Musical Terms Defined

accidentals: wrong notes.

agnus dei: a famous female church composer.

allegro: leg fertilizer.

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

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

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

augmented fifth: a 36-ounce bottle.

bach chorale: the place behind the barn where you keep the horses.

bass clef: where you wind up if you do fall off.

clausula: Mrs. Santa Claus.

clef: something to jump from before the viola solo. also: what you try never to fall off of.

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

diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.

diminished fifth: an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

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

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.

metronome: a city-dwelling dwarf.

minnesinger: a boy soprano.

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

perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

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

pianissimo: "refill this beer bottle".

preparatory beat: a threat made to singers, i.e., sing, or else....

ritard: there's one in every family.

sancta: Clausula's husband.

supertonic: Schweppes.

tenor: two hours before a nooner.

transsectional: an alto who moves to the soprano section.

treble: what women ain't nothin' but.

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

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