Music Basics – Musical Terms

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Music Basics Series – Part 2

By Jan Durrant

Let’s begin our musical study with a review of the main musical terms you will need to be familiar with to proceed with your music education.

BAR LINE – A vertical line which separates notes into groups

DOUBLE BAR LINE – A set of two (2)vertical lines which stand for the end of a piece of music.

REPEAT SIGN – Double bar with two dots at the end of a section or piece of music which indicates that section is to be played twice.

MEASURE – The distance between two bar lines.

TREBLE CLEF- Called the G Clef in times passed, this G-shaped symbol stands for notes played with the right hand.

BASS CLEF – The reversed C-shaped symbol which stand for notes played with the left hand.

STAFF – The five lines and four spaces of both the bass and treble clefs.
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QUARTER NOTE – Musical symbol with solid note head and stem which gets one count.

QUARTER REST – Musical symbol resembling a sideways W which gets one count.

HALF NOTE – Musical symbol with hollow note head and stem which gets two counts.

HALF REST – Solid half block sitting on third line of the staff which gets two counts of silence.

DOTTED HALF NOTE – Musical symbol with hollow note head, dot and stem which gets three counts.

WHOLE NOTE – Musical symbol resembling a circle on the staff which gets four counts.

WHOLE REST – Solid half block hanging from the second line on the staff which gets four counts of silence.

CHORD – Two or more notes played together.

BLOCKED CHORD – Two or more notes played at the same time.

BROKEN CHORD -Two or more notes from the same chord played in sequence.

INTERVALS – The distance between two notes on the musical staff.
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Article source: GoArticles.com About the author: Jan Durrant holds a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Texas. She has over 25 years experience in both public and private school music teaching.

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