Vocabulary – Part 21


When the last note of one phrase serves as the first note of the next phrase.


A distinguished musician, especially a conductor of classical music.


Jazz started as improvisation and stylistic variations on other styles, especially ragtime, early blues, and polyrhythms from various sources. Since its start over a century ago, the genre has grown to have so many subgenres that it becomes difficult to pin down into a single description. Attempting to pin it down, one might consider the etymology of the word itself. However, even this is clouded by misinformation and misdirection. There are sources that claim origins in African-American or Creole communities, but the most credible sources seem to show the first verifiable usages of the word to be around baseball in California. It was used to describe a pitch that “wobbled”. While this doesn’t seem to indicate the origin of the word, it does show that it had a meaning of something akin to “spunky” or “energetic” as early as 1912. The origin is also clouded by rapid adoption of the word as a slang term for sexual intercourse around the same time the music style started to become popular. For more on the etymology, see the Wikipedia entry in the Sources section, below.

Schenkerian Analysis

The goal of a Schenkerian analysis is to interpret the underlying structure of a tonal work and to help with reading the score according to that structure. The theory’s basic tenets can be viewed as a way of defining tonality in music. A Schenkerian analysis of a passage of music shows hierarchical relationships among its pitches and draws conclusions about the structure of the passage from this hierarchy. Schenkerian analysis is inter-subjective, rather than objective. There is no mechanical procedure involved, and the analysis reflects the musical intuitions of the analyst. The analysis represents one way of hearing (and reading) a piece of music. More information can be found in the Wikipedia entry, found in the Sources section, below.



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