Music theory > Lessons > British and American Musical Terms

British and American Musical Terms

British and American Musical Terms

British and American Musical Terms. Differences between main British and American Musical Terms: British and American note values, rests values, cadences, ...

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British and American note values

united states of americaunited kingdom
Double whole, BreveDouble wholeBreve
Whole note, Semi-breveWhole noteSemi-breve
Half note, MinimHalf noteMinim
Quarter note, CrotchetQuarter noteCrotchet
Eighth note, QuaverEighth noteQuaver
Sixteenth note, SemiquaverSixteenth noteSemiquaver
Thirty-second note, DemisemiquaverThirty-second noteDemisemiquaver
Sixty-fourth note, HemidemisemiquaverSixty-fourth noteHemidemisemiquaver (or quick note)

British and American rests values

united states of americaunited kingdom
Double-whole rest, Breve restDouble-whole restBreve rest
Whole Rest, Semibreve RestWhole RestSemibreve Rest
Half Rest, Minim RestHalf RestMinim Rest
Quarter Rest, Crotchet RestQuarter RestCrotchet Rest
Eighth Rest, Quaver RestEighth RestQuaver Rest
Sixteenth Rest,Semiquaver RestSixteenth RestSemiquaver Rest
Thirty-second rest, Demisemiquaver restThirty-second restDemisemiquaver rest
Sixty-fourth rest, Hemidemisemiquaver restSixty-fourth restHemidemisemiquaver rest

British and American cadences

united states of americaunited kingdom
Authentic cadencePerfect cadence V -> I
Perfect Authentic cadenceNo British label for that conceptV5 -> I5
Imperfect authentic cadenceNo British label for that conceptV -> I (at least one is not in root position)
Half-cadence (semi-cadence)Imperfect cadence V
Plagal cadencePlagal cadenceIV -> I
Deceptive cadenceInterrupted cadenceV -> VI
No American label for that conceptInverted cadenceCadence whose chords are not in root position

Intervals and degrees

united states of americaunited kingdom
Half stepSemitone
Whole step (noun)Tone (noun) (but as an adjective, whole-tone scale = whole-tone scale)
Leading toneLeading note
Picardy thirdTierce de Picardie


united states of americaunited kingdom
Staff (sing.) / staves (plur.)Stave (sing.) / staves (plur.)
Grand staffGreat stave
Bar, barline (line between bars)Barline
FermataHold, pause, fermata

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Vaux wrote on 11-02-2020 :

Thank you so much for this it’s incredibly helpful

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