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92 Cards in this Set

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absolute music
Music that is free from extramusical implications. The term is used most frequently in contradistinctioin to program music, which is inspired in part by pictorial or poetic ideas. It usually excludes vocal music, especially the type in which the text clearly influences the musical language and structure.

e.g. Mozart Symphonies
accent
1. Emphasis on one pitch or chord. An accent is <i>dynamic</i> if the pitch or chord is louder than its surroundings, <i>tonic</i> if it is higher in pitch, and <i>agogic</i> if it is of longer duration.
accentuation
The proper placement of accents,m especially in music set to a text.
acciaccatura
Italian name for an ornament of keyboard music (c.1675-1725) that calls for the playing, together with the normal note, of a neighboring tone (usually the lower second), which is to be released immediately "as if the key were hot" (Geminiani). This ornament usually occurs in connection with chords, the chords often including two and occasionally even three <i>acciaccatura</i> tones. The tones are written as ordinary notes, so that the chord takes on the appearance of an extremely dissonant tone cluster.

The French counterpart is the <i>arpegement figure</i>, in which the dissonant tone (usually only one) is indicated by a diagonal dash; as the name implies, it is performed as an arpeggio.

e.g. D.Scarlatti: Sonata, Bach: Scherzo of Partita No.3
ad libitum
An indication that gives the performer liberty to: (1) vary from strict tempo (contrast a battuta); (2) include or omit the part of some voice or instrument (contrast obbligato); (3) include a cadenza according to his own invention.
Added sixth
The pitch a sixth above the root when added to a triad, or the entire chord thus obtained; e.g., c-e-g-a. Chords of this type are common in jazz and popular music, in which context they are often designated, e.g., C6. They are not to be confused with any of the chords described under Sixth chord.
Agogic
An accent is said to be agogic if it is effected not by dynamic stress or by higher pitch but by longer duration of the note.
Agréments
Grace notes. The ornaments introduced in French music of the 17th century and finally adopted into all European music; generally indicated by stenographic signs or notes in small type.

ornaments, grace notes, acciaccatura, indeed anything added to vocal or instrumental music to make the performance more agréable (dolmetsch)
Air
(1) French 17th and 18th century term for song in general. (2) In French opera and ballet of the 17th and 18th centuries, an instrumental or vocal piece designed to accompany dancing but not cast in one of the standard dance patterns such as the minuet or gavotte. (3) in suites written about and after 1700, a movement, found in the optional group, of a melodic rather than dancelike character.
Air de cour
A type of short strophic song, sometimes with a refrain, for one or more voices usually with lute or harpsichord accompaniment, cultivated in France in the late 16th and in the 17th centuries. The songs are in simple sylabic style, and some texts are in versmesuré.
Alberti bass
Stereotyped figures of accompaniment for the left hand in keyboard music, consisting of broken chords. They are named for Domenico Alberti (d.c.1740) who used them extensively.
Aleatory music
Music in which the composer introduces elements of chance or unpredictability with regard to either the composition or its performance. The terms aleatoric, chance music, music of indeterminacy have been applied to many works created since 1945 by composers who differ widely as to the concepts, methods, and rigor with which they employ procedures of random selection. In the composition process, pitches, durations, degrees of intensity, and other elements may be chosen or distributed in time by dice throwing, interpretations of abstract designs (Cage), and the like, or according to certain mathematical laws of chance (Xenakis). In performance, chance is allowed to operate by leaving the choice or order of appearance of some elements to the performer's discretion (Brown, Boulez, Stockhausen, Pousseur). Most of these procedures are derived from and motivated by new general concepts of music, according to which form and structure are no longer regarded as definitely fixed and final but as subject to partial or total transformations from one performance to another (open forms, mobile forms). The first well-known example of 20th century aleatory composition was John Cage's Music of Changes for piano (1951).
Allemande
A dance in moderate duple time that first appeared in the early 16th century. Like the pavane and passamezzo, the allemande was frequently followed by a jumping dance in triple meter (called tripla, Proportz) or, in the 17th century, by the courante. In the 17th century the allemande became a stylized dance type regularly used as the first movement of the suite. These allemandes are in moderate 4/4 time, with a short upbeat, and frequently make use of short running figures that are passed through the various voices of a pseudo-contrapuntal fabric. In the late 18th century the name Allemande was used in South Germany as an equivalent for deutscher Tanz, a quick watzlike dance in 3/4 or 3/8 time. Pieces of this type occur in Beethoven's Bagatellen op. 119, where he uses the phrase "à l'Allemande," and in his Zwölf deutsche Tänze (1795) for orchestra.
Altered Chord
A chord in which one or more pitches have been chromatically altered, e.g., the Neapolitan, German, and French sixth chords.
Andamento
In 18th century writings (1) Sequence. (2) A special type of fugal subject (3) In more recent writings the term is used to denote a fugal episode.

