More Musical Definitions

Aleatoric Music: Music composed by the random selection of pitches and rhythms. Frequently found in some professional opera choruses.

Antiphonal: Leaving your answering machine on all the time.

Basso continuo: When a conductor can't get him to stop.

Cantus firmus: A singer in good physical condition. As opposed to the "Cantus phlabbious" (see Sackbutt).

Concerto grosso: A concert of, for example, accordions or kazoos.

Contralto: An alto who has been convicted.

Dominant: In an operatic relationship, usually the mezzo-soprano.

Fantasie: Dmitri Hvorostovsky in leather pants and a t-shirt.

Glissando: What usually precedes the highest note in the soprano's big aria.

Grand Pause: What occurs when the conductor loses his place.

Heterophony: The only kind of music allowed at the Southern Baptist Convention.

Leitmotif: Like a regular motif, but less filling.

Perfect pitch: Throwing a banjo in the dumpster without hitting the sides.

Polonaise: A condiment frequently put on a parrot sandwich.

Polychoral motet: Six parrots singing "Exultate justi."

Recapitulation: What usually happens after eating a parrot sandwich.

Sackbutt: A soprano over the age of 65.

Score: Basses 2, Castrati 0.

Smorzando: The "All-You-Can-Eat" buffet at Luciano's kitchen.

Theme: "Oh, the singing was terrible!"

Theme and variations: "The singing was terrible, the production was awful, and those costumes!"

Tonic: What is often enjoyed over ice after an evening at the opera.

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