Glossary of terms, neologisms, etc. used in writings by Philip Tagg

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abbr. = abbreviation; adj. = adjective; adv. = adverb; a.k.a. = also known as; attrib. = attribute/attributive; cf. = confer (Latin) = compare; colloq. = colloquial; deriv. = derivation[s]; derog. = derogatory; e.g. = exemplae gratiā, Latin for ‘by way of an example’; etym. = etymology; neol. = neologism; Fr. = French; Gk. = Greek; i.e. = id est, Latin for ‘that is (to say)’; It. = Italian; Lat. = Latin; ling. = linguistic[s];
mus. = music[al]; n. = noun; n. ph. = noun phrase; neol. = neologism; phon. = phonetic[s]; pl. = plural; relig. = religion; semio. = semiotic[s]; v. = verb.


a cappella adv. mus. [1] usual sense: voice[s] only without instrumental accompaniment; etym. It. cappella = chapel, choir, i.e. in the manner of a chapel choir; [2] specialist usage: voice[s] accompanied by only church organ.

ADSR > envelope

aeolian > mode

Adeline slides n. ph. neol. (1990) Short, unidirectional, chromatic passage often spanning a third and usually descending, as in Sweet Adeline (Harry Armstrong, 1903). See also minichromatics.

aesthesic adj. (from Fr. esthésique, Molino via Nattiez): relating to the aesthesis, i.e. to the perception/reception of music rather than to its production/construction/creation/making; previously called receptional or phenomenological and the opposite of poïetic.

a.k.a. adv. ph. abbr. also known as, alias.

alogogenic adj. neol. (1979) opposite of logogenic, i.e. not conducive to expression in words (cf. musogenic).

aleatoric adj. based on elements of chance; n. aleatorics.

anacrusis n. mus. short musical event having the character of an upbeat or pickup, i.e. an episodic marker consisting of a rhythmic figure and/or short tonal process propelling the music into whatever it immediately precedes; adj. anacrustic.

analysis object n. ph. neol. (1979), abbr. AO: identifiable piece of music in audible form, the object of musical analysis, e.g. a pop song, a classical symphony movement, a jingle, a film music cue, a TV theme etc. An AO usually has a name or title of some sort. When used in this sense, an AO, if stored as recorded sound, will typically occupy one CD track or constitute a single audio file.

anaphone n., neol. semio. (1991). Museme or museme compound acting as stylised homology for [1] paramusical sound – sonic anaphone, [2] paramusical movement – kinetic anaphone, [3] paramusical touch – tactile anaphone; see Chapter 13 in Music's Meanings; deriv. adj. anaphonic; adv. anaphonically. See also gestural interconversion.

anaphora n. rhetorical device by which successive sentences start identically but end differently. Transferred to music, a melodic anaphora means that successive phrases start with the same motif but end differently, while a harmonic anaphora means that successive chord sequences start with the same change[s] but end differently. Anaphora is the opposite of epistrophe (see Everyday Tonality (2009), pp. 71, 239).

anhemitonic adj. mus. (of modes and scales) containing no semitone intervals.

AO abbr. see analysis object.

annexing see generic annexing.

antiphony n. mus; etym. Gk. αντί (=opposite) and φωνή (= voice), adj. antiphonal. Antiphony is a responsorial practice in which two equally dimensioned groups of singers or players exchange phrases or passages. Antiphonal practices include alternate singing by men and women, themes passed from one instrumental section to another, and the division of an English cathedral or collegiate choir into two equal halves placed on opposite sides of the quire with a central aisle between them (Decani and Cantoris); cf. call and response.

appoggiatura n. mus. [1] in euroclassical music theory an accentuated, ‘dissonant’ grace note of equal duration to the following note on to which the dissonance ‘resolves’; [2] more generally a pattern of two adjacent, conjunct and equidurational notes of which the first is given more weight and joined smoothly to the second; etym. It. appoggiarsi = to lean, i.e. a leaning note; pl. appoggiature.

arbitrary sign (a.k.a. conventional sign) n. ph. semio: type of sign connected primarily by convention to what it signifies (see Music’s Meanings, p. 163, ff.).

arpeggio n. mus. (adj. arpeggiato or arpeggiated): chord whose constituent notes are played in quick sequence instead of simultaneously; from It. arpeggiare = to play the harp.

atmos n. (pl. atmoses) a.k.a. ambience, ambient sound; general ongoing soundscape, audio scenery, sonic backcloth, etc; etym. abbr. atmosphere.

aural staging n. ph. abbr. neol. (2011) the mise-en-scène of sound sources (voices, instruments, sound effects, etc.), in one or more acoustic spaces; particularly important in audio recording —'phonographic staging' (Lacasse 2005)— but also in film and games sound, as well as in live performance situations.

auto-tune n. [1] name of digital pitch correction software produced by Antares Audio Technologies; [2] generic term for any digital pitch correction plug-in used in studio recording or live performance, e.g. Melodyne. Best known for use in improving intonation of amateur vocalists in TV talent shows but also used by professional artists like Peter Gabriel and Coldplay; deriv. forms: auto-tuned, auto-tuner, auto-tuning.

