Technical terms sound

Harmony of at least three notes. These can also sound successively as a broken chord.

Originally, the science of physical sound processes as wave phenomena in solids, liquids and
gases based on mechanic molecular vibrations. Today, acoustics also include the science ofsound perception (i.e. psychoacoustics) and sound effects (e.g. physiological changes in the
ear resulting from high sound intensity).

Combination of auditory and visual information. Related to hearing and sight.

Of or related to the process of hearing.

Impulsive perception of a sound without clearly definable pitch. As opposed to sound, noise
is based on a non-periodic or pulsed sound process.

Basis of sound is a periodic sound signal. A sound consists of a key tone and an overtone
spectrum (harmonic) comprising multiples of the fundamental frequency. Frequency of the
key tone determines the perceived pitch, while number and characteristic of overtones (amplitude)
determine the timbre.

The perceived timbre is defined by number and amplitude of overtones, i.e. form of the overtone
spectrum. The characteristic sound spectra of the musical instruments result in the
characteristic timbre. On the basis of the timbre of a language, vowels can be distinguished
and speakers identified. Additionally, timbre has strong emotional significance.

According to the current use of language, music is defined as any form of sound expression in
the broadest sense. Classifications of music, defined according to purpose (film score, dance
music), performance (concert music, family music), cast (guitar music, vocal music) or composition
method and technique (twelve-tone technique, electronic music) demonstrate the
different characteristics of music, yet do not refer to a superior theoretical system. Equally
unfeasible is a differentiation between art music and popular music (fundamentally altered
concept of aesthetics of music in the 20th century).

Music genre
Defines different styles of music according to origin, characteristics, instrumentation and
distribution (e.g. classical music, electronic music, rock, pop etc.).

Vertically arranged set of all individual parts and voices of a composition allowing the conductor
to oversee the entire musical event simultaneously. Scores are also used to store
music in a reproducible form.

Includes search for quantitative and generalizable relationships between physical sound
impulse (sound event) and sound perception (hearing event), developed as a branch of psychophysics.
Physical sound events can cause perception of hearing events which manifest
as noise or sound objects.

Organising and formal principle of the chronological process in music, dance and composition.

The term was introduced by the Canadian composer Murray Schafer in analogy to landscape.
A soundscape has a rather diffuse background with meaningful foreground elements (sound
marks in analogy to land marks). Every auditory environment can be considered a soundscape.
The compositional design includes spatial differentiation according to fore- and background
as well as the deliberate setting of meaningful elements for the listener’s orientation.

Major mode
Definition of a mode encompassing all keys whose scales include 5 whole steps and 2 half
steps, namely from the 3rd to the 4th and from the 7th to the 8th step. The major triad consists
of key tone, major third and perfect fifth.

Minor mode
The ”soft” mode, whose triad is formed by minor triad and perfect fifth (e.g. C - E-flat - G).
In the 16th century, the current minor mode developed from the Aeolian, Doric and Phrygian
church scales.

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