Glossary U


Uke | (See ukulele.)

Ukulele | (Abbreviation: uke) A small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin.

Una corda | On a piano, a foot-operated lever that shifts the hammers slightly to one side so they don’t strike all of the strings when sounding each note, making the tone quieter; usually operated by the leftmost pedal. (Also soft pedal.) Also a dynamic marking that means ‘use the soft pedal on the piano.’

Unequal-voiced counterpoint | A musical texture with two or more independent melodic lines that do not share material with one another. (Also non-imitative counterpoint.)

Uninverted chord | (See root position.)

Unison | (Abbreviation: P1) An interval between two notes of the same pitch. Also the simultaneous playing of the same note or pitch. (Also perfect prime or perfect unison.)

Unisono | A term that means several players in a group are to play exactly the same notes; the opposite of divisi.

Unity | The state of forming a complete and pleasing whole.

Un poco | (See poco.)

Up | (See uptempo.)

Upbeat | A weak beat (usually the last beat in a measure) that comes before the downbeat (or the first beat of the next measure). (See also anacrusis or pickup note.)

Upright bass | (see double bass.)

Upright piano | A piano that has vertical strings, as opposed to the ‘grand’ piano, which has horizontal strings.

Upstage | The back of a stage, in the direction away from the audience (from the point of view of a performer facing the audience). Also the act of outshining or exceding another’s performance.

Uptempo | (Abbreviation: up) Music, particularly jazz, that is played with a fast or increased tempo.


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