Ave Maria chord neol. mus. (1989). A subdominant 6-5 chord with fifth in bass held over as second chord in a phrase from an initial major tonic root. Etym. the Dm7 (or F6) with c in the bass that comes as second chord in J S Bach’s Prelude Nº 1 in C Major (Wohltemperiertes, vol. 1) and which was used by Gounod for his setting of Ave Maria.

La Bamba loop n. neol. mus. (c. 1983) chord loop running ||: I - IV - V - V :|| as in La Bamba (Valens, 1958), the ionian (major-key) equivalent of the Che Guevara loop.

bimodality n. mus. (Carlos Vega, 1944) type of tonality in which two different modes, and therefore two different tonics, can be heard either simultaneously or in succession one after the other; adj. bimodal; see Everyday Tonality, Chapter 12.

breakdown notes a.k.a. timing notes n. ph. notes prepared by the music editor and comprising a detailed list of significant events inside a single scene in an audiovisual production;
see also cue list and cue sheet.

bridge n. mus. [1] North American term for the middle eight (UK English), i.e. the contrasting B episode (normally lasting 8 bars) in the narrative form of an AABA 32-bar jazz standard; [2] a short passage joining two contrasting sections in a euroclassical piece of music; [3] a short passage filling in between two statements of the theme in a euroclassical fugue; [4] a short musical cue joining two scenes of a different character in a film or TV production (see also tail).

c. (followed by number, date or time) approximately; etym. Latin circa (= around, about).

call and response n. ph. mus. type of responsorial technique involving a ‘caller’ and either a single ‘respondent’ or a group of respondents, e.g. priest/cantor (call) and congregation (response); blues singer (call) and instrumental melodic fill (response); gospel solo vocalist (call) and backing vocals (response) cf. antiphony.

Che Guevara loop n. mus. neol. (2008) chord loop running ||: i - iv - V - V :||, as in Comandante Che Guevara (Puebla, 1965). It’s the aeolian/harmonic minor equivalent of the La Bamba loop.

CCCS n. abbr. Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, UK.

chord loop n. ph. mus. neol. (2008) sequence, repeated identically at least once in succession, of three or more different chords, e.g. ||:I-vi-ii-V:|| (vamp) or ||:I-IV-V-V:|| (La Bamba matrix). Compare chord shuttle.

chord shuttle n. ph. mus. neol. (1993) oscillation between two harmonies, e.g. the to-and-fro between triads of B flat minor and G flat major (||:i-bVI:||) at the start of Chopin's Marche funèbre; a.k.a. ‘aeolian pendulum’ (Björnberg). See also turnaround and chord loop.

commutation n. substitution/exchange/replacement of one structural element for/with another; procedure used in semiotics to determine which structural elements carry what sort of meaning; see Chapter 7 in Music's Meanings (2012); a.k.a. hypothetical substitution (abbr. HS); see also IOCM.

constructional adj., neol. (2001); term abandoned in favour of the more widely used and shorter poïetic.

continuant n. mus. neol. (2011) the relatively constant, ongoing part of an envelope, typically its sustain phase but also the decay phase of single-stroke long notes (e.g. gong, piano with sostenuto pedal); etym. continuant (in phonetics): extendable fricative and approximant consonants like ‘shshshsh’, ‘ffffff’, ‘rrrrr’, ‘mmmm’, ‘nnnnn’.

counterpoise n. mus. neol, (2009) tonal (melodic and/or harmonic) ‘complementary pole’ to the tonic, typically (though not exclusively) V in the ionian mode, bVII or IV in the mixolydian and dorian, bVI or iv in the aeolian, bII or bvii in the phrygian, etc. Etym. ‘1 a force etc. equivalent to another on the opposite side. 2 a counterbalancing weight’ (Oxford Concise English Dictionary, 1995).

cowboy half-cadence n. ph. neol. (1987) progression from flat VII to V, as in the themes from The Magnificent Seven, Cade's Country, Dallas, Blazing Saddles, etc.

crisis chord n. ph. neol. (1991). Chromatically embellished chord containing at least one diminished or augmented interval and occurring within the standard harmonic context of the European tertial idiom. Most frequently in the guise of (subdominant) m6 or (supertonic) m7-5, crisis chords can often be found about 75% of the way through a C19 parlour ballad.

cue n. musical continuum in an audiovisual production; the duration of a cue can vary from just a few seconds to several minutes.

cue list n. ph. a list of cue points for part or whole of an audiovisual production, i.e. the chronological enumeration of timecode locations corresponding to the start and end of each music cue (not to be confused with cue sheet or breakdown notes).

cue point n. ph. point at which a musical cue starts, typically (but not exclusively) the start of a scene; not to be confused with hit point.

cue sheet n. ph. [1] list of all cues in an audiovisual production, specifying details of duration, composer, publishing rights, type of usage; not to be confused with cue list; [2] list of scenes in a silent film, together with titles and sheet music publishing details of pieces suggested as suitable for each scene in the film.

