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Music Terminology Students may use this page to review music terminology. Vocabular Definition y Diaphragm An upsidedown bowlshaped muscle used for breathing. Rhythm The pattern of notes and rests in music. Beat The underlying pulse - what you clap or tap your foot with. Melody The main "tune" of the music - the most familiar part of a song. Round/Canon A song in which one voice begins the melody and other voices enter in sequence. Looks like a fraction at the beginning of the music. The top number indicates the Time Signature number of beats per measure. The bottom number indicates what kind of note gets one beat. Measure The distance between two bar lines. Every song is made up of small units called Symbol measures. Barline The vertical lines that separate the staff into measures. Double Bar Line Indicates the end of the song. Staff The system of five lines and four spaces on which music is written. Unison Everyone singing the same melody at the same time. Scale A pattern of eight notes that moves by step either up or down. Ascending Moving upward pitches get higher. Descending Moving downward pitches get lower. Interval The distance between two notes. Octave The interval of eight notes ex: from C to C is an octave. Repeat Sign Indicates to go back to the beginning of the song or to the last repeat sign. Piano Soft Forte Loud Mezzo Piano Medium Soft Mezzo Forte Medium Loud Pianissimo Very Soft Fortissimo Very Loud Legato Smooth and connected Conductor The person who directs the beat, gives cues, and is responsible for keeping the ensemble together. Tempo How fast or slow the music is sung. Crescendo To gradually get louder. Decrescendo To gradually get softer. Harmony The music underneath the melody. Pitch Used interchangeabl y with "note." The frequency of a note - how fast or slow the sound waves < > travel. Higher pitches have faster waves. Form The pattern the music follows. Binary Two-part form = AB Ternary Three-part form = ABA Intonation The ability to sing pitches accurately solo or in a group. Sacred Music intended for performance in church. The text of the song is usually taken from the Bible. Secular Music intended for performance outside the church and has nothing to do with God or the Bible. Coda The ending section of a song. Sharp Raises the pitch a half step. Flat Lowers the pitch a half step. Natural Cancels a sharp or flat. Accent Located above a pitch and indicates to put stress on a specific pitch or word. Slur Connects two different pitches and indicates that they should be sung in a connected (legato) style. Tie Connects to pitches that are the same and adds their rhythmic values. Treble Clef Also called the G-Clef. Higher pitched voices sing in this clef. Bass Clef Also called the F-Clef. Lower pitched voices sing in this clef.