Klavier Festival Ruhr
zur deutschen Version English language selected Petruschka

Asymetric measuresUneven metrical divisions e.g. 3 beats, then 4 beats, then 5 beats, then 4 beats etc. instead of the more traditional continuous 3-in-a-bar of a waltz or 4-in-a-bar of a march.


Chime bars  Individual thin metal bars each mounted on a small box-like resonator; played with a rubber beater. Chime bars are often sold as a set comprising every note of the scale.

Chord  Three or more notes sounded at the same time; the chords that are used most frequently in tonal music are the major chord and the minor chord.

ContrabassoonThe bassoon’s big brother – a bass bassoon.

Contrary motion  Two parts going in opposite directions, one upwards, the other downwards.

Cor anglaisOne of the more exotic orchestral instruments; a longer, deeper oboe.


Drone or pedal note (pedal point)  A single sustained (usually deeper) accompanying note, as on a bagpipe.


First inversion (of triads)  When the bottom note of a triad in root position is moved to the top, e.g. E G C.


GlockenspielTuned percussion instrument with thin metal bars, higher pitched than a metallophone.


Major chord  A triad whose middle note is 4 semitones above its lowest note, e.g. C E G.

MetallophoneTuned percussion instrument with thick metal bars; a xylophone with metal bars.

Minor chord  A triad whose middle note is 3 semitones above its lowest note, e.g. C Eb G.

MutedAltering the sound of an instrument by putting a plug into the end of it (brass instruments) or a kind of fork over the bridge to reduce the vibrations (string instruments).


OrchestrateDecide which instruments of an orchestra should play which parts of the music in order to achieve the required quality of sound.

Ostinato  Short melodic or rhythmic phrase repeating several times.


Pedal note (pedal point)See “drone”.

Pizzicato  Plucking stringed instruments with the fingers instead of using a bow.


ReorchestrateChange the orchestration: see “orchestrate”.

Root position (of triads)  A triad in which the notes are a 3rd apart, e.g. C E G or C Eb G.


ScoreThe written notes of a piece of music, comprising all of the different parts.

Second inversion (of triads)  When both the bottom note and the middle note of a triad in root position are moved to the top, e.g. G C E.


Tremolando  The Italian word for “trembling”; the rapid alternation of the same note.

Triad  A three note chord, each note a third distant from the next note.


Xylophone  Tuned percussion instrument with wooden or plastic bars.