Music for Kids
Musical Terms and Glossary
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There are probably thousands of different terms and words used in music throughout the world. Various composers and music writers may use these terms in different ways. We've tried to take the most used terms and give some basic definitions here. Many of the music terms listed below come from the Italian language. That is because Italy was where many of these terms were first introduced.
List of Musical Terms:
- singing without any instruments
- to play music brisk and happily, sometimes fast
- high pitched, an alto voice is lower than a soprano, but higher than a tenor
- moderate tempo or pace of music
- notes of a one chord are played quickly, one after the other.
- low, the lowest of the voices and the lowest part of the harmony
- to play music boldly
- the part of a song that transitions between two main parts
- the beginning
- when three or more notes are played at the same time. There are many different types of chords or combinations of notes that can be played in music.
- the end, tail, or closing section of a song
- this is a typical beat of 4 beats per measure. Many songs have this timing and it is indicated by a "C" or haft circle.
- growing steadily louder
- a combination or quality of sounds that sound unstable
- to play a piece of music sweetly
- to play music loudly or strongly
- when several notes or chords come together to create a certain sound.
- making up the song or melody as you play
- a musical key is when the notes of a song are centered around a certain note or class of notes that sound "right" when played.
- to play music smoothly, to blend notes together
- the period or time frame of song that has the entire timing. The measure is then repeated over and over during the song.
- a pattern of strong and soft beats throughout the music
- In music, an octave has all notes (A,B,C,D,E,F,G) as well as their sharps and flats included. This octave is repeated in both higher and lower pitches. So the next higher A note, after the note you are playing, is considered one octave higher.
- when you pluck the strings on a stringed instrument, rather than playing them with a bow
- this is the written down version of music. Generally for a complex piece that shows the music for a number of musical instruments.
- played by a single musical instrument or voice
- a song written for one or more instruments playing solo
- the highest of the singing voices
- when each music note is played sharply and by itself.
- the verse of a song
- timing or speed of the music
- a range of voice that is between the bass and the alto.
- the repeating changing of the pitch of a note
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