Nachtmusik (German: night-music) is best known from
Mozartís Eine kleine Nachtmusik, A Little Night Music, a serenade.
A natural is a note that is neither a sharp nor a
flat. The adjective is used to describe the natural horn or natural trumpet,
Neoclassical style in music indicates a 20th century
eclectic return by some composers to various styles and forms of earlier
periods, whether classical or baroque. The style is exemplified in the
score for the ballet Pulcinella by Stravinsky or by the same composerís
opera The Rakeís Progress.
A chromatically altered chord built on the lowered
second scale degree. It is a major chord, generally found in first
inversion and functions as a pre-dominant chord, resolving to the Dominant.
It is most commonly found in minor keys. In a major key it would
contain a lowered second scale degree (b2) and a lowered sixth scale degree
(b6). It derives its name from an important group of 18th century
opera composers who were associated with the city of Naples.
A nonharmonic tone
also known as an auxiliary tone. It is a tone a step above (upper
neighbor) or a step below (lower neighbor) a consonant (chord) tone.
Upper neighbors generally resolve down by step and lower neighbors resolve
up by step. Upper and lower neighbors are sometimes combined to form
double neighbors, to which the term "cambiata" is also sometimes applied.
Single neighboring tones may be either be strong or weak metrically.
In recent usage, a designation for the general style
employed by certain mid-20th-century composers who write in a lyrical fashion
and employ many musical traits associated with Romanticism,
although with greater freedom in chord construction, more liberal use of
dissonance and more varied rhythms.
The notational signs of the Middle Ages (8th - 14th
centuries), which were used for writing down plainsong. The term
means chiefly the signs used for the music of the Roman Catholic Church
(Gregorian chant) but is also
used for other systems of a similar character, such as the Byzantine, Mozarabic,
or Armenian neumes.
A nocturne is a night-piece, music that evokes a
nocturnal mood. It was developed as a form of solo piano music by the Irish
pianist and composer John Field in the early 19th century, leading to its
notable use by Chopin. The title has been used more recently by other composers
for both instrumental and vocal compositions.
A nonet is a composition for nine performers.
(see separate listings)
Music that purportedly has no tonal center.
Nontonal music differs from tonal music in that intervals between parts
do not manifest dissonant or consonant qualities and hence do not follow
prescribed resolution patterns.
Notation is the method of writing music down, practices
of which have varied during the course of history. Staff notation is the
conventional notation that makes use of the five-line staff or stave, while
some recent composers have employed systems of graphic notation to indicate
their more varied requirements, often needing detailed explanations in
a preface to the score. Notation is inevitably imprecise, providing a guide
of varying accuracy for performers, who must additionally draw on stylistic
A note in English is either a single sound or its
representation in notation. American English refers to a single sound as
a tone, following German practice.