cue spotting n. ph. process of deciding what sort of music should enter and exit at which points in an audiovisual production ('cue points'). In Hollywood, spotting sessions are usually held after work on visual footage is complete. The cue points, noted as timecode locations by the music editor, are normally sent to both composer and director/producer.

diaphony n. mus . two-part vocal harmony typically featuring semitone dyads considered discordant in Western theories of harmony; often used to denote traditions of female singing in rural Bulgaria; etym. Greek διαφωνία (diafonía = discord) as opposed to συμφωνία (symfonía = concord); adj. diaphonic.

diataxis n. mus. neol. (2011) aspect of musical form bearing on the arrangement / disposition / order of musical episodes in terms of chronological placement and relative importance; in contradistinction to syncrisis; etym. διάταξις= disposition, arrangement, order of events, running order, order of service, etc., as of processions, prayers, chants, bible readings, sacraments, and other ‘episodes’ in Byzantine Orthodox liturgy; adj. diatactic[al]; deriv. n. diataxeme identifiable element of diatactic meaning; see also episode, episodic determinant, episodic marker and syntax; see Music's Meanings, Chapter 11.

dorian See mode.

dual consciousness n. perception of the self as having two contradictory identities. Fanon (1952) referred specifically to the two different cultural identities of the colonised individual in relation to [1] colonisers and [2] colonised peers. I use the expression to denote the widespread phenomenon of dual consciousness involving the private and public identities of an individual.

duration n. length of time; mus. neol. (2012) micro-duration: less than 1", quantified in milliseconds; extended present (c. 1-8"); meso-duration, incl. extended present: c. 1-60"; mega-duration: c. 1-6 mins; macro-duration: 6-30; giga-duration: more than c. 30 mins.

elbs. abbr. electric bass.

elgt. abbr. electric guitar.

empiriphobia n. neol. (2002) fear of empiricism or of concrete experience; etym. Gk. ημπειρέα (experience), φώβος (fear).

envelope n. mus. the complete acoustic ‘package’ of a note, consisting of its attack, sustain, decay and release (the ASDR scheme, see Music’s Meanings, pp. 277-280).

episode n. mus. passage containing distinct material as part of a larger sequence of events in a piece of music.

episodic determinant n. mus. semio. neol. (2011) sign type determining the identification of a musical passage as an episode; episodic determinants are essential to the understanding of musical diataxis, i.e the order, placement, disposition and duration of episodes (passages, periods, sections, etc.) in a piece of music; see also episodic marker.

episodic marker n. mus. semio. neol. (1990) musical sign type consisting of a short, unidirectional processual structure mediating temporal position or relative importance and drawing attention to what follows it; see also bridge, diataxis and episodic determinant.

epistrophe n. rhetorical device by which successive sentences, verse lines, etc. start differently but end similarly. A melodic epistrophe means that successive phrases start differently but end with the same motif, while a harmonic epistrophe means that successive chord sequences start differently but end with the same change[s]. Epistrophe is the opposite of anaphora.

EPMOW pr. n. abbr. Encyclopædia of Popular Music of the World.

equidurational adj. neol. (1998). of equal duration, occupying equal time.

etymophony n., neol. (1997). (study of) the origin of an item of sonic signification.

euroclassical adj., neol (c. 2010). pertinent to or characteristic of European ‘classical’ music (a.k.a. Western European Classical Music, Western Art Music, etc.), produced mainly, but not exclusively, in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Euroclassical qualifies the core repertoire of music studied in conventional Western conservatories, music colleges, departments of music, etc., and/or played in conventional concert halls, recital venues and opera houses during the twentieth century. The euro prefix distinguishes a chiefly European repertoire from other types of ‘classical’ music, for example from Hindustani classical music (rāgdar-sangit/śāstriya-sangit), Arab classical music (e.g. the Tunisian nouba), Cambodian court music, etc.

ex. abbr. music example. exx. = examples.

extended present n. ph., a.k.a. specious present, present-time experience, 'the now'. In music, the extended present is a duration roughly equivalent to no more than that of a musical phrase (inhalation + exhalation or long exhalation), or to a few footsteps, or a short gestural pattern, or a few heartbeats; i.e. a duration experienced as a single unit (Gestalt) in present time, as ‘now’ rather than as an extended sequence of musical ideas (see also intensional). The extended present can be imagined as the human brain’s equivalent to a computer’s RAM where information is processed immediately, rather than as its hard drive (longer-term memory) where access and retrieval times are longer; see Music's Meanings, pp. 272-273.

extensional adj. (Chester, 1970) relating to ‘horizontal’, narrative and diatactical aspects of musical expression extended over longer durations; opposite of intensional.

extrageneric adj. outside or not belonging to the discourse of the symbolic system under discussion.

extramusical adj. extrageneric (q.v.) in relation to music; cf. paramusical.

extraopus adj. outside or not belonging to the piece of music under discussion.

fill n. mus. (e.g. ‘guitar fill’, ‘drum fill’) short melodic and/or rhythmic phrase heard in the gap between two longer melodic phrases presented on [an]other instrument[s] or by [an]other voice[s]; a fill often overlaps momentarily with the longer phrase preceding and/or following it (elision); cf. lick, riff.

