Classical Music Glossary, Part Three

Classical Music Glossary, Part Four
August 27, 2012
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Classical Music Glossary, Part Three

Welcome to Austin classical music / San Antonio classical music 101!

It’s time for more classical music terminology! As you begin to explore, remember that although the sheer breadth of classical music can be daunting, stick with something you like as soon as you find it. Let that piece of music be your starting point. Listen to other pieces by the same composer, then branch off into similar types of music by different composers, and so on and so forth. Pretty soon, you will see that classical music isn’t so scary after all.

  1. Movement – a term given to a section of music within a larger piece of music; normally self-contained and separated by silence.
  2. Organum – a form of polyphonic music created in the latter half of the Medieval Period. Organum uses multiple voices to accompany the cantus firmus, usually in parallel motion in fourths, fifths, and/or octaves.
  3. Overtone singing – in its most basic form is when the singer can sing one note simultaneously while singing another by changing the shape of their resonant cavity (throat, mouth, tongue, larynx, etc).
  4. String quartet – Although any combination of four stringed instruments can be called a string quartet, the term usually denotes a musical ensemble that consists of two violins, one viola and one cello.
  5. Symphony – In its simplest form, it is an extended work for orchestra.
  6. Tonality – the general key, rhythmic and tonal structure of a part of music or the entire piece.
  7. Waltz – A ballroom dance normally in 3/4 time with strong emphasis on the first beat (down beat).

If you’re planning an office event, chamber concert, wedding ceremony or special event that calls for professional Austin classical musicians or San Antonio classical musicians, please contact us so we can help. Our performances can range to include the trumpet, violin, cello, string quartet, and so much more! From traditional wedding music to contemporary choices, we provide the perfect setting for that special event.

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