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American musical terminology

American musical terminology (compared with Brit.). Certain divergences between Amer. and Brit. mus. terminology sometimes cause confusion:(1) NOTE and TONE. Such expressions as ‘3 tones lower’, or ‘the scale of 5 tones’ have different meanings to the Amer. and the Brit. reader. A Brit. reader, finding these expressions in an Amer. book or journal, must be careful to understand by them ‘3 notes lower’ and ‘scale of 5 notes’, while an Amer. reader finding such expressions in a Brit. book must interpret them as ‘3 whole-steps lower’ or ‘a scale of 5 whole-steps’.(2) Eng. BAR = Amer. MEASURE, the former term being often reserved in Amer. for the actual bar-line.(3) Eng. SEMIBREVE, MINIM, etc. = Amer. WHOLE-NOTE, HALF-NOTE, etc.(4) Eng. NATURALS, e.g. the white keys of a pf., etc. = Amer. LONG-KEYS.(5) Eng. NATURAL NOTES (of brass instr.) = Amer. PRIMARY TONES.(6) Eng. TO FLATTEN and TO SHARPEN = Amer. TO FLAT and TO SHARP.(7) Eng. ORGAN (generally) = Amer. PIPE ORGAN (to distinguish from the various reed organs).(8) Eng. GRAMOPHONE = Amer. PHONOGRAPH.(9) Eng. CONCERT-GIVING = Amer. CONCERTIZING.(10) Amer. APPLIED MUSIC means perf. mus.; hence univ. courses in Applied Music are courses in instr. or vocal technique and interpretation.(11) The Eng. term FOLK SONG is often used in the USA in a loose way, covering not only trad. peasant songs but also any songs which have become widely known by people in general.(12) Eng. FIRST VIOLIN or leader (of orch.) = Amer. CONCERT MASTER.(13) Eng. CONDUCTOR (of orch.) = (often) Amer. LEADER (and Eng. to conduct = Amer. to lead).(14) Eng. PART-WRITING = Amer. VOICE-LEADING.(15) Eng. RECORD SLEEVE (container) = Amer. DISC (DISK) LINER.

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Understanding the Terminology

UNDERSTANDING THE TERMINOLOGY

Here is a key to some of the concepts mentioned in this article: 1) Internet Protocol (IP)specifies the structure and handling of datagrams sent over the Internet. It is defined in RFC (Request for Comments) 791.2) Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)is a system of digital telephone connections that allows voice and/or data to be transmitted over digital circuits. 3) Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG)an organization that defines standards for video compression. MPEG-1 provides VCR-quality video at a data rate of about two megabits per second; MPEG-2 provides broadcast audio and video using variable data rates. 4) Request for Comments (RFC)a series of documents that defines standards for the Internet, which are published by the RFC editor of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). 5) Statistical multiplexinga technique used in digital telephony to increase the capacity of a multi-channel system by not transmitting channels during periods of silence, such as when a party is listening rather than talking.

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