Glossary of Terms
- Terms Used in Writing Skills
- Terms Used in Arranging 1
- Terms Used in Arranging 2
- Terms Used in Chord Scale Voicings
- Terms Used in Ear Training
- Terms Used in Harmony 1
- Terms Used in Harmony 2
- Terms Used in Harmony 3
- Terms Used in Harmony 4
- Terms Used in Introduction to Music Technology
• beam: In music notation, the horizontal or near-horizontal line (or lines) that connects the stems of two or more notes, each less than a quarter note in value, occuring consecutively within a beat. In some cases, primarily with eighth notes, beams may encompass more than one beat and up to two beats. There are two basic types of beams: primary beams and secondary beams.
• Binary Form - Music which is divided into two parts.
• Imaginary (invisible) Barline - Showing the beginning of a beat through the beaming of groups of eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or triplets in certain time signatures, the most common of which are 4/4, 6/8, 12/8, cut-time. In 4/4 and cut-time, the grouping of eighth notes should show the start of beat three and the grouping of 16th notes and triplets must show the start of all four beats. In 6/8, the fourth eighth note must be visible. In 12/8, the seventh eighth note must be visible. Beams on eighth notes, sixteenth notes, or triplets should not cross over the imaginary barline.
Also see Terms Used in Writing Skills
• Anticipation - A technique of melodic or rhythmic alteration which changes a note that occurs on-the-beat to be played early resulting in syncopation. The most common anticipations occur one-half beat early (an 8th note anticipation), a quarter-of-a-beat early (a 16th note anticipation), or one-third of a beat early (a triplet anticipation). When the anticipation occurs in the melody, it is a melodic anticipation. Anticipations are sometimes also called "pushed notes" or "pushes."
• Chord Tone - the pitches in a chord that determine its basic sound quality. Chord tones are the following:
a. root, 3rd and 5th of a triad (major, minor, augmented or diminished).
b. root, 4th and 5th of a triad (sus 4 triad).
c. root, 3rd, 5th and 7th of seventh chords.
d. root, 4th, 5th and flat 7th of a dominant 7th sus 4 chord.
e. root, 3rd, 5th and 6th of a sixth chord (major, minor).
• Delayed Attack - A technique of melodic or rhythmic alteration which changes a note that occurs on-the-beat to be played one-half beat late (an 8th note delayed attack or hesitation), a quarter-of-a-beat late (a 16th note delayed attack), one-third of a beat late (a triplet delayed attack), or one full beat late. The opposite of an anticipation. Delayed attacks are also commonly called "hesitations." As with anticipations, the result is syncopation.
• Tension - a note (or notes) added to a major triad, minor triad, or sixth chord which represent the logical upper extensions of the triad (using intervals of a 3rd). The following notes in a chord are considered tensions: 7, b7, 9, b9, #9, 11, #11, 13, b13.
These upper extension notes create "tense" musical and intervallic relationships with the pitches of the major or minor triad in the chord. The chords that contain tension notes sound somewhat more unstable than a 7th chord does. This is because the tensions "rub" against the other notes in the chord. Tensions create intervals of a richer or denser quality within the chord structure than those resulting from only the basic chord functions (root, 3rd and 5th). The 7th of a chord is often considered a chord tone, rather than a tension.
Tensions are considered non-chord tones (also called nonharmonic tones), rather than chord tones, even when they are part of a chord. Tensions enhance or enrich the sound of the chord, and modifies the basic quality of the chord sound. While a major chord with tensions still has a major quality as part of its sound, tension notes can mask the quality of the overall sound. Adding a sharp nine tension to a dominant 7th chord is an example of such a mixture.
• Guide Tone Line - a unison background line which leads stepwise or through common tones of the harmonic progression, providing an effective counterline accompaniment to the melody.
• Low Interval Limit - The lowest point of an interval (from minor second to major 10th) below which the interval begins to sound muddy or indistinct. The limits are not absolutes, but represent areas below which there is a real risk that the resultant sound will not work well within a normal harmonic context.
• Chord Scale - A specific set of scalewise pitches that include the chord tones and available tensions of a given chord, along with any passing tones that help definre the tonal or modal context of the chord.
• Modal Interchange - Using chord structures and their chord scales from a parallel (having the same pitch axis) mode or scale.
•Ear Training: Music training that improves the skill of music translation. That skill is utilized in almost all aspects of music: music recognition, music reading, performing and composing. The training consists of rhythmic, melodic (Solfege), and harmonic (chords and progressions) study, as well as performance and dictation.
• Moveable-Do Solfege: A method of solfege in which the root or tonic of the key is always "DO." This method focuses on understanding the melodic functions common to each key. This is the method used in the Berklee Ear Training courses.
• Available Tensions: Tensions are notes added to a seventh chord by extending the chord upwards in thirds. Tensions are measured intervallically above the root of the chord, and can consist of a minor, major or augmented ninth, a perfect or augmented eleventh and/or a minor or major thirteenth. Not every tension will work with every chord type. The ones that do work with a specific chord type are said to be "available".
See also Tension in Terms Used in Arranging 1
Also see Terms Used in Harmony 1
• Substitute Dominants: Also known as tritone substitutes, dominant seventh chords that contain the same tritone as the dominant chord for which they are substituting. (ex. G7 and Db7, Eb7 and A7, B7 and F7, etc.) Their expected resolution is down a minor second.
•Diminished Chord: Diminished triad: a chord consisting of a root, minor third and diminished fifth. Diminished seventh chord: a chord consisting of a root, minor third, diminished fifth and diminished seventh.
Students who wish to test out of MTEC-111: Introduction to Music Technology should know the meaning of the following terms and understand their application to music technology in cases where everyday usage is common:
Apple printer ports
Balanced and Unbalanced Connections
Band Pass Filter
Bits and Bytes
Bits of resolution
Inches Per Second
Level to tape
Mixing board (console, desk)
PC printer ports
Removable hard disks
Reverberation and Delay
Song position pointer
Star network?Ring network?Nodes
Von Neumann architecture
Windows 3.1, 95, and 98
Wow & Flutter
More details on the definitions of these terms can be found in the web notes located here.