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Article

Absatz  

A term, first used by H.C. Koch, denoting an opening phrase. See Analysis, §II, 2.

Article

Clive Brown

As a musical term, absetzen has two meanings: (1) to separate one note from another, as is usual in staccato performance and (2) to transcribe vocal music into tablature for some solo instrument, for example lute or organ. In the 18th century Quantz described staccato playing in general as ...

Article

A term used in the 16th century (e.g. Ornithoparchus, Musicae activae micrologus, 1517) for the simple forms of plainchant based on recitation tones as used in the Epistle, Gospel, prayers etc.; for a general survey of such forms see Inflection. Accentus forms are contrasted with ...

Article

Jack Westrup and David Fallows

A short term for recitativo accompagnato, i.e. Recitative accompanied by the orchestra with expressive motifs, equivalent to recitativo obbligato. It is often used to designate a dramatically important scene, often a soliloquy (e.g. ‘Abscheulicher’ in Fidelio), which is usually followed by an aria. Handel used the term both in the strict sense of recitative, where the accompaniment allows the singer freedom (e.g. ‘O notte’ in ...

Article

David Fuller

In the most general sense, the subordinate parts of any musical texture made up of strands of differing importance. A folksinger's listeners clap their hands in accompaniment to the song; a church organist keeps the congregation to the pitch and tempo with his or her accompaniment; the left hand provides the accompaniment to the right in a piano rag; when one part of a Schoenberg string quartet momentarily carries the symbol for ...

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The tuning of an instrument. See also Accordatura and Scordatura.

Article

Being in tune.

Article

Bruce Carr

A term, meaning ‘not electric’, used in this special sense to designate a recording cut with a stylus activated directly (through a diaphragm) by sound waves rather than by electronic impulses, or, as in ‘acoustic guitar’, an instrument not amplified electronically. It was first applied to recordings in the early 1930s (electric recordings were first made in ...

Article

In functional harmony a subdominant chord with an added major 6th above the bass (e.g. f–a–c′–d′ in C major, f–a ♭–c′–d′ in C minor); it can also be derived as the first inversion of a 7th chord built on the supertonic. The ambivalent construction of the added 6th chord engenders an ambivalence in the way it resolves, as Rameau observed in the ...

Article

A term used for extra instrumental parts added to the scores of Baroque choral and orchestral works (especially those of Bach and Handel), with or without modification of the original scoring. See Arrangement, §3.

Article

Harold S. Powers

The name assigned by Glarean in the Dodecachordon (1547) to the authentic mode on A, which uses the diatonic octave species a–a′, divided at e′ and composed of a first species of 5th (tone–tone–semitone–tone) plus a second species of 4th (semitone–tone–tone), thus a–b–c′–d′–e′...

Article

George J. Buelow

In its German form, a term first employed extensively by German musicologists, beginning with Kretzschmar, Goldschmidt and Schering, to describe in Baroque music an aesthetic concept originally derived from Greek and Latin doctrines of rhetoric and oratory. Just as, according to ancient writers such as Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, orators employed the rhetorical means to control and direct the emotions of their audiences, so, in the language of classical rhetoric manuals and also Baroque music treatises, must the speaker (i.e. the composer) move the ‘affects’ (i.e. emotions) of the listener. It was from this rhetorical terminology that music theorists, beginning in the late 16th century, but especially during the 17th and 18th centuries, borrowed the terminology along with many other analogies between rhetoric and music. The affects, then, were rationalized emotional states or passions. After ...

Article

In medieval theory, the Final of a transposed Mode. Commonly, a was the affinalis of the Dorian or Hypodorian mode transposed up a 5th and the Phrygian or Hypophrygian mode transposed up a 4th; b was the affinalis of the Phrygian or Hypophrygian mode transposed up a 5th; and ...

Article

Agogic  

Matthias Thiemel

A qualification of Expression and particularly of Accentuation and Periodicals, . The qualification is concerned with variations of duration rather than of dynamic level.

A pause of breath of phrasing (suspiratio) is mentioned in a number of organum sources, and in the 16th century the pause (...

Article

A term that can refer either to Inversion or to Retrograde motion. Haydn called the minuet of the Piano Sonata in A h XVI:26 Minuetto al rovescio: after the trio the minuet is directed to be played backwards (retrograde motion). In the Serenade for Wind in C minor no. in Köchel, 1862; for items not in 1862 edn, no. from 2/1905 or 3/1937 given. ...

Article

Guitar notation in which chords are symbolized by letters of the alphabet. See Guitar, §4 and Tablature, §4.

Colonna, Giovanni Ambrosio

Guitar, §4: The five-course guitar

Article

Aliquot  

Howard Mayer Brown and Clive Greated

A mathematical term meaning ‘contained in another a certain number of times without leaving any remainder’ (OED); for example, 2 is an aliquot part of 6. The wavelengths of the harmonic partials of a tone are thus aliquot parts of the fundamental wavelength. Aliquot strings are ...

Article

Ebenezer Prout and David Fallows

An instruction to play an octave above the written pitch if the sign is placed above the notes (sometimes specified as ottava alta, or sopra); if an octave lower is intended, this is indicated by placing the sign below the notes or by specifying with ...

Article

Ebenezer Prout and Robert Donington

An instruction that any parts thus shown are to be taken as one part, either at the same pitch or (where the range of the voice or instrument implies it) at the octave (or double octave) above or below. It is frequently abbreviated to ‘unis.’. In orchestral scores the term is used to show that two or more instruments whose parts are written on the same staff are to play in unison; in the later 19th century the words ...

Article

German term for the sections of the chant of the Mass sung by the celebrant rather than the choir or congregation. It is also used for the adaptations of Gregorian chant made, using the German language, in the Lutheran church in Germany. See Luther, Martin...