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HOW TO WRITE ABOUT MUSIC

HOW TO WRITE ABOUT MUSIC - HOW TO WRITE ABOUT MUSIC...

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HOW TO WRITE ABOUT MUSIC: VOCABULARY, USAGES, AND CONVENTIONS How to Write about Music: Vocabulary, Usages, and Conventions In writing about music, it's important to use certain terms correctly, with regard to what they mean and the form in which they are written. Some Basic Performance Vocabulary Here are a few terms you'll need to use in discussing musical performances; some of these are misused surprisingly often. Composition, piece, and work. These may all be used, more or less interchangeably, for a single, complete piece of music ("The first composition on the program was very short"; "The second piece was the one I enjoyed most"; "This is a contemporary work"). Song. This is a relatively brief work for a solo singer, which is not part of a larger work like an opera or an oratorio (though it may be part of a song cycle, and the term is also correct for a solo passage in a musical comedy or operetta). Note that song should not be used for an instrumental work, or for an aria. Aria. This is a passage for a solo singer in an opera or oratorio. If it is being performed out of context, as part of a concert or recital, it is still referred to as an aria. Some arias are independent compositions; these are called concert arias. Vocal, vocalist. Vocal means of the voice ; it is redundant and therefore incorrect to speak of a "vocal song." Vocalist is simply a synonym for singer . Choral, chorus. Choral means of a choir (thus a choir work is a work for choir), and a chorus is a relatively large choir, or group of singers.
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