LIST OF TERMS DISCUSSED IN CLASS
- Additive rhythmic system or Bulgarian rhythms or
- Rhythmic system based on a fast pulse whose units are grouped
in patterns of larger, uneven units (eg. 4+2+3) which are repeated.
Bartok found this kind of rhythms first in the folklore of Bulgaria
and named them Bulgarian Rhythms only to discover later
that they are present all over South-Eastern Europe and in many other
non-Western musical cultures. Aksak is the Turkish word
denoting this kind of rhythms.
- Divisionary system
- Rhythmic system used in Western music in which a larger duration
is divided i(and sub-divided) into even parts.
- Trend in the arts which seeks to depict the subjective emotions and
responses that objects and events arouse in the artist. Usually
exaggerating such emotions and insisting on fantastic, violent, and
sometimes shocking events.
- Fibonacci series of numbers; golden mean
- Series of numbers attributed to Italian mathematician
Leonardo Fibonacci (died cca. 1250) in which the sum of
any two adjacent numbers produces the next one in the series:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, ......
The ratio between two adjacent numbers of the series (eg. 8/13)
is a close approximation of the golden mean ratio which
is given by the expression: a/b = b/(a+b) = 0.6182... It was used
extensively in architecture, painting and music since ancient
Greece though Renaissance and by 20th. century artists. Composers
such as Bartok, Debussy, Xenakis, etc. are known for the use of this
- Musical texture in which two or more variants of the same
melodic pattern are presented simultaneously.
- Trend in the arts which seeks to suggest, to evoke subjective and
sensory impressions or subtle moods rather then recreating an objective
- Greek term used in liturgical music: pedal tone or drone.
- Modes with limited transpositions
- Term coined by Olivier Messiaen; refers to scales made out of
repeating patterns of intervals which allow for only a limited (1-6)
numbers of transpositions before repeating the original set of pitches.
- Non-retrogradable rhythm
- A rhythm which is the same when read/performed backward. Term
usually mentioned in connection with Olivier Messiaen's music and theories.
- Octatonic scale
- Scale with eight sounds per octave arranged in a pattern of alternating
steps and half steps. Similar to some of Messiaen's modes with
limited transpositions it was used extensively by some late 19th
century composers (Rimsky Korsakov) or early 20th century composers,
- Rhythmic system encountered in East-European and other non-Western
musical cultures in the context of lyric, melismatic melodies with an
improvisatory character; similar to a melodic recitative.
- Pentatonic scales
- Scales with five sounds per octave.
- Mobil sound in a scale/mode. The same degree of the scale may appear
with different alterations, usually in different octaves or at different
times in the same melody.
- An aggregate of two or more recognizable chords played simultaneously.
- Superposition of two (or more) rhythmic patterns or meters
- Superposition of two (or more) tonalities. Two or more streams of
coherent progressions each in a different tonality (or in a different mode).
- Pre-pentatonic scales
- Scales with less than five sounds per octave.
- Device used by Iannis Xenakis who introduced the term. Refers to scales
build by applying basic logical operations (union, intersection, and
complement) to equivalence classes modulo m (numbers which,
when divided by another number m give the same remnant).
Usually scale patterns which do not repeat at the octave. In a more general
way, sieves are logical filters which can be applied not only to
pitches but also to rhythms or any other musical parameters.
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