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Roger L. Hall

A notation system employing letters in place of conventional notes. It was first used in the ninth edition of the Bay Psalm Book (1698), based on English psalm notation. Four letters representing the solfège syllables fa, sol, la, and mi on ledger lines were employed by Rev. John Tufts in ...

Article

David Hiley

A metre of five beats to the bar. Its irregularity has made it an oddity in Western music. It cannot be divided into equal half-bars, and the common division into alternate groups of two and three beats seems as psychologically disturbing as a succession of five unaccented beats. Regular two-bar phrases (as in the Tchaikovsky example mentioned below) tend to mitigate this effect. Quintuple time has been used in a demonstration of technical skill (Tye, Correa de Arauxo, Reicha) or for atmospheric effect (Rachmaninoff, Holst), and it occurs momentarily to suggest unease or unusual excitement (Handel, Wagner). Its common occurrence in folk music (especially east European) was responsible for its more frequent appearance in the works of early 20th-century composers who drew on elements of folk music style. The decline of the use of regular metre has made the occurrence of bars of quintuple time unremarkable in later music....

Article

Felicia M. Miyakawa

Music notation for the turntable. Emerging out of practices of Turntablism , turntablature indicates how a hip-hop DJ should execute scratches and other elements of a DJ routine. Prominent DJs A-Trak and Radar each created their own styles of turntablature. A third style known as the turntablist transcription method has been used as a pedagogical tool at the Scratch DJ Academy in New York and in the hip-hop magazine ...

Article

Julian Budden

In Italian opera of the 19th century, the first, fast movement of a closed number following the recitative or scena (slow cantabile sections are never so qualified). It is most commonly applied to duets, whether in two movements or the more usual three. In finales that lack an initial chorus the ‘cinetic’ movement that precedes the ...

Article

Julian Budden

In Italian opera of the 19th century, a fast transitional passage that separates a cantabile from a cabaletta or a pezzo concertato from a stretta. It is generally free in form and varies in length according to the dramatic situation, its prime function being to effect the required change of mood. In an aria this may involve the entrance and departure of a secondary character, e.g. Foresto in the case of Ezio’s ‘Dagli immortali vertici’ (...

Article

Bernarr Rainbow and Charles Edward McGuire

A form of musical notation and the system of sight-singing which depends on it invented by Sarah Anna Glover and prominently disseminated, by John Curwen and John Spencer Curwen beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century. Tonic Sol-fa had its origin in Guidonian solmization, depending like that system upon aural perception of relative pitch (...

Article

A (i)  

David Fallows

A preposition found particularly in 16th- and 17th-century editions of polyphonic music where works are described as being a due (a 2), a tre (a 3), a dieci (a 10), etc., meaning in two, three or ten voices respectively. Many prints had it with an accent (...

Article

A (v)  

Abbreviation for accelerando, used particularly by Elgar. See Largamente.

Article

Robert Donington

A term applied both to improvised and to notated embellishments, and both to free ornamentation and to specific Ornaments.

Article

Clive Brown

The normal German equivalent of the Italian verb staccare (‘to separate or detach; to play staccato’); the noun Stoss was used to mean staccato. Like its Italian counterpart it implies not only separation but also, in many cases, accent. Stoss means literally a blow or shove and the verb means to push, shove or jab. The prefix ...