Star Challenge Essential Vocabulary

  • Star Challenge

    Essential Musical Vocabulary


    Hopefully everyone will know this key vocabulary by the end of the year!



    red starRed Words (3rd, 4th and 5th graders)

    pulse: the steady heartbeat of the music

    rhythm: the shorts and longs of the notes (the part you can clap)

    tempo: the speed of the beat

    melody: the tune of the song (the part you can hum)

    ostinato: continuously repeated pattern

    dynamics: the loud or soft of the music

    form: the order of the musical ideas (how the musical ideas are organized)

    compose: to write your own music

    improvise: to make up music as you go

    rehearse: to practice

    perform: to play or sing or dance for an audience

    blue star Blue Words (4th and 5th graders)

    unison: everyone sounds the same note

    harmony: more than one note at a time

    phrase: a musical sentence

    piano: soft

    forte: loud

    crescendo: gradually getting louder

    Star ShapeGreen Words (5th graders)


    time signature: tells how many beats are in a measure

    ritardando: gradually slow down the tempo

    accelerando: gradually speed up the tempo

    timbre: the unique sound of an instrument or voice

    arrange: take pre-existing music and create your own version



    Grade 3 link:


    Grade 4 link:


    Grade 5 link: 

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