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Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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Is there a term for tablature with numerals placed between the lines?

In most of tablature notation for fretted instruments, each line represents a string and the numerals, representing the frets where to stop the string, are printed on the respective lines. However, ...
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1answer
34 views

Terminology used when a high note in a sentence is sung like a flasetto

In many pop songs I've listened to, when the singer touches the high notes in a line, it is sung like a falsetto. For example, in this cover of Hello by Conor Maynard, the chorus starts from 1:14. ...
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1answer
55 views

What genre of music is this? Is there a technical term or name for this structure?

I noticed that I made my favourite own tracks with this technic: take an ostinato build from a 4 bar phrase, repeat it over and over after a little repetition take a pure chord progression (Chord ...
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2answers
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What's the term for the place where the singer stops singing and lets the orchestra playing instrumentally?

I'm looking for the term (jargon) that used in music or orchestra and says where the singer stops singing and lets the orchestra playing instrumentally. What's it called?
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2answers
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How a chord is analyzed as a “chromatic mediant of the V”?

In the video How To Analyze Songs from the channel 12 tone, the guy wisely separates the task of labeling from analyzing. There's a comment where he lists some possible analysis options of the label ...
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2answers
60 views

What's another name for the sostenuto pedal?

Every pedal except the sostenuto pedal also has an English name. Sostenuto means "sustained" in Italian, according to Wikipedia. Another reason for an English word to replace the word "sostenuto" is ...
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Term for Instrumental Music Where the Singer has been Replace by Instrument [migrated]

Is there a term for instrumental music where the song is typically sung vocally, but the singer's part has been replaced by an instrument? I want to tell my Google Home to play instrumental music of ...
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2answers
34 views

Cyclic integration in music

In a book that I'm reading there is a term called cyclic integration, as follows: In the genres that are the main carriers of classical sonata-form evolution, Mozart began to achieve a marked ...
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Is there a term for when a lyric is sung and then an instrument (sound) is played to mimic the lyric?

Is there a term for when a phrase in a song, i.e., "shivers down my spine" as in Bohemian Rhapsody, after that phrase is sung, a tinkling or some kind of sound is made with an instrument, to mimic "...
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1answer
606 views

Does a walking bass line usually consist of chord tones?

Do we define a walking bass by it consisting of mainly chord tones? So it's just a skeleton of a chord progression? What if it wasn't just chord tones, would it still be considered a walking bass line ...
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1answer
96 views

How is this type of chord progression notation called?

In France, a lot of guitar/bass (pop/jazz) musicians use a graphical way of representing a songs chord progression. It is called the "grid" ( translation of "grille"?) of a song. It looks like this (...
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2answers
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Naming convention for sheet music?

As far as I can tell there are two different types of sheet music/tablature (there are most likely a whole lot more variations, but for my purposes) where one type aims to let you play your instrument ...
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4answers
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In a rhythm, what word best describes the duration of an on/off beat cycle?

I'm writing some software that composes drum-lines. I'm looking for a word that describes the lowest unique combination of down- and up-beats. Eg: Let's say the following are quarter notes: (Disco ...
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1answer
49 views

Is there a specific term for the orchestral bursts in The Firebird?

In Stravinsky's Firebird, during the Danse Infernale section, there are several very short, jarring bursts from the orchestra. These bursts have an unusual dynamic quality in that the attack is not at ...
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0answers
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Term for chorus that sounds like pre-chorus

I'm not good with musical terms, but I like to listen to songs that have odd and strange parts while maintaining "good" structure. There's a song called Remember Me by Oh My Girl. To my ear, the ...
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1answer
71 views

Odd and Even Harmonic Theory [closed]

I've been thinking of ways to harmonize melodies. One of my ways is to not think in terms of the seven diatonic chords, but to just think of in terms of "odd chords" and "even chords". Let's say we ...
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2answers
92 views

What makes a note “high” or “low”?

I've heard people talk about "high C" and "low C". What classifies a note as a "high" or "low" note? Also, what's above the high notes?
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Other than scale-degree 7, do other scale degrees have names for their altered forms?

In a major key, we have names for all seven scale degrees: Tonic Supertonic Mediant Subdominant Dominant Submediant Leading Tone To this we can add the subtonic, scale-degree ♭7 that rests a whole ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
644 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. ...
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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?
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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 ...
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1answer
70 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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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.
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2answers
999 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?...
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2answers
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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?
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
98 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 ...
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5answers
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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?
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1answer
92 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 ...
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2answers
457 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 ...
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3answers
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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.
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3answers
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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, ...
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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!
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1answer
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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.?
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1answer
467 views

What is the difference between legato and portamento?

On Wikipedia Legato means: [...] the player makes a transition from note to note with no intervening silence. [...] Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legato On Wikipedia Portamento means: [...]...
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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 '...
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1answer
332 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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1answer
122 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 ...
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2answers
81 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, ...
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1answer
490 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
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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 ...
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2answers
562 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?