The letter H is used in German to denote the English
note B, while B in German signifies the English B flat. In the use of the
letters of a word to form a musical motif, the presence of H allows a complete
musical version of the name BACH (B flat - A - C - B = German: B - A -
C - H), used by various composers, including Liszt. The Russian composer
Dmitry Shostakovich uses a musical cryptogram derived from the first letters
of his name in German, DSCH, which becomes D - Es (= E flat) - C - H. This
occurs in a number of his works as a kind of musical signature.
Habanera (= Havanaise)
The Habanera is a Cuban dance from Havana, later
introduced to Spain. One of the most famous examples is found in Bizetís
Spanish opera Carmen, where Carmen herself sings a seductive Habanera.
Ravel includes a Habanera in his Rapsodie espagnole and also wrote a Vocalise
en forme de habanera, while Debussy makes use of the characteristic rhythm
of the dance.
The rhythm of the changes of harmony in time in a
musical work. Strong harmonic rhythm is marked by: 1) strong root
motions, especially in root position; 2) by coincidence of harmonic
changes with regular metrical dividing points, especially the downbeat
of the measure; 3) by deemphasis of contrapuntal activity of the
bass line; 4) and by relatively longer duration of the harmony.
Weak harmonic rhythm is marked by: 1) weak
root progressions; 2) deemphasis of root position; 3) the strength
of contrapuntal motions added to the harmony; 4) weak rhythmic placement
in the measure; 5) and relatively shorter duration.
Harmonic rhythm does not itself depend on tempo
any more than melodic rhythm does, but the combination of rapid tempo and
rapid harmonic rhythm generally produces an effect of musical compression
or intensity, whereas slow harmonic rhythm in slow tempo suggests breadth
and freedom from tension.
analysis characteristically emphasizes the relatively strong harmonic rhythm,
over the larger time-span and considers the relatively weaker harmonic
rhythm over the smaller tiem-span, a detail rather than a foundation-post
of the overall harmonic structure.
In acoustics, a series of frequencies, all of which
are integral multiples of a single frequency termed the fundamental.
The fundamental and its harmonics are numbered in order, the fundamental
being the first harmonic. Harmonics above the fundamental are sometimes
termed overtones, the second harmonic being the first overtone, etc.
The pitches represented by these frequencies, and thus the intervals formed
among these pitches, are said to be acoustically pure. In some measure,
they correspond to the pitches and intervals employed in much Western music.
Most such music, however, requires the use of a tuning system in which
relatively few intervals (always the octave and sometimes only the octave)
are acoustically pure.
The Western harmonica or mouth-organ is an invention
of the early 19th century, inspired by the ancient Chinese bamboo mouth-organ,
the sheng. The 20th century chromatic harmonica, of which Larry Adler has
been a leading exponent, has inspired a number of composers, including
Vaughan Williams, who wrote a Romance for harmonica and orchestra.
Harmoniemusik is music for wind band. In its more
limited sense the term is used to signify music for wind bands or wind
ensembles in the service of the nobility from the middle of the 18th century
to the end of the third decade of the 19th century, and their popular counterparts.
The Harmonie, the band itself, which varied in number from a duo to the
often found sextet or octet or to a much larger number of players, had
its counterpart in France and in England, as well as its successors among
emigrants to the United States of America.
The harmonium, developed in the early 19th century
from experiments in the last quarter of the century before, is a keyboard
instrument that produces its sounds by means of air from bellows passing
through free reeds, metal tongues that are made to vibrate. The instrument
has a relatively small classical repertoire, its use either domestic or
as a cheap substitute for the church organ. Dvor*ák wrote Bagatelles
for two violins, cello and harmonium, and Schoenberg made some use of the
harmonium in chamber arrangements of works of his own and in versions of
two waltzes by Johann Strauss.
Harmony describes the simultaneous sounding of two
or more notes and the technique governing the construction of such chords
and their arrangement in a succession of chords. Following the convention
of writing music from left to right on a horizontal set of lines (staff
or stave), harmony may be regarded as vertical, as opposed to counterpoint,
which is horizontal. In other words harmony deals with chords, simultaneous
sounds, and counterpoint with melody set against melody.
The harp is an instrument of great antiquity, represented
from as early as 3000 B.C. in Sumeria. The form of the instrument has varied,
but the modern double-action harp, a development of the early 19th century,
is in general orchestral use. The strings are tuned in flats,starting from
a bottom C flat, with seven pedals, each of which can change a given set
of strings to a natural or a sharp. The C pedal, therefore, in its three
positions, can make all the Cs on the instrument flat, natural or sharp.
Other forms of harp survive. The Aeolian harp, with strings of the same
length and pitch but of different thicknesses, was to be placed by an open
window, its sounds produced by the wind blowing through the strings. Various
forms of Celtic harp are still in use.
