Music II

half step
smallest interval used in the Western system; the octave divides into twelve such intervals; on the piano, the distance between any two adjacent keys, whether black or white

half step

melody or harmony built from many if not all twelve semitones of the octave

chromatic scale
consists of an ascending or descending sequence of semitones

musical symbol that indicates raising a pitch by a semitone

musical symbol that indicates lowering a pitch by a semitone

whole step
interval consisting of two half steps

defines the relationship of tones with a common center or tonic; also a lever on a keyboard or woodwind instrument

melody or harmony built from the seven tones of a major or minor scale

diatonic scale
encompasses patterns of seven whole tones and semitones

five-note pattern used in some African, Far Eastern, and Native American music; can also be found in Western music as an example of exoticism

three-note scale pattern, used in the music of some sub-Sharan African cultures

seven-note scale; in non-Western music, often fashioned from a different dcdombination of intervals than major and minor scales

musical interval smaller than a semitone, prevalent in some non-Western music and in some twentieth-century art music

small alteration of the pitch by a microtonal interval

active chords
in the diatonic system, chords which need to resolve the tonic chord; these include the dominant chord and the subdominant chord

rest chord
a chord that achieves a sense of resolution of completion, normally the tonic

the fifth scale step (sol)

the fourth scale step (fa)

the process of changing from one key to another

shifting a piece of music to a different pitch level

rate of speed or pace of music

element of musical expression relating to the degree of loudness or softness, or volume, of a sound

vocal style established in the Baroque, with a solo singer(s) and instrumental accompaniment

literally Italian for salon; a gathering for literary, artistic, musical, or philosophical discussions, notably the Fliorentine Camarata at the end of the sixteenth century

figured bass
Baroque practice consisting of an independent bass line that often includes numerals indicating the harmony to be supplied by the performer

figured bass

basso continuo
Italian for “continuous bass”; also refers to the performance group with bass, chordal instrument (harpsichord, organ) and one bass melody instrument (cello, bassoon)

major-minor tonality
a harmonic system based on the use of the major and minor scales, widely practiced from the seventeenth to the late nineteenth century

equal temperament
tuning system based on the division of the octave into twelve equal half steps; the system used today

doctrine of affections
Baroque doctrine of the union of text and music

male singer who was castrated during boyhood to preserve the soprano or alto vocal register, prominent in seventeenth and early eighteenth century opera

French monophonic or polyphonic song, especially of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, set to either courtly or popular poetry

Renaissance secular work originating in Italy for voices, with or without instruments, set to a short, lyric love poem; also popular in England

word painting
musical pictoralizing of words from the text as an expressive device; a prominent feature of the Renaissance madrigal

a striking effect designed to depict the meaning of the text in vocal music; found in many madrigals and other genres of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries

one of the church modes often associated with a somber mood; built on the pitch E using only white keys

stately Renaissance court dance in duple meter

Italian “jumping dance,” often characterized by triplets in a rapid 4/4 time

lively, triple meter French court dance

German dance in moderate duple time, popular during the Renaissance and Baroque periods; often the first movement of a Baroque suite

lively Renaissance “round dance,” associated with the outdoors, in which participants danced in a circle or a line

melodic decoration, either improvised or indicated through ornamentation signs in the music

musical drama that is generally sung throughout, combining the resources of vocal and instrumental music with poetry and drama, acting and pantomime, scenery and costumes

solo vocal declamation that follows the inflection of the text, often resulting in a disjunct vocal style; found in opera, cantata, and oratoria; can be secco or accompagnato

recitative singing style that features a sparse accompaniment and moves with great freedom

accompanied; also a recitative that is accompanied by orchestra

lyric song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, generally expressing intense emotion; found in opera, cantata, and oratorio

de capo aria
lyric in ternary, or A-B-A form, commonly found in operas, cantatas, and oratorios

an introductory movement, as in opera or oratorio, often presenting melodies from arias to come; also an orchestral work for concert performance

short orchestral work, found in Baroque opera, to facilitate scene changes

the author of a libretto

text or script of an opera, oratorio, cantata, or musical (also called the “book” in a musical)

