Glossary of Music Terms

6 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 3 5 6

7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 3 5 b7

AAB Form – another binary form showing an alternate sequence of two themes

AABA Form – a binary form showing a famous sequence of two themes

AABAC – a common three theme sequence

AABBC – an alternate sequence of three themes

AABC – a second form of the three theme sequence

ABAB – a third binary form using alternating themes

ABABC – a third form of Tertiary structure

Active Chords – chords that create harmonic tension Typically, the V, IV, II and VII chords of a diatonic key

Add 9 – any triad that has a ninth added to it

Aeolian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1, 1/2, 1,1,1/2

Alterations – the raising or lowering of the fifth, ninth, eleventh and thirteenth degrees of a chord

Arrangement – the intro, ending, interlude, order of themes, instruments, parts, solos, backup harmony It includes all elements that help transform a song from a song to a performance.

Ascending – a rising direction The term may apply to a scale, melody, arpeggio, sequence, root movement, bass line or a physical direction on an instrument especially a string instrument.

Augmented 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 3#5 b7

Augmented Chord – a triad consisting of 1 3 #5

Augmented Large 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 3 #5 7

Beat – a single pulse of rhythm

Binary Form – a song writing form using two themes

Blues Structure – a famous song writing form using a 12 bar pattern, featuring the I, IV and V chord of any major or minor key. It typically has a single musical theme.

Chord Root – the individual note used as the foundation of the chord, the alphabetical component of the chord name Roots may be naturals, sharps or flats.

Chord Species – identifies one chord from another, its unique internal construction examples are major, minor, diminished, augmented, 7th etc

Chord Spelling – identifying all notes that theoretically belong in a chord

Chord Substitution – the use of one chord for another chord which shares the harmonic function of the original chord

Chord Tone – a melodic note contained within the current chord

Chromatic Passing Tone – a passing tone outside the current scale It will connect by half step.

Color Chords – chords which are extensions or variations of functional chords

Composition – multiple melodies creating chord harmony at points of intersection

Comp – a rhythmic, highly syncopated accompaniment style typically associated with jazz swing music

Craft – any specific set of tools and building blocks used to compose, arrange, accompany or improvise

Cycle – a keyless principle characterized by three conditions. 1) a minimum of three consecutive chords 2) the same chord type for each chord 3) equidistant roots from chord to chord

Descending – a falling direction The term may apply to a scale, melody, arpeggio, sequence, root movement, bass line or a physical direction on an instrument especially a string instrument.

Diatonic Passing Tone – a passing tone within the current scale It may connect by half or whole step.

Diatonic Substitution – the use of the III or VI chord for the I chord and the use of the V, IV, II or VII chord for the V chord

Diminished 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 b5 bb7

Diminished Chord – a triad consisting of 1 b3 b5

Diminished Large 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 b5 7

Direct Substitution – the use of one chord for another chord which shares the root and harmonic function of the original chord

Dominant – the fifth note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Dorian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1,1/2,1,1,1, 1/2

Dynamics – the soft and loud of music along with their gradations

Effects – electronic processing gear used to shape the sound of recorded music Examples are reverb, chorus, distortion, echo, flange etc.

Engineering – the actual recording, mixing and mastering skills used in transforming a performance into a finished recording

Enharmonic Equivalent – the use of a different notation to represent the same sound It may apply to notes or chords.

Expansion Substitution – the use of a different chord in addition to the original chord

Feel – an identifiable pulse and motion usually created by the drummer and bass player Examples are 2 feel, swing, rock, jazz waltz, bossa, samba, ska etc

First Ending – a transitional part of a song that typically connects the first A Theme to its repeat

Functional Chords – chords of three or four part harmony that form the basis of standard and contemporary song writing

Groove – a synonym for feel

Half Diminished 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 b5 b7

Harmonic Analysis – an organization of the six principles controlling chord progressions

Harmonic Interval – the distance between two notes played simultaneously

II-V-I – the most common resolving chord module in standards and jazz

Imagination – the abstract source of musical ideas

Internal Modulation – a term from my harmonic analysis system It refers to a temporary key change without a key signature change. It implies the eventual return of the original key.

Interval – the distance between two notes measured inclusively

Ionian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1, 1, 1/2, 1,1,1

Key Signature – an organization of # or b at the beginning of a piece of music indicating the key of the music.

