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Theory Definitions

Theory Level 5

Accidental A chromatic sign used in front of a note to change the note from what the Key Signature requires or from what has occurred previously in the measure.
Andante A tempo (speed) that is described as "a walking speed"
Cadence A resting point in the music
Chromatic Sign The group name for Sharps, Double Sharps, Flats, Double Flats, and Naturals
Da Capo Words to indicate a repeat from the beginning of the piece
Dal Segno Words to indicate a repeat from the given sign
Enharmonic Spelling Two notes that sound the same, but are spelled differently
Half Step The distance on the keyboard from one key to the very next key
Ledger Line Lines added above or below the five-line staff, to extend the staff
Moderato A tempo a little faster than Andante
Motive/Motif A repeated rhythmic or melodic idea, usually short and very distinctive
Pentatonic Scale A scale that has only five pitches
Subdominant The fourth note of a scale, scale step four; the note a fifth BELOW the tonic
Dominant The fifth note of a scale, scale step five; the note a fifth ABOVE the tonic
Syncopation A beat that does not follow the written pulse or meter, an off-beat
Tonic Triad A triad built on scale step one in a major or minor scale
Whole Step A combination of 2 half steps
Chord Three or more notes sounding together
Key Signature The arrangement of sharps or flats after the clef sign on each staff that tells the performer the tone (pitch) center
Tonic (keynote) The first pitch (degree) of a scale
Created by: flutist4life