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Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about musical terms. Questions about symbols should use the "notation" tag.

8
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4answers
3k views

What do “bars” mean?

I am trying to understand the meaning of the word "bars". I will give a couple examples: In an interview the rapper 50 Cent mentioned that when he was coming up "he just rapped", he "didn't ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a song be in the chromatic scale?

I noticed that Entry of the Gladiators is said to be in C major scale but I was wondering if it could be in the chromatic scale since it uses all the notes. And if not, are there examples of songs ...
8
votes
2answers
570 views

What's the exact difference between modulation, key change and tonicisation?

I've always regarded a key change as the use of a completely different set of notes for the following music - definitely in a different key. Was in C, now is in C#, with no reason to suppose a return. ...
0
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2answers
195 views

What do you call the short sections at the ends of pieces?

How would you characterize the short section at the end of a piece of music (climax)? What do you think is its function?
1
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0answers
51 views

To imagine music & to understand the becoming of a musical idea [closed]

Nice to meet you. This is my first post here, so I begin with a short introduction: In 2013 I started the Goaganesh Project, inspired to make electronic music primarily by my admiration for the ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What is this string/violin technique called?

In this song, from 2:40 to 2:41, the strings play a series of very short notes. It sounds almost like vibrato. I hear this string technique quite often in orchestral music. Is there a name for this ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

Can the idea of “modulation” be applied outside of harmony?

If you have a "pivot motif", which shares, for example, rhythmic properties of theme A and theme B, and is used to move between the two themes, could you consider this a modulation? What other ...
0
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3answers
66 views

What does 'angular' mean?

I quote uses of 'angular' and 'angularity' in The Rough Guide to Classical Music (2010 5 ed). Some uses of 'angular' p. 286 Bottom, Right Column Korngold’s Symphony (1952) is the most ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Why is 'musique concrète' called 'concrète'? [closed]

This post defines it, but doesn't expound its etymology. This website doesn't either: The idea behind Musique Concrète is that the composer begins with a set of “concrete” sounds and arranges them ...
5
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2answers
620 views

Term for two differently named chords that contain the same notes

Is there a musical term for two different chords that contain the same notes? E.g., Bdim7 is B D F A♭ and Ddim7 is D F A♭ B. They both have the same notes but their names are different.
4
votes
2answers
764 views

How does 'meter' differ from 'rhythm' in music?

The following introductory books' definitions don't distinguish meter from rhythm. Please see the titled question. I asked this on Music Fans, but I still don't understand. Please expound more plainly?...
7
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2answers
178 views

What is circle picking for guitar?

I just heard a term describing a picking technique for guitar that I hadn't heard before. Can anyone enlighten me as to what circle picking actually is?
2
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2answers
43 views

Names of textual chord notation systems

I use three types of textual chord notation. For example in the key of C: Nashville number system: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 C Dm Em F G Am Bdim I ii iii IV V vi viiØ or I IIm IIIm IV V VIm VIIØ What do you ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Is there a name for when the notes of a bass guitar slowly go up and down

There is a thing I have noticed in a bunch of songs where the bass guitar plays slowly and the notes go up then down and back up again. This is one example I found where it's pretty clear but I have ...
3
votes
5answers
120 views

Is interval always related to a scale?

Is music interval always a concept in terms of scales and do we always have to take the first note as tonic? What would be the interval between D note and E note in C major scale?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Is there a term for songs that have a “surprise change” in their rhythm? [duplicate]

There are many songs that begin with a repeating beat/instrumental that implies a certain rhythm (let’s call it “Rhythm A”), but then when a later instrument enters the song, it turns out that the ...
8
votes
2answers
401 views

What do we call a chord progression that doesn't have a tonic chord?

I came up with a chord progression the other day: Fm7 Ebmaj7 Abmaj7 G7 It's clearly in C minor. But instead of resolving to Cm, I was looping through it. What catched my attention was that it ...
10
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3answers
5k views

What’s that U shaped metal thing needed for tuning called?

There is this metal thing shaped as a 'U'; you hit it against something and put it against your ear to hear this sound. I'm not sure what it's called but I need it to tune the A string on my violin.
0
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3answers
106 views

Is there a name for talking-in-tune singing?

I've been listening to Roger Waters (from Pink Floyd) and quite often his vocalising doesn't seem close enough to singing to actually call it singing. His vocalising for Pink Floyd is usually singing, ...
1
vote
2answers
87 views

Terminology - note or tone?

For the 2,000th theory question! The leading note is often called the leading tone, albeit being one semitone below the root note. Why has it been called thus? It can't be right!
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Terms for 4, 8 and 16 bar sections?

Are there specific musical terms describing time structure like 4 bar sections, 8 bar sections, 16 etc.?
4
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2answers
161 views

Meaning of 'Section Work'?

Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is one of the best jazz orchestras in existence, a powerhouse outfit whose precise section work is enhanced by thrilling soloists. Please define '...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

“Break” vs “Breakdown” meaning (EDM)

when referring to electronic dance music structure, is there any difference between the terms "break" and "breakdown"? A breakdown for sure is that section where kick/main bass are muted and the song ...
4
votes
5answers
173 views

Name for ensemble of the same instrument

When arranging music, is there a commonly accepted or easy to understand name for an ensemble (be it a trio, duet, quartet, etc.) which contains all of the same instrument? For example, how could you ...
4
votes
1answer
113 views

Terminology: Staff, System

I'd like to clarify the use of some terms: When I want to name just one "line" of music if there's just one instrument written, what would be the correct word? Do I say "the second bar of the third ...
0
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2answers
62 views

Terminology: Notation of time in 'measures, beats, and ticks'

I was writing a report in which I was trying to explain the way we notate a point of time in music such as "at Measure 1, Beat 3, Tick 240" in contrast to the regular time whose units are "hours, ...
2
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1answer
252 views

Meaning of “Uptempo” music vs “upbeat” music (and their opposites)

Can the expression "uptempo music" be used as a synonym for "upbeat music"? Please note that I'm not referring to the music theory meaning of the term upbeat (the beat preceding a bar), but rather the ...
9
votes
2answers
254 views

What are “horn 5ths”?