Foley n. (c. 1930) sound effect recorded in post-production to synchronise with (usually visible) on-screen events (e.g. footsteps, door shutting, clothes rustling); etym. Jack Foley, sound effects specialist in the early days of talking film; pl. Foleys.

form n. the shape or pattern into which different parts or elements are arranged, ordered, or otherwise combined into a whole (Oxford Dictionary). There are three types of form in music: syntax, syncrisis and diataxis. N.B. Conventional Western music studies treat only diataxis as form and tend to ignore its other aspects.

generic annexing n. ph. mus. semio. neol. (2010) process whereby a verbalised response to music (see VVA) derives not from a simple structural link to other music (see IOCM) and its connotations (see PMFC) but from generically typical connotations of those primary connotations, e.g. hearing a lyrical extract from a euroclassical piano concerto and responding Timotei shampoo, not because the Timotei advert uses such music but because the respondent has seen a woman strolling through the long grass of a summer meadow in connection with another piece of music resembling the lyrical extract. That extract may have resembled the second movement of Mozart’s 21st piano concerto (1785) which underscored the summer meadow scene in Elvira Madigan (1967) which visually, not musically, resembles the Timotei shampoo advert (see Music’s Meanings, pp. 221-222.).

gestural interconversion n. ph. mus. semio. neol. (2000) two-way process using anaphonic connections between music and phenomena perceived in relation to music. Since interconversion means the conversion into each other of two entities, gestural interconversion means two-way transfer via a commonality of gesture between, on the one hand, particular sensations that seem to be both subjective and internal, and, on the other hand, particular external objects (animate or inanimate) in the material world. Gestural interconversion entails in other words both the projection of an internal sensation via an appropriate gesture on to external phenomena and the internalisation or appropriation of external phenomena through the medium of a gesture corresponding in some way to the perceived form, shape, movement, grain, density, viscosity, etc. of those external phenomena.

genre n. mus. set of norms, rules or habits that ‘members of a given community find useful in identifying a given set of musical and music-related practices… Genre rules can relate to any of the codes involved in a musical event —including rules of behaviour,… proxemic and kinesic codes, business practices, etc.’ (Fabbri 2005: 8-9; Music’s Meanings, pp. 296-298); cf. style.

genre synecdoche n. semio. mus. neol. (1991). Museme or museme compound consisting of single element(s) of musical style other than that of the analysis object and connoting the complete style of that other music by means of a pars pro toto (part for whole) mechanism. The style reference then also acts as a synecdoche for the genre to which that musical style belongs. See Chapter 13 in Music's Meanings.

gospel jaw n. phr. mus. vocal technique used primarily by female singers in the gospel and soul music tradition to simulate real vocal vibrato. The simulation, produced by wobbling the jaw rapidly up and down, is often applied towards the end of long notes by such artists as Whitney Houston.

graphocentric adj. neol. (J-J Nattiez in conversations with PT c. 2005) assuming written or other graphic signs to be more important than others (see logocentric and scopocentric).

groove n. mus. sense of gross-motoric movement produced by one or more simultaneously sounded rhythmic-metric-timbral-tonal patterns lasting, as single units, no longer than the extended present, and repeated throughout a musical episode or piece. Most commonly used in reference to the perception of continuous propulsion created, typically for dancing, by the interaction of musicians in a band’s rhythm section or its accompanying parts, groove can also denote other types of perceived gross-motoric movement, as in work songs and marches.

heptatonic adj. mus. Consisting of seven different tones (see also mode).

hexatonic adj. mus. Consisting of six different tones (see also mode).

high-heeled sax See sexaphone.

hit point n. point in an audiovisual production at which a particular musical event synchronises with a particular visual event inside a cue; not to be confused with cue point.

holokinetic adj. neol. (2011) relating to or characterised by all aspects of movement.

HS abbr., n., neol. (1979) Hypothetical Substitution, i.e. the commutation of one musical element or parameter of expression for another.

hypothetical substitution. neol. (1979) abbr HS, see commutation.

IASPM n. abbr. International Association for the Study of Popular Music ||.

IFPI abbr. International Federation of Phonogram Industries.

intensional adj. (Chester, 1970) relating to ‘vertical’, synchronic, syncritic aspects of musical expression and to the limits of the extended present; opposite of extensional.

IOCM abbr., n. mus. semio. neol. (1979) Interobjective Comparison Material, i.e. (extracts from) pieces of music other than the analysis object which bear demonstrable sonic resemblance to (part or parts of) the analysis object, i.e. musical intertext[s]; see Chapter 7 in Music's Meanings.

ionian See mode .

interobjective comparison neol.(1979). The musically intertextual comparison of one or more elements of musical structure in one piece with one or more structural elements in another. See IOCM.

intramusical adj. intrinsic to a particular musical discourse.

intraopus adj. within a piece of music.

isochronous adj. occurring at the same time, synchronic. To avoid confusion, the second meaning of ‘isochronous’ – occupying equal length time – is covered by equidurational.

kinetic anaphone n. mus. semio. neol. (1990) type of anaphone relating musical structure with perception of movement.

