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In: glossary

a
June 26, 2013

the name of a pitch using letter notation. Also means “to”, “at” or “with”, for example “a tempo” or “a piacere”.

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a capella
January 28, 2013

Choral music that has no instrumental accompaniment is said to be sung a capella. The term comes from the word ‘Capella’…

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a due
January 28, 2013

means two. It could mean that two players are to play one part, for example two violins are expected to play…

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a piacere
January 28, 2013

tells the performer to play at their pleasure. It usually means to play freely in tempo and phrasing.

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a tempo
January 28, 2013

means to return to the original tempo and is found after indications to speed up, slow down, or to be flexible…

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absolute music
January 28, 2013

music that has no reference to non-musical ideas. For example, the music is not intended to tell a story like program…

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accelerando
January 28, 2013

to become faster. speeding up.

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accent
January 28, 2013

emphasizing a note or chord to make is stand out from its surrounding by either making it louder in volume, or…

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accidentals
January 28, 2013

Accidentals indicate changes of pitch that are not indicated at the beginning of a song in the key signature. Accidentals remain…

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accompaniment
January 28, 2013

the musical background that supports or provides enrichment to the melody or other main part.  For a singer-songwriter who sings melodies,…

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acoustic
January 28, 2013

describes instruments that produce sound without the aid of electronics or amplification. For example, some of our students play the acoustic…

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acoustics
January 28, 2013

the scientific study of sound. The physics of sound-energy production.

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action
January 28, 2013

the mechanism that transfers movement from a performers fingers to the sounding parts of an instrument. For example, the keys, jacks,…

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ad libitum
February 6, 2013

at the liberty of the performer. The performer may play freely, or without strict tempo. Or improvise a cadenza. Or take…

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adagio
February 6, 2013

a tempo marking indicating that the music should be played slowly.  Literally “at ease”. Typically 55-65 beats per minute.

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