Music Vocabulary Words

Music Vocabulary Words

Music Vocabulary Words

Beat - the regular rhythmic pattern of a piece of music or a dance.


Chord - a combination of three or more tones played together at the same time.


Composer - a person who writes a piece of music.


contour - the melody of apiece of music as it turns upward or downward.


duration - the length of time that a note is sounded.


dynamics - an element of music - the loudness or softness of a piece of music (piano, mezzo piano, mezzo forte, forte)


elements - one of the simple, basic parts of something.


form - an element of music - the way the song is put together (AB, ABA, ABC, etc.)


forte - loud


harmony - an element of music - the simultaneous sounds or notes that result in a pleasing musical sound - more than one note played at a time.


measure - a unit of notes and rests in a piece of music, marked by a bar line on either side.


melody - an element of music - the shape, direction, and pitch (high vs. low notes) of a piece of music; also a tune or a song.


meter - the rhythmic pattern made by grouping together strong and weak beats.


mezzo forte - medium loud


mezzo piano - medium soft


notation - visual symbols for sound such as the treble and bass clefs


piano - soft (the piano is also a musical instrument)


pitch - the measure of how high or low a note, is, relative to other notes; pitch is determined by the frequency of vibrations per second.


rhythm - an element of music - the meter, time signature, and rhythmic duration in a piec of music; also the regular beat in music, poetry, or dance.  (eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, dotted-half notes, whole notes)


rote - a method of teaching by imitation


signature - signs at the beginning of amusical work indicating its key and tempo (key signature and time signature)


style - a particular type of music or dance (examples: blues, rock, pop, folk, spirituals, etc.)


tempo - an element of music - the speed of a piece of music.


timbre - an element of music - the way a particular instrument sounds.


unison - when people say, sing or do something at the same time.