GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Accompaniment – A subordinate part for instruments, voices or orchestra.
Adult – Of legal age in Alberta.
Amateur – A person whose principal means of livelihood is not obtained from musical services in the particular discipline in which he or she is competing.
Aria – An elaborate, accompanied, vocal solo from an opera, operetta or cantata.
Art Song – The Art Song was a creation of the late 18th and early 19th centuries and continues into the 20th and 21st centuries. These songs were written for voice with piano accompaniment. Composers such as Mozart, Schumann, Brahms, Schubert, Britten, Quilter, Barber, Bernstein, Rorem, Coulthard, Fleming, etc. were inspired to write music to enhance existing poetry. The language of the song, if other than English, determines the class to be entered.
Associate Standard – Refers to a selection of advanced difficulty that must be of at least post grade 10 or equivalent level.
Bach String Solo – A composition written for unaccompanied solo string.
Ballad – (as used in Musical Theatre) – Music with a slower tempo, often of a serious nature.
Ballad/Traditional Air – A narrative poem of popular origin, written in short stanzas and originally sung to a repeated tune.
Baroque Music – Music composed in or around the Baroque Period, circa 1600-1760.
Brass Instrument – A wind instrument such as trumpet or trombone, consisting of a brass tube blown directly by means of a cup or funnel-shaped mouthpiece.
Canadian Composer/Author – A person born in Canada, one who has resided in Canada for at least five years, or a naturalized citizen.
Canadian Poetry – Poetry written by a Canadian author.
Chamber Music – A term which originally referred to music not intended for the church, the theatre, or public concert hall. It no longer implies a place of performance, but refers to music written for three, four or more instruments played with one instrument to a “part”, all the parts having equal importance.
Changed Voice – Usually refers to a male singer whose voice has “broken” – changed from an adolescent to an adult sound.
Choir/Chorus – A group of 13 or more members performing as a single unit.
Choral Speech – The speaking of a piece of literature by a speech choir. It differs from Choric Drama in that the prime emphasis is on telling the story, rather than acting it out. The focus is on the language and the speaking of the text. There is no movement around the stage, but gestures and simple in-place movements may be used. Variety may be provided through the division of voices, use of solo voices, the physical arrangement of the choir, use of props and the suggestion of a simple costume.
Classical Guitar – A plucked stringed instrument originating in Spain.
Classical Music – Music of a serious nature, not pop.
Classical Period – Music composed between 1750 and 1830.
Classroom Music – Music designed to portray the many facets of the elementary school program. Singing is the main emphasis, but some movement/creative dance and limited use of simple instruments is required. Costumes and stage props may be used.
Composition (formerly Creative Music) – A broad category that includes any work of art that presents sound in an organized fashion. The work can be generated using traditional instruments or the human voice.
Community Band/Choir/Chorus – A group of instrumentalists or singers performing as a unit. The term also refers to a group whose members come from two or more schools and are selected on the basis of performing ability.
Concert Band – A group of musicians playing woodwind, brass and percussion instruments under the direction of a conductor.
Concerted Work – Any composition originally written for solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment.
Concerto – A composition written in several movements usually for solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment.
Contemporary/Modern – A work written in the 20th or 21st century. (See the Speech Solo Scenes for dates specific to Speech.)
Creative Story Telling – The story may be either an original work by the performer, or a traditional story, folk tale, family tale, legend, fable or myth. Entrants submit a brief plot outline to the adjudicator. Appropriate sounds, props or movement may be incorporated into the performance provided there is no disruption of the smooth delivery of the story. The performance MUST be in the teller’s own words.
Discipline – AMFA defines five disciplines for administrative purposes: Band/Orchestra, Instrumental, Piano, Speech and Voice.
Domicile – Family home.
Dramatic Poetry – Poetry which represents a situation involving characters. Dramatic conflict and dialogue are normally present in this type of poetry.
Duet – Two individuals performing different parts as a unit.
Duologue – A speech selection for two individuals performing different parts.
Ensemble – A small group performing as a unit.
Finger-style Guitar – Describes a manner of playing in which the fingertips are used to pluck the strings.
Folk Song – Music which has entered into the heritage of the people and cannot be assigned to a composer, school or period. It has been fashioned and re-fashioned through many generations by countless individuals and is usually passed on orally.
Full Orchestra – A large group of musicians performing as a unit using string, woodwind, brass and percussion instruments.
General Choral – Choirs whose singers are auditioned and become members of a select voice choir.
Gesture – Movement of the body, especially hands and arms, which clarifies the meaning and emotional content of a performance. In the presentation of poetry, gestures should be limited by taste and decorum.
Group Competitor – Two or more individuals performing as a unit.
Group of Classes – A competitor may enter only one class in a given Group of Classes. For example, Piano Solo-Romantic is the group. Grade 1, 2, 3, etc. are the classes within the group. In this case, a competitor may enter only one grade.
Hand Prop – An object which is carried on stage by the performer and which MUST be part of the performance.
Handbell – A musically tuned bell with a handle made of leather or plastic that allows it to be held in the hand.
Hand/Tonechime – A metal tube slotted and cut to produce a musical sound.
