The panoramic photographs of Manitoba landscapes in the website banners are used with the kind permission of © Stan Milosevic.

The “landscape” images and metaphor illustrated in the website banners represent current understandings about curriculum presented in the “Guiding Principles for WNCP Curriculum Framework Projects” (Western and Northern Canadian Protocol, 2011).

New ways of thinking about curriculum involve a “shift in the images we use, away from knowledge pictured as fragmented pieces put together, one piece at a time, in a linear fashion on an assembly line, to an image of knowledge as a complex organic network organized into living fields, territories or 'landscapes'. Learning about these living fields of knowledge requires: 'learning the landscape'.”

About the banner


Glossary (Kindergarten to Grade 8)

The following terms are provided for clarification and understanding of selected terminology used in Manitoba's Kindergarten to Grade 8 music curriculum and resources. These terms are not intended to be exhaustive. Educators are encouraged to consult the recommended music resources for additional and alternative terminology.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J| K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

12-bar blues: An african-american song form characterized by a 12-bar structure in 4/4, use of blues notes, three-line verses, and I–IV–V harmonic progression (I–I–I–I; IV–IV–I–I; V–IV–I–I).

Top of Page

ABA form: A sequential compositional form with three distinct parts in which a music theme (a) is followed by a contrasting but related music theme (B) and ends with a repeat of the initial music theme (a). AB form a sequential compositional form with two distinct parts in which a music theme (A) is followed by a contrasting but related music theme (B).

accelerando: A gradual increase in tempo, resulting in getting faster.

accent: A note performed with emphasis or stress.

allegro: A lively and quick tempo.

andante: A moderate tempo or walking pace.

articulation: A performance technique affecting the musical line by the way notes are attacked and spaces are formed between notes. The two basic articulations are legato and staccato.

ascending contour: The shape of a melody established by its upward movement.

a tempo: A return to the original tempo.

aural music system: A rote process for learning music by listening and reproducing, often described as learning by ear.

Top of Page

balance: Maintaining proper emphasis between parts of an ensemble.

beat: The underlying pulse of music.

blend: Merging and unifying parts within an ensemble.

body percussion: Use of the body to make sounds (e.g., snap, clap, patsch, stamp).

Top of Page

call and response: A sequential compositional form in which a lead musician calls orperforms a music phrase, while another musician or group responds by imitating the same phrase or performing a related one.

canon: An overlapping compositional form in which two or more musiciansor groups imitate a melody after a given interval (e.g., four beats).

chaconne: A compositional form of Baroque origin consisting of variations built upon a short, repeated harmonic progression.

coda: The concluding part of a music composition.

complementary rhythms: Interlocking layered rhythms that are related but contrasting (e.g., long sound durations in one part against short sound durations in another).

crescendo: a gradual increase in dynamics, or getting louder.

Top of Page

da capo (DC): A direction to perform again from the beginning.

dal segno (DS): A direction to perform again from a sign indicated in a score.

decrescendo (diminuendo): A gradual decrease in dynamics, or getting quieter.

descending contour: The shape of a melody established by its downward movement.

diction: Clear articulation of words in speaking and singing through effective pronunciation of vowels and consonants.

dynamics: The overall volume (loudness or quietness) of music.

Top of Page

first and second endings: Repeated sections of a music composition with two different endings indicated by brackets and numbers in a score.

forms: Designs or structures for organizing music.

forte (f): Loud dynamics.

fortissimo (ff): Very loud dynamics.

fugue: An overlapping form in which a music theme is introduced and then extended and developed by other parts after a given interval; like a canon, but uses a more complex mix of counter-melodies.

Top of Page

genres: Broad categories of musical forms (e.g., popular, art, folk).

Top of Page

harmonic progressions: A series of chords.

harmony: a vertical element of music created by two or more pitches sounding simultaneously.

homophonic music: Texture created by a melody with a chordal accompaniment; two or more parts moving together rhythmically in a chordal style.

Top of Page

improvise: Making music "in the moment" with intent to explore.

interlude: A short section or bridge between two main sections of a music composition.

intonation: Singing or playing in tune by producing accurate pitches.

introduction: The opening part of a music composition.

invented music notation: Non-standard sound-symbol representations

irregular metre: Combinations of duple and triple metres resulting in metrical patterns such as 5/4 (3 + 2/4) or 7/8 (4 + 3/8).

Top of Page

largo: A very slow tempo.

legato: A smooth, connected style of articulation.

Top of Page

melodic contour: The shape of a melody established by its upward, downward, or horizontal movement.

melody: A horizontal element of music created by a sequence of pitches resulting in a tune.

metre: A regular pattern of accented (stronger) and unaccented (weaker) beats.

metric accents: Beats felt and heard in a metrical context that have a stronger accent than others.

mezzo-forte (mf): Moderately loud dynamics.

mezzo-piano (mp): Moderately soft dynamics.

Top of Page

non-pitched instruments: Percussion instruments producing one or more indefinite pitches used to perform rhythms.

Top of Page

ostinato: A short, repeated musical phrase or pattern often used as an accompaniment.

Top of Page

partner songs: Two or more different songs sharing the same chord structure that can be sung simultaneously to produce harmony.

pentatonic scale: A simple five-tone scale.

phrase: A music sentence or a series of sounds that connect and have a clear beginning and end.

pianissimo (pp): Very soft dynamics.

piano (p): Soft dynamics.

pitch: The highness or lowness of a tone determined by its frequency.

pitched instruments: Instruments producing more than one definite pitch used to perform melodies and/or harmonies.

polyphonic music: Texture created by two or more independent melodies performed simultaneously.

Top of Page

release: The manipulation of one or more music elements to create a sense of relaxation, resolution, or stability after building tension in music.

rhythm: The time element of music consisting of a sequence of sound and/or silence durations.

ritardando: A gradual decrease in tempo, or getting slower.

rondo form (ABACA . . .): A sequential compositional form with several distinct parts in which a music theme (A) is alternated with contrasting music themes (B, C, D . . .) and ends with a repeat of the initial music theme (A).

Top of Page

serendipitous discoveries: Imaginative, productive insights that happen by chance and contribute to resolving creative problems.

slur: A curved line above or below notes in a score that are to be performed legato.

staccato: A detached, disconnected style of articulation.

standard music notation: Written symbols for representing sounds widely used and understood by musicians (e.g., staff lines, notes, rests, time and key signatures).

style: Characteristic use of music elements producing distinctive ways of making music identified with particular performers, composers, cultures, or historical periods.

syncopation: The rhythmic effect produced by unexpectedly shifting accents from strong to weak beats.

Top of Page

tempo: The overall pace or speed of music.

tension: The manipulation of one or more music elements to create points of intensity, suspense, or instability in music.

texture: The fabric of music created by layering and interrelating rhythms, melodies, harmonies, and/or timbres.

theme and variations (A1A2A3A4 . . .): A sequential compositional form with several distinct parts in which a music theme (A) is repeated in modified forms (e.g., altering the style, tempo, rhythm, scale).

timbre: The tone colour or distinctive quality of a sound source.

traditions: Music of a culture passed, over time, from one generation to another.

transition: A compositional feature that contributes to the continuity of music by ensuring smooth connections between its parts.

Top of Page

verse-chorus: A song in which the main section (verse) is followed by a refrain (chorus); the chorus is repeated after every verse.

verse-chorus-bridge: An extension of the verse-chorus form that incorporates one or more interludes.

visual music systems: Systems using graphic, pictorial symbols or gestures, such as shapes, colours, and/or icons, to represent sounds.

Top of Page

written music systems: Systems using written symbols, such as those used in standard notation, to represent sounds.

Top of Page