(Italian m.) a long subject, an episode or an accessory idea in a fugue (in Italian, if the 'subject' is very short it is called attacco, while a theme neither over long nor over short is called soggetto) <dolmetsch>
Anfang
Beginning; vom Anfang, same as da capo.
Anglaise
A 17th and 18th century dance in fast duple time, obviously derived from the country dance.

i.e. J.S. Bach: French Suite no.3
Anhemitonic
An anhemitonic scale (also called a tonal scale) possesses no semitones; e.g., one of the four pentatonic scales or the whole-tone scale.
Answer
In fugal writing, the answer is the second (or fourth) statement of the subject, usually in the dominant (occasionally in the subdominant); so called because of its relationship to the first (or third) statement, which is in the tonic.
Antecedent and consequent
The terms are usually applied to melodic phrases that stand in the relationship of question and answer or statement and confirmation, as in the accompanying example (Beethoven, String Quartet op. 18, no.2, 4th mvt). Here , as in other instances, the dialogue character of the melody is emphasized by its distribution between two instruments. The two phrases often have the same or similar rhythms, but have complementary pitch contours and/or tonal implications, e.g., a rising contour in the first and a falling contour in the second, or a conclusion on the dominant in the first and a conclusion on the tonic in the second. The terms are also used as synonymous with subject and answer in fugues and canons.

the first of a pair of musical statements, termed antecedent and consequent, that complement each another in rhythmic symmetry and harmonic balance. In this case the statements stand in the relationship of question and answer or statement and confirmation <dolmetsch>
Appoggiatura
(Italian f., meaning 'leaning') a note preparatory to another or to a chord acting as an unprepared suspension

*study more details!
Arpeggio
The notes of a chord played one after another instead of simultaneously. Its execution always starts with the lowest note, and as a rule it should begin at the moment when the chord is due (i.e., on the beat), whether indicated by sign or by tiny notes. There are cases, however, in which the melody carried by the top note of the arpeggio will not bear the delay caused by this execution, so that the last note of the arpeggio must then be made to coincide with the beat. The latter performance is generally to be recommended in piano music whenever the arpeggio occurs in the left hand alone.

(German n., Italian m., from the Italian meaning 'in the manner of a harp') a spread chord played from the top down or from the bottom up

in the first half of the eighteenth century, the marking arpeggio is sometimes found at the beginning of a sequence of chords, in which case the performer is at liberty, if he or she so chooses, to play the chords broken, both up and down <dolmetsch>
Ars nova
(literally 'new art') specifically the period 1310 to 1375, to include the newer, freer Florentine school (Italian Ars nova). The term was used in the 1319 treatise Ars nova by Philippe de Vitry (1291-1361). Ars nova flowered fully in the Italian madrigal of the following centuries characterised by duple and triple meter and some use of isorhythm. Strictly, the term Ars nova applies only to French music (French Ars nova) but is commonly used for all fourteenth-century music from the Roman de Fauvel onwards. In the writings of Marchettus de Padua, Pomerium de musica mensurata (1318), and Jean de Mauris, Ars Novae Musicae (1319), we find described respectively the Italian and French notational systems, the former short lived, the latter going on to form the basis of our modern notational system. The term Italian ars nova is sometimes applied to the music of of Francesco Landini or Landino (c.1325-1397) and his compatriots <dolmetsch>
Augmentation and diminution
The presentation of a subject in doubled values (augmentation) or in halved values (diminution), so that, e.g., the quarter note becomes a half note (augmentation) or an eighth note (diminution). The note values may also be augmented *or diminished) in higher ratios, such as 1:3 (triple augmentation) or 1:4 (quadruple augmentation) or in other more complex ratios. These devices provide an important element of variety in fugal writing. They are usually introduced toward the end of the fugue.

