Glossary of Musical Terms

Lyric song for solo voice with orchestral accompaniment, generally expressing intense emotion; found in opera, cantata, and oratorio.

An ancient type of song that has a triple meter and a rhythmic pattern that accents the second beat. Its melody is traditionally chanted, using a scale that is native to Filipino folk culture

A song in moderately fast triple meter that often praises or celebrates a desirable quality, object, nature, person, trait or custom

“A narrative song usually performed by a solo singer who gives account of an event that happens in a community.” (From the CCP Encyclopedia of Art, vol. 6, p. 80)

Regularly spaced pulsation-durations which are relatively easy to count and convenient to follow

Vocal genre for solo singers, chorus and instrumentalists based on a lyric or dramatic poetic narrative. It generally consists of several movements including recitatives, arias and ensemble numbers.

Chamber music
Ensemble music for up to about ten players, with one player to a part.

The first beat of a measure. It normally receives the accent or the strongest accent since it marks the beginning of the measure

The scheme of organization that determines the basic structure of a composition, comparable to an architect’s ground plan.

General term describing the standard category and overall character of a work.

Moderate duple meter dance of Cuban origin, popular in the nineteenth century; based on characteristic rhythmic figure.

The sounding together or as a unit of three or more tones (chord/chord construction) and the way in which chords succeed one another (chord progression)

Defines the relationship of tones with a common center or tonic. Also a lever on a keyboard or woodwind instrument.

A song of devotion to country, beloved, child, the Virgin Mary, or a lofty cause. It is always in triple meter with a moderately slow to slow tempo

Kundiman – Art Song
“a form of Western solo vocal literature in which the voice part, the instrumental accompaniment, and the verse are interwoven to achieve an artistic musical whole” (From the CCP Encyclopedia of Art, vol. 6, p. 78)

“music with simple, strongly marked rhythm (4/4) and regular phrases, designed to accompany marching groups or some dances” (From the CCPEncyclopedia of Art, vol. 6, p. 100)

Measure (or Bar)
A single grouping of beats

Unit of measure (of time) consisting of accented and unaccented, regularly spaced beats or pulses; grouping or organization of beats or pulses

  • Duple – Two beats to a measure
  • Triple – Three beats to a measure
  • Quadruple – Four beats to a measure; may be seen as an expansion of duple

The element of music that we sing or a series of consecutive tones usually varying in pitch and duration

Female voice of middle range.

Minor scale
A collection of seven different pitches ordered in a specific pattern of whole and half steps, as shown below:
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8
whole – half – whole – whole – whole – half – whole

Scale or sequence of notes used as the basis for a composition

Music drama that is generally sung throughout, combining the resources of vocal and instrumental music with poetry and drama, acting and pantomime, scenery and costumes.

Large-scale dramatic genre originating in the Baroque, based on a text of religious or serious character, performed by solo voices, chorus and orchestra; similar to opera but without scenery, costumes or action.

The song of merriment in folk and popular Filipino cultures. It is in moderately fast to fast duple meter. Most of Filipino Christmas carols use this musical form.

Regularly spaced pulsation-durations which are relatively faster, smaller than beats and harder to count or follow

That property having to do with temporal patterns and sensations in music. Its three attributes are meter, tempo and rhythmic (kinetic) pattern

Song structure in which the same music is repeated with every stanza (strophe) of the poem.

Characteristic manner of presentation of musical elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, form, etc.)

Highest-ranged voice, normally possessed by women or boys.

The first note of a scale (the tonic or keynote do), which serves as the home base around which the other pitches revolve and to which they ultimately gravitate.

The last beat in a measure, normally unaccented or unstressed

Ballroom dance type in triple meter; in the Romantic era, a short, stylized piano piece.

Waltz / Balse
“a dance in triple time which became the most popular ballroom dance of the 19th century” (From the CCP Encyclopedia of Art, vol. 6, p. 80)

No Comments

Post A Comment

By providing your email address, you are giving Ayala Foundation the permission to use it for legitimate, service-related purposes only.