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GLOSSARY OF MUSICAL TERMS:

J - N

Jig


A kind of country dance in triple time and a quick tempo.




Just intonation


Precisely to true pitch; opposed to tempered intonation.




Key


The series of tones forming any given major or minor scale, considered with reference to their harmonic relations, particularly the relation of the other tones to the tonic or keynote.




Keynote


The first note of a key or scale; in a major or minor scale, the tonic.




Key signature


The sharps or flats at the head of the staff.




Klagend


Mournfully, plaintively.




Klavier


A keyboard.




Kräftig


Forceful, vigorous, energetic.




Lamento


A lament, complaint.




Ländler


A slow waltz, in 3/4 or 3/8 time.




Langsam


Slow.




Largo


Large, broad; slow and stately with breadth of style.




Lebhaft


Lively, animated.




Legato


Bound, slurred; a direction to perform the passage in a smooth and connected manner, with no break between the tones.




Legatissimo


Very smoothly and evenly. On the piano, an indication that each finger is to hold its note as long as possible.




Leggiero


Lightly.




Leitmotiv


Leading motive; any striking musical motive characterising or accompanying a character, particular idea, emotion, or situation.




Lenezza, con


Faintly, gently, quietly.




Liecht


Light, brisk; easy, facile.




Lentamente


Slowly.




Lento


Slow; calls for a tempo between andante and largo.




Liberamente


Freely, boldly.




Lieblich


Lovely, sweet, charming.




L'istesso


The same.




Loco


Place; following 8va, it means to perform the notes as written.




Locrian mode


The ecclesiastical mode that correspones to the scale from B to B o the white keys of the piano; the order of intervals is: semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone.




Lointain


Distant; faint sounding.




Lunga


Long; sustained, prolonged.




Luttuoso


Mournful, doleful, plaintive.




Lydian mode


The church mode that correspones to the scale from F to F o the white keys of the piano; the order of intervals is: tone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone.




Mächtig


Powerful, mighty.




Maestoso


Majestic, dignified.




Major scale


A scale; the order of intervals is: tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, tone, semitone.




Mancando


Decreasing in loudness, dying away.




Marcato


With distinctness and emphasis.




Marcatissimo


With very marked emphasis.




Mässig


Measured; moderate.




Mazurka


A Polish national dance in triple time and modrate tempo with a variable accent on the third beat.




Mediant


The third degree of the major or minor scale.




Melodic


1. In the style of a melody; progressing by simgle tones. 2. Vocal, singable, tuneful.




Melodic minor scale


A minor scale that eliminates the interval of an augmented second between the sixth and seventh degrees of the harmonic minor scale, thereby providing a smoother progression. When ascending, the sixth and seventh degrees are raised; when descending, these notes are unaltered.




Melody


The ordered and rational progression of single tones; contrasted with harmony.




Meno


Less; not so.




Mesto


Pensive, sad, melancholy.




Mesure


Measure, moderate.




Meter, Metre


The grouping of beats.




Minim


A half note.




Minuet


An early French dance form, in triple time.




Misterioso


In a style suggestive of mystery, or of hidden meaning.




Mixolydian mode


The mode that corresponds to the progression from G to G on the white keys of the piano; the order of intervals is: tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone.




Mode


1. A generic term applied to ancient Greek melodi progressions and to church scales established in the Middle Ages and codified in the system of the Gregorian chant. 2. The distinction between a major key and minor key. 3. Any scalar pattern of intervals, either traditional to a culture or invented.




Moderato


Moderate; at a moderate tempo or rate of speed.




Modulate


To pass from one key or mode to another.




Molto


Very, much.




Morbido


Soft, tender.




Morendo


Dying away.




Mormoroso


Murmuring; in a very gentle, subdued tone.




Mosso


Moved.




Motive


A short phrase or figure used in development, imitation or repetition.




Moto


Motion, speed, movement.




Moto, con


With motion; with an animated and energetic movement.




Movement


1. Tempo. 2. A principal division or section of a composition.




Nach


After; according to.




Nachtmusik


Night music; a serenade.




Nach und nach


Little by little, gradually.




Natural minor scale


Any minor scale withour chromatic alterations and therefore lacking the leading note; the order of intervals is: tone, semitone, tone, tone, semitone, tone, tone.




Non


Not.




Leading note


The seventh degree of the major scale.




Ninth


The interval of an octave plus a major or minor second.




Nocturne


A piece of a dreamily romantic or sentimental character, without fixed form.





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