leading note n. mus. [1] a scale degree in any mode at an interval of one semitone (or less) from a scale degree treated as final, for example F as flat supertonic leading down to E as tonic in E phrygian, or, in C ionian (C major), as perfect fourth down to major third in euroclassical tertiality; [2] (restrictive use) the raised seventh degree (subtonic) of the ionian mode leading up to the tonic in euroclassical tonality (e.g. leading note B up to tonic C in C major). N.B. It is misleading to refer to the subtonic as ‘leading note’ if the music is not conceived in the euroclassical tonal idiom.

library music n. ph. a.k.a. production music; music, mostly instrumental, prerecorded and typically used in TV or radio programming, in adverts and low-budget films. Library music differs from music commissioned for particular audiovisual productions in that it is created and recorded in advance without prior knowledge of any specific audiovisual production in which it might later be used.

lick n. mus. stock pattern or phrase consisting of a short series of notes that is used in solos and melodic lines and accompaniment; licks often occur in fills and riffs, and are often used as basis for melodic improvisation in solo passages.

LMR abbr. List of Musical References.

locrian See mode.

logocentric adj. assuming, often implicitly, that the semiotic properties of (verbal) language apply to other symbolic systems.

logogenic adj. having properties that can adequately be put into words; conducive to verbal expression (etym. λόγος: word; γένος: type; analogy: photogenic); deriv. abstr. n. logogeneity; cf. musogenic.

loop See chord loop.

LVR abbr. List of Visual References, i.e. appendix containing references to films, TV programmes, etc.

lydian See mode.

macro-duration See duration.

Melodyne n. name of digital audio pitch correction software produced by Celemony Software GmbH (München); see auto-tune.

mega-duration See duration.

meso-duration See duration.

metacontextual adj. of discourse about the context of music (or other type of 'text').

metamusical adj. of discourse, usually verbal, about music.

metatextual adj. discourse about a the structural aspects of a text (musical or other).

mic n. abbr. (1961) microphone; see also mike.

micro-duration See duration.

middle eight n. ph. mus. UK English term for bridge.

MIDI n., adj. abbr. Music Instrument Digital Interface, the music industry’s universal protocol enabling the interconnection of electronic instruments and devices. MIDI neither generates nor transmits audio, neither digitally nor analogically. MIDI code includes the following sort of data about each note: [1] which sample, ‘instrument’, preset or other type of sound should be used to produce the note in question; [2] the pitch at which the note should sound (or, if [1] is a bank of non-tonal sounds, the individual sound assigned to that ‘pitch’); [3] the volume/intensity of the note (‘velocity on’); [4] the points in time at which the note should start and end.

mike v. abbr. (1939) to supply with a microphone; to position a microphone of a particular type in relation to a sound source: derivs. miking, miked; occasionally also as n. mike (see mic).

minichromatics n. mus. neol. (1976). a.k.a. ‘decorative chromaticism’ and opposed to ‘structural’ or ‘modulatory’ chromaticism. Minichromatics implies using chromaticism, within the standard triadic idiom of Euroclassical tertial harmony, as a means of colouring and decorating the current tonality rather than as a means of modulating away from it. One common type of minichromatics is the Adeline slide.

mixolydian See mode.

mode n. mus. tonal vocabulary, principally but not exclusively melodic. Modes are, for theoretical purposes, reducible to individual occurrences of the vocabulary’s constituent tones that are usually arranged in ascending scalar sequence inside one octave. Modes can be categorised by the number of tones they contain inside one octave (e.g. pentatonic, hexatonic, heptatonic) and by the way in which intervals between the constituent tones are configured. Western music theory names seven heptatonic modes according to the latter principle (½ = semitone, 1 = whole tone, ascending): ionian - 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, 1, ½; dorian - 1, ½, 1, 1, 1, ½, 1; phrygian ½ - 1, 1, 1, ½, 1, 1; lydian - 1, 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, ½; mixolydian - 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, ½, 1; æolian - 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, ½, 1; locrian - ½, 1, 1, ½, 1, 1, 1. The most common pentatonic modes are configured 1, 1, 1½, 1, 1½ (‘major’ or doh-pentatonic) and 1, 1½, 1, 1, 1½ (‘minor’ or la-pentatonic). For more on this topic, see Music’s Meanings, pp. 325-334.

MoR abbr. middle-of-the-road.

ms. n. abbr. [1] milliseconds; [2] manuscript.

musematic adj. (of musical structure) carrying musical meaning; having the characteristics of a museme, museme stack or museme string.

museme n. minimal unit of musical meaning; see Music's Meanings, Chapter 7. Term originally coined by Charles Seeger: ‘On the moods of a musical logic’. Journal of the American Musicological Society, 13: 224-261 (1960); reprinted in Charles Seeger: Studies in Musicology 1935-1975. Berkeley: University of California Press (1977: 64-88; museme is explained in Music’s Meanings, pp. 232-238).

museme stack n. neol. (1979) set of simultaneously occurring musical sounds to produce one meaningful unit (Gestalt) of ‘now sound’ (see syncrisis, extended present).

