Glossary E


E | A general term that means ‘and.’ (Also ed.)

Earbuds | (See headphones.)

Early music | Commonly defined as European classical music from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Baroque periods.

Earplug | A device placed in the ear to protect against hearing loss from loud noises.

Earphones | (See headphones.)

Easy listening music | A type of popular music that features gentle, constrained, and mostly low-decibel songs.

Echo | A sound that is reverberated, or reflected, from a solid surface.

Ed | (See e.)

Effect | (See sound effect.)

Effects pedal | An small foot-operated device, typically used by electric guitar players, that controls various sound effects that modify an instrument’s sound. (Also stomp box.)

Eighth note | A note with one-eigth the duration of a whole note, or half the duration of a quarter note; represented by a one-flagged stem. (Also quaver.)

Eighth rest | A rest with one-eigth the duration of a whole rest, or half the duration of a quarter rest. (Also quaver rest.)

Electric | A term applied to musical instruments that are amplified through a loudspeaker (example: an electric guitar).

Electronic music | A type of music performed using synthesizers and other electronic instruments; subgenres include techno, trance, etc.

Eleventh | A compound interval equal to a fourth. Also, in a chord, the tone that lies an eleventh above the root note.


Eleventh chord | A six-tone chord spanning an eleventh between its lowest and highest tones.

Embellishment | A decorative detail or feature added to melody to make it more attractive; either improvised or indicated in music notation. (Also decoration or ornamentation.)

Embouchure | The placement of the lips, tongue, teeth, lower facial muscles and jaws in playing a wind instrument.

Encore | A repeated or additional performance of an item at the end of a concert, as called for by an audience.

Engagement | An arrangement that provides employment for one or more musicians.

Engineer | (See recording engineer.)

English horn | An alto woodwind instrument of the oboe family that has a bulbous bell and sounds a fifth lower than the oboe. (Also cor anglais.)

Enharmonic | A term that refers to notes (or chords) that are the same pitch, but have different names (example: C sharp and D flat).

Enharmonic modulation | A change from one key to another using a single enharmonic chord that functions differently in each key so there is no audible change of key; the enharmonic chord is typically a dominant seventh/augmented sixth or a diminished seventh chord.

Ensemble | (Abbreviation: ens.) A group of musical performers; common Western ensembles include the chorus, choir, men’s chorus and women’s chorus, orchestra, chamber group (such as string quartet), and band (concert, marching, jazz, or popular).

Entr’acte music | Music that is performed between the acts of a staged production.

Envelope | A representation, over time, of the volume of a signal generated by an instrument; that is, the ‘life’ of a signal from the point of attack to the point of decay.

EP | (See extended-play.)

E poi | A general term that means ‘and then.’

Equal temperament | The standard tuning system in music based on the division of the octave into twelve equal semitones.


Erudite music | (See art music.)

Escape tone | A non-chord tone that is approached by step and then skips in the opposite direction; the opposite of an appoggiatura. Escape tones are never accented; they always occur between two chords.

Espressivo | (See con passione.)

Ethnomusicology | The study of the music of different cultures, especially non-Western cultures.

Etude | A short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the player.

Euphonium | A brass instrument resembling a small tuba, but with a higher pitch and a mellower sound; played mainly in military and brass bands.

Exoticism | A musical style that uses rhythms, melodies, or instruments intended to evoke the atmosphere of far-off lands or ancient times.

Experimental music | Any music that challenges the commonly accepted ideas of what music is; avant-garde music.

Expression | The general character or feeling of a composition communicated by the performer.

Expressionism | A musical style of the early twentieth-century that attempted to represent the psychological and emotional experience of modern humanity through the use of dissonance and disjunct melody.

Extended AABA form | (Abbreviation: (AABABA) A song form with two verse sections followed by a chorus or bridge, which leads back to a third verse. An additional chorus (or bridge) is then added to the end of the song, followed by a final verse.

Extended chord | A chord that includes notes beyond the octave; a ninth, eleventh, or thirteenth chord. (See tall chord.)

Extended-play | (Abbreviation: EP) A vinyl record or CD that contains more music than a single, but less than an album. Usually, an EP has around 10–25 minutes of music, a single has up to 10 minutes and an album has 25–80 minutes.

Extension | In music notation, a horizontal line placed immediately to the right of a lyric syllable, to show that the syllable is held through the following note or notes.


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