Glossary Of Musical Terminology

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There are 32 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.
Madrigal
A secular vocal music composition of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras. Traditionally, madrigal were unaccompanied. The number of voices varies from two to eight, and most frequently from three to six.

Maestro
Refers to any great composer, conductor, or teacher of music.

Magic Opera
An opera in which there are many magical effects and often animals appearing on stage. Often the plot of a magic opera involves the rescue of one of the major characters."

Major
One of 2 modes of the tonal system. Music that is written using the major key has a positive or happy character.

Major Scale
A diatonic scale with notes separated by whole tones except for the 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th.

Marking
When a singer chooses to sing half-voice for a rehearsal, A full-length opera is very hard on a singer’s voice so many mark during rehearsals.

Mask
The area around and including the eyes which is often used to create head resonance.

Measure
A measurement of time in music that contain a specific number of pulses within a bar as defined by a time signature eg, in 4/4 time, a measure has 4 crotchet beats to a bar.

Mediant
3rd note of a musical scale.

Medley
Musical term referring to using passages from the various songs of a composition, that are performed one after another forming one complete song of its own. It is often used in overtures.

Melisma
The singing of a single syllable of text whilst moving to several different notes in succession.

Melodrama
In a technique which originated with the French; short passages of music alternating with spoken words.

Melody
A sequence of notes producing an identifiable sound or tune.

Metronome
A mechanical or electrical instrument that makes repeated clicking sound at an adjustable pace. Used for marking rhythm in practicing music.

Mezzo
Medium, Half

Mezzo Forte
Moderately Loud

Mezzo Piano
Moderately Soft

Mezzo Soprano
The second highest female classical singing voice part, just below the Soprano voice, extending from the A below middle C to the second A above middle C.

Middle Voice
Middle voice is where we mix the elements of head and chest voice to create a better sound. Think of it as adjusting the balance of treble and bass on your sound system and is achieved by resonance and voice placement.

Minim
Half-note value; 2 beats in duration.

Minor
One of 2 modes of the tonal system. Music that is written using the minor key has a negative or sad character and can be identified by the dark, melancholic mood.

Minor Scale
A diatonic scale with notes separated by whole tones except for the 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th.

Minuet
Slow and stately dance music written in triple time.

Mix
A mix between head and chest voice. Also known as middle voice. It is where we mix the elements of head and chest voice to create a better sound. Think of it as adjusting the balance of treble and bass on your sound system and is achieved by resonance and voice placement.

Modes
The way notes of a scale are arranged within the character of the mode. The two main modes in modern music are major or minor. The other modes used in music theory are: Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian.

Modulation
To transition to another key.

Molto vivace
Very lively, or at a very quick speed.

Monotone
Repetition of a single tone.

Motif
An identifiable succession of musical sounds, but shorter than a complete melody.

Movement
A large unit within a symphony or concerto. It usually is comprised of many themes or musical ideas.

Musical Phrasing
Musical phrasing is the manner in which a musician shapes a sequence of notes in a passage of music, in order to express an emotion or impression. A musician accomplishes this by deviating stylistically from the sheet music—altering tone, tempo, dynamics, articulation, inflection, and other characteristics.

Musicology
The study of forms, history, science, and methods of music.