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Dynamics- descriptive wordsSoft: quite, whispering, hushed, piano, muted, subdued, ghostly, delicateLoud: intense, powerfu...
Duration- descriptive wordsFast tempo: quick, lively, spirited, hurried, rapid, speedy, frantic, animated, busy,active.Mod...
Words to describe music
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Words to describe music

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Words to describe music

  1. 1. Dynamics- descriptive wordsSoft: quite, whispering, hushed, piano, muted, subdued, ghostly, delicateLoud: intense, powerful, forte, thundering, strong, boomingGetting louder: crescendo, increase in volume, intensification of sound,rise/swell/surge of sound.Getting softer: decrescendo, decrease in volume, diminuendo, dying away, wane,recede, taper off.Timbre (Tone colour)- descriptive wordsDark: mellow, warm, resonant, rich, velvety, muddy, lushLight: pure, clean, ringing, bright, vibrant, ethereal, clear, breathyUnpleasant: harsh, coarse, rough, brassy, shrill, thin, heavy, piercing, grating,aggressive, abrasive, raspy, scratchy, dry, dullStructureTerms for small segments: Phrase, question and answer, theme,ostinato/loop/motif/hook/riff, cadence point, solo, statement/reinstatement,repetition/difference, transition, climax point.Terms for larger segments: Introduction, verse, pre-chorus, chorus/refrain,bridge/development section, coda/outro.Classical forms: binary, ternary, rondo, sonata form, theme and variationsModern forms: verse-chorus, 32 bar form, AABA, 12-bar blues, free-formMelody- descriptive wordsSmall intervals between the notes: Stepwise motion, scalic, smooth lineBig intervals between the notes: Leaps, angular, jaggedLyrical, singable, tuneful, lilting, melodious, diatonic, repetitiveDisjointed, fragmented, chromatic, constantly changing
  2. 2. Duration- descriptive wordsFast tempo: quick, lively, spirited, hurried, rapid, speedy, frantic, animated, busy,active.Moderate tempo: ambling, relaxed, laid-back, steady.Slow: dignified, stately, drawn-out, leisurly, sluggishGet faster: accelerate, speed up, gather momentum, hastenGet slower: decelerate, slacken, reduce speed, loose momentumSeparated notes notes: staccato, choppy, percussive, sharp, abrupt, disconnected,fragmentedJoined notes: long, smooth, flowing, blended, sustained, legato, flowing, connectedPitch- descriptive wordsHigh pitched: soaring, soprano, shrill, treble, pipingLow pitched: deep, bass, boomy, sonorousHarmonyClashing, dissonance, discordant, harmonic tension/resolution.Tonal, harmonious, consonant, harmoniousTerms: Major, minor, modal, key changes, modulation, transposition, chordprogression, cadence pointRhythmStrong beats/weak beats, on the beat/ off the beat, syncopated, steady pulse/freerhythm, regular rhythm/ irregular rhythm, fragmentedTextureDense, heavy, thick, full, weighty, fatLight, thin, sparse, spare, delicate, open.Terms: Monophonic, homophonic, melody-dominated homophony, polyphonic,counterpoint
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