e.g. Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier, I, no. 8 (augmentation), and II, no.9 (diminution)
Auxiliary tone
or auxiliary tone, a variety of passing note that returns back to the note immediately before it, one of the species called 'non-harmonic notes'. They differ from passing notes in that they do not move by degrees from one harmony note to another, but return from that from which they started. The term is particularly applied to a grace note lying a second above or below the note to which it will return, or in a trill to the note immediately above (in the case of early trills) or immediately below (in the case of modern trills) the principal note <dolmetsch>
Backfall, fore fall
English 17th century names for two types of appoggiatura, the former from above, the latter from below,
Ballad
The term derives from medieval terms such as chanson balldée, ballade, ballata, all of which originally denoted dancing songs but lost their dance connotation as early as the 14th century and became stylized forms of solo song. In England this process of change went still further, and eventually (16C) ballad came to mean a simple tale told in simple verse. There may have been a transitional period during which the recitation of the poems was still accompanied by some sort of dancing. Most ballads are narrative, and many deal with fabulous, miraculous, or gruesome deeds. Ballad singers made a living by singing their newest productions in the streets and at country fairs and by selling the printed sheets (broadsides), which usually gave the instruction: "to be sung to the tune of ...," e.g., "Greensleeves." In its more recent (19C) meaning, a ballad is a popular song usually combining narrative and romantic elements, frequently with an admixture of the gruesome. These ballads are mostly written in common meter (8 6 8 6). Today the term ballad is loosely applied to any kind of popular song.
Ballad opera
A popular form of 18th century stage entertainment in England, consisting of spoken dialogue alternating with musical numbers taken from ballad tunes, folksongs, or famous melodies by earlier or contemporary composers and including occasional satire or parody of serious opera and current events.

E.g., John Gay: The Beggar's Opera (1728)
Ballade
1). One of the three formes fixes of 14th century French poetry and msuci. The poem usually has three stanas, each of seven or eight lines, the last line identical in all the stanzas, forming a refrain. The form of the stanza is thus:ababbcC or ababccdD (capital letters indicate the refrain), a scheme that, so far as the music is concerned, can be represented as follows: A A B (section A=the lines a b; section B= the remaining lines). Some ballades have the musical form AABB, the music for lines 5 and 6 being repeated for lines 7 and 8. Ballades sometimes conclude with an envoi.
The ballade played a prominet role in the work of Machaut and in the work of his successors in the late 14th century, for whom the polyphonic ballde became the most representative type of music. The form continued to be cultivated, though much more sparingly, during the 15th century.

Monophonic songs with the form AAB are common in the repertory of the troubadours and even more so in that of the trouveres, though most of these differ from the forme fixe in some details of versification (e.g., absence of refrain, having more than three stanzas).

2) A type of poem derived from the English ballds but having greater artistic elaboration and poetic refinement. Therese poems usually deal with medieval subjects, either historical or legendary or with romantic tales. Such balladen were frequently set to, usually as through-composed songs of great length. In the later 19th century, they were sometimes set for soloist and/or chorus with orchestra. Chopin, Brahms, and others have used the term for piano pieces, sometimes citing literary models.
Ballade style
A term referring to the typical texture of the 14th century French ballade (Machaut), that is, in three parts, the top part vocal and the two lower parts (tenor, contratenor) instrumental. The same style was used for rondeaux, virelais, and occasionally for Mass compositions as well. The terms cantilena style and treble-dominated style have been suggested as substitutes for ballade style.
Bar form
A term used frequently in modern studies for an old, very important musical form, schematically designated AAB. The name is derived from the medieval German term "Bar", a poem consisting of three or more "Gesätze" (i.e.,stanzas), each of which is divided into two "Stollen" (corresponding to musical section A) and an "Abgesang" (section B). The form is found in the repertory of the troubadours and particularly of the trouvères. The minnesingers and Meistersinger, who called it a "Bar", used it for nearly all their lyrical songs. It is equally common in the German polyphonic songs of the 15th and 16th centuries as well as in the Lutheran chorales and the various compositions based on them (organ chorales, chorale cantatas, etc.).
Basso ostinato
*see ground, ostinato
Basso ripieno
In 17th century or chestral works, a bass part for the tutti (ripieno0 passages only, ie.e, not for hte solo sections.
Basso seguente
An eraly type of thorughbass that merely duplicated (usually on the organ) whatever part of a vocal composition was the lowest at any given time.
Battaglia
A composition in which the fanfares, cries, drum rolls, and general commotion of a battle are imitated. This was a favorite subject of program music from the 16th through the 18th centuries.
Battement
French 17th century term for any ornament consisting of an alternation of two adjacent tones, e.g., mordent, trill, vibrato. In modern parlance, battements are the acoustical beats.
Batterie
1) the percussion group of the orchestra.