I encountered the term "horn 5th" in a book on orchestration. I have difficulty understanding the exact meaning of the term. Unfortunately, couldn't find anything about this term by googling, except ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How should I name my “music” folder containing sheet music/tabs/compositions/lessons? [closed]

(Sorry if this is too subjective or off-topic, but I've been struggling with this minor issue for too long) Like most musicians, I listen to music and work on music. On my computer, I have a folder ...
0
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0answers
42 views

Is there a term for when lyrics are integrated with words from a sampled beat?

Is there a term for when the lyrics of a song are integrated with words from a sampled beat? I see this particularly in hip-hop. For example, the hook from Game's "Dreams" has lyrics: Lettin' the ink ...
7
votes
2answers
382 views

What is the wall of sound on many early 60's pop records

Phil Spector is noted for his distinctive "wall of sound" on the records that he produced in the early sixties. What is it and how did he achieve it?
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Why are there transposing instruments? [duplicate]

I just play guitar and harmonica, but I understand that some instruments are considered transposing instruments. Nobody has ever explained the reasons for transposing instruments other than they are ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

Why is meter divided into simple and compound types?

From what I understand, Simple Meter -- divisible by twos Compound Meter -- divisible by threes Why do we choose 2 and 3? Why not n divisions?
3
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2answers
1k views

Solfege versus normal note names (do, re, mi v. C, D, E)

At a recent gig in France, someone asked me for a 'mi bemol' to pitch some singers. Had to consider for a moment, then realised they wanted Eb. (French system uses fixed do). A hand signal would have ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

What does “Etwas Belebter” mean in “Verklarte Nacht”

In the first movement of "Verklarte Nacht" by Arnold Schoenberg there is a term "Etwas belebter". When I checked this word in dictionary it mean "Somewhat busier". When I listen to the piece in this ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

How many sharps in D# major?

There was a recent question: Name of black keys as a starting point in a musical series. Several others and I answered it. In my answer, I said: "E♭ will require 3 flats. D♯ would require double ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Term for improvisation (or Melody) based on specific intervals, not notes?

Is there a term for melodic improvisation where only specific intervals are taken into consideration? As an example, Beginning on C, the player then has the option of moving either up or down, (Or ...
4
votes
3answers
88 views

What terms describe music that generally moves down (Or up) in pitch as the music moves forward?

I have noticed that some music, particularly music rock music played on guitar, often has passages that start lower in the register of the guitar (Or other), and increase pitch as the passage ...
3
votes
3answers
402 views

What counts as tonal music?

This question was sparked by comments in Sources of harmonic ambiguity in tonal music: By the user lightning: EDIT: I would consider anything which is based on a pitch-class hierarchy to be tonal, ...
3
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3answers
106 views

How would you describe the sound of a tune that is played backwards?

Is there a specific term to describe the tension that arises when songs are played in reverse? Where it sounds as if the volume is increasing for each note. For example: ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Is there a theory term for using a restricted 'vocabulary' of chord types?

An example - Good Life by Inner City: The repeating progression here is (as I hear it) bm7 - f#m7 - am7 - em7. Whilst not a standard diatonic progression, the ...
10
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6answers
2k views

What is the most common way to refer to a particular note in the chromatic scale without making any implications as regards tonality?

It seems to me that in current musical practice, we are often in a 12-TET situation where effectively, we have an (octave repeating) set of 12 notes that make up the chromatic scale, each of which can ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

English equivalent for Fünftonraum

What is an accurate English translation for the German "Fünftonraum". The context of its use is in fingering diagrams for the first five notes of a scale, not the pentatonic scale. The best I can ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the technical term for two (or more) melodies being played at the same time?

In this example there are two melodies even indicated on most transcriptions: What is that called? I’ve heard voicing layers and counterpoint but am not sure if this applies.
2
votes
2answers
128 views

What is the name of the technique where the pitch of the instrumental or vocal line slides smoothly between notes?

Okay, I have been trying to find the word for this vocal trick/note trick for so freaking long. I don't even know if there's a word for it but it's in so many songs spanning the history of recorded ...
5
votes
2answers
459 views

Diminished Seventh Arpeggio?

Checking out something in the ABRSM manual of scales and arpeggios, I note that those 'formed of the chords of the dominant seventh' start and finish on the dominant note (In C, goes G-G). That makes ...
28
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4answers
3k views

What is the difference between 'chorus' and 'refrain'?

I'm trying to learn something about song structure. Reading the Wikipedia article about the subject I came across two terms that looked somewhat similar: chorus and refrain. There seemed to be a ...
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1answer
49 views

What's the official term for the part(s) of instrument(s) playing the exact same score?

'Part' refers to instrument(s) (families) that play(s) the exact same bars and have the exact same score, e.g. what is played by the second violins in Fresco.
4
votes
1answer
136 views

What do we call it when everything—pitch, chords progression, etc.—changes in a song?

There is a technique that I don't understand in some songs where everything changes—the pitch drop, the chord progression, the melody, etc. The only thing that stays the same is the vibe. Here are ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you refer to a note that is more than one octave above or below middle C?

I know you say the A above Middle C when refering to the A that is in the same Octave as Middle C in the Treble Staff, or you say the A below Middle C when referring to the A in the previous Octave on ...