Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about particular terms used in a subject of study, theory, profession, etc.

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What is the genre of French popular songs of the 1960s?

Many songs that are still popular in France today date from the 1960s with for example Joe Dassin, Charles Aznavour, Boris Vian, etc. To which genre can we associate these artists? The Wikipedia page ...
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What's the difference between "Artist Name" and "Album Artist" in (foobar2000's) metadata fields in music digital file's metadata?

I think the answer is this: "Album Artist" is (are) main person(s) behind album creation, but if there's the particular track with the guest performer(s) named Album Artist feat. Jane The ...
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2 answers
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Is a song with new lyrics a cover, remix, or freestyle?

If I used the instrumental of a song and the hook but wrote new lyrics for the verse using a completely different cadence what terminology would I use in the song title?
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2 answers
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What is the name of a song that is overall soft, slow and/or sentimental?

If I want to distinguish between a musician's songs that are overall slower, softer and/or more sentimental, what would I call these songs? I am specifically focusing on heavier music such as rock or ...
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Unsure about instrument abbreviations used in CD booklets

I'm not a musician and my first language isn't English, so I hope I'm not asking a stupid or inaproppriate thing: Reading a CD booklet (Verve), I see the instruments are all abbreviated, and I'm ...
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Phrase or word for how music is descriptive

I find myself almost immediately conjuring up images of the rising sun on a beautiful day whenever I hear Edvard Grieg's Morning Mood, as do I think most people I know if they were to hear it (...
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What is meant by ‘Period’ in music?

See this documentary here with Stravinsky. Halting the rehearsal, he remarks (at 0:13) So give me once more the whole period. 39. According to Wiki a period ...
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What are all the standard parts of a pop song and their definitions?

I've heard terms like "hook", "bridge", and "chorus", but I'm fuzzy on exactly what they mean and if there are other parts.
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Is there a term for two songs that are usually played together?

Examples: "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" by Queen "Load Out" and "Stay" by Jackson Browne
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What are these techniques or common singing styles called?

I am looking to know if there is a name for two "techniques" or "singing styles" that I have found commonly in many songs. The first, is a sudden change in the the voice of the ...
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2 votes
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Is there a specific term for when an artist covers a song in a different musical style?

Lately I've had a lot of fun listening to instrumental covers of modern songs created with medieval music instruments (example: ). This also lead me down the rabbit ...
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What's the difference between the "main" and "lead" roles in KPop?

Each member of a KPop group is often given several roles by fans (or possibly by the labels). These roles may be something like the "main vocalist" or "lead dancer". Normally I'd ...
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2 votes
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What does "mad fish" mean in Bring The Pain by Method Man?

In the song "Bring The Pain" by Method Man, he says: Check it, just how deep can shit get/ Deep as the abyss/ and brothers is mad fish accept it What does "mad fish" mean in this ...
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A recording session with Igor Stravinsky

At 32:47, Stravinsky, whilst recording his Symphony of Psalms, just before another take, says to the orchestra “I give you one bar for nothing in four and the bar before nine is in three, six.” ...
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Measure numbers proper name

What are these measure numbers called. I could have just answered my own question there. See highlighted below. Who decides these? Is it the composer? You see I have noticed sometimes they are in ...
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What does it mean to go/be "on top of the beat"?

I was watching this old video of Pentatonix performing a cover of Video Killed the Radio Star - The Buggles on the talent show The Sing-Off. Ben Folds, one of the judges on the show, offers some ...
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Whats the diffrence between unplugged and acoustic

According to "German Wiki" etc unplugged is another word for acoustic and says a song normaly made with electronics is now played with "normal" insturments instead But on the other hand acoustic is ...
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Songs which have relations or parts of other songs [closed]

I'm currently searching for songs which have older songs in it part-wise. I don't even know what this term is called. I'm thinking of something like Eminem's Sing for the Moment which contains parts ...
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Is there a term that describes such songs?

I've recently listened to a couple of songs and found a common beat. A quick google search for their genre shows that they fall under the umbrella of Hip-Hop/Rap. However, searching for 'Hip-Hop/Rap' ...
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What do you call a song that starts with its chorus instead of its verse?

I am listening to the bollywood song "Challa" from the movie: "Jab Tak Hai Jaan 2012". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a4izd3Rvdw At 00:28, I feel the song suddenly starts with its chorus instead ...
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10 votes
4 answers
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Term for Instrumental Music Where the Singer has been Replace by Instrument

Is there a term for instrumental music where the song is typically sung vocally, but the singer's part has been replaced by an instrument? I want to tell my Google Home to play instrumental music of ...
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Is there a term to describe what movie/game/anime/etc. a music piece is famous for?

For example, "My Heart Will Go On" is from the movie "Titanic", "Still Alive" is from the game "Portal" and "Gotta Catch Em All" is from the anime "Pokémon". Obviously there are still artists/...
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What does "language is gestural and splintered" mean in music? How can it arouse "the overall impression of highly coloured abstraction"?

I'm reading The Rough Guide to Classical Music (2010 5th ed.) by Joe Staines. On p. 563 bottom, left column, he writes: Takemitsu’s orchestral works vary considerably, but his overriding ...
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9 votes
4 answers
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What is Bass and Treble?

Can someone please explain the difference of bass and treble as if to someone with no background knowledge in music? Every time I ask I someone, they always answer as if I'm already an expert on music....
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How does 'meter' differ from 'rhythm', in music?

