• Harmonic Rhythm - This refers to how often the chords change.  if chords change rarely a piece of music is said to  have a slow harmonic rhythm, if the chords change often it is said to have a fast harmonic rhythm

  • Cadence - A cadence is a point at which the music feels as if it has come to a stop or temporary stop.  Cadence is tied strongly to harmony.  If a song does not end on a tonic chord, the ending will feel unfinished or unsettling.

  • Diatonic - Diatonic harmony stays in a particular major or minor key.

  • Chromatic - Chromatic harmony contains many notes that are not in the key.  A chromatic scale contains all 12 tones.

  • Dissonance - dissonance is a not, chord or interval that does not fit into the triadic harmonies we expect in western music.  I may sound surprising, jarring or even unpleasant.

  • Accompaniment - all music that is not part of the melody is the accompaniment.

  • Descant - Sometimes the melody is not the highest line in music.  a descant is a higher part that is usually sung over the melody.  It can be played on an instrument as well.

  • Counterpoint - Sometimes called polyphonic music.  Counterpoint is when multiple melodies are played at the same time.  The melodic lines usually contain many of the same motif's but are played at different times.  Usually associated with J.S.Bach.

  • Range - Usually describes a vocal range such as soprano, alto, tenor or bass.  It may also refer to the range of an instrument..

  • Tonal and Atonal - Western music has stayed fairly static throughout the centuries training our ears to what is pleasing.  When music follows the basic precepts of harmony is is called tonal.  Atonal is the opposite  Using a 12 tone scale and dissonance could be called atonal music.

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