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Kentucky Opera

Elements of a performance (Glossary)



Alto
The lowest female voice. Sometimes this term is used interchangeably with Mezzo Soprano.

Appogiatura
A musical phrase with an ornamental note that is added to the beginning of a main note. The musical phrase is resolved to the main note.

Arpeggio
A chord whose pitches are played in succession, usually from lowest to highest.

Baritone
The middle range male voice.

Bass
The lowest range male voice.

Coloratura
Elaborate ornamentation or embellishment of a phrase, either written or improvised.

Doloroso
Italian for painful or sorrowful.

Fermata
The symbol within the musical score that signals that a note should be held longer than notated.

Fortissimo
Italian for very loud.

Giocoso
Italian for humorous, comedic.

Harmony
The relationships of tones as they sound simultaneously. The literal definition of harmony does not necessarily dictate a pleasing sound, as in the commonly used idea that harmony is a group of notes sounding good together.

Lento
Italian for slow.

Libretto
The text of a work (as an opera) for the musical theater

Mezzo-Soprano
A middle range female voice.

Molto Allegro
Italian for very fast

Piano
Italian for quiet.

Quartet
A piece of music performed by four performers.

Scales
A collection of pitches arranged in order of lowest to highest or highest to lowest.

Soprano
The highest female voice.

Staccato
Notes marked by a dot, played or sung shorter, separate from the others around it, and with a light accent.

Tenor
The highest male voice.

Trills
Rapid alteration of a note with the one next above in the prevailing key or harmony.

Trio
A piece of music performed by three performers.



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Last Updated: Monday, 01-Dec-2008 15:28:23 EST