales and Keys

Is it correct to refer to modes as keys, or are they simply modes? If they're not keys, how come C Ionian is referred to as the major key, and its relative minor key, Am, (Aeolian), referred to as the ...
Tim's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why is it called Camelot wheel? Why Camelot?

I read on https://dj.studio/blog/camelot-wheel: The Camelot Wheel is a modern system to help DJs navigate the musical keys of their music. It's based on the circle of fifths, with the only difference ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
529 views

New tongue drum - no musical experience whatsoever - notes map? [duplicate]

I just purchased a new tongue drum off eBay. The listing title was: "BURNING&LIN Steel Tongue Drum" but under brand on the listing's details page, is: "Unbranded." It is 15&...
Dawn's user avatar
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4 answers
132 views

Fuzzy notes or some clearer, well-known term out there for what I mean?

Pondering about a yet-to-implement feature in a DIY software tool, also to be yet well-documented for other computer musicians who might be interested in the future. The tool is an interpreter or ...
musiklanger's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Is there a name to categorize instruments according to wether they can produce an infinity of F0 or not? [duplicate]

I'd like to know if there is a word, in English or any other language, that describe the category gathering the instruments able to play every frequency (tone, quarter tone, any arbitrary subdivision ...
The rag on din's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
237 views

What are the most elementary techniques one can implement in a motif?

What are the most elementary techniques one can implement in a motif? Techniques for creating contrast, tension, ambiguity or some other "quirk" to make a motif more unique. By a "motif&...
Flowy Poosh's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
567 views

Ice-cream chords- where does the name come from?

Recently, a question was asked here and the term 'ice-cream chords' was mentioned. A bit of research finds they're also known (but not to me) as the vanilla changes. Basically, it's a 1, 6, 4, 5 ...
Tim's user avatar
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0 answers
71 views

What is this vocal ornament called?

There is a vocal technique used in this audio clip that sounds Arabic and melismatic on the lyric “smile”. The notes go up from G3 to G#3 and back to G3 again. Some say it is a mordent but I think the ...
Sana's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
81 views

Turkish and German names for quarter tones

I am interested in Turkish music and stumbled over quarter tones. Now I would love to be able to name those notes in Turkish and German but didn't find the respective ways to name those notes. However,...
pahohu's user avatar
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2 votes
5 answers
200 views

"Structureless" description of music

Imagine some structureless music. Music without meter, free improvisation or just a series of random sounds. What concepts of music theory could we still apply to describe the progression of such ...
Flowy Poosh's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
90 views

Term for notation with right-hand-chords and melody simultaneously

I found a kind of notation in a solo piano book I'm not familiar with (see image below). As I understand it, I’m supposed to play every note and the ones in between the brackets only if possible. Is ...
Mathician's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
506 views

What is it called when the same melody is played at different speeds by voices with different timbre?

I'm imagining this situation: A melody is played by a voice (by a "voice" I mean an instrument or an actual human voice). The same melody or a very similar melody is played by another voice,...
Flowy Poosh's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
437 views

What's it called when harmony moves in the same intervals as the melody?

What's it called when the harmony moves in the exact same intervals as a melody, even if it is chromatic? Here's an example: My apologies, I would do actual notation but I am not currently able to. ...
alistato's user avatar
  • 331
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Are there widely accepted names for 31edo modes?

I am looking for scales and modes in 31edo, and I found this page: https://en.xen.wiki/w/31edo_modes It's overall a nice library of scales. The issue is, the namings are too unique that I cannot find ...
Eary Chow's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
132 views

I'm blanking on a word regarding rhythmic interpretation (making 4/4 sound like 3/4 and vice versa)

I know it's not polyrhythm or anything along poly-whatever lines (I could be wrong, but nothing's ringing a bell) and the only results I'm getting are either like that or not related to my question to ...
robbertvosfan's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are bells the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental?

I heard (from a Paccard church bells rep) that bells are the only instrument whose second harmonic forms a minor interval with its fundamental. Is this true?
Geremia's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the definition of 909/808/707/etc. percussion?

I would think that these sounds would be the sounds made by the classic drum machines. But I see many samples advertised as being "909 kick" for example, and these may be different than ...
Ken - Enough about Monica's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What does "gets the beat" mean?

When learning music theory, I keep hearing the terminology of, for example, a quarter note in a piece of music in 4/4 time "getting the beat". What exactly does this mean?
spacecowboy97's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
81 views

What is the technical term for this type of singing?

You have two vocalists and the first vocalist sings a verse and as he begins the second verse, your second vocalist begins to sing the first verse. The two verses are then sung together.
Madison's user avatar
  • 21
5 votes
1 answer
328 views

What is the word for the feeling when the piano key catches at the bottom of a press. The word for when the jack slips

I apologize I’m not a musician, I’m writing poetry and I heard someone talk about that click a little over 3/4s of the way down a piano key, when the jack catches and the hammer is launched. It ...
Ian Martin's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
79 views

What is the term for the act of breaking up one long drawn out note into multiple beats?

I’m slowly learning music terminology and I’m trying to have a discussion with a musician friend about something but I’m not sure what you call this. My initial thought was an arpeggio but that’s ...
Mirrana's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
2 answers
252 views

Is there a term for having a sequence of notes that then change key while modulating?