museme string n. neol. (1979) set of consecutively occurring musemes in one strand of music.

music editor n. audiovisual production worker responsible for timing, organising and managing music cues; liaises between director, producer and composer.

music-led montage n. neol. (2010) audiovisual footage in which visuals are edited to fit music rather than vice versa. Music-led montage is typical for music videos and is common in title sequences.

muso n. colloq. musician or music scholar, more specifically someone who devotes a lot of time and energy to making or talking about music, especially its technical, structural and poïetic aspects; someone with either formal training in music, or who makes music on a professional or semi-professional basis.

musogenic adj. having properties that can adequately be put into music; conducive to musical expression; cf. logogenic.

muso music n. ph. colloq. neol. (c. 1988) music most of whose devotees are musos, e.g. avant-garde types of prog rock, jazz fusion.

notatable adj. neol. (1979) able to be transcribed or otherwise put into standard Western musical notation (Fr. transcriptible); opposite of non-notatable (intranscriptible).

notatim adj., adv. neol. (2013) note for note (cf. verbatim = word for word), e.g. ‘verse 2 is a notatim repeat of verse 1’.

non-muso n. colloq. someone not exhibiting muso characteristics.

note n. mus. a single, discrete sound of finite duration in a piece of music (cf. tone).

P.A. n. abbr. Public Address, as in ‘PA-system’ whereby a speaker can make announcements that are amplified and relayed over multiple speakers in a large venue, to the public.

parameter of musical expression n. ph. (1979) aspect of musical structure which, when altered may (or may not) alter listener response, e.g. duration, volume, tempo, surface rate, metre, rhythmic patterning, texture, timbre, pitch, tonal vocabulary, compositional template, mode of recurrence, sonic ambience, etc.

paramusical adj. neol. (1983) literally 'alongside' the music, i.e. semiotically related to a particular musical discourse without being structurally intrinsic to that discourse; cf. extramusical.

participant n. mus. neol. (2012) identity of a musical strand in terms of its source of generation, e.g. ‘the oboe´ or ‘oboist’, ‘the lead singer’, ‘the pianist’s right hand’, ‘the scratch sample’, ‘the string pad’ (see Music’s Meanings, pp. 446-449).

PMFC neol. (1991) Paramusical field of connotation, i.e. connotatively identifiable semantic field relating to identifiable (set of) musical structure(s) (see paramusical). Previously (1979) called 'EMFA' (extramusical field of association).

pendulum. See Chord shuttle.

pentatonic adj. mus. consisting of five different tones (see also mode) .

perceptional. See Aesthesic .

phonogram n. physical object on to which sound has been recorded acoustically, electro-acoustically or digitally; it is a sound carrier usually sold as a commodity which can be played on stand-alone audio equipment, e.g. LP, CD, MiniDisc, audiocassette but not audio files or sheet music; cf. videogram.

phonographic staging n. ph. (Lacasse 2005) See aural staging.

PMFC abbr., neol., n. paramusical field of connotation, i.e. connotatively identifiable semantic field relating to identifiable (sets of) musical structure(s) (see paramusical).

poïetic adj. (from Fr. poïétique, Molino via Nattiez) relating to the poïesis, i.e. to the making of music rather than to its perception. Previously also known as constructional and the opposite of aesthesic or receptional.

pomo n. & adj. abbr. neol. (1997) colloq. derog. postmodern, postmodernism, postmodernist, postmodernising.

pomorockology n. neol. (2002) tradition of rock criticism and journalism influenced by the once fashionable 1990s discourse of literary criticism and celebrating the supposedly liberating aspects of rock music without considering matters of musical structuration or meaning.

present-time experience See extended present.

production music See library music.

prolapsual neol., adj., (1988) having the character of gliding, sliding, slipping, slithering or of other relatively frictionless movement of one body in relation to another. Etym. Latin: prolapsus from prolabi, to slide forwards.

PT abbr. Philip Tagg.

quartal adj. as in 'quartal harmony'. Harmony based on the stacking of overlapping fourths (or fifths, as the inversion of a fourth at the octave), rather than on overlapping thirds (see Tertial). See Everyday Tonality (2009), Chapter 6.

rec. abbr. recording, recorded by.

receptional adj., neol. (2001), term abandoned in favour of the more widely used aesthesic.

responsorial adj. characteristic of responsoriality (see next)

responsoriality n. mus. type of musical performance involving the exchange of material between two parties (participants) that resembles the form of question and answer, or of statement and counter-statement or comment, or of proposition and acknowledgement, affirmation, agreement, elaboration or objection. Call and response, and antiphony are subtypes of responsoriality. (See Music’s Meanings, pp. 470-474).

riff n. short, repeated pattern of notes with pronounced rhythmic and/or melodic profile and lasting no longer than a musical phrase; similar to the euroclassical notion of ostinato, riffs are particularly common in rock music, in big-band and jump music, and in many types of Latin-American music. Riffs are often key elements in the production of groove; see also fill, lick.