2) A drum roll.

3) An 18th century name for arpeggio, broken chord figures, Alberti basses, etc.

4) A manner of playing the guitar by striking the strings.
Battuta
Beat. A "battuta": indicates a return to strict time after some deviation (ad libitum, a piacere, etc.). In particular, "battuta" means the strong beat at the beginning of a measure; hence, Beethoven's indication "ritmo di tre (quattro) battute" (Scherzo, Ninth Symphony) means that three (or four) measures are to be grouped together, the tempo being so fast that there is only one beat to the measure.
Beat
1) The temporal unit of a composition, as indicated by the up-and-down movements, real or imagined, of a conductor's hand (upbeat, downbeat). In moderate tempo, the 4/4 measure includes four beats (one on each of the four quarter notes), the first and third of which are strong, the others weak, while the 3/4 measure has three beats, only the first of which is strong. In quick tempo, the 4/4 measure may be treated as having only two beats to the measure, corresponding to the first and third quarter notes, and the 3/4 measure as having only one. In very slow tempo, the beats may be subdivided into twos or threes, with the result, for eample, that the 4/4 measure is treated as having eight beats (two for each of the four quarter notes).

2) A 17th century English ornament that may be performed in two ways, depending on whether it is a plain beat (indicated by an ascending oblique line placed before or over the written note) or a shaked beat (indicated by a wavy line resembling the French sign for the trill). The plain beat is an appoggiatura below the main note, performed on the beat and of flexible duration. The shaked beat consists of several rapid repetitions of such an appoggiatura an its resolution, beginning with the former, so that it resembles an inverted trill. In the 18th century the term beat is often applied to the ornament commonly known as a mordent.
Beats
An acoustical phenomenon resulting from the interference of two sound waves of slightly different frequencies. It is heard as minute yet clearly audible intensifications of the sound at regular intervals. The number per second of these intensifications, or beats, is equal to the difference in frequency of the two tones.
Bel canto
The Italian vocal technique of the 18th century, with its emphasis on beauty of sound and brilliance of performance rather than dramatic expression or romantic emotion. Its early development is closely bound up with that of the Italian opera seria (A. Scarlatti, N.A. Porpora, N.Jommelli, J.A.Hasse, N.Piccinni). More recently the term bel canto has been associated with a mid-17th century development represented by L. Rossi and G. Carissimi, who cultivated a simple, melodious vocal style of songlike quality, without virtuoso coloraturas. It is also applied to the vocal style of early 19th century Italian operas such as those of Bellini.
Binary and ternary form
Two basic musical forms, consisting of two and three main sections, respectively. In a binary form, both main sections are repeated, and the first section characteristically ends in the dominant (or relative major if the tonic is minor). Thus, the first section is not self-contained tonally but demands instead continuation and tonal resolution by the second part, which concludes in the tonic. The two sections may be of equal length, or the second may be distinctly longer. In the latter case, the return to the tonic in the second section may coincide with a return to the thematic material of the first section, the greater part of which may then be repeated in such a way asto remain entirely in the tonic. This is known as {rounded binary} form. Most of the dances in the suites of Bach and other composers of the baroque era are in binary form. The minuets, scherzos, and trios of the late 18th and 19th centuries are also usually binary forms, most often rounded. Sonata form derives from rounded binary form.

