Glossary

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CADENZA is a virtuoso solo passage inserted into a movement in a concerto or other musical work, typically near the end.

 

CONCERTO  is a musical composition usually composed in three parts or movements, in which (usually) one solo instrument (for instance, a piano, violin, cello or flute) is accompanied by an orchestra.

 

FUGATO is a movement, section, or piece in this style [from Italian, from fugare to compose in the style of a fugue]

 

GRACE NOTE  is a kind of music notation used to denote several kinds of musical ornaments, it is usually printed smaller to indicate that it is melodically and harmonically nonessential.

 

LEITMOTIF is a “short, constantly recurring musical phrase” associated with a particular person, place, or idea.

 

MOTIF is a short musical idea, a salient recurring figure, musical fragment or succession of notes that has some special importance in or is characteristic of a composition: “The motive is the smallest structural unit possessing thematic identity

 

RITORNELLO  (Italian; “little return”) is a recurring passage in Baroque music for orchestra or chorus. The first or final movement of a solo concerto, concerto grosso, or aria may be in “ritornello form”, in which the ritornello is the opening theme, always played by tutti, which returns in whole or in part and in different keys throughout the movement.

 

SYMPHONY  is an extended musical composition in Western classical music, scored almost always for orchestra. A symphony usually contains at least one movement or episode composed according to the sonata principle. Many symphonies are tonal works in four movements with the first in sonata form, which is often described by music theorists as the structure of a “classical” symphony, although many symphonies by the acknowledged classical masters of the form, Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven do not conform to this model.

 

TERNARY FORM  sometimes called song form, is a three-part musical form, usually schematicized as A–B–A. The first and third parts (A) are musically identical, or very nearly so, while the second part (B) in some way provides a contrast with them.

 

TRILL   is a musical ornament consisting of a rapid alternation between two adjacent notes, usually a semitone or tone apart, which can be identified with the context of the trill.

 

TREMOLO (in playing the violin, cello, etc) the rapid repetition of a single note produced by a quick back-and-forth movement of the bow