Saturday, October 2, 2010

Musical Definitions

Musical Definitions:

string quartet
: a good violinist, a bad violinist, an ex-violinist, and someone who hates violinists, all getting together to complain about composers

detaché: an indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.

glissando: a technique adopted by string players for difficult runs.

subito piano: indicates an opportunity for some obscure orchestra player to become a soloist.

risoluto: indicates to orchestras that they are to stubbornly maintain the correct tempo no matter what the clueless conductor tries to do.

senza sordino: a term used to remind the player that he forgot to put his mute on a few measures back.

preparatory beat: a thorough thrashing of the singer before they enter.

crescendo: a reminder to the performer that he has been playing too loudly.

conductor: a former musician who can't play well that was given a stick to wave around for amusement instead.

clef: something to jump from before the viola solo.

transposition: the act of moving the relative pitch of a piece of music that is too low for the basses to a point where it is too high for the sopranos.

vibrato: a technique used by singers to hide the fact that they are on the wrong pitch.

half step: the pace used by a cellist when carrying hi instrument.

coloratura soprano: a singer who has great trouble finding the proper note, but who has a wild time hunting for it.

chromatic scale: an instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.

bar line: a gathering of people, usually among which may be found many musicians .

ad libitum: a premiere.

beat: what musicians do to each other with their instruments. The down beat is performed on top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.

cadence: when everybody hopes you're going to stop, but you don't.

diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.

lamentoso: with handkerchiefs.

virtuoso: a musician with very high morals. (I know one)

music: a complex organization of sounds that is set down by the composer, incorrectly interpreted by the conductor, whom musicians pay no attention to, the result of which, is ignored by an audience.

oboe: an ill wind that nobody blows good.

tenor: two hours before a nooner.

diminished fifth: a bottle of Jack Daniels after it was discovered by musicians.

perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

ritard: refers to a former Alaskan 1/2 term governor.

relative major: an uncle in the Marine Corps.

relative minor: a girlfriend.

big band: when the bar pays enough to bring two banjo players.

pianissimo: "refill this beer bottle".

repeat: what you do until they just expel you.

treble: women ain't nothin' but.

bass: things you run around in softball.

portamento: a foreign country.

arpeggio: "Ain't he that storybook kid with the big nose that grows?"

tempo: a used car musicians arrive in.

A 440: the highway that runs around Nashville.

transpositions: noun- male musicians who wear dresses.
verb- An advanced recorder technique where you change from alto to soprano fingering in the middle of a piece.

cut time: parole.

order of sharps: what an idiot orders at the bar.

passing tone: frequently heard near the baked beans at barbecues.

middle C: a crappy fruit drink .

perfect pitch: the smooth coating on a freshly paved road.

tuba: a compound word: "Hey, fetch me another tuba KY Jelly!"

cadenza: that ugly thing your wife always vacuums dog hair off of when company comes.
or The heroine in Monteverdi's opera Frottola.

whole note: what's due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year.

clef: what the orchestra hopes the conductor drives off of.

bass clef: where the conductor lands.

altos: not to be confused with "Tom's toes," "Bubba's toes" or "Dori-toes".

minor third: your approximate age and grade at the completion of formal schooling.

melodic minor: Loretta Lynn's singing dad.

12-tone scale: the thing the State Police weigh your tractor trailer truck with.

quarter tone: what most standard pickups can haul.

sonata: what comes out of your nose if you have a cold or hay fever.

clarinet: used as kindling to burn bassoons.

cello: the proper way to answer the phone.

bassoon: what you hope to catch and when.

french horn: my wife says I smell like a cheap one when I come in at 4 a.m.

cymbal: main character in The Lion King.

bossa nova: the car your foreman drives.

time signature: what you need from your boss if you forget to clock in.

first inversion: grandpa's battle group at Normandy.

staccato: how you did all the ceilings in your mobile home.

major scale: what you say after chasing wild game up a mountain: "Damn! That was a major scale!"

aeolian mode: how you like cherry pie.

Bach chorale: the place behind the barn where horses are kept.

plague: a collective noun, as in "a plague of clarinetists."

audition: the act of putting oneself under extreme duress to satisfy the sadistic intentions of someone who has already made up his mind.

accidentals: wrong notes.

augmented fifth: a 36-ounce bottle.

broken consort: when someone in the ensemble has to leave to go to the bathroom.

cantus firmus: the part you get when you can play only four notes.

chansons de geste: porno songs.

clausula: Mrs. Santa Claus.

crotchet: like knitting, but faster.

ducita: a lot of mallards.

embouchure: the way you look when you've been playing the Krummhorn.

estampie: what they put on letters in Quebec.

garglefinklein: a tiny recorder played by neums.

hocket: the thing that fits into a crochet to produce a racket.

interval: how long it takes to find the right note. There are three kinds:
Major interval: a long time.
Minor interval: a few bars.
Inverted interval: when you go back to the bar and drink until you fall upside down.

intonation: singing through one's nose. Considered highly desirable in the Middle Ages.

isorhythmic motet: when half of the ensemble got a different edition from the other half.
(common for discount broadway play scores.)

minnesinger: a boy soprano.

musica ficta: when you lose your place and bluff until you find it again.

neums: renaissance midgets.

neumatic melishma: a bronchial disorder caused by hockets.

ordo: the hero in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings.

rota: an early Italian method of teaching music without score or parts.

trotto: an early Italian form of Montezuma's Revenge.

lauda: the difference between shawms and krummhorns.

sancta: Clausula's husband.

di lasso: popular with Italian cowboys.

quaver: beginning viol class.

rackett: capped reeds class

ritornello: a Verdi opera.

sine proprietate: cussing in church.

supertonic: Schweppes.

trope: a malevolent neum.

tutti: a lot of sackbuts.

stops: something Bach didn't have on his organ.

agnus dei: a famous female church composer.

metronome: a city-dwelling dwarf.

allegro: leg fertilizer

recitative: a disease that Monteverdi had.

transsectional: an alto who moves to the soprano section.


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Raymond Guy said...

Distortion pedal: Device used by guitarists that are unsure of the notes to be played.