In a ternary form (sometimes called song from), the first and third sections are identical (or very nearly so), and they are self-contained tonally. That is, they begin and end in the tonic. This feature of the first section provides the crucial distinction between ternary form and rounded binary form (including sonata form). The second or middle section generally provides some element of tonal as well as thematic and textural contrast; it may or may not be a wholly self-sufficient musical entity. [the nocturnes of Chopin, the piano pieces of Brahms] and they are frequently found in the slow movements of sonatas [Beethoven piano sonatas op. 7 and op.2, no.1.]

Taken as a whole, a minuet with trio or a scherzo with trio may also be regarded as a ternary form, since such movements conclude with a repetition of the minuet or scherzo after the trio, though when a minuet or scherzo is repeated after a trio each of its two component sections is played only once.
Bitonality, polytonality
The simultaneous use of two (occasionally three or four) different keys in different parts of the musical fabric. This device has been used considerably by 20th century composers, sometimes with humorous intentions. The combination of C and F# triads has become known as the “Petrushka chord” because it occurs in Stravinsky’s {Petrushka}, composed in 1911. The main champion of bitonal music has been Darius Milhaud, who also occasionally used three or four keys simultaneously.
Block harmony
A succession of identical or similar chords, e.g., parallel triads or seventh chords.
Bourrée
A French 17th century dance, probably from Auvergne, usually in quick duple meter with a single upbeat. Lully used it in his ballets and operas, whence it was transferred to the suites of the late 17th and early 18th centuryies (Pachelbel, J.K.F.Fischer, J.S. bach)
Bravura
Skill. Applied to compositions demanding great skill of the performer. [{aria di bravura]]
Breve, brevis
A note value that, as implied by the name, originally (early 13C) was the shortest value in use; see Notation; Mensural notation. Because of the subsequent introduction of six or more degrees of smaller value ({semibreves, minima}, etc.), it became, in the late 156C, the longest value commonly used. Today it is occasionally used as the equivalent of two whole notes.
Bridge passage
In musical compositions, a passage serving to connect two themes. Frequently it effects a modulation of key, e.g., from the first to the second theme in sonata form.

===
Broken chord
Figuration consisting of the notes of a chord (triad, seventh chord, etc.) [C-major Prelude of {the Well-Tempered Clavier}, vol 1] or the stereotyped patterns known as the Alberti bass. {Arpeggio} is often used as a synonym.
Buffo
In Italian 18C opera, a comic character, usually a {basso buffo} [Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni]. Hence, a singer for comic roles.
Burgundian cadence
? = Cadence
Burgundian school
The leading Continental school of composers of the early and middle 15C, represented chiefly by Guiallume Dufay (c. 1400-1474), and Gilles Binchois (c. 1400-1460). In older writings, the Burgundian school is called the first Netherlands school. Today, the term {Burgundian school} is preferred because the musical activity in question centered in the cultural sphere of the duchy of Burgundy, which,. Under Philip the Good (1419-1467) and Charles the Bold (1467-1477), included the whole of eastern France as well as Belgium and the Netherlands. Closely related to that of contemporaneous English composers such as John Dunstable, the music of the Burgundian school is remarkably consonant and makes particular use of thirds and sixths. The use of what would in modern terms be called sixth chords is particularly common at cadences and is the essential feature of the {fauxbourdon}, an important innovation of the period. The leading secular form of the period is the {rondeau}, most often set in three parts and in the equivalent of ¾ mter. Other composers who can be grouped with Dufay and Binchois in this connection are Hayne von Ghizeghem, Robert Morton, and Arnold and Hugho de Lantins.
Burlesque, burletta
An English (and later, American) type of stage entertainment of the late 18 & 19C that may be considered the successor of the ballad opera. Like the latter, it was a "low-brow" entertainment consisting of comic dialogue and songs sung to borrowed melodies.
Burrasca
A composition descriptive of a tempest or thunderstorm. [Rossini:Guillaume Tell]
BWV.
Abbr. for {Thematisch-Systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke von Johann Sebastian Bach}(1950), i.e., the thematic catalog of the works of J.S. Bach, edited by W. Schmieder. The initials stand for {Bach Werke-Verzeichnis}.
Cabaletta
1) A short operatic song in popular style, characterized by a rather uniform rhythm in the vocal line and accompaniment.

