Definitions to Learn in Music


Key musical definitions
Rosa Brookes
Flashcards by Rosa Brookes, updated more than 1 year ago
Rosa Brookes
Created by Rosa Brookes about 9 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Grace note (acciacc atura/ appoggi atura)
Pizzicato plucking the strings of a violin or other stringed instrument with one's finger.
Arco played on a violin or other stringed instrument using the bow.
Legato in a smooth flowing manner, without breaks between notes.
Unison coincidence in pitch of sounds or notes.
Staccato with each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others.
Reverb Short for reverberation. Reverb is an effect used to alter music so that it sounds as if it was recorded in an reverberant, echoey space.
Wah wah pedal Played on an electric guitar and common in disco music.
Looping/loop Looping is a digital effect that involves taking a short segment of music (a loop) and repeating it a number of times in succession.
Drum machine An electronic device that replicates the sounds of various percussion instruments.
Amplifier an electronic device for increasing the amplitude of electrical signals, used chiefly in sound reproduction.
BVox Backing vocalists
FX Effects
Microphone an instrument for converting sound waves into electrical energy variations which may then be made louder, transmitted, or recorded.
Mixing desk a console where sound signals come from and are mixed during recording or broadcasting.
Programme note A written commentary on a piece of music, which can supply background about how the piece was composed and information about its musical features.
Bridge aka middle 8
cadenza section of concerto
MIDI musical instrument digital interface. one musician can control several electronic instruments easily and cheaply
multitracking using tape containing 2 or more tracks
panning positioning of sound in stereo field. stay fixed or give the impression that sound is moving from side to side.
reverb (short for reverberation) used to alter music so its sounds s if it was recorded in n echoey, reverberant space. most commonly used studio effect.
sampler (sampling) taking a sound and processing it ad playing back to make a sample (song chorus, sound of breaking glass, anything)
scat using nonsense syllables instead of words. used in jazz.
sequencer/sequencing (NOT A 'SEQUNCE') designed for inputting, editing, storing and playing back data from musical performance.
synthesiser generates sounds electronicaly
timbre different sorts of sounds (violin has different sound to piano)
quantizing approximate (continuously varying signal by one whose amplitude is restricted to prescribed set of values
overlay put music over the top of other music
vocoder a synthesiser that produces sounds from an analysis of speech input
distortion change in form of an electronic signal/sound wave during processing
mixing combine two or more signals or soundtracks into one
improvised or without preparation.
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