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Music Theory Terms

Traditionally, the speed of a piece is indicated through the use of Italian-language terms. Tempo
very slow tempo Largo
slow tempo Adagio
Walking speed tempo Andante
Fast tempo Allegro
Very fast Presto
Fast, with fire Allegro con fuoco
The two most common types are the major and minor, both of which are referred to as diatonic, meaning that they have seven notes between octaves and follow a repeating pattern of whole steps and half steps. Scales
he distance between two pitches—are described with ordinal numbers Intervals
The most common types are built of successive notes that are each a third above the previous. A triad consists of three notes referred to as the root, third, and fifth—the third and fifth being that respective interval above the root. Chords
The “home” scale of the work. It is most often indicated by the work’s key signature, a collection of sharps or flats that appears at the beginning of the work and on each subsequent line of music Key
markings indicate the volume at which music is to be played Dynamics
Dynamic marking meaning “loud,” and abbreviated f Forte
Dynamic marking meaning “soft,” and abbreviated p Piano
medium loud. Mezzo Forte
“very soft.” pianissimo
Gradual changes in volume are indicated by a _________ meaning gradually getting louder, Crescendo
gradually getting softer. Decrescendo
Refers to the various techniques which may be used to modify the attack or performance of a single note or a series of notes Articulation
Some of the most common articulations include _________, meaning light or short Staccato
Articulation meaning a note is to be held its entire value Tenuto
Articulation meaning a series of notes is to be connected to one another very smoothly Legato
A work’s overall structure, is often depicted via a series of capital letters, with each different letter representing a large section of contrasting material. Form
(“AB” or “AABB”) Binary Form
(“ABA”), ternary form
"A” endlessly repeated, commonly found in folk songs or religious hymns with multiple verses strophic form
Developed by Arnold Schoenberg in the early 1920s and is one method of writing atonal music Twelve-tone technique
music that has no key or tonic pitch. Atonal music
Created by: Mr_Morman