MusicNovember 29, 2012 at 5:28 am

From A Cappella to Zart

What exactly is a "capella"? Is it a hat? Street breaks it down for those of you unschooled in the ways of music theory.

A cappella | ä k ‘pel |

Dowdowdow dowdowdow dowdow dow, bomp, woop, doo wop, bomb doop, and finally you belt “I hear Jerusalem bell’s a–ringin.’” Note: Groups have a tendency to multiply quicker than rabbits and harvest a campus bone–dry faster than locusts.

| breə’länte|ē


With all the sparkle of Amy Gutmann’s Commencement/Flavor Flav necklace.

Coda | ’koda |

You start at the colon, repeat at the coda: Start at the colon, repeat at the coda.

Crescendo |kr’ sh end |

When you start out like this AND END UP LIKE THIS.

Fugue | fyoōg |

First, one person comes in and sings. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then another. Then finally, as the last voices repeat the last, shrillest lines you’ll ever hear, you realize your mind has finally touched the darkness and seen the beast.


Wagner says that the world’s hottest art form is Opera.  It’s got everything: drama, incest, music, Norse mythology, costumes, dwarfs who steal from mermaids, literature, scenery and men who turn into giant snakes.  Stay long enough and you might even see a king sell his sister–in–law to two giants to pay off his debt.

Largo |’lärg |

As slow as waiting for Penn Ride to pick you up. The speed of traffic outside 30th Street Station.  The omelet line at Hill brunch.

Perfect Pitch

The ability to distinguish the screaming of a child who has had his candy stolen versus the yells of a child who just got defeated in Pokemon. With your eyes closed.

Relative Pitch

The aforementioned child–distinguishing skill, only with your eyes open.

Timbre |’tamb r| 

Not quite wibbly, not quite wubby, but that in–between part that measures just the exact amount of bass droppage you feel in your intestines.

Zart  |tsaːʁrt|

Tender; as used in a sentence: “he touched me zartingly on the face.”

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