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Music Theory: Key Terms

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Timothy Murphy

on 6 January 2016

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Transcript of Music Theory: Key Terms

Music Theory
Learning Objective
To identify musical features through listening

Broken Chords
A chord normally consists of
three notes
played at the
same time




A broken chord is when the chord is
'broken up'
Pizzicato
When stringed instruments such as violin, viola or cello are
plucked
with the finger rather than bowed
Counterpoint
Counterpoint takes place when a melody is heard and one or more
counter melodies
are heard over the top

The texture would be described as
Contrapuntal
Pedal Note
A pedal note is a sustained or
repeated note
throughout a passage of music

If you hear a constantly repeated note, its harmonic function is '
a pedal
'
Staccato & Legato
When a passage is played staccato, the notes are
short
and
detached





When a passage is played legato, the notes are
smooth
and
flowing
Call and Response
Counterpoint
Pedal Note
Arco
Legato
Staccato
Pizzicato
Arpeggio
Scale
Broken Chord
Falsetto
A Cappella
Syncopation
Rubato

Example
Skip to the outro
God only knows
by
The Beach Boys
Superstition
by
Stevie Wonder
Fidelity
by
Regina Spektor
Arco
'Arco' is the Italian term for bow. Violin, Violas and Cellos use bows to play their instruments:
Guitarists and string players often wiggle their finger while holding the string and this is called
vibrato
Vibrato is not to be confused with
Tremelo
Vibrato
is a modulation of
pitch

Tremelo
is a modulation of
volume
Call and Response
When one instrument presents a musical phrase that acts as a
question
, a different instrument presents a musical phrase that acts as an
answer
Between Vocalists
Between vocal and instruments
(Chorus)
Opening piano
Arpeggio
To play an arpeggio is to play the notes of a chord in succession, either ascending or descending.
This example is a Bb major chord played as an arpeggio:
Bb - F - D
(this is an electric guitar effect)
Scale
Similar to arpeggios; Scales also consist of notes played in succession, but the notes are closer together; semi-tones or tones apart:
Bohemian Rhapsody
by
Queen
Imagine
by
John Lennon
All by myself
by
Eric Carmen
Wake me up
by
Avicii
(cover)
Walking on broken glass
by
Annie Lennox
You raise me up
by
Andre Rieu
(cover)
California Dreamin'
by
The mamas and
the papas
All you need is love
by
The Beatles
Love's Theme
by
Barry White
A Cappella
To sing unaccompanied by any other instruments
Some Nights
by
Fun.
Opening
Falsetto
When a vocalist sings in a
false register

In other words, when a male imitates a female vocal by singing in a high octave


I believe in a thing called love
by
The Darkness
Ostinato
An ostinato is a short repeated phrase
Vocal ostinato
Take a chance on me
by
ABBA
Instrumental
ostinato
Immigrant Song
by
Led Zeppelin
Syncopation
To play something which is syncopated means to play
off
the beat
Obvious guitar
syncopation
Stir it up
by
Bob Marley
Aint no mountain high enough
by
Diana Ross
Not so obvious piano syncopation
Sequence
A musical sequence is a phrase that is repeated but at a
different pitch
.

When the pitch moves
up
, this is called an
ascending sequence
When the pitch moves
down
, this is called a
descending sequence
Guitar melody
Waterloo Sunset
by The Kinks
Vocal Technique
Full transcript