Music Dictionary

Musical Dictionary

Our Interactive Dictionary of Musical Terms.

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ragtime
Music that uses syncopated rhythms -- that is, the accents in the melody are shifted away from the strong beats in the bass line underneath.


Rallentando
A gradual slowing of the tempo


Recital
A performance given by one musician or by a musician or singer with piano accompaniment.


Recitative
The part of operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which the musical setting of the text imitates speaking.


Recorder
A woodwind instrument. It is held pointed down and blown into through a mouthpiece. By covering and uncovering holes on the recorder, the player can make different notes.


Reed
A thin piece of cane or metal that vibrates when air is blown over it. Used in woodwind instruments to make sound.


Refrain
Like a chorus, but for instrumental music.


Renaissance
French for "rebirth." The period of music history from around 1400 to the early 1600’s that coincided with a revival of interest in art, architecture, literature, and learning throughout Europe.


Rest
Rests have the same time value as notes. When a rest is written in a piece of music, it means that the player pauses for that amount of time before playing the next note.


rhapsody
A free-form piece that takes different tunes and strings them together.


Rhythm
The pattern of musical movement through time formed by a series of notes differing in duration and stress.


Romanticism
Romantic music came into its own at the beginning of the 19th century. Music from this era sounds almost boundless and free from any limitations of form. Much of this music is programmatic—that is, it is meant to describe something, perhaps a scene in nature or a particular feeling.


Rondo
Rondo is an Italian word that means round. A rondo is an instrumental form with a refrain that keeps coming back. Unlike the verses of a song, though, the music in a rondo changes between each repetition of the refrain.


Round
A round is a song with several melodies. One melody is started, and then another is started, and another. The melodies are sung over and over, and then end on the same note.


Music Dictionary

Musical Dictionary

Our Interactive Dictionary of Musical Terms.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

ragtime
Music that uses syncopated rhythms -- that is, the accents in the melody are shifted away from the strong beats in the bass line underneath.


Rallentando
A gradual slowing of the tempo


Recital
A performance given by one musician or by a musician or singer with piano accompaniment.


Recitative
The part of operas, oratorios, and cantatas in which the musical setting of the text imitates speaking.


Recorder
A woodwind instrument. It is held pointed down and blown into through a mouthpiece. By covering and uncovering holes on the recorder, the player can make different notes.


Reed
A thin piece of cane or metal that vibrates when air is blown over it. Used in woodwind instruments to make sound.


Refrain
Like a chorus, but for instrumental music.


Renaissance
French for "rebirth." The period of music history from around 1400 to the early 1600’s that coincided with a revival of interest in art, architecture, literature, and learning throughout Europe.


Rest
Rests have the same time value as notes. When a rest is written in a piece of music, it means that the player pauses for that amount of time before playing the next note.


rhapsody
A free-form piece that takes different tunes and strings them together.


Rhythm
The pattern of musical movement through time formed by a series of notes differing in duration and stress.


Romanticism
Romantic music came into its own at the beginning of the 19th century. Music from this era sounds almost boundless and free from any limitations of form. Much of this music is programmatic—that is, it is meant to describe something, perhaps a scene in nature or a particular feeling.


Rondo
Rondo is an Italian word that means round. A rondo is an instrumental form with a refrain that keeps coming back. Unlike the verses of a song, though, the music in a rondo changes between each repetition of the refrain.


Round
A round is a song with several melodies. One melody is started, and then another is started, and another. The melodies are sung over and over, and then end on the same note.


 

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