Cadence A cadence is musical punctuation. It is a set chord pattern that makes the music sound finished (like a full stop), or paused (like a comma). The finished 'full stop' is called a Perfect Cadence, and a paused 'comma' is called a Plagal Cadence. A Plagal Cadence sounds like an 'ah-men' used in hymns.
Chromatic Scale A chromatic scale, is an ascending (going up) or descending (going down) series of notes which uses each key on the keyboard in turn (including both the black and white keys). An example of a chromatic scale is: C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A - A# - B - C
Dynamics Dynamics is the musical term used to describe the volume of the music.
Major / Minor Key Major and Minor refers to the overall 'tonality' of the music. The tonality describes the mood. Music in a 'Major' key will sound happy. Music in a 'Minor' key will sound sad. We use major and minor chords in music. They too, sound 'happy' (major) and 'sad' (minor).
Ostinato Ostinato is a short musical idea or rhythm which is repeated over and over again.
Scale A scale is an ascending (going up) or a descending (going down) series of notes. It is built using 8 notes. Scales can be 'Major' (happy sounding), 'Minor' (sad sounding), 'Chromatic' (see above), and 'Pentatonic' (sounds oriental). There are other types of scales too, but we won't need those in Key Stage 3.
Staccato / Legato Staccato means short and detached, Legato means smooth and long. These terms are used to describe different ways a melody can be played.
Tempo Tempo means the speed of the music. Tempo is usually described using Italian terms (see below).
Tempo - Italian Terms Largo - Slow Andante - Medium Walking Speed Allegro - Quickly Presto - Fast
Time Signature Time Signatures tell us how many beats are in a bar. All music is divided up into bars. Usually, the first beat of each bar is emphasised. This helps us to identify where the new bar starts. A 2/4 time signature is a fast march, a 3/4 time signature is used in a waltz, a 4/4 time signature has a steady 4 beat (like a pop song).
Trill A trill is a form of ornamentation used in music. Ornaments are added by composers to decorate a note. It sounds 'twiddly' or 'frilly'. A trill is where a note is played, quickly followed by the note below it. The tune will quickly 'wobble' between these two notes.