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             MUSIC GLOSSARY

Liberamento:  Freely.

Linear:  Melodic; horizontal lines.

Ma:  But. Used with other words, e.g. lento ma non troppo, slow but not too slowly.

Maestoso:  Majestically.

Major:  The designation for certain intervals and scales. A key based on a major scale is called a major key.

Major chord:  A triad composed of a root, major third, and perfect fifth.

Mancando:  Fading away

Marcato:  Emphasized, heavily accented.

Measure:  A group of beats containing a primary accent and one or more secondary accents, indicated by the placement of bar lines on the staff. The space between two bar lines.

Medesimo:  The same.

Mediant:  The third degree of the major or minor scale. The triad built on this degree is labeled iii in the major scale, III in the natural minor scale, and III+ in the harmonic minor scale.

Medieval:  The period prior to the Renaissance, c. 500-1450, marking the music of the early Christian church.

Melody:  In general, a succession of musical tones. It represents the linear or horizontal aspect of music.

Meno:  Less.

Meno mosso:  Less motion.

Messa di voce:  gradually becoming louder then softer

Meter:  The structure of notes in a regular pattern of accented and unaccented beats within a measure, indicated at the beginning of a composition by a meter signature.

Meter signature:  The numbers placed at the beginning of a composition to indicate the meter of the music, e.g. . The upper number indicates the beats in a measure; the lower number tells what kind of a note will receive one beat.

Metronome:  Invented by Maelzel in 1816, the instrument is used to indicate the exact tempo of a composition. An indication such as M.M. 60 indicates that the pendulum, with a weight at the bottom, makes 60 beats per minute. A slider is moved up and down the pendulum to decrease and increase the tempo. M.M. = 80 means that the time value of a quarter note is the equivalent of one pendulum beat when the slider is set at 80.

Mezzo:  Half, Medium

Mezzo forte:  Medium loud.

Mezzo Forte:  mf, Medium Loud


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