rock n. and attrib. adj. (qualifying ‘music’); a wide range of popular and mainly, though not exclusively, English-language musics produced since the mid 1950s primarily for a youth audience, more usually male than female. The label rock covers everything from prog rock (e.g. Genesis) to country rock (e.g. Byrds), from punk rock (e.g. Sex Pistols) to folk rock (e.g. Steeleye Span) and from heavy metal (e.g. Led Zeppelin) through thrash (e.g. Metallica) to death and speed metal (e.g. Slayer). It’s well-nigh impossible to pinpoint stylistic common denominators for such a wide range of musics, apart from the fact that the music is usually loud and its tonal instruments electrically amplified. The heyday of rock lasted from the mid 1960s to the 1990s and its musicians are mainly, though not exclusively, male. Fun, anger, opposition and corporeal celebration (‘kick-ass’) are aesthetic qualities frequently linked to rock; cf. rock 'n' roll.

rock and roll — basically synonymous with rock; not the same as rock ’n’ roll.

rock ’n’ roll n. is a much more restrictive term than rock or rock and roll; it denotes rock music produced in the 1950s and early 1960s by such artists as Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.

rockology n. derog. neol. (1994) academic study, with value-aesthetic agenda, of rock music; see also pomorockology.

scopocentric adj. neol. (Bruce Johnson c. 1994) assuming, usually implicitly, other types of expression than visual to be of lesser importance (cf. logocentric, graphocentric).

scratch score See temp track.

set piece n. in audiovisual production contexts a type of diegetic (source) music in which the actual musical performance is prominently visible on screen as a central part of narrative ‘reality’.

sexaphone n. a.k.a. high-heeled sax media trope consisting of short, jazzy, legato phrase on (usually alto or tenor) saxophone to underscore sexual potential in stage or on-screen narrative ( ‘What is Kenny G doing in everyone’s bedroom?’); see Music’s Meanings, p. 307, incl. footnote 6.

shuttle, see Chord shuttle.

singalong n. tune or passage to which, when performed, it is easy for members of an audience to sing along; in general a tune easily sung by many people, or an occasion on which such tunes are performed (e.g. ‘Friday night singalongs at the old people’s home’); adj. attrib., e.g. ‘a singalong evening with pianist Fred Bloggs’ or ‘the singalong part of the recording’.

SMPTE n. abbr. the (US) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers; often used as oral shorthand for 'SMPTE code', i.e. the Society’s standard timecode system used in audiovisual production and according to which passing time is given in hours, minutes, seconds and frames, e.g. ‘01:09:50;12’ for a point at which one hour, nine minutes, fifty seconds and twelve frames have elapsed since the start of the production at 00:00:00;00.

sonic anaphone n. neol. (1990) type of anaphone relating musical structure with para- or extramusical sound; see Music’s Meanings, pp. 487-494.

spotting session n. preparatory stage in composing for movies: director and composer discuss what sort of music should be used at which points in the production (‘cue spotting’).

stand-alone equipment n. electrically powered apparatus for playback and/or recording, without need of a computer connection, of audio or audiovisual material using external media carriers, e.g. record turntable, Walkman, VCR, CD player, MiniDisc player, DVD player.

strand n. mus. single thread of sound with identifiable traits (timbre, rhythm, register, pitch contour) distinguishing it from other simultaneously sounding strands or sonorities in the music; a.k.a. line (e.g. ‘melodic line’, ‘bass line’), part (e.g. ‘oboe part’, ‘four-part harmony’), voice (e.g. ‘madrigal for five voices’, ‘harmonic voicing’), stream (Lacasse 2000). Each musical strand is usually assigned its own track in the processes of audio recording and mixing; see participant and Music’s Meanings, pp. 446-449.

style (musical) n. recurring arrangement of features in musical events which is typical for an individual (composer, performer), a group of musicians, a genre, a place, a period of time, etc. (Fabbri 2005: 8-9; Music's Meanings, pp. 266-268).

subbeat n. mus. unit resulting from division, by a factor of two or three, of a beat into equal sub-durations; for example, the arrangement of subbeats in a bar of 6/8 time can be heard as 2 groups of 3 subbeats or as 3 groups of 2 subbeats; see Music’s Meanings, pp. 458-464.

subtonic n. mus. the seventh scale degree in a heptatonic mode. N.B. The subtonic is leading note only in modes with a raised seventh degree. The subtonic is not raised in the dorian, phrygian, mixolydian, æolian or locrian modes and does not function as a leading note unless it is altered to do so.

surface rate n., neol. (1988) rate of occurrence of notes (q.v.) rather than of the music’s underlying pulse or tempo. A surface rate can be expressed in notes per minute (e.g. 384 npm for 16th-notes/semiquavers at 96 bpm) or in relation to concurrent tempo (e.g. 4 per crotchet). The term is often used to qualify the relation between passages containing short note values (e.g. melodic runs, arpeggiated ostinati, tremolandi) on the one hand and tempo or harmonic rhythm on the other. Put crudely, tempo is the ‘boom-boom’ factor and surface rate the ‘diddly-diddly’ factor. See Music’s Meanings, pp. 289-291.