The harpsichord is a keyboard instrument with strings
running from front to back of its wing-shaped horizontal box and soundboard.
Unlike the piano and the earlier clavichord with its hammers that strike
the strings, the harpsichord has a mechanism by which the strings are plucked.
The instrument seems to have existed in a simple form in the 14th century
and assumed considerable importance from the early 16th until the fuller
development of the pianoforte towards the end of the 18th century. Variations
of dynamics on the harpsichord are possible through the use of stops that
activate different lengths of string and by the use of a muting buff stop
and of the two manuals often found on the instrument. In addition to its
ubiquitous use in the music of the baroque period, the harpsichord has
also been used by modern composers, since its revival at the end of the
The heroic tenor or Heldentenor is a tenor with a
quality of voice suited to the heroic rôles of 19th century French
Grand Opera and of the music-dramas of Wagner, as in the part of Tannhäuser
in Wagnerís opera of that name.
1) a rhythm which , in its simplest form, contrasts
a group of two equal note values against a group of three equal values
occupying the same total time. The contrast may be either simultaneous
or successive. The individual values of the contrasting groups stand
in the proportion of 3:2. In actual practice any specific value of
either group may be replaced by two or more smaller values; or, two values
of the group of three may be replaced by one larger value. The term
is used especially with reference to music of the 14th and 16th centuries.
In Baroque music, hemiola rhythms often occur in Courantes.
They are also to be found in works of such later composers as Beethoven,
2) In an earlier sense, now obsolete, the term
denoted a pair of notes whose vibration frequencies were related in the
proportion of 3:2; such a ratio produces the interval of a perfect fifth.
The simultaneous performance of variant forms of
one basic melody; the variants may involve added or omitted notes and rhythmic
changes. Heterophony is to be observed in some music of the Far East
and may have been employed in ancient Greek and medieval Western music.
A collection of six pitches. Hexachords figure prominently
in the history of solemnization and in twelve-tone
In polyphony of the 13th and 14th centuries, a stylistic
device or a self-contained composition characterized by the distribution
of a melodic line between two voices in such a way that as one sounds the
other is silent. As a device, it is first used in "conductus"
and motets and later in Mass
movements and certain of the vernacular, forms, above all the "caccia"
and the "chace." As a genre,
the hocket is intimately related to the discant "clausula,"
its plainchant tenor arranged in modal
patterns and ornamented by freely composed voices. What distinguishes
it is the overlapping of these voices so that, to quote Johannes de Grocheo,
"they continually cut each other off."
Music in which melodic interest is concentrated in
one voice or part that is provided with a subordinate accompaniment, as
distinct from polyphony, in which melodic interest is distributed among
all parts of the musical texture. The term may refer to a variety
of melody-plus-accompaniment textures as well as to texture, termed homorhythmic,
in which all parts move with the same or similar rhythm.
The horn takes its name from the horn of an animal,
the original form of this wind instrument in ancient times. The instrument
was long associated with hunting and as a means of military signalling.
The instrument now generally known as the French horn developed in France
in its familiar helical form, but in one form or another the horn had come
to be a frequent instrument in music for the church, the theatre and the
chamber by the early 18th century. The natural horn was able to play the
notes of the harmonic series, modified by the use of the right hand in
the bell of the instrument, and in different keys by the use of different
crooks that changed the length of the tube and hence the length of the
air column. The valve horn was developed in the first quarter of the 19th
century, its two and later three valves making variations possible in the
length of tube and hence in the pitch of the fundamental and harmonic series
stemming from it, but the natural horn continued in use at the same time.
The double horn was developed in the late 19th century and is now in common
use. Concertos for the French horn include the four concertos by Mozart.
In the classical orchestra the two horns played a largely sustaining part.
The modern orchestra normally has four French horns. The hunting associations
of the horn led to its evocative use in Romantic music, as in Weberís opera
Der Freischütz, and in the same composerís opera Oberon, in which
the horn has a magic rôle to play.
The hornpipe is a rapid British dance that exists
in various metres, triple, duple and quadruple. In its earlier English
form it is found in the keyboard suites and stage music of the English
composer Henry Purcell, and in keyboard and orchestral movements by Handel.
It later came to be popularly associated particularly with sailors in the
so-called Sailorsí Hornpipe derived from a fiddle-tune.
Schumann was the first composer to use the title
Humoreske for a relatively long work for piano, the humour of the title
used rather in the sense of a mood of one sort or another. The word later
came to indicate very much shorter pieces, such as the well known G flat
Humoresque by Dvor*ák, one of a set of eight.
A hymn is a song of praise, whether to a god, saint
or hero. The plainchant hymn has a place in the Divine Office. In Protestant
Christian worship, where the hymn assumed considerable importance, after
the chorales of Martin Luther and his followers, the metrical homophonic