Music glossary - Letter R
PLEASE CHOOSE A LETTER:
Rebec: Medieval bowed-string instrument, often with a pear-shaped body.
Recitative: A form of writing for vocals that is close to the manner of speech and is rhythmically free.
Refrain: Text or music that is repeated within a larger form.
Register: A portion of the range of the instrument or voice.
Reggae: Modern popular Jamaican music which emerged in the late 1960s as a reinterpretation of American rhythm an blues music.
Relative pitch: Ability to determine the pitch of a note as it relates to the notes that precede and follow it.
Repeat sign: Musical symbol that indicates repetition of a passage in a composition.
Reprise: To repeat a previous part of a composition generally after other music has been played.
Responsorial singing: Singing, especially in Gregorian chant, in which a soloist or a group of soloists alternates with the choir. See also call and response.
Retrograde: A form of contrapuntal imitation in which the melody is played backwards.
Rhythm: The controlled movement of music in time.
Ritardando: Gradually growing slower.
Ritornello: A short recurring passage that unifies an instrumental or vocal work.
Ronde: Lively Renaissance "round dance", associated with the outdoors, in which the participants danced in a circle or a line.
Rondo: A form used for the final movement of classical sonatas, string quartets, symphonies and concertos.
Rosin: Substance made from hardened tree sap, rubbed on the hair of a bow to help it grip the strings.
Rubato: An important characteristic of the Romantic period. It is a style where the strict tempo is temporarily abandoned for a more emotional tone.
Rumba: Latin-American dance of Afro-Cuban origin, in duple meter with syncopated rhythms.