Glossary

bpm

Beats per minute

downlifter

This is just the opposite from the uplifter. This could be a shotlike sound or synthetic „exhalation“ or „letting off steam“ to lead a more energetic part into a less energetic one (e.g. break or outro).

motif

The motif is the smallest musical unit and could contain just two tones.

pattern

Pattern here means a phrase from drum sounds and are normally programmed in bars.

phrase

The phrase ist the next larger unit und mostly contains two or more motifs.

scene

One of the main design instruments in electronic dance music, if the piece does not follow a song structure, is (oversimplified) the increase to a climax and the following decrease. So from my point of view an electronic dance music track is like a little play. Due to repetition of the sounds, motifs and phrases they are like present figures. Each track has several scenes (structuresections), in which different figures appear, disappear and interact which each other. The perceived interaction of the figures affect the atmosphere.

shuffle (function)

The shuffle function can be found at drumcomputers and arpeggiators. It helps to alter the phrasing of a rhythm from a binary to a ternary one respectively adds swing to the beat.

track

This expression in this context has two meanings.  The melody of a synthesizer or the rhythm of a drum can be recorded on a single track of a multitrack recording machine (This could be an analog device like a multitrack magnetic tape machine or a digital audio workstation – a computer with a recording software like Cubase, Ableton Live a.m.o.). But nowadays also a whole piece of dance music is called „track“, because a lot of electronic vinyl disc pieces were produced very minimal just for the purpose to mix these „tracks“ together to one „piece“ of music with several turntables.

uplifter

A short or several seconds lasting sound, whose level is steadily increased from relatively low to loud (crescendo). Today most of the time is just created from white noise, but it could contain also a keytone. Additionally the pitch of the tone could be increased gliding (glissando). This should cause the effect of a cumulation/accelaration, which leads into the next more energetic part. Still in use, but not heard often anymore: the uplifter created from semiquaver bass- or snaredrumhits, which are getting louder.

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