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Art and Music Terminology


Terminology: Connecting Concepts of Art and Music

This list of words comes from Art Curriculum Guide pdf Office of Education North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Copied here without permission. File will be removed at their request. Changes have been made to make them more appropriate to our visitors.

 

[ See Essential Music Glossary | Music Dictionary
Basic Elements of Music | ArtLex Art Dictionary ]

 

ART  Artist pallette MUSIC Musical notes

 

accent an emphasis laid on a part of an artistic design or composition.

 

accent a stress or emphasis on any given musical tone or chord.

aesthetic a philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.

aesthetic a philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty.

arrangement the ordering of the element of design into a particular sequence, relationship, or adjustment.

arrangement the adaptation of a composition for a medium different from that for which it was originally written.

baroque the style of art, architecture, and music of the 17th and first half of the 18th Centuries.

baroque the style of art, architecture, and music of the 17th and first half of the 18th Centuries.

bi-tonal the simultaneous use of two different hues in an artwork.

bi-tonal the simultaneous use of two different keys in different parts of the musical fabric.

blend colors in combination with water or colors; e.g., pink and maroon. To combine two colors so that a line of demarcation cannot be seen between them.

blend a harmonizing of voices having similar qualities.

cool hues used to create a feeling of sadness or melancholy.

blues music which gives a sad feeling.

chromatic any system of color.

chromatic the tones outside the diatonic scale which are indicated in the musical text as accidental signs; opposite of diatonic.

classical a musical style period characterized by emotional restraint in which formal structure and design play a predominant part; the term usually refers to the period of Haydn and Mozart, the second half of the 18th Century and the early 19th Century.

classical a musical style period characterized by emotional restraint in which formal structure and design play a predominant part; the term usually refers to the period of Haydn and Mozart, the second half of the 18th Century and the early 19th Century.

collage - A picture or design created by adhering flat elements such as paper, newspaper - found objects. Introduced by the cubists

collage A technique drawn from the visual arts whereby musical fragments from other compositions are juxtaposed or overlapped within a new work.

color - Produced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes and object and reflects back to the eyes. One of the elements of art. Color has hue (color name), intensity and value. (See ArtLex for a more complete definition)

color: Color ( or timbre - pronounced "TAM-ber") includes all the aspects of a sound that do not have anything to do with how high or low it is, how loud or soft, or how long or short. In other words, if a flute plays a note, and then an oboe plays the same note, for the same length of time, at the same loudness, you can still easily tell the two notes apart, because a flute sounds different from an oboe. This difference is the color of the sound. See Basic Elements of Music

contrast - Difference between two things. There can be contrast in value, color, pattern and texture.

contrast Contrast of musical materials sustains our interest and feeds our love of change; it provides variety to a form.

composition the art of combining the parts of a work to produce a harmonious whole.

composition a written piece of music.

dissonance a mingling of discordant hues, shapes or symbols.

dissonance combination of unstable tones that require resolution.

dominant the part of a design that is most important, powerful, or has the most influence.

dominant name for the fifth degree of the scale; a feature more important than any other part.

dot a single mark.

dot a dot placed above or below a note indicates that it is to be played staccato; a dot written after a note lengthens the note by one half its value.

embellishment - decoration or ornamentation

embellishment  Melodic decoration, either improvised or indicated through ornamentation signs in the music.

exposition setting forth of the meaning or purpose.

exposition the first part of the first movement of a symphony, in which the musical ideas of the symphony are presented.

expression combination of the elements and principles of design/art to create feeling and meaning.

expression the use of all the nuances of tempo, dynamics, phrasing, accent, touch, etc., by which the combination and succession of sounds is transformed into a vital interpretation of a piece of music.

flat paint is used in purely two-dimensional technique, with no highlighting or shadowing; color with a dull surface; no gloss.

flat a symbol indicating that a tone is to be lowered by a half step.

form shape: one of the elements of design/art (apart from color, line, space, and texture, which is involved with solid masses and shapes, or their representations.

