Counterpoint

Polyphonic music. Something in the lines of ‘opposing points’, like saying point against point. In the case of two voices, you can have a bass line as the cantus firmus…

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Cadence

A harmonic progression that lets us know when a passage or song is about to come to an end. It’s the resolution of the previous harmonies, usually to the tonic…

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Chest voice

Think of speaking or shouting: we use chest voice there. The quality of the sound we make using our chest voice is rougher and has a bigger ‘body’ when compared…

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Chord

Think of pulling daisy petals and start counting on a music scale. As it is customary, you start with ‘he/she loves me’, so for the music, the first note will…

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Chorus

What’s not a verse will most likely be a chorus. It’s usually what has all the instruments smashing either together or in unison. It’s what the composer wants us to remember…

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Chromatic

It’s either when we use accidentals in a scale or when we move in semitones. If we assume that we’re in C major, we won’t go in ascending order like:…

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Clef

It means ‘key’ and it’s a French word. Man, do you need to learn a few languages to know your music or what… If we have notes on a stave…

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Consonant

As in consonance, not as in the consonants of the English alphabet. Think of consonant intervals as round sounds and of dissonant intervals as sounds with edges. Consonant sounds are robust and…

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Contra tempo

Lit.: against time. Although contra tempo is not widely used, it has the same meaning as off-beat. When I use it, I tend to use contra tempo in longer phrases,…

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Contra tenor

Also called countertenor. The highest male voice of the bunch. Has many notes in common with the lowest female voice, the contralto.

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