[Smt-talk] General term for movements, acts, numbers

Ildar Khannanov solfeggio7 at yahoo.com
Sun May 27 14:14:41 PDT 2012

Dear Richard,
this is a very important question. Precision of terminology can bring musicology closer to sciences, or vice versa, turn it into an easy talk.
>From my experience of studying in Russia, I remember that they used very specific terms. Razdel formu---the division of a form--was one of them; it was the most generic. Segment formu--the segment of a form--had slightly different meaning, normally, something smaller than regular divisions (such as phrase, period, smaller form, etc) and more irregular. For the thematic areas, such as Primary or Subsidiary, they used the term "partia" (party!!!), which means a group of themes. Tchast' formu--the part of form--was used for larger divisions, such as the Exposition of a large ternary or of sonata allegro. For opera, they used "nomer," (number)  but never the tchast'. I do not know of any one term which would cover all these aspects.
Ildar Khannanov
Peabody Institute
Johns Hopkins University
solfeggio7 at yahoo.com

--- On Fri, 5/25/12, Richard Lewis <richard.lewis at gold.ac.uk> wrote:

From: Richard Lewis <richard.lewis at gold.ac.uk>
Subject: [Smt-talk] General term for movements, acts, numbers
To: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
Date: Friday, May 25, 2012, 6:04 AM

Collective wisdom,

Is there any established term which covers the concepts of
"movements", "acts" and "scenes", "numbers", etc., i.e. the components
of musical works?

I ask in the context of developing a thematic catalogue database in
which I need to be able to capture this concept and therefore need a
name for it.

In previous similar work I've used "sub-work". But this not only
sounds quite computer-oriented, it also has slightly denigrating
nuances. "Parts" is problematic because the term is commonly used in
music publishing for instrumental and vocal parts. A colleague
suggested "integer" (as a neologism, I think), citing its root meaning
something like indivisible. A problem with this is its
well-established meaning in mathematics and computer science for whole

Any thoughts?

Best wishes,
Richard Lewis
Richard Lewis
ISMS, Computing
Goldsmiths, University of London
t: +44 (0)20 7078 5134
j: ironchicken at jabber.earth.li
@: lewisrichard
s: richardjlewis
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