Terminologies of Music

July 18, 2021 by No Comments

What are the Terminologies of Music?


The term music originates from the Greek mousike, which means “art of the Muses”. The Nine Muses were goddesses in Greek mythology who inspired literature, science, and the arts, and were the source of knowledge represented in Greek poetry, song lyrics, and stories.

The word “music” is come from “mid-13c., musike, from Old French musique (12c.) and directly from Latin musica, “the art of music,” also including poetry, (also the source of Spanish msica, Italian musica, Old High German mosica, German Musik, Dutch muziek, Danish musik), according to the Online Etymological Dictionary. This is a result of theĀ  Greek mousike (techne) “Muse (art),” from fem. of mousikos “pertaining to the Muses,” from Mousa “Muse” (see muse (n.)). The modern spelling of the word comes from the 1630s. [The term “music”] refers to any art in which the Muses reigned in ancient Greece, but notably music and lyric poetry.

Art and Entertainment:

Music is created and performed for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic enjoyment, religious or ceremonial purposes, and as a commercial entertainment commodity. Music enthusiasts would acquire sheet music of their favorite pieces and songs when music was only accessible in sheet music scores, such as during the Classical and Romantic eras, so that they could perform them at home on the piano.

When the phonograph was invented, recordings of popular songs, rather than sheet music, became the most common means for music fans to enjoy their favorite tunes. Music fans may build cassettes or playlists of their favorite songs and take them with them on a portable cassette player or MP3 player after the introduction of home tape recorders in the 1980s and electrical music in the 1990s.

Amateur musicians might write or play music for their personal enjoyment while earning money from other sources. Armed forces (in marching bands, concert bands, and popular music groups), churches and synagogues, symphony orchestras, radio or film production businesses, and music schools are among the institutions and organizations that employ professional musicians.

Professional musicians may work as freelancers or session musicians, looking for contracts and engagements in a range of situations. Between amateur and professional musicians, there are frequently numerous connections. Amateur musicians who are just starting out receive instruction from expert musicians.

Music played in front of a live audience is typically distinguished from music performed in a studio for the purpose of being recorded and transmitted through the music retail or broadcasting systems.

However, a live performance in front of an audience is frequently filmed and distributed. Live concert recordings are prominent in classical music as well as popular music genres like rock, where music fans reward illegally captured live events. Studio recordings are favored in the jam band scene over live, improvisational jam sessions.


The act or practice of writing a song, an instrumental piece, a work that includes both singing and instruments, or another form of music is known as “composition.” Composing comprises the development of music notation, such as a sheet music “score,” which is subsequently performed by the composer or other vocalists or musicians in various cultures, including Western classical music.

The act of creating, which is commonly referred to as song writing in popular and traditional music, may entail the development of a basic sketch of the song, known as the lead sheet, which includes the melody, lyrics, and chord progression. The composer orchestrates his or her own works in classical music, while songwriters in musical theatre and pop music may employ an arranger to orchestrate their songs.

A songwriter may choose not to use notation at all, instead composing the song in her head and then playing or recording it from memory. Famous recordings by influential artists are given the same weight in jazz and popular music as written scores are in classical music.

Even when music is notated quite accurately, such as in classical music, a performer must make several judgments since notation does not completely define all of the aspects of music. The term “interpretation” refers to the act of determining how to perform music that has already been written down and notated.

The tempos used, as well as the playing or singing style or phrasing of the melodies, might differ greatly across different artists’ renditions of the same piece of music. Composers and songwriters who play their own music, much like those who perform other people’s music, are interpreting their own tunes.


In the 2000s, music notation referred to the use of symbols to write down music notes and rhythms on paper. The pitches and rhythms of music, such as melody notes, are notated when they are written down. Instructions on how to execute the music are typically included in the music notation. For example, a song’s sheet music may specify that it’s a “slow blues” or a “rapid swing,” indicating the speed and genre. To read music notation, one needs to be familiar with music theory, harmony, and the performing conventions associated with a song’s genre.


Musical improvisation is the process of creating music on the spot, usually within (or based on) a pre-existing harmonic framework or chord sequence. Improvisers employ chord notes, multiple scales connected with each chord, chromatic ornaments, and passing tones that aren’t always chord tones or scales linked with a chord. It is possible to perform musical improvisation with or without prior preparation. Instrumental artists improvise solos, melody lines, and accompaniment sections in some kinds of music, such as blues, jazz, and jazz fusion.

Know more about the history and elements of music

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