Unformatted text preview: MUSC 171 Social History of Popular Music Terminology
- 4-to-the-floor – regular bass drum pattern played on each beat of a 4/4 bar
(mainly associated with dance music)
- 12 Bar Blues – African-American music from using three chords (primary
chords I, IV,V or 1,4 and 5)
- A Cappella- vocals without accompaniment (no instruments)
- Alto – The lowest female singing voice and highest singing voice
- Baritone – A low male singing voice
- Bass – The lowest: male singing voice; part of the music; instrument.
- Basso ostinato – repeated bass pattern
- Blue notes – Notes sung or played below their intended pitch (most
commonly the 3 , 7 and 5th of the scale). Creating a “blues” sound.
- Blues – African-American music form for solo voice, derived from spirituals
and work songs. The basis of Jazz. Characterized by the minor 3 or 7 of
the scale; the form is 12 bars long with a specific chord progression.
- Brass – Wind instruments made out of metal with either a cup or funnel
shaped mouth piece (trumpet, cornet, bugle, trombone etc.).
- Call and Response – A vocal form in which a singer makes a melodic
question/statement and an ensemble responds.
- Chords – 3 or 4 notes sounded simultaneously.
- Chorus – The refrain of a song.
- Chromatic – Moving by half steps, notes that do not belong to a scale
- Duration – The length of a note or rest.
- Dynamics – The degrees of loudness and soft.
- Ensemble – A group of instrumentalists or singers.
- Falsetto- High artificial voice (mainly associated with male)
- Forte – Loud
- Genre – A category or type used to analyse popular music texts
- Harmony – When pitches are in agreement (consonance)
- Hook – A repetitive phrase, usually in the chorus of the song, that catches
the listener’s attention
- Improvisation – Spontaneous composition
- Introduction – The preparatory section, movement, or phrase of a piece.
- Interpolation – Borrowing or sampling and altering a musical text and
mixing it to another piece of music.
- MC – Master of Ceremonies
- Melodic/Melody – An organized sequence of single notes
- Metre – A framework for rhythm determined by the number of beats, the
time value of those beats, and the accents thereof.
- Ostinato/ostinati – A repeated musical figure, rhythmic pattern or motive
(also known as riffs)
- Pan – spreading a signal in the stereo field by feeding different levels of
sound to the left and right speakers
- Percussion – Instruments made of sonorous material that produces sounds of
definite or indefinite pitch when shaken or struck, including drums, bells,
gongs, xylophones etc.
- Pitch – The highness or lowness of a note, as determined by its frequency.
- Phrase – A musical idea or section of a melodic line.
- Primary Chords – I, IV or V chords of the key.
- Rhythm – The pattern of long and short note values in music
- Riff – A repeated melodic pattern
- Repeat – The restatement of a passage
- Sample – A small portion of an existing recording that is mixed into a new
- Scale – A progression of notes in a specific order
- Scat – A form of improvisational jazz singing using nonsense syllables
- Session singers – hired singers for studio recording sessions (usually used
as backing singers)
- Sheet music – Printed music
- Sign –a symbol or word used to represent something in music, music
- Signification – The meaning of the sign
- Signify – Be the sign of
- Solo – To perform alone
- Soprano - The highest female voice
- Sprechstimme – “speech-voice”. Half spoken, half sung.
- Stanza – A section of a song, two or more lines long, characterized by a
common metre, rhyme, and number of lines
- Strophic- Using the same melody/music in each section
- Structure/form – The shape and order of music.
- Syncopation – The placement of rhythmic accents on weak beats or weak
portions of beats
- Tempo – The pace/speed of a piece of music
- Tenor - A high male voice between alto and baritone
- Texture – The number of parts (or voices) in a piece and their relation to one
another –the thickness/thinness of the piece
- Timbre – the tone, colour and quality of the piece - Woodwind – Instruments in which sound is produced by the vibration of air
(recorders, flutes, clarinets, saxophones etc.). ...
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