Source: The Complete Classical Music Guide (2012). General Editor: John Burrows OBE HonRCM, edited with Charles Wiffen MMus DMus RCM. pp. 14-16. Many human activities, such as running, walking, ...
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How does Steve Reich's music have more 'modernist rigor' than Philip Glass's?

Source: The Complete Classical Music Guide (2012). General Editor: John Burrows OBE HonRCM, edited with Charles Wiffen. p. 297 Bottom Right. INFLUENCES Reich’s effect on musical culture is perhaps ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What does "pattern games" signify, in the context of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians?

Source: The Complete Classical Music Guide (2012). General Editor: John Burrows OBE HonRCM, edited with Charles Wiffen. p. 297 Bottom Left. MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS [...] This big, single-movement ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the basic difference between artist and composer tag used in audio file?

Let me take an example to specify my question. Below mentioned details are from a Bollywood album "Rockstar" by A. R. Rahman. Title : Kun Faya Kun Track : 04/14 Contributing Artist : A. R. ...
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Is there a term for a "punctuating" music?

I'm looking for a term to designate this small piece of soundtrack in some TV shows that can, for example: be used as a "punctuation mark" at the end of a scene when we see, for a few seconds, the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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I-Catalogue Number

I recently noticed a so-called "I-Catalogue Number" in the General information section of scores on IMSLP, such as this score. What does this mean? I searched on IMSLP and on the internet, but could ...
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When did musicians started to call each other motherfucker in a friendly meaning?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word motherfucker is a very offensive way to insult someone. an extremely insulting name for someone you hate or for someone who has made you angry. But ...
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I'm wondering if there is a word for drum rhythms that make you want to dance?

I'd really like to find a word that means dancing to the sound of drums, percussion, or just the way you feel when music makes you want to dance!
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3 votes
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Name for commercial song which becomes accepted as folk song?

Is there a term for a commercial song, in a folk/roots style, which gets accepted as an authentic folk original ? I'm thinking of a song like The Wheel of the Wagon is Broken. Country/Western Swing ...
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What is that change in tune called?

I was listening to this song here. At 3:49 I find there is something change in tune or tempo, What is that transformation called? Is there any english term for this?
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2 answers
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What is the difference between original mix, extended mix, bootleg, and a radio edit in music?

Original mix, extended mix, bootleg, radio edit: What are these called - versions of audio products?
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What is it called when a part of the music sounds away from the tune?

Sometimes in a piece of music there is a portion that sounds totally away from the main tune of the song. Is there a name for that part of the music, or that transition?
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1 vote
2 answers
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Recognising genre and sub-genre

Is it possible to recognise a genre/sub-genre by listening a song? Is there any authority to approve a music genre? On what basis are they defined?
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3 answers
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Heavy Metal music:What does it mean when someone says that something 'sounds heavy'?

I often hear things said along the lines of "band XXX makes some of the heaviest music around, but their guitarist doesn't even use that much distortion", or "Band YYY didn't even tune down on this ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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The usage of the word "groove"

The first meaning is the narrow track where the stylus runs on records. We often use the word groove to qualify the rythm, when it sounds right and feels good on jazz, funk, reggae music etc. Is it ...
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What does "classical" mean? Is Dvořák classical?

Would Antonín Dvořák be considered a 'classical composer', specifically thinking about the very American "New World Symphony". I have never studied music, so not sure of the different categories. E.g....
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6 votes
1 answer
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Tour not supporting a new album

What would the term be for an artist's tour where they are playing music they have not recorded, nor will they plan to? An example, Zakk Wylde is (or just finished) a tour where he is playing an all-...
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10 votes
2 answers
236 views

A piece of music that is almost identical to another is called?

In movies and TV to save on royalties they would play a song that almost sounds like another popular song with just a few notes changed. They are meant to fool the audience or at least try to give off ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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What is the difference between R&B and Hip Hop, and what are some (most famous) examples of these and areas of overlap?

I'm a bit shy to post here... I listen to a lot of music, many times I might know the name of the singer, our band, but most of the time I don't even know what style I am listening to. It may even ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does it follow industry practice to use the term "mix" to refer to a different version of a song?

I am wondering if you could confirm with me if what I'm doing is correct: I wrote a song, Gotta Have You, and I'm planning on releasing it next month as my debut single. I will have 4 other versions ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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How to name the typical oriental/greek melody?

I'm from middle Europe, and to me, oriental music (also the Turkish Arabesk music) has a typical oblique/ skewed melody. In Greek music, despite other culture, there is in my opinion the same oriental ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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What makes a song an anthem?

I have heard the term thrown around, usually about songs I might not think would qualify as anthems. Tonight I was listening to Tool's Eulogy. I had a sense it might be so I looked it up on ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Which thing describe the song more than melody?

A melody (also tune, voice, or line) is a linear succession of musical tones that the listener perceives as a single entity. Is there any thing better than melody? I mean in the sense of sweet tune, ...
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What percentage of rock guitarists didn't take lessons?

I'm wondering if guys like hendrix, frusciante, most punk rock guitar/solo.. were able to understand music theory ?
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15 votes
5 answers
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Is "soundtrack" really a genre?

I have a lot of music composed for video games which I enjoy listening to. So naturally, I imported it into iTunes on my computer for ease of playback, playlists, sharing to devices, etc. I noticed ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is the origin of the term 'toasting'?

What is the origin of the term 'toasting', in the Jamaican sense of delivering vocals over an instrumental B-side or riddim ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deejay_(Jamaican)#Toasting There is use of ...
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