Most of these terms are second nature for the music teacher. Some of them are particular to the YCIW curriculum in a way that helps promote the "sound-before-theory" method. The definition of each term is stated in a way that reflects how it is used in the curriculum. This list can serve as an important collection of terms to be shared with students.

Form

The ordering of sections of music within one composition. For example, an A section may be followed by a B seciton. If a song has an A section then a B section followed by a repeat of the A section then it's form would be: A - B - A.

Harmony

Any two or more sounds ocurring at the same moment in time.

Harmony Rule 1

  • Letters of the musical alphabet 1 STEP apart when sounded together are considered a dissonance.
  • Letters of the musical alphabet 1 SKIP apart when sounded together are considered a consonance.
  • Letters of the musical alphabet 2 SKIPS apart are considered to be open and need to be resolved.

Leaps

Notes that move from one letter of the musical alphabet to another letter that is more than a skip away. For example, G to D or F to C.

Melodic Shape

Every melody has a shape. If each note in a melody were connected by a line it would reveal it's melodic shape.

Musical Alphabet

The musical alphabet has only six letters: A B C D E F G Using these letters we can build any number of chords and melodies.

Resolution

The movement from a dissonant harmony to a consonant harmony.

Singable, Memorable Melody

There are many kinds of melodies and many ways that a melody can be memorable. One way to create a melody that is memorable is to apply a smooth melodic shape to a rhythm that can be sung. Melodies that use mostly STEPS, with occassional SKIPS and LEAPS have a smooth melodic shape.

Skips

Notes that move from one letter of the musical alphabet to another letter while skipping over just one letter. For example, C to E or G to B. (Skips displaced by an octave are considered LEAPS in the context of melodies but not harmonies.)

Steps

Notes that move from one letter of the musical alphabet to the very next letter of the musical alphabet. For example, G to A, or F to E. (Steps displaced by an octave are considered LEAPS in the context of melodies but not harmonies.)


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