Here's an example of what I mean. It is a melody that is transposed down 1 whole tone every 4 measures. I am wondering if there is a term for this transposing of a melody in music?
alistato's user avatar
  • 331
8 votes
2 answers
368 views

What's this vertical dash called and what does it mean?

I found this vertical dash on some sheet music and I can't figure out what it is or what does it mean. I've tried looking through Wikipedia's list of symbols, but I couldn't find it there and me ...
Arnas Šniokaitis's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
78 views

What are the most common kick-snare patterns?

Problem I use LilyPond to write notation for drums, and because the coding behind the typesetting is complex I've integrated the use of vim's "Ultisnips" plugin to help write out bits of ...
croakouttatune's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Any idea what "[Instrument] colle Parti" means?

I'm trying to figure out what "[Previous instrument] colle Parti" means when changing instrument, but I found no information about it. Translation is "[Previous instrument] with parts&...
Mattias's user avatar
  • 105
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

Term for a harmony that's always above the melody, but just enough to be in chord?

Is there a term for a harmony that always resembles the next-closest note above the melody that is in chord (not just in key)? A friend of mine always does that when improvising a harmony and she ...
Forivin's user avatar
  • 241
4 votes
4 answers
249 views

Definition of Chromatic and Diatonic Semitone in 31 TET

I am trying to learn about music theories in 31 TET, I learned that 2 fifthtones are a chromatic semitone, 3 fifthtones are a diatonic semitone, 4 fifthtones are a neutral semitone, five fifthtones ...
Eary Chow's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
87 views

Performance directions for a vocal technique

I'm in the process of transcribing Just Like Heaven by The Cure from audio to notation. The lead singer Robert Smith has a vocal style where he doesn't seem to hold a pitch for long before sliding to ...
Brian THOMAS's user avatar
  • 11.6k
4 votes
1 answer
188 views

What does the s number mean in the title of the piece?

For example, the transcendental etudes by Liszt are labeled "S. 139." What does this mean? If it's related to the piece's release date, what's the difference between it and opus # (e.g the ...
Liszt-and-the-Galops's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
960 views

Why do we call Bb tubas BBb?

Why do we refer to Bb tubas as "BBb", C tubas as "CC" and Eb tubas as "Eb"? I have parts of this answer, but not the full story. Looking to fill in some gaps. Before we ...
Stewart's user avatar
  • 977
8 votes
2 answers
473 views

Nomenclature for pipe organ keyboard compass

When going through pipe organ specifications (such as this historic Arp Schnitger's organ in St. Jacobi), I came across a peculiar nomenclature for the manual / pedal compass (as of 1693): I ...
GratefulDisciple's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
132 views

Is a two-handed solo piano score a kind of full score?

I'm working on a music categorization project, basically I have to classify what category should this sheet belongs to, but it only has two categories: is full score or is not. As far as I know, full ...
TWTom's user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
3 answers
219 views

Are there names for the different Pentatonic scales?

We all know on the guitar there are 5 positions for the Pentatonic Scale and a big deal is made about position 1 being the minor pentatonic and position 2 being the major pentatonic. But what about ...
user3216617's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Is there a musical term for a fading or decaying echo?

Is there a term for a fading echo of a note or chord? And how might someone create this effect in a modern DAW based on recording a single note or chord on a keyboard or guitar? I've done a search and ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 209
8 votes
3 answers
970 views

In terms of range, what does "eingestrichen" refer to?

I'm trying to read an old handwritten German document from 1835 which describes the range of the newly invented tuba. It says: die Bass-Tuba hingegen 4 reine Octaven durch die chromatische Scala, ...
Stewart's user avatar
  • 977
-3 votes
1 answer
173 views

What do you call the mimicking of music and sounds through whistling?

I recently realised that I can repeat sounds I hear by whistling. Not all sounds, some fall out my whistling range, but I can whistle any music I know. What is this phenomenon called? I don't think it ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is "Für Elise" written in 3/8 when there are a few bars in 2/16?

I am transcribing Für Elise in flat.io and I have noticed that these two bars do not add to 3/8, but instead 2/16 and 1/4 respectively. I am guessing they somehow complement each other and that maybe ...
blidt's user avatar
  • 53
3 votes
4 answers
178 views

Is there a name for raising the v chord to a dominant V

From what I've understood from other questions, the dominant chord is always major. So in a minor key, the v chord is not considered dominant. Considering that, is there a name for when we're in a ...
Teleporting Goat's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
108 views

Two categories of scales

There are scales like C-Major or Eb harmonic Minor or A-octatonic or G# Mixo(#11) or E-acoustic. Heck, what not, a plenty of scales actually, more you could imagine to be listed here. And there are ...
musiklanger's user avatar
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Why don't guitar chords and staff notations match each other?

The G7 chord in root position on a fretboard diagram for guitar looks like this: But in staff notation, the G7 chord in root position looks like: The correct representation of the notes on the ...
Sean's user avatar
  • 1,377
3 votes
2 answers
385 views

When was the term "scale degree" coined? Or where did it originate?

Today is the first time I've heard the term "scale degree". When was the term coined? Or where did it originate?
MoraleZ's user avatar
  • 31
5 votes
2 answers
355 views

What does the phrase “a bar for nothing” mean?

I’ve heard this phrase most commonly used when counting off a song in a jazz context. The MD will say “I’ll give you a bar for nothing” and then count off the song. What does it mean?
Tim Hargreaves's user avatar

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