2) In 19C Italian opera, the final stretto close of arias or duets, in which elaborate treatment usually gives way to quick, uniform rhythm.
Caccia
A form of 14C Italian poetry and music. The text often deals with huntihng and fishing scenes or with similar realistic subjects (a fire, cries of street vendors, etc.). The musical form is a strict canon in two parts, the second usually beginning six or more measures after the first, which is followed by a ritornello that sometimes is also canonic. The two “chasing” voices are usually supported by a tenor line in longer note values that does not imitate the canon melody. [Giovanni da Cascia, Jacopo da Bologna, Landini]
Cambia, cambiano
Direction in orchestral scores to change instruments or tuning.
Cambiata
? = counterpoint
Camerata
In the 16C, a name for small academies. Specifically, a group of literary men, musicians, and amateurs who, about 1580, began to gather in the palace of Count Giovanni Bardi at Florence to discuss the possibilities of a new musical style in imitation of the music of the ancient Greek drama. Members were the poet Ottavio Rinuccini and the musicians Vincenzo Galilei, Giulio Caccini, and Jacopo Peri. In 1592, when Bardi went to Rome, Jacopo Corsi became the leader of the group.
Cantata
A composite vocal form prominent in the baroque period, consisting usually of a number of movements, such as arias, recitatives, duets, and choruses, which are based on a continuous text that may be either lyrical or dramatic, and that is not intended to be staged. Owing to the activity of J. S. Bach, the church cantata, i.e., a cantata with devotional subject matter, is particularly well known. However, the secular cantata was the earlier and the more common type throughout the 17C, especially in Italy.
The cantata appeared shortly after 1600 as an offspring of the monadic style. Early examples, such as those by Alessandro Grandi, are written in the form of strophic arias. By mid-century, however, theworks of Luigi Rossi, Giacomo Carissimi, and Marc’ Antonio Cesti illustrate the composite form clearly in their free alternation of recitative, arioso, and aria. By about 1700 the {da capo} aria became a standard element, as in the more than 600 cantatas of Alessandro Scarlatti, where usually two or three such arias are linked by recitatives. Similar forms were adopted in France during the 18C by André Campra, Louis Nicolas Clérambault, and Jean-Philippe Rameau. In Germany, greater importance was given to sacred texts, and chorus and orchestra became important elements in the form. Franz Tunder and Dietrich Buxtehude were among the important predecessors of J.S. Bach in the composition of cantatas. About 200 sacred cantatas by Bach survive, many of which begin with a choral movement in imitative style, proceed with alternating arias and recitatives, and conclude with a chorale harmonization for chorus and orchestra. An important type is the chorale cantata. The form has enjoyed less prominence since the 18C but continues to be cultivated.
Canti carnascialeschi
Late 15C and early 16C part songs designed for the elaborate carnival festivities that took place in Florence under the Medicis, particularly Lorenzo de’ Medici (ruled 1469-1492), who himself wrote a number of the poems. In style as well as form, the {canti carnascialeschi} are very similar to the {frottole}.
Canticle
In the Roman and Anglican liturgies, a scriptural text similar to a psalm but occurring elsewhere than in the Book of Psalms. Important examples include “Magnificat anima mea Dominum”, “Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel”, and “Nunc dimittis”. They play an important role in the Office of the Gregorian rite, where they are sung with antiphons and psalm tones like those of the antiphonal psalms of the Office.
Cantiga
A monophonic song of the 13C from Spain, usually in honor of the Virgin Mary. More than 400 {cantigas} were collected for Alfonnso X, King of Castile and Leon (1221-84). The language of these songs is actually a Galician-Portuguese dialect. The chief form of the {cantiga} is the same as that of the {virelai}.
Cantilena
1) A vocal melody of a lyrical rather than a dramtic or virtuosic nature; also, an instrumental passage of the same kind.
2) In medieval writings the term is loosely used for secular vocal compositions, homophonic as well as polyphonic ({ballades, rondeaux,}etc.).
Cantillation
Religious chanting in recitative style, especailly that of the Jewish service.
Cantionale
A publication containing simple, homophonic settings of chorales, etc., for the German Protestant servie. Hence the designation {cantional style}, used for chorale settings in a homophonic style, with the melody in the topmost voice.
Cantor
