RelativityMechanicsDynamicsOptics, Magnetism, & Electricity
BooksTerms & ConceptsHistoryCognitive BiologyMental HealthMental Illness & TreatmentPsychological DisordersPsychologists
BooksTraditionalClassicalOpera, Musicals, and FilmFolk, Jazz, and BluesRock and PopAvant Garde
BooksConceptsHabitatsNatural PhenomenaThreats to the EnvironmentMovements and Environmentalists
This is the "Music Appreciation" page of the "General Education" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

General Education  

Last Updated: Nov 6, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Music Appreciation Print Page

Credo Reference- Music search box

This box will search all of your Credo Reference Music titles.


  • Music: Topic Page
    Art of combining sounds into a structured form, usually according to conventional patterns and for an aesthetic (artistic) purpose. Music is generally divided into different genres or styles such as classical music, jazz, pop music, country, and so on. MORE
  • Song: Topic Page
    Relatively brief, simple vocal composition, usually a setting of a poetic text, often strophic, for accompanied solo voice. The song literature of Western music embodies two broad classifications—folk song and art song. MORE

Instrument Families

Sound Terms

  • Frequency: Topic Page
    In physics, number of periodic oscillations, vibrations, or waves occurring per unit of time. The SI unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz), one hertz being equivalent to one cycle per second. MORE
  • Harmonic Motion: Topic Page
    Regular vibration in which the acceleration of the vibrating object is directly proportional to the displacement of the object from its equilibrium position but oppositely directed. MORE
  • Sound: Topic Page
    Any disturbance that travels through an elastic medium such as air, ground, or water to be heard by the human ear. MORE
  • Sound Wave: Topic Page
    Longitudinal wave motion with which sound energy travels through a medium. It carries energy away from the source of the sound without carrying the material itself with it. MORE
  • Vibration: Topic Page
    In physics, commonly an oscillatory motion—a movement first in one direction and then back again in the opposite direction. MORE

Musical Terms

  • Band: Topic Page
    An ensemble of any one type of instrument, as brass band, wind band, marimba band. As town bands once provided music for social dancing, so do modern jazz and rock bands of numerous descriptions. MORE
  • Cadence: Topic Page
    In music, two chords that are specially chosen and arranged to give a logical end to a musical phrase or section. MORE
  • Melody: Topic Page
    In music, a recognizable series of notes of different pitches played or sung one after the other. MORE
  • Meter: Topic Page
    In music, refers to the number and value of the beats in a bar of music. It is also known as time.MORE
  • Musical notation: Topic page
    Symbols used to make a written record of musical sounds. MORE
  • Rhyme: Topic Page
    Or rime, the most prominent of the literary artifices used in versification.MORE
  • Tempo: Topic Page
    In music, the speed at which a piece should be played. MORE
  • Timbre: Topic Page
    In music, the tone colour, or quality of tone, of a particular sound. MORE
  • Tonic sol-fa: Topic Page
    System of musical notation without staves and notes, invented by John Curwen (1816-1880) in the middle of the 19th century on a basis of the principles of solmization and solfège, and once widely used by choral singers, for whom it simplifies the sight-reading of music.MORE


