Musical Terms & Terminology - Commonly Used Vocabulary & Language
are some more commonly used Terms related to Music - If
you want to increase your general knowledge by reading up on some technical
and common music terms, have a look at the list below -
Minor - refers to a form of the
tonal system and music based on the minor keys, generally having a
melancholic and sad sound. In this diatonic scale the pattern or steps
followed is - whole-half-whole-whole-half-whole-whole - C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C
Monotone - repetition of a single
Melody - musical notes when played
in succession form a melody.
Musicology - is the study of music,
its various forms and history.
Mute - To turn off or muffle the
sound usually of an instrument.
Natural - a note which is in its
normal pitch - neither higher nor lower (sharp or flat).
- music meant for the night time,
piece of music that brings about the nocturnal mood.
Notation - refers to how you write
Octave - represents the beginning
and end of a Scale - from C to C - 8 full tones.
Octet - A musical piece or
composition for 8 performers or musical instruments.
Opera - refers to a musical drama or
presentation where the words are sung rather than spoken by each
character. The pitch at which this musical drama is performed is usually
Orchestra - In an orchestra, a large
group of musicians and instrumentalists play different kinds of musical
Orchestration - means to write and
arrange music especially to be played by an Orchestra.
Organ - this is a keyboard
instrument. Sound of different pitches is produced when air passes
through pipes of various size and forms.
Parody - is usually based on some
previous work and it re-uses or recreates.
Pentatonic Scale - Such a scale is
made of 5 notes.
Pitch - determines how high or low a
Polka - refers to a Bohemian dance,
a popular ball-room dance of the 19th century.
a piece of music that comes before or
introduces another musical piece.
Presto - fast or quick
Progression - chords and their
Quarter note - Crotchet in western
Quartet - refers to four musicians
Rhapsody - is a free style or form
of instrumental musical piece.
Recital - is a performance either
solo or with some accompaniment.
Relative Minor & major - The Major or minor scales having the
same key signature.
Rhythm - refers to the arrangement or organization of notes based
on time or their duration.
- Scale - An ascending
or descending lineup of notes of a key
- Sharp - denoted by
the symbol '#' shows an increase in a note by one semitone.
- Soprano - it is the
highest female voice
- Staccato - played
- Sonata - it is a
complex piece of music
- Stanza - a song's
- Symphony - A symphony
is one piece consisting of three or four sections.
- Staff - In order
to write musical notations, a staff is used which consists
of five parallel horizontal lines with spaces between them.
Notations are written on and between these lines in a staff.
- Tempo - means the
time and defines the overall speed of a piece of music.
- Timbre - is the quality
- Time Signature -
helps to determine the number of beats to a measure and
is depicted by a numeric sign in sheet music.
- Tonality - refers
to the tonic pitch or the relation between the notes and
- Tonic - is the 1st
tone or keynote in a scale
- Treble - is usually
used to mean the upper half of the vocal range.
- Trio - meant for
- Triplet - A triplet
is playing three notes in the same duration as two notes
are normally played.
- Trombone - is a brass
instrument with a cup-shaped mouthpiece and a slide.
- Tune - is the melodic
arrangement of tones which creates a melody that can be
played by a musical instrument or sung.
- Tuning - Instruments
are tuned by either lowering (bringing down) or or raising
(bringing up) their pitch to improve / correct the tone
of the notes.
Unison - is used when two or more
singers sing the same notes together or when two or more
instrumentalists play the same notes simultaneously.
Virtuoso - the term is used to refer
to a talented performer who has great technical skills in music and
Whole Note - is a note equivalent to
two half notes and 4 quarter notes, also known as semi breve.
Back to Glossary of Musical Terms
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