Monday, September 07, 2009

Music Glossary 1

Labor Day, 2009. The unofficial end of summer, which is still, equinoxly-speaking, about two weeks away.

The National British Library used their summer to move more than 23,000 archived sound recordings online.

Classical music, world music - mostly from Africa - interviews, wildlife, even recordings made on some of the first wax cylinders are here.



Accidentals: Wrong notes.

Bar Line: A gathering of people, amongst whom you can usually find a musician or two.

Conductor: A musician who is adept at following many people at the same time.

Da capo al fine: I like your hat!

English Horn: A woodwind that got its name despite being neither English nor a horn. Not to be confused with the French Horn, which is German.

Fermata: A brand of girdle made especially for opera singers.

Glissando: The musical equivalent of slipping on a banana peel. Also used when the musician can't play a difficult run of notes.

Harmonic Minor: A good music student.

[selected from aha]


WORD for YOUR WEEK: Let's do a musical term this week. Most everyone knows that a "crescendo" in music is the part of the piece where the instruments or singer(s) get louder. The original word began in Latin as "creare" and meant "to bring forth, create, or produce." One of the first uses of the word was as it applied to the visible first stage of a waxing moon - "luna crescens" - literally, moon growing. Ironically, most people mistook the word to describe the *shape* of the moon rather than the stage of its fullness. And that is why a "crescent" roll describes the shape of the pastry ... its a misuse of the original word. "Croissant" is the French word - and still a mistake - as again it applies to the shape and not the growing fullness of the original word.


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