Key – an organization of notes and chords grouped around a central root note Keys may be major or minor.

Leading Tone – the seventh note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Leap Recovery – a melodic device which suggests that a melody reverses its direction after a leap

Leap – a melodic device in which the distance between two consecutive notes is 2+1/2 steps or more

Locrian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1/2, 1, 1, 1/2, 1, 1

Lydian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1, 1, 1, 1/2,1,1

Major 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 3 5 7

Major Chord – a triad consisting of 1 3 5

Measure (Bar) – a unit of musical measurement showing a uniform grouping of beats

Mediant – the third note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Melodic Contour – a graphic representation of a melody created by connecting the successive notes of a melody with a line

Melodic Interval – the distance between two notes played one after the other

Minor 6 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 5 6

Minor 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 5 b7

Minor Chord – a triad consisting of 1 b3 5

Minor Large 7 – a 4 part chord consisting of 1 b3 5 7

Mixolydian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1, 1, 1/2, 1,1,1/2

Mode – a system of seven scales of Greek origin All seven scales end in the letters “ian”.

Modular – any concept that can be broken down into small units

Modulation – a key change

Mono Form – a song writing form with one musical theme. It usually has multiple verses of lyrics. The 12 bar blues is the most famous mono theme form.

Non Chord Tone – a melodic note not contained within the current chord

Notation – any written language used to communicate musical concepts

Octave – the eighth note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Passing Tone – an unstressed note that connects two notes by a second

Passive Chords – chords that resolve harmonic tension Typically, the I, II and VI chords of a diatonic key

Phyrgian scale – a modal scale whose step pattern is 1/2, 1,1,1, 1/2, 1

Pivot Chord – a single chord which is the final chord of one harmonic principle and is simultaneously the first chord of another harmonic principle

Power 5 – a chord consisting of roots and perfect fifths

Production – all related activities of coordinating the process of recording

Range – the high and low note of a piece of music

Range – the high and low notes of a melody or a melodic phrase

Reharmonization – a musical effect created by retaining the original melody while rewriting the original chord progression

Relative Minor – the minor key, chord or scale based on the sixth degree of any major scale

Repetition – the reuse of an identical melody, phrase, chord progression or rhythm

Replacement Substitution – the use of a different chord instead of the original chord

Second Ending – a transitional part of a song that typically connects the second A Theme to the B Theme

Secondary Dominant – a 7th chord that resolves upward by a fourth into a Full Diatonic chord. There are five applications of Secondary Dominants in each major key

Sequence – a melodic device that uses parallel melodies starting on consecutive scale degrees

Song – a single melody on a chord progression with lyrics if vocal

Song – the basic product of the music industry. A song consists of four elements: 1) title 2) melody 3) chords 4) lyrics (if vocal)

Stress Tone – a series of techniques used to bring attention to a specific note Stress can be applied to a note in the following ways: 1) Begin on it 2) End on it 3) Sustain it 4) Accent it 5) Overplay it 6) Place it on a down beat 7) Embellish it

Subdominant – the fourth note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Submediant – the sixth note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Supertonic – the second note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Suspended 4 – any chord created by replacing its 3rd or b3rd with a perfect 4th

Sustain – to let a note ring out

Symmetry – balance in music

Tempo – the speed of the beat measured by a metronome

Tension/Resolution – tension is created melodically, harmonically or rhythmically. Each element seeks a resting point. That resting point is the resolution.

Tertiary Form – a song writing form using three themes.

Tetrascale – a series of 10 four note scales derived from the Greek term “tetrachord” used to develop improvisational phrases and solos.

The Seven Modes – Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian

Time Signature – The two numbers appearing at the beginning of a piece of music. The top number indicates beats per measure. The bottom number indicates the type of note equal to one beat.

Tonality – a musical effect created by the use of a scale on a chord progression drawn from the same scale

Tonic Minor – the minor key, chord or scale based on the root of any major scale

Tonic – the first note of a scale or the chord built on that note

Unresolved – a harmonic principle using a temporary implied key change with en eventual return the the original key The unresolved progression uses active chords only.

Upper Partials – related to chord extensions Specifically, the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth degrees of a scale added on top of a chord

V-I – the strongest resolving progression in western music