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Musical Terms Beginning With G

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Galop

A quick ballroom dance, similar to the polka.

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Gamelan

A multi-timbre ensemble consisting of metallophones, xylophones, flutes, gongs, voices, as well as bowed and plucked strings.

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Gankogui

An African bell made of forged iron and comes in various sizes, it is played by with a wooden stick.

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Gigue

French for “jig.”

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Glass Harmonica

An instrument designed by Benjamin Franklin. It has glass bowls nestled sideways on a spindle that is rotated with a pedal. The sound is produced by rubbing wetted fingers on the turning bowls, which are all tuned to different pitches.

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Glissando

A rapid succession of notes, often played on the piano or harp by sliding the fingers quickly over the keys or strings.

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Glockenspiel

A percussion instrument with a set of steel bars arranged like the keyboard of a piano. It is played either with two hammers, or with a piano keyboard.

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Gong

A metal disc with a turned down rim that makes a loud, booming sound when struck with a mallet.

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Gong

A flat, circular metal disc which is hit with a mallet.

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Grave

Italian for “slow and serious.”

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Grazioso

Italian for “graceful.”

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Gregorian chant

Church music with no rhythm and no harmony. Sung without music by a number of people. Named for Pope Gregory.

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Guiro 

A Latin American percussion instrument consisting of an open-ended, hollow gourd with parallel notches cut in one side

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Guitar

A stringed instrument with a long neck and a flat, hollow body. Its strings are plucked or strummed with the fingers.

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Guitarrón

a large six-stringed, plucked instrument, usually part of a mariachi ensemble

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