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Music Glossary

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Glossaries

Term Definition
World Music Awards

The World Music Awards is an international awards show founded in 1989 under the High Patronage of Albert II, Prince of Monaco and is based in Monte-Carlo. Awards are presented to the World's best-selling Artists in the various categories and to the best-selling Artists from each major territory.

world music

World music is a musical category encompassing many different styles of music from around the world, including traditional music, quasi-traditional music, and music where more than one cultural tradition intermingle.

vocal jazz

Vocal jazz or jazz singing is an instrumental approach to the voice, where the singer can match the instruments in their stylistic approach to the lyrics, improvised or otherwise, or through scat singing; that is, the use of non-morphemic syllables to imitate the sound of instruments.

VH1

VH1 and its sister channel MTV are currently part of the MTV Networks division of corporate parent Viacom. While VH1 still occasionally plays music videos and the Top 20 Video Countdown, its more recent claim to fame has been in the area of music-related reality programming.

Urban contemporary

Urban contemporary is a music radio format. Urban contemporary was developed through the characteristics of genres such as R&B and soul.

traditional pop

Traditional pop (also classic pop or pop standards) music consists of Western (and particularly American) popular music that generally predates the advent of rock and roll in the mid-1950s.

tone poem

A symphonic poem or tone poem is a piece of orchestral or concert band music, usually in a single continuous section (a movement) that illustrates or evokes the content of a poem, short story, novel, painting, landscape, or other (non-musical) source. 

tempo

In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time, plural: tempi or tempos) is the speed or pace of a given piece. Tempo is a crucial element of most musical compositions, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.

synthpop

A genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, features the synthesizer as the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the 'Krautrock' of bands like Kraftwerk.

symphonic rock

Symphonic rock is a sub-genre of progressive rock. Since early in progressive rock's history, the term has been used to distinguish more classically-influenced progressive rock from the more psychedelic and experimental forms of progressive rock.

swing

Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar, medium to fast tempos, and a 'lilting' swing time rhythm.

surf rock

It has two major forms: largely instrumental surf rock, with an electric guitar or saxophone playing the main melody and vocal surf pop, including both surf ballads and dance music.

spirituals

Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are religious (generally Christian) songs that were created by enslaved African people in the United States.

space rock

Space rock is a subgenre of rock music; the term originally referred to a group of early, mostly British, 1970s progressive and psychedelic rock bands such as Hawkwind, Gong and Pink Floyd, characterized by slow, lengthy instrumental passages dominated by electronic organs, synthesizers, experimental guitar work and science fiction or astronomical lyrical themes, though it was later repurposed to refer to a series of late 1980s British alternative rock bands that drew from earlier influences to create a more ambient but still melodic form of pop music.

soul blues

Soul blues is a style of blues music developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s that combines elements of soul music and urban contemporary music. This is a sub-genre of blues that is very popular with African American audiences but less known by white audiences.

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