F is a note of the scale (= Italian, French: fa).
Fagott (German) or fagotto (Italian) is the bassoon,
the bass of the woodwind section in the orchestra (see Bassoon).
(It., from Fr. "fauxbourdon") A 16th-century
term for simple four-part harmonizations of psalm tones or other liturgical
A fanfare is a flourish of trumpets or other similar
instruments, used for military or ceremonial purposes, or music that conveys
Fantasy (= French: fantaisie; Italian: fantasia;
German: Fantasie) is a relatively free form in the 16th and 17th centuries,
in which a composer may exercise his fancy, usually in contrapuntal form.
In later periods the word was used to describe a much freer form, as in
the written improvisations for piano of this title by Mozart, or Beethoven’s
so-called Moonlight Sonata, described by the composer as Sonata quasi una
fantasia, Sonata like a Fantasia.
1) Historically and properly, a 15th-century
French technique of composition in which a plainsong melody transposed
to the upper octave is notated together with a contrapuntal part moving
along at the lower sixth or occasionally at the octave, while a middle
part is extemporized by a singer doubling the melody at the lower fourth
throughout. According to recent studies, fauxbourdon was invented
by Dufay about 1428.
2) In modern usage, a general designation
for harmonic progressions based on parallel sixth chords, such as occur
not only in old music but in the works of Bach,
and others. In scholarly writings the designation "sixth-chord style"
(or "six-three writing") is preferable.
A fiddle is a violin, but the word is used either
colloquially or to indicate a folk-instrument. The Australian composer
Percy Grainger, who objected to the use of words of Latin origin, used
the word fiddle for violin, middle-fiddle for viola and bass fiddle for
cello, as part of his eccentric vocabulary of ‘blue-eyed English’.
The word “flat”, indicated by a sign derived from
the letter b, shows that a note should be lowered by a semitone. In a more
general sense music that is flat may simply be out of tune, its pitch below
the accepted pitch.
A flautist is a player of the flute.
The word flute may indicate a variety of wind instruments
without reeds. The modern orchestra makes use of transverse flutes, augmented
as necessary by a smaller transverse flute known as a piccolo and very
occasionally by a larger instrument, the alto or bass flute, pitched a
fourth lower. The straight flute is known in English as a recorder (= French:
flûte à bec; German: Blockflöte; Italian: flauto dolce)
but was not used in the orchestra after the later Baroque period.
The Italian La Follia, (= Spanish: Folía;
French: Folie d’Espagne) is a well known dance tune popular from the 16th
century or earlier and found in the work of composers such as Corelli (1653
- 1713), who used the theme for a set of variations forming a violin sonata,
or later by Rachmaninov (1873 - 1943) in his incorrectly named Variations
on a Theme of Corelli.
Forte (Italian: loud) is used in directions to performers.
It appears in the superlative form fortissimo, very loud. The letter f
is an abbreviation of forte, ff an abbreviation of fortissimo, with fff
or more rarely ffff even louder.
The word fortepiano, with the same meaning as pianoforte,
the full name of the piano, with its hammer action and consequent ability
to produce sounds both loud and soft, corresponding to the force applied
to the keys, is generally used to indicate the earlier form of the piano,
as it developed in the 18th century. A Mozart piano, for example, might
be called a fortepiano. The instrument is smaller, more delicately incisive
in tone than the modern instrument, and is in some respects more versatile.
Fugue has been described as a texture rather than
a form. It is, in essence, a contrapuntal composition. The normal fugue
opens with a subject or theme in one voice or part. A second voice answers,
with the same subject transposed and sometimes slightly altered, usually
at the interval of a fifth, while the first voice continues with an accompaniment
that may have the character of a countersubject that will be used again
as the piece progresses. Other voices enter one by one, each of them with
the subject, the third in the form of the first entry, the fourth in the
form of the answer in the second voice. A fugue may have as few as two
voices (the word voice does not necessarily imply singing in this context)
and seldom more than four. The subject announced at the beginning provides
the chief melodic element in a fugue. When all the voices have entered,
the so-called fugal exposition, there will be an episode, a bridge that
leads to a further entry or series of entries answering each other, now
in different keys. The fugue, as it had developed by the time of Johann
Sebastian Bach, continues in this way, often making use of stretto
(overlapping entries of the subject) and pedal-point (a sustained note,
usually below the other parts) as it nears the end. The fugue became an
important form or texture in the Baroque period, reaching its height in
the work of J. S. Bach in the first half of the 18th century. Later composers
continued to write fugues, a favourite form of Mozart’s wife Constanze,
with Beethoven including elaborate fugues in some of his later piano sonatas
and a remarkable and challenging Grosse Fuge (Great Fugue) as part of one
of his later string quartets. Technically the writing of fugue remains
an important element in the training of composers.
A theory of tonal harmony developed by
Hugo Riemann according to which all harmonies can be analyzed as having
one of three functions: Tonic, Dominant, and Subdominant (designated
T, D, and S, in analysis of this type). Scale degrees II, III, and
VI are often interpreted as the relative minors of IV, V and I, respectively,
and thus having the functions S, D, and T. VII is considered as a
The term functional harmony is sometimes loosely
applied to tonal harmony in general as it is understood in prevailing methods
of harmonic analysis, which regard each of the seven diatonic scale degrees
as having a separate function.
In the theory of Jean-Philippe
Rameau ("Traite de l'harmonie," 1722), a bass line consisting of
the roots of a succession of chords. Rameau's formulation of the
principles of chord inversion and of harmony as governed by a succession
of roots underlies much of modern harmonic analysis.