Glossary

F

The key of F.

F clef

A clef usually centered on the fourth line of the staff (bass clef), designating that line as the note F below middle C.

false cadence

A deceptive cadence.

falsetto

A high, artificial voice used for notes that lie above the normal register.

fantasy, fantasia, fantaisie

A piece in free style and form.

feminine cadence

A cadence ending on a weak beat.

fifth

The interval of five diatonic degrees.

figured bass

The bass part with numbers written adjacent to it to indicate the intervals or harmonies to be played above it.

figured melody

A highly ornamented melody.

finale

The last movement of a sonata or symphony, or the last section of an opera.

fingerboard

On string instruments, the top surface of the neck where the fingers press down on the strings.

flats

Accidentals that lower a given pitch by one half-step. Also see key signature.

fourth

The interval of four diatonic degrees.

French sixth

A type of augmented sixth chord with a major third, augmented fourth, and augmented sixth above the bass.

fret

On certain string instruments, a thin, raised bar placed across the fingerboard to indicate a specific position of a note.

fugue

“Flight.” A contrapuntal piece, in which two or more parts are built or “layered” on a recurring subject that is introduced alone and followed by an answer, which is the subject (or theme) at a different pitch.

fundamental

The lowest note in a harmonic series.