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Humanities LibreTexts

2.6: Glossary

  • Page ID
  • A cappella – vocal music without instrumental accompaniment

    Cadence – the ending of a musical phrase providing a sense of closure, often through the use of one chord that resolves to another

    Chant – text set to a melody written in monophonic texture with un-notated rhythms typically used in religious worship

    Courtly Love – love for a beloved, without any concern for whether or not the love will be returned, called “courtly” because it was praised by those participating in medieval courts

    Drone – a sustained pitch or pitches often found in music of the middle ages or earlier and in folk music

    Hymn – religious song most generally having multiple strophes of the same number and length of lines and using strophic form

    Mass – Catholic celebration of the Eucharist consisting of liturgical texts set to music by composers starting in the middle ages

    Melisma – multiple pitches sung to one syllable of text

    Polyphony – musical texture that simultaneously features two or more relatively independent and important melodic lines

    Refrain – a repeating musical section, generally also with repeated text; sometimes called a “chorus” Rhythm According to the

    Text – rhythm that follows the rhythm of the text and is not notated

    Song – a composition sung by voice(s)

    Strophe – section of a poem or lyric text generally of a set number of lines and line length; a text may have multiple strophes

    Strophic – musical form in which all verses or strophes of a song are sung to the same music

    Syllabic – music in which each syllable of a text is set to one musical note Verse and Refrain

    Form – a musical form (sometimes referred to as verse and chorus) in which one section of music is sung to all the verses and a different section of music is sung to the repeating refrain or chorus

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