Glossary Tips

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What are sharps and flats?

Flats and Sharps

Music is divided into whole steps and half steps. When we sing the scale (do-re-me…), we are singing a pattern made up of whole steps and half steps. A sharp raises a pitch one half step. A flat lowers the pitch one half step. For more information about sharps and flats visit http://www.musictheory.net.

   
What is an interval?

Interval

An interval is the distance between any two notes. For example, the interval between Middle C and the G above it is a Fifth. The interval between Middle C and the G below it is a Fourth.

   
What is a key signature?

Key Signature

The key signature of a piece is represented by the sharps or flats that are at the left end of each line of music. This will tell you which of the 24 major and minor scales the piece is based on. Each key has it's own color. In general, the major keys evoke a more cheerful, brighter mood, while the minor keys signify a more somber mood.

   
What is a minor scale?

Minor Scale

A minor scale is sequence of notes in order of pitch made up of the following pattern of whole and half steps where W stands for whole and H stands for half. W-H-W-W-H-W-W.

   
What is an octave?

Octave

An octave is an interval of eight. The frequency ratio is 1:2, so the two notes sound almost exactly alike, or consonant. For example, the distance between Middle C and the next higher C is one octave.

   
What does crescendo mean?

Crescendo

Crescendo means “growing,” or “increasing” (from the Italian verb crescere, “to grow”), and in music it always refers to volume. Crescendo means to gradually grow louder.

   
What is the tonic?

Tonic

The tonic is the tone around which the melody flows. It is the first degree of the key in which the piece is written. For example, if a piece is in the key of G major, it would most likely start on a G, move to other keys, and finally return to G. To the listener this will give the feeling of resolution, or a return to home.

   
What is a major scale?

Major Scale

A major scale is a sequence of notes in order of pitch is made up of the following pattern of whole and half steps where W stands for whole and H stands for half. W-W-H-W-W-W-H

   
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