form the aspect of music having to do with the structure and design of a composition.

fragmentation a separating of art elements.

fragmentation having various instruments play different tones of a melody.

genre - depiction of scenes from everyday life - ordinary folks (plural is categories of subject matter - See ArtLex)

genre General term describing the standard category and overall character of a work.

harmony a state of “visual rightness” and compatibility between colors, or parts of a design, or composition giving an effect of an aesthetically pleasing whole.

harmony the simultaneous sounding of tones producing a musical meaningful sound.

imitation a repetition of an art component.

imitation the repetition of a melody or short phrase by another voice or instrument.

impression originated in France about 1870 as a reaction to academic realism, in which the painter attempts to depict the effects of light as it is reflected from objects; generally painted in outdoor light. Impressionistic paintings have heavily textured brush-strokes, blurred outline, pure colors, and an absence of brown or black pigments.

impression: a style of music that depends on color to convey an impression. improvisation: that which is made up or improvised as it is being performed.

improvisation that which is made up or improvised as it is being performed.

improvisation that which is made up or improvised as it is being performed.

key - High Key are light values and low key are dark values.

key Defines the relationship of tones with a common center or tonic. Also a lever on a keyboard or woodwind instrument.

medium

medium Performing forces employed in a certain musical work.

minimalist

minimalist music Contemporary musical style featuring the repetition of short melodic, rhythmic and harmonic patterns with little variation.

 

mode Scale or sequence of notes used as the basis for a composition; major and minor are modes.

movement

movement Complete, self-contained part within a larger musical work.

nocturne night piece; title for a work of art: “Nocturnes” by James Whistler.

 

performance art Multimedia art form involving visual as well as dramatic and musical elements.

performance art Multimedia art form involving visual as well as dramatic and musical elements.

pure colors seen in the rainbow or when light passes through a prism: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. Pure colors are not neutralized.

pure electronic music; music made of sounds generated electronically.

Renaissance the transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th Century and lasting into the 17th Century. Rebirth of classical ideas in showing the human form.

Renaissance time in European history after the Middle Ages; musicians of the Renaissance discovered many new ways to use tones develop musical styles. The period 1400-1600 A.D.

rhythm the recurrence of lines, color, or other elements of art, giving a feeling of movement in a composition.

rhythm the organization of musical tones with regard to their duration as distinct from their pitches.

scale

scale A series of tones or pitches in ascending or descending order. Scale tones are often assigned numbers (1-8) or syllables (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti-do).

sequence a set of ordered elements.

sequence the repetition of a short melodic figure or phrase at different pitch levels.

shape

shape - Melodies can soar, swoop, plunge, or hop around - this also closely parallels line or contour

structure the formal organization of a work of art.

structure the formal organization of a musical composition.

style

style Characteristic manner of presentation of musical elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, form, etc.)

tension a restless, unstable feeling caused by dissonant colors.

tension a restless, unstable feeling caused by a dissonant chord or chords.

texture the actual or visual feel of a surface.

texture the thinness or thickness of a sound. The interweaving of melodic (horizontal) and harmonic (vertical) elements in the musical fabric.

Theme a subject or topic in an artistic work. A theme may be concrete - such as a realistic painting of a landscape - or abstract, such as a painting using symbols of change.

Theme a series of tones constituting a basic element in the construction of a musical composition.

Tone the general effect in painting produced by using light and dark colors.

Tone a sound with a definite pitch, constituting the basic building material of music.

triangle

triangle The triangle is a slender rod of steel bent into a three-cornered shape and struck with a steel beater; its sound is bright and tinkling in this march.

Twentieth Century the modern period of art.

Twentieth Century a musical style period characterized by a novel practices such as “atonality”. Stravinsky, Schonberg, Bartok and Hendemith were important composers.

Variation modification or altered version of any visual component.

Variation a modification or altered version of any given musical passage.

Variety an assortment of lines , colors, forms, shapes, or textures in a work of art.

Variety provided by contrasts in timbres.