Routledge

Student Resources

Chapter 2: Aural Analysis

Chapter 2 introduces the basic terminology associated with the study of world music. While many of these music terms are familiar in other disciplines, e.g., melody or harmony, others are more particular to the discipline of ethnomusicology, e.g., heterophony or rhythmic density. The chapter covers the four main elements of musical sound: timbre, pitch, rhythm, and dynamics, as well as other important features, such as phonic structure and form.

Key Terms

  • Accent
  • Aerophone
  • Beat
  • Chordophone
  • Crescendo
  • Decrescendo
  • Definite pitch
  • Drone
  • Dynamics
  • Electrophone
  • Fiddle
  • Form
  • Free rhythm
  • Fret
  • Heterophony
  • Homophony
  • Idiophone
  • Indefinite pitch
  • Independent polyphony
  • Interval
  • Lamellophone
  • Lute
  • Medium
  • Melisma
  • Melodic contour
  • Melody
  • Membranophone
  • Meter
  • Monophony
  • Ornamentation
  • Pentatonic scale
  • Phonic structure
  • Pitch
  • Polyphony
  • Range
  • Reeds
  • Rhythm
  • Rhythmic density
  • Ritard
  • Sachs-Hornbostel System
  • Syllabic
  • Syncopation
  • Tempo
  • Text Setting
  • Timbre
  • Trumpet
  • Tuning system
  • Zither
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