sync (abbr. 1945; pron. ‘sink’) [1] v. synchronise; sync-ing (pres. particip.), sync-ed (past); [2] n. synchronisation.

syncrisis n. mus. neol. (2012) aggregate of several ongoing sounds perceptible as a combined whole inside the limits of the extended present (see museme stack), as distinct from diataxis; etym. σύγκρισις = a putting together, aggregate, combination, from συγκρίνω = to combine, compound, put together; adj. deriv. syncritic.

syntax n. semio. aspects of meaning bearing on the temporal relationship of signifying elements; e.g. the ordering and relative importance of individual motifs inside a melodic phrase. The long-term, extensional, ‘narrative’ ordering of episodes —what conventional music studies refer to as ‘form’— is called diataxis and distinguished from the other two types of musical form: syntax and syncrisis.

tertial harmony neol. (1998) Harmony based on the stacking of overlapping thirds (i.e. ‘common’ triads, chords of the seventh, ninth, etc.) rather than overlapping fourths — quartal harmony. See triad and Chapter 6 in Everyday Tonality.

tactile anaphone n. mus. semio. neol. (1990) type of anaphone relating musical structure with the sense of touch; Music’s Meanings, pp. 494-498.

tail n. mus. snippet of music used in audiovisual productions, often after a change of scene or at the end of a bridge, that sets the mood of the new scene and tails off, often on an unresolved sonority signalling that the dramatic narrative will continue with acoustic space clear for dialogue and sound effects.

temp track (a.k.a. temp music, temp score, scratch score) n. existing music added to an audiovisual production during the editing phase; used [1] to test an audiovisual production on audience focus groups and on production executives, [2] to give the soundtrack composer an idea of the sort of music the director envisages at various points in the production.

timing notes See breakdown notes.

title music n. generic term denoting music conceived for an audiovisual production’s title sequences (or credits), at or near the start (the main or opening titles) and/or at the end of the film or programme (end titles).

TLTT n. abbr. = Ten Little Title Tunes.

tonal adj. mus. having the properties of a tone or tones.

tonality n. mus. [any] system according to which tones are configured and used.

tonatim adv., neol. (1992). Tone (beat) for tone (beat) (cf. verbatim = word for word).

tone n. mus. note with audible fundamental pitch.

transcriptible adj. fr. neol. (2004). See notatable.

transscansion. n., neol. (1996) type of sonic anaphone involving transfer of the prosodic (scanable) elements (rhythm, accentuation, intonation but not vowels or consonants) of a word or words from speech into music according to similar principles as those used for talking drums. Transcansions are assigned to instrumental or to wordless vocal parts, e.g. [1] the repeated 3-note figure scanning the word ‘Superman’ in the main theme from Superman (J Williams 1979); [2] the 4-note figure scanning the two words ‘Intel Inside’ that must contractually be sounded every time the word ‘Intel’ appears on screen. Transcansions are often used in advertising to musically reinforce brand name identities and product slogans. Etym. trans = across (here from words to music), scansion = the prosodic organisation of words; see Music’s Meanings, pp. 489-490.

transmodal adj. crossing from one sensory mode to another, e.g. ‘loud colours’, ‘meaty guitar sound’, or as in gestural interconversion; etym. transmodal logistics companies moving freight between various modes of transport, e.g. by road, then by rail, then by sea.

triad. n. Chord containing three notes of different pitch and pitch name, in the same way that a dyad contains two and a tetrad four notes of different pitch and name. Triads can be tertial (e.g. c-e-d), quartal (e.g. c-f-g or g-c-f) or chromatic (e.g. b-c-f). Tetrads can also be tertial (e.g. g-b-d-f), quartal (e.g. g-c-d-f) or chromatic (e.g. b-c-e-f). Harmony based on overlapping thirds rather than fourths is therefore not triadic but tertial. See Chapter 6 in Everyday Tonality.

truck driver’s gear change n. ph. colloq. change of key occurring ‘near the end of a song, shifting upwards by some relatively small pitch increment —usually by one semitone (half step) or whole tone (whole step), but occasionally by other intervals’ (TV Tropes website).

turnaround n. short chord sequence at the end of one section or episode in a song or instrumental number and whose purpose is to facilitate recapitulation of the complete harmonic sequence of that section or episode.

underscore n. invisible non-diegetic music, usually background or incidental music, written to fit an existing visual sequence.

vamp n. chord loop with several variants based generically on the sequence ||: I-vi-ii-V :|| or ||: I-vi-IV-V :||.

videogram n. physical object containing an audiovisual recording, usually, but not necessarily, of a single work; carrier of recorded sound and moving image usually sold as a commodity and playable on stand-alone equipment, e.g. videocassette, DVD, games disc; see also phonogram.

vocal persona n. ph. vocal representation of an individual or type of individual in terms of personality, state of mind, age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, narrative archetype, etc. See Chapter 10 in Music's Meanings.

vocal staging n. ph. (Lacasse 2000) vocal aspect of aural staging.

VVA n. ph. abbr. neol. (1983): verbal-visual association, i.e. one discrete verbal and/or visual association provided by a listener in response to music; see p. 200, ff. in Music’s Meanings.

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