English genre of aristocratic entertainment that combined vocal and instrumental music with poetry and dance, developed during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries

country dance of British Isles, often in a lively triple meter, optional dance of movement of solo and orchestral Baroque suite; a type of duple meter hornpipe is still popular in Irish traditional dance music

ground bass
a repeating melody, usually in the bass, throughout a vocal or instrumental composition

vocal genre for solo singers, chorus, and instrumentalists based on lyric or dramatic poetic narrative; it generally consists of several movements, including recitatives, arias, and ensemble numbers

large-scale dramatic genre originating in the Baroque, based on a text of religious or serious character, performed by solo voices, chorus, and orchestra; similar to opera but without scenery, costumes, or action

congregational hymn of the German Lutheran Church

bar form
three-part A-B-A form, frequently used in music and poetry, particularly in Germany

collegium musicum
an association of amateur musicians, popular in the Baroque era; also a modern university ensemble dedicated to the performance of early music

short, recurring instrumental passage found in both the aria and Baroque concerto

opera seria
tragic Italian opera

a form of English street song, popular from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries; ballads are characterized by narrative content and strophic form

ballad opera/dialogue opera
English comic opera, usually featuring spoken dialogue alternating with songs set to popular tones

French Baroque dance, a standard movement of the suite, in triple meter at a moderate tempo

stately Spanish Baroque dance type in triple meter, a standard movement of the Baroque suite

a vigorous dance developed in the British Isles, usually in compound meter, became fashionable on the continent as the gigue; still popular as an Irish traditional dance genre

popular English Baroque dance type, a standard movement of the Baroque suite in a lively compound meter

an elegant triple-meter dance type popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; usually in binary form

duple-meter French Baroque dance type with a moderate quick tempo

lively French Baroque dance type in duple meter

French Baroque court dance type; a faster version of the minuet

musical form in which the first section recurs, usually in the tonic; in the classical multimovement cycle, it appears as the last movement in various forms including A-B-A-B-A, A-B-A-C-A, and A-B-A-C-A-B-A

instrumental genre in several movements of concertos that combines elements of Baroque ritornello

concerto grosso
Baroque concerto type based on the opposition between a small group of solo instrumentals (the concertino) and orchestra (the ripieno)

solo group of instruments in the Baroque concerto grosso

all; the opposite of solo

the larger of the two ensembles in the Baroque concerto grosso; also tutti

program music
instrumental music endowed with literary or pictoral associations, especially popular in the nineteenth century

Baroque form (similar to chaconne) in moderately slow triple meter, based on a short, repeated base-line melody that serves as the basis for continuous variation in other voices

Baroque form similar to the passacaglia, in which the variations are based on a repeated chord progression

instrumental work preceding a larger work

virtuoso composition, generally for organ or harpsichord, in a free and rhapsodic style; in the Baroque, it often served as the introduction to a fugue

polyphonic form popular in the Baroque era in which one or more themes developed by imitative counterpoint

main idea or theme of a work, as in a fugue

second entry of the subject in a fugue, usually pitched a fourth below or a fifth above the subject

opening section; in the fugue, the first section in which the voices enter in turn with the subject, in sonata-allegro form, the first section in which the major thematic material is stated


interlude or intermediate section in the Baroque fugue that serves as an area of relaxation between statements of the subject

statement of a melody in longer note values, often twice as slow as the original

statement of a melody in shorter note values, often twice as fast as the original

backward statement of the melody

mirror or upside-down image of a melody pattern, found in fugues and twelve-tone compositions

in a fugue, when entries of the subject occur at faster intervals of time, so that they overlap forming dense, imitative counterpoint; usually occurs at the climactic moment near the end