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  • Chris Anderson

Music Revision - Glossary - Q & R


Quartet - A group of four players/singers. A piece in four parts.


Quintet - A group of five players/singers. A piece in five parts.


Raga - A scale used in Indian music.


Ragtime - A piece of music (usually for piano) popular in early 20th Century America. Contains lots of syncopation. Jazz music followed on from ragtime.


Rallentando (rall.) - Gradually slowing down.


Recapitulation - The third section of sonata form.


Recitative - A song, often performed with harpsichord accompaniment, in an opera or oratorio. It moves the story along. It’s like the spoken dialogue in a musical.


Reel - A lively folk dance.


Reggae - A type of music from Jamaica.


Relative Major - A major key that is related to the minor key. It is the third note of the minor scale.


Relative Minor - A minor key that is related to the major key. It is the sixth note of the major scale.


Resolution - The last of three notes in a suspension.


Retrograde - A tune that has been reversed.


Retrograde Inversion - A tune that has been reversed and turned upside down.


Ripieno - The group of musicians accompanying the soloists in a concerto grosso.


Risoluto - Play resolutely - ie confidently.


Ritardando (rit.) - Gradually getting slower.


Ritenuto (rit.) - Hold back the tempo. A sudden slowing down.


Ritornello - A musical form where a theme is returned to regularly. Early form of rondo.


Rondo - A piece where the first theme is repeated after each new section. ABACADA etc.


Root Note - The note a chord originates from. For example, a D major chord would have a D as its root.


Rubato - Flexible tempo.


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