Rebirth of Reason

Terms of Musical Organization

Key terms to know for discussion on SOLO music. A complete list can be found here. 

Tone. a pitch and all of its overtones. 2. a whole-step, or whole-tone.

Dominant tonal organization in music and their supposed effects:

Quarter tone ("Indian") affects mental body, mind

Third Tones ("Egyptian") emotional-ritual music occult

Half Tones ("Western-European") sensation, physical body.

Note. A written pitch. A note does not sound.

Pitch. the predominant frequency in a sound. Note the difference from tonic.

Tonal Center. The most prominent pitch-class. syn. tonic.

Scale. A group of pitch-classes arranged in ascending or descending order.

-Modes. An ordered series of musical intervals, which, along with the key or tonic, define the pitches. However, mode is usually used in the sense of scale applied only to the specific diatonic scales:

The Greek modes were:

Major modes

Ionian (I) (listen)

Lydian (IV) (listen)

Mixolydian (V) (listen)

Minor modes

Dorian (II) (listen)

Phrygian (III) (listen)

Aeolian (VI) (listen)

Locrian (VII) (listen)

Chords. Three or more pitch-classes considered simultaneously. A chord must have at least 3 pcs in it, but these may or may not sound simultaneously; e.g. in a "broken chord" or arpeggio. A broken-chord is, nonetheless, a chord because its content is considered together as a group.

Melody.  A combination of a pitch series and a rhythm having a clearly defined shape.

Harmony.  The sound of tones in combination. The study of harmony makes up a large part of "theory" classes due to its importance and complexity in our traditional music. It is sometimes considered synonymous with the study of chords.

Phrase.  A musical statement, with a beginning, end, and a clear shape, usually melodic. Phrases in music are most often four measures in length.

Tempo.  The speed of music