Music Theory Terms Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Interval Cycle
A succession of repeated, equal intervals
Cycle 1/11
Cycle of semitones; divides the octave into twelve equal segments; chromatic scale; only one chromatic scale
Cycle 2/10
Cycle of whole tones; divides the octave into six equal segments; whole-tone scale; two possible scales
Cycle 3/9
Cycle of minor thirds; divides the octave in four equal segments; fully diminished seventh chord; three possible scales
Cycle 4/8
Cycle of major 3rds; divides the octave into three equal segments; augmented triad; four possible scales
Cycle 5/7
Cycle of perfect fourths; divides the octave into twelve equal segments; only one scale
Cycle 6
Cycle of tritones; divides the octave into two equal segments; six possible tritones
Cell x (0123)
One of Bartók's three scales; a segment of the chromatic scale
Cell y (0246)
One of Bartók's three scales; a segment of the whole-tone scale
Cell z (0167)
One of Bartók's three scales; two overlapping tritones
Transpositional combination
A property that results when a set can be divided into two or more segments related among themselves by transposition
Symmetry around an axis
A musical structure where the axis is a pitch or pitch class at midpoint between all the notes in the texture, and all the intervals above or below the axis are the same
Whole tone scale
A scale that divides the octave into six whole tones
Octatonic scale
An eight-note scale in which semitones and tones alternate
Hexatonic scale
A six-note scale in which semitones and minor 3rds alternate
Cardinal Number
The number of elements in a set
Normal ordering
An arrangement of pitch classes in ascending numerical succession where they cover the shortest possible span.
Twelve-tone row
An ordering of twelve pitch classes
Order number
A number in the twelve-tone row that shows the position of the specific pitch class
Prime order
The original order of a row
Inversion order
The inverted order of a row
Retrograde order
The reverse order of a row
Retrograde inversion order
The order of a row that is inverted and reversed
Generative Rhythm
A rhythm that grows from a small initial segment following a systematic process
The initial cell from which a generative rhythm is constructed
Recursive progression
Results from a seed that generates a larger seed
Progressive rhythm
Results when an initial seed is changed by a fixed value
Chromatic progression
The value of a progressive rhythm is added or subtracted by 1
Metric modulation
Process where music moves from one tempo to another in a series of intermediate steps
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