Online Music Dictionary of Musical Terms Beginning With P
Parallel Chords: The movement of specific chords or chord combinations up and down a scale.
Parallel Intervals: The movement in two or more parts of the same intervals in the same direction.
Parallel Keys: Major and Minor keys having the same tonic note.
Parallel Motion: The movement in two or more parts of the same intervals in the same direction.
Partial: Either the fundamental or an overtone in the harmonic series.
Partita: 1. A set of variations. 2. A suite.
Part Song: An unaccompanied homophonic Song for three or more voices.
Perfect Fifth: An interval of 7 semitones (also called half steps or half tones) between 2 notes. See this YouTube video that answers the question "What is a perfect fourth and how do you recognise one when you hear it?"
Perfect Fourth: An interval of 5 semitones (also called half steps or half tones) between 2 notes. See this YouTube video that answers the question "What is a perfect fourth and how do you recognise one when you hear it?"
Perfect Pitch: The ability to distinguish and identify any given note without any musical or tonal support.
Period: A musical statement, made up of two or more phrases, and a cadence.
Phrase: A single musical idea, or element. Usually very short, often consisting of only one or two measures.
Phrygian Mode: A medieval mode whose scale pattern is that of playing E to E on the white keys of a piano.
Pianissimo: A directive that a passage is to be played very softly.
Pitch: how the human ear hears and understands the frequency of a note (the speed of the cycle of the sound wave that makes up the note) that makes it possible to judge sounds as "higher" and "lower".
PlainSong: A monophonic chant which is unmeasured, and unaccompanied; such as gregorian chant.
Polonaise: A stately Polish dance in moderate triple time, often with a repeated rhythmic pattern.
Polychoral: A style in which an ensemble is divided into groups that may perform individually, alternately, or together.
Polyphony: "Many sounds". Music that has many notes sounding together, either in a chordal, or countrapuntal setting.
Prelude: "Play-before". An introductory movement or work.
Program Music: A piece that conveys a picture or story, in contrast to absolute music.
Prologue: An introductory piece that presents the background for an opera.
Last updated: 3/6/2023