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Online Music Dictionary - S

Click on a letter of the alphabet from the list below to go to the page of musical terms that begin with that letter.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Sanft: Soft; gentle.

Sans: Without.

Scale: A series of notes which define a diatonic tonality, often consisting of eight degrees, and containing a tonic and sometimes also a leading tone.

Serialism: A form of music writing based on Twelve-Tone technique, in which pitch classes, rythms, and often dynamics are determined systematically.

Second: The interval of two diatonic degrees.

Sequence: 1. Repetition of the same basic melodic theme at a different pitch. 2. A type of Gregorian chant with non-biblical texts, lines grouped in rhymed pairs, and one note per syllable.

Serenade: A love song, or piece traditionally performed below a loved one's window in the evening.

Seventh: The interval of seven diatonic degrees.

Sharps: An accidental that raises a given pitch by one half-step. See also key signature.

Sixth: The interval of six diatonic degrees.

Smorzando: An Italian dynamic indication: "fading away"

Sonata: A piece for a solo, or accompanied, instrument, usually in 3 or 4 movements.

Song Forms: The arrangement of sections in a song to contrast similiar and different sections. Often, letters are used to represent different parts of a given selection: ABA, AABA, ABACA, etc.

Soprano: The highest female vocal range, above alto.

Staff: The five horizontal lines upon which music is written. Usually including a clef, and having a time signature and key signature.

Subject: A theme or motif that is the basis for a musical form, such as a fugue or sonata.

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