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Classical musical terms



e the third degree of the c scale
ear training a part of musical education wherein the student is trained to recognize sounds, intervals and rhythms
early music early European music, often meaning from the middle ages until around 1700
ebollimento ebullience, sudden explosion of emotion
echappement escapement (for piano)
echegiatta echo effect
echelette xylophone
echelle  scale
echo the repetition of a subject, usually with less volume the second time
echo attachment a valve attached to brass instruments which gives the effect of being heard from a distance
echo organ a manual (keyboard) found on certain large organs, which produces echo effects
eclatant brilliant, sparkling
eclecticism term describing a composer's use of style that is not his usual manner. can also be used negatively to refer to the composer's unoriginality in drawing from other composers' styles
eclogue poem in which shepherds converse, precursor to opera
ecossaise a country dance from the late 18th and early 19th-centuries. the dance has not traceable Scottish ancestry
ecphonetic notation very primitive musical notation inserted into text
eguale the same, equal
eighth an octave interval
eighth note quaver
eilend to hurry
einfach simple
eingang introduction
einhalt pause
einheit unity
einigkeit harmony
einklang unison
einlage an insertion
einleitung introduction
einsatz entrance
einstimmig monophonic
eintritt entrance
eisteddfod a gathering of bards
elargissent broadening
electric when applied to a musical instrument, 'electric' signifies that electrical amplification is required, as with an electric guitar
electro-acoustic music the preferred term for what was known in the mid-20th century as electronic music. This is music that has been assembled from electronically generated sounds, often produced by a synthesizer or from naturally produced sounds that have then been electronically modified
electronic signifies that sound is generated by electronic means, as with an electronic organ, or a synthesizer
electronic instruments any instrument in which the tone is produced and/or amplified by electronic circuitry
electronic organ a term that is now applied to almost any electronic keyboard instrument, other than an electronic piano, a synthesizer, or a sampler
electro pneumatic action organ action system wherein the keys activate motors which open the valves on the pipes
elegy melancholy piece
eleventh the interval of eleven diatonic degrees
elmuahim terminology, derived from Arabic, used in the 13th century to refer to semibreves
embellishment ornaments added to music to make it more interesting
embolada a type of rapid Brazilian folk singing that requires extreme diction skills
embouchure the application of the lips to the mouthpiece of a wind instrument, and the position of muscles, lips, jaws, and teeth necessary to hold that position. In French, this also means the mouthpiece itself
empfindung feeling
empresse pressing on, rushing
emu emotion
enchainement voice leading
enchainez  proceed directly
enchainez a direction to the player of a musical instrument, or a conductor, that two sections of a piece should be linked together and played without a break
enchiriadis handbook, manual
enclume anvil
encore a call from the audience at a concert for an extra or repeated performance. the word encore is also used to describe the music played in response to this call from an enthusiastic audience. The French should 'bis' rather than 'encore'.
energia energy
energico energetic
engfuhrung stretto of fugues
english flute end blown flute
english horn the English horn is more generally known in England as the cor anglais. it is the tenor oboe.
enharmonic tones that are of the same degree, but written differently
enharmonics notes that sound the same but are written differently
ensalada humorous mixture of various texts
ensemble a group that plays together. the degree of balance and ease in working together displayed by such a group
ente special type of motet with the upper part consisting of new text and melody inserted between parts of a preexisting text
entr'acte interval, intermission. entertainment during the interval
entrada short introduction or prelude
entrée overture to ballet. A section in a ballet
entremes intermezzo
entry entrance of a fugue theme
entschieden resolutely
enunciation term sometimes substituted for exposition in sonata form
éoliphone wind machine
epilogue synonym for coda
epinette spinet, harpsichord
episema subsidiary sign in the form of a dash attached to a neume. Indicates a prolonged note-value
episode a digression from the major figure
epithalamium poem to be sung by a chorus at weddings
epitritus name for the interval of the fourth
éponge this is used, in baguettes d'éponge, to describe drum sticks with sponge heads
eqale, equali a piece of music written for voices or musical instruments that are 'of the same kind', or equal in pitch
equal temperament. any tuning system which divides the octave into equal intervals
equal voices voices of the same kind. for example, music written for equal voices may require two sopranos or three tenors
equale composition for equal voices or instruments
ergriffen deeply affected, touched
erlöschend fading
ermattend tiring
ernst describes especially serious pieces of music, such as the ernste gesange, meaning "serious songs", by Brahms
erotic amorous
ersterbend fading
erzähler narrator
erzlaute archlute
esercizio exercise
espinette a special type of harpsichord
espressione expression
espressivo expressive
espringale jumping, as distinct from round dance
esquinazo serenade style originating in Chile
estampe a medieval form involving a number of repeated sections with various endings
estilo Argentine song consisting of alternating slow and fast sections
estinto instruction to a musician to play as softly as possible
et and
eteint very soft
ethnomusicology the study of various types of music in relation to their geographic, racial, and cultural context
ethos the "character" or cultural associations that a particular scale was said to have possessed
etouffe damped
etouffez instruction to a musician to dampen or deaden the tone of the instrument just after it has been played loudly. used, for example, to indicate that the resonant sound of a cymbal or harp is to be cut short
etude a short song, usually written for pedagogical or instructional use
etwas used in instructions such as etwas langsam, meaning 'somewhat slowly'
euphonium a brass instrument similar to a baritone horn but having a larger bore
eurhythmics a way of expressing musical rhythm by a system of bodily movements. this system was developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, who founded an institute promoting eurhythmics in Germany in 1910.
evaded cadence a cadence that implies one type of resolution, but goes to another instead
evangelium gospel
even tuning see equal temperament
evensong sung form of evening prayer of Anglican church, corresponding to roman catholic vespers
excercise a short piece written to improve performance technique
exequiae funeral music
exercise a piece written specifically to improve a player's or singer's technique. In the 18th-century, the word was used to describe a short composition for keyboard. an exercise can also mean a work written by a composition student (e.g., a harmony or counterpoint exercise).
exposition the first occurrence of the theme or subject in a work, where the principal idea of the piece is stated
expression the ability to resonate with the audience's feelings
expressionism an early 20th-century musical style, employing an abstract approach to music, unlike impressionism
expressive organ harmonium
extemporise to play or sing spontaneously, alone, or against a pre-arranged background of chords and melodies.
extravaganza a musical work noted for its freedom of expression in style and structure. also a type of stage entertainment with music
eye music system of notation wherein the affective (in addition to acoustic) properties of the music are indicated by special symbols or methods of notation

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