RAGTIME - A syncopated form of early jazz. Scott Joplin is considered the "King of Ragtime".
RALLENTANDO - Gradually slower. The same as ritardando (rit.).
MAURICE RAVEL - (1875-1937) A French Impressionist Era composer. He is best known for his orchestral work, Boléro (1928).
RE - The solfége syllable for the second note of the major scale.
RECITAL - A concert given by one or more performers.
RECITATIVE - The parts of an opera that are meant to imitate speaking even though they are sung.
RECORDER - A whistle-like instrument from the woodwind family. It consists of a plastic or wooden tube, finger holes, and a mouthpiece. Its tone is softer than the flute.
REFRAIN - A melodic phrase that is repeated after each verse of a song. Where the lyrics change while the melody stays the same for the verse, the lyrics and the melody typically remain the same for the refrain.
RELATIVE SCALES - Scales which share the same key signature but a different tonic. For example, "Eb Major" and "C Minor". Also see "Parallel Scales".
RENAISSANCE ERA - (1450-1600) The musical period when the invention of printing enabled wide spread distribution of music scores. International style gave way to highly diverse stylistic trends, including a trend toward simplicity in church music. Famous composers of the Renaissance period include Josquin Desprez and Palestrina.
REPEAT SIGN - A musical symbol indicating that the section is to be repeated.
REST - The musical symbol indicating silence.
RHYTHM - The organized variation of note lengths in a piece of music.
NIKOLAI RIMSKI-KORSAKOV - (1844-1908) A Russian Romantic Era composer. His works include Flight of the Bumblebee from "Tsar Saltan" and the symphonic suite Scheherazade. He is also recognized for his talents as an orchestrator. Read more...
RISOLUTO - Resolute.
RITARDANDO (RIT.) - Gradually slower. The same as rallentando (rall.).
RICHARD RODGERS - (1902-1979) An American Broadway musical composer. Rodgers composed 43 Broadway musicals in total. With many theater and jazz musicians performing his music to this day, he continues to be the most played composer ever.
ROLL - A sticking technique for percussion instruments consisting of a rapid succession of notes.
ROOT - The lowest note of a chord in root position.
ROOT POSITION - The arrangement of a chord in which the root is the lowest sounding note.
ROMANTIC ERA - (1815-1910) The period in musical history when the elements for music composition expanded to make the pieces more passionate and expressive. Famous composers of the Romantic period include late Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Wagner and Brahms.
GIOACHINO ANTONIO ROSSINI - (1792-1868) An Italian Romantic Era composer. Rossini's best known works include his operas The Barber of Seville completed at the age of 18, and William Tell, his final opera. Read more...
RUBATO - Indicates that the performer may be flexible with the tempo to provide for greater musical expression.
RUDIMENTS - Basic percussion sticking patterns.
RONDO - A piece written in the A-B-A-C-A (5 Part Rondo) or A-B-A-C-A-D-A (7 Part Rondo) form.
ROUND - A musical composition in which two or more voices or instruments perform the same melody with each part beginning at a different time.
RHAPSODY - Greek for "songs stitched together". A composition of several melodies in no particular form. George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue is one of the most famous rhapsodies written for the orchestra.