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  • Chris Anderson

Music Revision - Glossary S & T

SATB - Short form of Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass

Scalic - Another word for conjunct.

Scherzando - Play in a joking or playful manner.

Scherzo - A lively movement (usually the third) of a concerto or symphony.

Scotch Snap - A rhythm used, often but not exclusively, in Scottish dances. It’s a semiquaver followed by a dotted quaver.

Semitone - On a piano, any two notes that are immediately next to each other. On a guitar, one fret.

Septet - A group of seven players, or a piece in seven parts.

Sequence - A repeated musical phrase. The pitch (starting note) is raised or lowered each time the phrase is repeated.

Sextet - A group of six players, or a piece in six parts.

Sforzando - A sudden, strongly accented note. Abbreviated to sfz.

Sharp (#) - A symbol that tells you to raise the pitch of a note by a semitone.

Simple Time - A time signature with two, three, or four basic beats.

Slur - A long curved line that joins two or more notes of different pitches. It indicates the music should be played legato.

Sonata - A pipe of music written in three or four movements for soloist or duet.

Sonata Form - A piece of music with a specific structure: Exposition, Development, Recapitulation. Can sometimes also have an introduction before the exposition.

Soprano - The highest female singing voice.

Sospirando - Play/sing in a sighing manner.

Staccato - Play the notes in a short and detached manner. (Don’t say “stabby”)

String Quartet - A group consisting of two violins, a viola and a cello.

String Trio - A group consisting of a violin, a viola and a cello.

Strophic Form - Structure of a song (or piece of music) where the music is the same in every verse (but the lyrics change). A hymn is a good example of this.

Subject - The main idea of a piece of music.

Tempo - The speed of a piece of music.

Tenor - The highest (adult) male voice.

Tenuto (-) - Play the note for its full length. Play the note slightly longer. Play the note with a slight accent.

Ternary Form - A piece in three sections.

Tessitura - The range of a singer’s voice.

Texture - How the parts of music are woven together.

Theme - A musical idea.

Through Composed - Structure of a song where the music for each verse is different.

Tie - A curved note that joins two (or more) notes of the same pitch (on the same line or in the same space) to make a longer sounding note.

Tierce de Picarde - A term used to describe a piece of music that is written in a minor key but finishes with a major version of the chord. For example, a piece written in D minor would finish with a D major chord.

Timbre - The tonal colour of an instrument. The type of sound it makes.

Tonal - Music written in a specific key.

Tone - Two semitones. Two frets on a guitar. Two notes on a piano with exactly one note in-between them.

Tonic - The first note of a scale.

Treble - A high male voice sung by a boy…uses the soprano range.

Tremolo - A trembling effect similar to vibrato. On a stringed instrument it is achieved by move the bow backwards and forwards very quickly.

Trio - A piece for three players or singers. The second part of a Minuet and Trio

Trionfale - Triumphantly.

Triplet - Three notes played in the space of two.

Tritone - An interval of three tones.

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