AB form

A musical plan that has two different sections


accompaniment

music that supports the sound of the featured performer(s)


audiate

 to hear it in your head


ballad

a song that tells a story


brass

a family of instruments that is played by buzzing lips and blowing air through a cup-shaped mouthpiece


call and response

a song in which a portion of the melody (call) is followed by an answer (response)


chord

a group of three or more pitches sounded at the same time


contour

the shape of a melody made by the way it moves upward and downward


composer

a person who makes up music by putting sounds together in a new way


cumulative song

a song that keeps adding parts


dynamics

the different levels of loudness and softness


harmony

two or more different pitches sounding at the same time


staff

the five lines and four spaces upon which we read and write notes.


meter

the basic pattern of beats in each measure


march

 a piece of music with rhythm that makes you feel like marching


 

 


unison

when all instruments or voices play or sing the same notes at the same time


timbre

the unique sound each voice or instrument makes


pizzicato

the short sounds made when the strings of an instrument are plucked with the fingers


minor tonality

sounds dark, sad, spooky, or like a warning (Wade in the Water)


major tonality

sounds light, happy (Happy Birthday)


legato

smooth and connected sounds


staccato

short and detached sounds


rondo

a musical form in which the first section always returns (ABACA)


solfege

syllables we use to name pitches, for example: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti


percussion

a family of instruments that are played by shaking, scraping, or striking


octave

the distance between one pitch and the next higher or lower pitch that has the same name (eight steps)


pitch

how high or how low a note sounds


improvise

to make up music as it is being performed


pentatonic

a five tone set that contains only do, re, mi, sol, and la


lullaby

a gentle song that is sung softly to babies to help them fall asleep 


range

the distance between the lowest pitch and the highest pitch in a song


refrain

a song part that is sung the same way every time it repeats


tempo

the speed of the beat


steady beat

the repeating pulse that can be felt in the music


verse

a song part where the melody stays the same when it repeats, but the lyrics change


texture

how thin or thick music sounds when they are layered on top of each other


woodwind

a family of instruments which are played by blowing air through a tube


strings

a family of instruments which are played by strumming, plucking, or bowing a string


notation

the system by which music is written


interval

the distance in pitch between two notes


ostinato

a short rhythmic or melodic pattern that is persistently repeated


symphony

a long piece of orchestral music that is usually in four large sections 


orchestra

a large group of musicians using instruments from the string, woodwind, brass, and percussion families to play mostly classical music

conductor

the person who stands in front of the musicians or singers to direct the performance