How To: Know Classical Music Terms for Symphony Orchestra
© The Flash List
We don’t want to bog you down with an overweight backpack of music vocabulary, but we would like to share a few terms that you might like to know before you head over to the symphony.
Art involving visual as well as dramatic or musical activity such as theater, film, dance, etc.
A performing group playing various instruments including:
String instruments (violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar, etc.)
Woodwind instruments (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, etc)
Brass instruments (trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, coronet, etc.)
Percussion instruments (drums, cymbals, piano, bells, tambourine, etc.)
Wind Orchestra (wind band or concert band)
Musical group consisting of woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments.
Person who leads the orchestra by means of gestures and indications.
Ensemble (pronounced on-sahm-bull)
Musical performing group 'assembled' together such as an orchestra, choir, chamber group, or band.
A succession of singles tones; a simple song.
The combination of two or more different notes sounding simultaneously.
The interweaving of melodic and harmonic elements in music.
A large instrumental composition generally divided into three or four parts.
A piece of music written for marching to.
Concerto (pronounced kuhn-chair-toe)
A piece of music written for a soloist and an accompanying orchestra.
Suite (pronounced sweet)
An ordered set of musical pieces which may be derived from an opera, movie, or ballet (such as the “Nutcracker Suite”).
An instrumental introduction for opera, ballet, or an oratorio.
Complete, self-contained sections, or parts, of a larger musical work.
A short piece of music played by brass instruments and trumpets (and sometimes percussion), usually for ceremonial purposes.
Requiem (pronounced rek-wee-em)
A musical composition associated with death or mourning.
The rate, speed, or pace of the music.
A gradual increase in the volume or force of music.
The specific range in the sound of an instrument or voice
SATB (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass)
Soprano - the highest singing voice of a woman or young boy.
Alto - A low female singing voice.
Tenor - A high adult male voice.
Bass - a male singing voice of the lowest range.
More? Oh yes, of course there's more! But we'll let these terms marinate first. One chapter at a time ...