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Choose the letter which begins musical term that you would like to learn about:


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Tanto
Much, so much.

Tempo
The rate of speed in a musical work.

Tempo primo
Return to the original tempo.

Teneramente
Tenderly.

Tenor clef
C ClefThe C clef falling on the fourth line of the staff.

Tenuto, ten
Hold or sustain a note longer than the indicated value, usually not as long a duration as the fermata.

Ternary form
Three-part form in which the middle section is different from the other sections. Indicated by ABA.

Terraced dynamics
The Baroque style of using sudden changes in dynamic levels, as opposed to gradual increase and decrease in volume.

Tertian harmony
A term used to describe music based on chords arranged in intervals of thirds.

Tessitura
The general pitch range of a vocal part.

Texture
The term used to describe the way in which melodic lines are combined, either with or without accompaniment. Types include monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic, or contrapuntal.

Theme
The musical subject of a piece (usually a melody), as in sonata form or a fugue. An extramusical concept behind a piece.

Theme and variations
A statement of musical subject followed by restatements in different guises.

Theory
The study of how music is put together.

Third
The third degree of the diatonic scale. Also, the interval formed by a given tone and the third tone above or below it, e.g. c up to e, or c down to a. Intervals of the third may be major, minor, diminished, or augmented.

Through-composed
A term used to describe a song in which the music for each stanza is different. The opposite of strophic.

Ti
In solmization, the seventh degree of the major scale. Also called the leading tone.

Tie
A curved line over or below two or more notes of the same pitch. The first pitch is sung or played and held for the duration of the notes affected by the tie.

Time signature
Time signatureSynonymous with meter signature.

Tonality
The term used to describe the organization of the melodic and harmonic elements to give a feeling of a key center or a tonic pitch.

Tone

A note; the basis of music.

Tone clusters
The simultaneous sounding of two or more adjacent tonic tones.

Tonguing
On wind instruments, articulation with the tongue.

Tonic
The first note of a key. Also, the name of the chord built on the first degree of the scale, indicated by I in a major key or i in a minor key.

Tono
Tone, key, pitch.

Tosto
Quick.

Tranquillo
Tranquilly; quietly; calm.

Transposition
The process of changing the key of a composition.

Tre
Three. Used with other terms, e.g. a tre voci, in three parts.

Treble clef
Time signatureThe G clef falling on the second line of the staff.

Triad
A chord of three tones arranged in thirds, e.g. the C-major triad c-e-g, root-third-fifth.

Trill, tr
A musical ornament performed by the rapid alternation of a given note with a major or minor second above.

Triple meter
Meter based on three beats, or a multiple of three, in a measure.

Triplet
Triplet A group of three notes performed in the time of two of the same kind.

Troppo
Too much. Used with other terms, e.g. allegro non troppo, not too fast.

Turn
Turn A musical ornament characterized by the rapid performance of a given note, the major or minor second above and below, and a return to the given note. Turn over note

Tutti
All. A direction for the entire ensemble to sing or play simultaneously.

Twelve-tone technique
A system of composition which uses the twelve tones of the chromatic scale in an arbitrary arrangement called a tone row or series. The row may be used in its original form, its inversion, in retrograde, and in the inversion of the retrograde. The system was devised by Arnold Schoenberg in the early Twentieth century.


Welcome to the O'Connor Music Studio Web Page! Welcome to the O'Connor Music Studio Web Page!


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Some definitions and terms excerpted from
Belwin Pocket Dictionary of Music: Music Theory Dictionary
By Dr. William Lee
Students may purchase a copy for home use at cost
A line of music

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