In the Roman Catholic liturgy, a soloist who sings the solo portions of the chants (incipits and verses), as opposed to the {schola} (chorus). In Protestant churches, the director of music. In the Jewish service, the solo singer, also called {chazzan}.
Cantus
Song. In 12C polyphony, the original voice part, generally lower htan the added one, called {discantus}. In 15C and 16C polyphony, the topmost part.
Cantus firmus
An existing melody that is made the basis of a polyphonic composition. In terms of their origin, {cantus firmi} can be divided into four groups;
a) plainsong melodies;
b) Protestant chorales;
c) secular melodies;
d) abstract subjects.
The {cantus firmus} appears frequently in long notes that contrast with the more florid design of the other parts, though it may also be ornamented. Most polyphony from the Middle Ages and much from the Renaissance is based on {cantus firmi}.
Canzo, canso
This term has been used for a type of troubadour song characterized by initial repeat, A A B, as opposed to the through-composed song, called a {vers}.
Canzonet, canzonetta
In the late 16C and throughout the 17C, a short, polyphonic vocal piece in a light vein, much in the character of a dance song. The later {canzonette} usually had instrumental accompaniment. The name was also used for short instrumental pieces as well as for short organ canzonas.
Cassation
A term applied in the late 18C to a variety of lighter mutimovement works, often for mixed ensemble of four strings and 2 horns, and sometimes in tended for outdoor performance. Closely related (and sometimes synonymous) terms are {divertiment},{notturno}, and {serenade}. [Mozart: K. 63 & K. 99]
Castrato
A term applied in the late 18C to a variety of lighter mutimovement works, often for mixed ensemble of four strings and 2 horns, and sometimes in tended for outdoor performance. Closely related (and sometimes synonymous) terms are {divertiment},{notturno}, and {serenade}. [Mozart: K. 63 & K. 99]A male singer, castrated as a boy so as to preserve his soprano or alto range after his chest and lungs had become those of an adult. Castration was practiced in Italy in the 16C through the 18C, and such singers were important in {opera seria}. The most famous were F. Senesino, G. Caffarelli, and Carlo Farinelli.
Cauda
1) In mensural notation, the vertical dash attached to certain notes (maxima, longa, minima, etc.) or to ligatures.
2) In the 13C, a passage without text appearing in a {conductus} as an extended vocalization over the first or the last (or next-to-last) vowel of a line of the text.
Cavata
An inscription or an epigram concisely expressing an important thought. In 18C music the term is used occasionally for short epigrammatic ariosos found at the end of a long recitative ({recitative con cavata}.) [Bach: cantata Ein’fest burg, recitative no.3]
Cavatina
In 18 and 19C operas and oratorios, a short solosong, simpler in style than the aria and without repetition of words or phrases, i.e., a “sentence” set to music. [Haydn: The Seasons, Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, Porgi amor, Rossini: Il barbieri di Siviglia, Weber: Der Freischütz etc.]
Chaconne and passacaglia
Two closely related forms of baroque music, each a kind of continuous variation, often in moderately slow triple meter and with a slow harmonic rhythm, the harmonies changing generally with the measure. Baroque composers used the terms indiscriminately. Modern writers have not succeeded in deciding on acceptable definitions, and the literature is full of contradictory and frequently arbitrary statements about the difference between a chaconne and a passacaglia. The only distinction that is valid is that between continuous variations with and without a {basso ostinato}.
Character piece
A convenient term for a large repertory of short 19C compositions, mostly for piano or piano and one solo instrument, designed to convey a definite mood or programmatic idea. Often these pieces have titles that suggest briefness or casualness, e.g., Bagatelle, Impromptu, Moment musical. Many have programmatic titles, such as “Der Dichter spricht” (by Schumann) or {Jeux d’eau} (by Ravel). Most 19C masters contributed to this field, including Beethoven (Bagatelles), Schubert (Impromptus and Moments musicaux), Mendelssohn (Lieder ohne Worte), Chopin (Nocturnes), Schumann (Kinderscenen), Brahms (Balladen), and Debussy (Préludes pour piano). Schumann also wrote long and difficult compositions consisting of a number of character pieces to be played in succession and representing a unified idea (character cycle), among them his {Papillons, Davidsbündlertänze, Kreisleriana and Carnaval}. Many of these pieces are written in the ternary form ABA.
Choral cantata
