Glossary

Sanctus

“Holy.” In the Mass, the fourth part of the Ordinary.

scale

A progression of notes in a specific order.

Second

The interval of two diatonic degrees.

serial music

A type of composition based on twelve-tone technique. Some such music applies this technique to dimensions other than pitch (e.g., note values, dynamic markings).

sequence

  1. Repetition of the same melodic or chordal pattern at a different pitch.
  2. A type of Gregorian chant with non-biblical texts, lines grouped in rhymed pairs, and one note per syllable.

serenade

A love song or piece, usually performed below someone’s window in the evening.

seventh

The interval between the first and seventh degrees of the diatonic scale.

sharp

An accidental that raises a given pitch by one half-step.

sixth

The interval of six diatonic degrees.

sonata

An instrumental piece, often in several movements.

song forms

The organization of sections of a song, represented by letters that depict similar and contrasting sections: ABA, AABA, ABACA, etc.

soprano

The highest female vocal range, above alto.

staff

The five horizontal lines upon which music is written.

subject

A theme or motif that is the basis for a musical form, such as a fugue or sonata.

symphony

A piece for large orchestra, usually in four movements.