Impressionism/Impressionist Idiom – A style of music that emerged in the late 19th century, associated primarily with such composers as Debussy and Ravel.
Instrumental – Generally refers to the string, woodwind, brass and percussion families, but includes the singing voice and the speaking voice as separate instruments.
Lieder – A distinctive type of German vocal solo composition which was an outcome of the Romantic Movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In lieder, the quality of the verse is very important. The piano part is more than an accompaniment and also demands artistic interpretation. (Lieder should be performed in German Art Song classes.)
Light Opera – A type of comic or lighthearted opera containing spoken dialogue.
Lyric Poetry – Is distinguished by its intense personal feeling and unified by the poet’s consistent response to an incident or idea. Lyric poetry frequently exhibits a graceful, fluid rhythm and an evocative pattern of sound. It is reflective poetry, and although a lyric may relate an incident or episode, the story element is of secondary importance. Movement and gesture, if any, should be restrained and should never draw attention away from the language.
Madrigal – A composition for several voices, usually unaccompanied, the texts of which are usually secular. Madrigals may be Contemporary.
Medieval-Renaissance Music – Music of the 14th to the early 17th century.
Mixed Choir/Chorus – A group of female and male singers performing as a unit.
Modern/Contemporary – See Contemporary/Modern.
Musical Theatre/Broadway Musical – A staged production, recognized revue, or movie musical that incorporates the elements of acting, song and movement. See Revue.
Narrative Poetry – Poetry that tells a story and stresses plot and action. It often contains dialogue, characterization and conflict. Although narrative/dramatic poetry may contain lyrical or descriptive passages, it usually minimizes or ignores the poet’s expression of personal feelings. Movement and gestures should flow naturally from the text and the performer’s interpretation.
Obligato – An accompaniment which has a distinct character and independence providing special or unusual effects and is an integral part of the composition.
Opera – A drama, in which music is the essential factor, comprised of songs with orchestra.
Operatic Solo – See Aria.
Oratorio – An Oratorio is an extended musical setting of a sacred text made up of dramatic, narrative and contemplative elements.
Original Composition – A piece of music that was written or created by the entrant and represented on manuscript paper or by using some kind of notation system that would allow another musician to perform the work.
Percussion Instrument – An instrument whose sound arises from the striking of materials.
Piano Sonatina – A shorter version of the Sonata.
Prescribed Selection – A test piece that is listed in the current syllabus for a specific class.
Production Number – a selection in a musical that is sung and danced by featured actors and supported by the chorus.
Professional – A person whose principal means of livelihood is obtained from the practice of music or drama in the particular category in which he or she is competing.
Props – Objects used to enhance a presentation usually in musical theatre, some solo speech classes, choral speech and choric drama. They may be hand-held (a purse, a glass, a mop) or stage props (a doorway, a stool, a table and chair).
Stage props are set up before the performance begins. In all cases, props should be simple, limited in number and an integral part of the performance. Only ONE stage prop is allowed in a solo performance.
Prose Solo – A prose selection (may be fiction, non fiction or sacred text) from an authored story, essay, novel or the like.
Public Domain – The author of a work has been deceased for a period of 50 years or more and the work is therefore out of copyright.
Quartet – Four individuals performing different parts as a unit.
Quintet – Five individuals performing different parts as a unit.
Revue – A topical, satirical, theatrical entertainment consisting of a series of scenes having a central theme, but no plot. See Musical Theatre/Broadway Musical
Rococo Music – A highly developed ornamental style of music developed in France in the 18th century.
Romantic Music – Music composed between 1830 and 1900.
Sacred – A selection using a religious theme or a religious text set to music. It should be “classical” in style but not an oratorio.
School Band/Choir/Chorus – A group of at least 13 performers, usually from one school, performing as a unit.
Sea Shanty – A song originally sung by sailors.
Selected Voice Choir/Chorus – A choir or chorus whose members are selected or “hand picked”. The standard of performance is higher than that which is expected of an unselected choir.
Senior – Usually refers to the level of achievement. In Provincial classes, senior refers to any class beyond 16 years and under.
Sonata – A composition usually written in four movements for solo instrument with or without piano accompaniment. The solo instrument and accompaniment are of equal importance, although generally only the soloist is adjudicated.
Sonnet Sequence – Two sonnets with a similar theme, not necessarily by the same author. For example, two sonnets on a nature theme.
String Orchestra – A group of musicians using only string instruments and performing as a unit.
Suite – A composition in several movements. It may be written for solo instrument or voice, or for a group of instruments or voices.
Traditional Air/Ballad – See Ballad/Traditional Air.
Transcription – The arrangement of a composition originally written for one instrument but adapted for another.
Trio – Three individuals performing different parts as a unit.
Unaccompanied – A selection written for solo or group and performed without instrumental assistance.
Unchanged Voice – Refers to a singer, usually male, whose voice has not yet “broken” – changed from an adolescent to an adult sound.
Up-tempo – (as used in Musical Theatre) – Music with a lively tempo, often comedy.
Woodwind Instrument – An instrument originally made of wood, in which sound is produced by the vibration of air, including recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe and bassoon.
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