A cantata that emplys a chorus (as most cantatas by Bach do), as opposed to a solo cantata (the usual type of the 17C Italian cantata).
Chronos
The temporal or rhythmic unit of ancient Greek music. It is not divisible into smaller values.
Circle of fifths
The circular, clockwise arrangement of the twelve keys in an order of ascending fifths (C, G, d, a, etc.), showing that after twelve such steps the initial key is reached again. In this order, each successive key increases by one the number of sharps in the key signature. If the circle is viewed counter clockwise (i.e., order of descending fifths: c’, f, Bb, etc.), the keys follow each other with one more flat in the signature. At one point of the circle the transition from the sharp keys to the flat keys must be made, for instance, at F# = Gb (enharmonic change). The scheme of signatures might also serve for the minor keys, by starting from A instead of from C. The series of fifths “closes” only in well-tempered tuning. If Pythagorean fifths are considered, the 12th of these fifths is higher by the Pythagorean comma (about one-eighth of a tone) than the starting tone.
Close harmony
Chords in close position, i.e., with all the four notes within an octave or a twelfth.
Coda
A concluding section or passage, extraneous to the basic structure of the composition but added in order to confirm the impression of finality. In movements in sonata form, however, the coda frequently takes on considerable dimensions, occasionally becoming a second development section (e.g., in the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony). A short coda is sometimes called a {codetta}. However, this term more commonly means a closing passage at the end of an inner section, such as the exposition in sonata form or the first section (A) of a slow movement in ternary form (ABA).
Codetta
1) See under Coda.
2) In the exposition of a fugue, any short transitional section between two entries of the subject (generally between the second and third).
Col canto
With the song, i.e., the accompanist should follow the tempo of the performer of the melody.
Col legno
In violin playing, striking the strings with the bow-stick instead of playing with the hair.
Coll'ottava
With the octave. An indication to duplicate the written notes at the upper octave. Similarly, {coll’ottava bassa} calls for duplication at the lower octave.
Color organ
Any of several kinds of instruments designed to display colors in conjunction with, or in ways analogous to, musical compositions. Many such instruments devised in the 18 and 19C were based on the idea of an exact correspondence between single sounds and single colors. More recently, this idea has largely given way to notions of a general coordination of musical and optical impressions. The {clavilux} of T. Wilfrid (exhibited in NY in 1922) renounces all direct connections with music and simply manipulates optical phenomena in ways analogous to those in which sound is manipulated in musical compositions. Scriabin’s {Prometheus} calls for a special “clavier à lumières” (keyboard of lights) along with conventional musical instruments.
Coloration
1) The use of colored (originally red, later black) notes in early notation: see Mensural notation.
2) The use of stereotyped written-out ornaments in music of the 15 and 16C; see Ornamentation; Colorists: Intabulation.
Combination tone, resultant tone
In musical acoustics, a tone of different pitch that is heard when two sufficiently loud tones are sounded simultaneously. Its frequency is the difference ({differential tones}) or the sum ({summation tones}) of the frequencies of the two primary tones or of their multiples. Although the combination tones are frequently referred to as an acoustical phenomenon, they actually are a physiological phenomenon. It is the inner ear ({cochlea} ) that produces the aural sensations corresponding to the greater or lesser frequencies. The differential tones, which are more easily recognized than the summation tones, were discovered by G. Tartini in 1714 and described in his {Trattato di musica} of 1754.. The tone known as Tartini’s tone is the first of the combination tones above, determined by the difference of the original frequencies. Tartini’s tone can easily be heard on the harmonium, organ, and violin. On the violin, it was recommended by Tartini and other violinists (L. Mozart) as a means of controlling the correct intonation of double stopes. Practical application of the first differential tone is made in the acoustic bass of organs.
Complement
1) The difference between the octave and any interval, therefore identical with inverted interval.
2) In the theory of twelve-tone music, a hexachord comprised of the six pitch classes not included in a given hexachord.