  • Accordion: Topic Page
    A bellows-operated, hand-held wind instrument sounded by free reeds. It consists in effect of two reed organs, each with its own keyboard, joined by a rectangular bellows. The organ in the player's right hand is the higher pitched of the two. MORE
  • Bagpipes: Topic Page
    Any of a family of wind instruments in which one or more reedpipes are attached to a windbag, usually made of animal skin. The player holds the windbag under the arm and squeezes it with the elbow to provide a steady stream of air to the pipes. MORE
  • Clarinet: Topic Page
    Any of a family of single-reed woodwind instruments of cylindrical bore. It is one of the four main orchestral woodwinds, but did not join the orchestra until after the middle of the 18th century. MORE
  • Cymbals
    From The New Penguin Dictionary of Music
    Plate-like percussion instruments of copper-tin alloy, used in pairs or alone (in one hand or suspended).
  • Drum: Topic Page
    Any of a class of percussion instruments consisting of a frame or hollow vessel of wood, metal, or earthenware with a membrane of hide or plastic stretched across one or both ends. Drums are usually sounded by striking the membrane with the hands, a stick, or pair of sticks.MORE
  • Flute: Topic Page
    Side-blown woodwind instrument with a long history, capable of intricate melodies and a wide range of expression. The player holds the flute horizontally, and to the right, and blows across an end hole. The air current is split by the opposite edge of the hole, causing the air column inside the instrument to vibrate and produce a sound. MORE
  • Guitar: Topic Page
    Plucked, fretted string instrument. It may be called the classical guitar, the Spanish guitar (because of its origins), or the acoustic guitar (to differentiate it from the electric guitar). The fingerboard has frets (strips of metal showing where to place the finger to obtain different notes), and the 6 or 12 strings are plucked or strummed with the fingers or a plectrum. MORE
  • Harp: Topic Page
    Stringed musical instrument of ancient origin, the strings of which are plucked with the fingers. Harps were found in paintings from the 13th cent. B.C. at Thebes. In different forms it was played by peoples of nearly all lands throughout the ages. The harp was particularly popular with the Irish from the 9th cent. They adopted the small instrument still in use, called the Irish harp, as a national symbol. MORE
  • Harpsichord
    From The New Penguin Dictionary of Music
    Keyboard instrument in which the strings are plucked, not hammered as in the piano, which developed from the harpsichord at the end of the 17th century.
  • Oboe: Topic Page
    Woodwind instrument of conical bore, its mouthpiece having a double reed. The instruments possessing these general characteristics may be referred to as the oboe family, which includes the English horn, the bassoon, and the contrabassoon or double bassoon. The oboe was developed in the mid-17th century in France from various older double-reed instruments. MORE
  • Organ: Topic Page
    A musical wind instrument in which sound is produced by one or more sets of pipes controlled by a keyboard, each pipe producing only one pitch by means of a mechanically produced or electrically controlled wind supply.MORE
  • Piano: Topic Page
    Or pianoforte, musical instrument whose sound is produced by vibrating strings struck by felt hammers that are controlled from a keyboard. The piano's earliest predecessor was the dulcimer. The first piano was made c.1709 by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731), a Florentine maker of harpsichords, who called his instrument gravicembalo col piano e forte. MORE
  • Player Piano: Topic Page

    Mechanical piano designed to reproduce key actions recorded on a perforated paper roll. MORE
  • Recorder: Topic Page
    Musical wind instrument of the flute family, made of wood, varying in length, and having an inverted conical bore (largest end near the mouthpiece). MORE
  • Synthesizer
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide
    Electronic musical device for the simulation of vocal or instrumental timbre (tone quality).
  • Trombone: Topic Page
    Brass wind musical instrument of cylindrical bore, twice bent on itself, having a sliding section that lengthens or shortens it and thus regulates the pitch. MORE
  • Trumpet: Topic Page
    Brass wind musical instrument of part cylindrical, part conical bore, in the shape of a flattened loop and having three piston valves to regulate the pitch. MORE
  • Violin: Topic Page
    Family of stringed musical instruments having wooden bodies whose backs and fronts are slightly convex, the fronts pierced by two ƒ-shaped resonance holes. MORE

Recording and Playback

  • Amplifier: Topic Page
    Device that accepts a varying input signal and produces an output signal that varies in the same way as the input but has a larger amplitude. MORE
  • Copyright: Topic Page
    Right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary, artistic, and musical productions whereby for a limited period of time he or she controls the use of the product. MORE
  • Metronome
    From The Harvard Dictionary of Music
    A device used to indicate the tempo of a composition by sounding regular beats at adjustable speed.
  • Microphone: Topic Page
    Device for converting sound into electrical energy, used in radio broadcasting, recording, and sound amplifying systems. MORE
  • Record Player: Topic Page
    Or phonograph, device for reproducing sound that has been recorded as a spiral, undulating groove on a disk. This disk is known as a phonograph record, or simply a record. MORE
  • Sound Recording: Topic Page
    Process of converting the acoustic energy of sound into some form in which it can be permanently stored and reproduced at any time. MORE
  • Speaker: Topic Page
    Device used to convert electrical energy into sound. It consists essentially of a thin flexible sheet called a diaphragm that is made to vibrate by an electric signal from an amplifier. The vibrations create sound waves in the air around the speaker. MORE