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Nr.

Crt
.

Termen

Traducere

Definiie n englez

ABBA

Cate Transcriere
gori fonetic
e
morf
olog
ic
noun /b/

AVVA

ABSOLUTION

noun

/bslun/

DEZLEGARE

ADVENT

noun

/dvnt/

POST

AGAPE

noun /p/

DRAGOSTE;
MAS DUPA
SFANTA
LITURGHIE

ALLEGORY

noun

ALEGORIE

The Aramaic term of intimacy used in


addressing one's father, somewhat
equivalent to the English "Daddy." Christ
uses Abba in addressing God the Father.
St. Paul tells believers that their
relationship with God through the Holy
Spirit is so personal that they too may
speak to Him as intimately as to their
own father (Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15).
The prayer offered by a bishop or
presbyter for the forgiveness of sins.
Following His glorious Resurrection,
Christ breathed on His Apostles and said,
"Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive
the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if
you retain the sins of any, they are
retained" John 20:22, 23). This gift of
proclaiming God's forgiveness of sins
remains forever in the Church. It is
exercised in the sacraments of baptism
and confessionthe reconciliation to the
Church of Christian believers who have
sinned and repented. The priest or bishop
is the witness who bears testimony to the
repentance; only God forgives sins (see
article, "Confession," at 1 John 1).
A forty-day period of prayer, repentance,
and fasting in preparation for Christmas.
The word stems from the Latin word for
"coming"; during the fast the faithful
prepare for the coming of Christ at
Christmas. See also FASTING.
Greek for the unconditional love which
God extends to His people. Agape also
designates a communal meal connected
to the Eucharist which was a practice of
the early Church (1 Cor. 11:20 34).
A story filled with symbolism illustrating
a spiritual reality beyond the actual
historical event being described. In the
ancient Church, scholars of the School of
Alexandria tended to consider many
incidents in the Bible as allegorical,

/lr/

ALLELUIA

Inter
jecti
on

/aleluja/

ALILUIA

ALMS

noun /mz/

POMANA

ALPHA AND
OMEGA

idio
m

/lf nd
m/

ALFA SI OMEGA

AMEN

inter
jecti
on

/mn/

AMIN

10

ANGELS

noun /endlz/

NGERI

11

ANNUNCIATIO
N

noun /nnsen/

BUNVESTIRE

whereas the School of Antioch practiced


a more historical approach to Scripture.
Although Scripture contains some pure
allegory (some parables of Christ,
portions of Revelation), overemphasis on
allegory may tend to de-emphasize or
even deny the historicity of Holy
Scripture
The Greek form of the Hebrew word
Hallelujah, which means "praise God."
Orthodox Christians sing a chorus of
Alleluia interspersed with psalm verses
prior to the Gospel reading at the Divine
Liturgy.
Works of mercy or monetary gifts given
to help the poor. Throughout the
Scriptures, God's people are called to
help those less fortunate than themselves
(see Matt. 25:31-46).
The letters which begin and end the
Greek alphabet, and symbolize the
beginning and the end. The Alpha and
the Omega is also used as a title of Christ
(Rev. 1:8).
"So be it" in Hebrew. Amen is said or
sung at the close of a prayer or hymn,
showing the agreement of the people to
what has been said (Deut. 27:15 26; 1
Cor. 14:16).
Bodiless powers created before the
creation of the physical universe. The
English word angel comes from the
Greek word for messenger.
Throughout the Scripture, angels are
messengers who carry the Word of God
to earth (e.g. Gabriels visit to Mary,
Luke 1:26-38). The Orthodox Church
teaches that there are nine choirs or
groups of angels: Angels, Archangels,
Powers, Authorities, Principalities,
Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, and
Seraphim
The visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the
Virgin Mary to inform her that she had
been chosen to bear Christ, the Son of
God. The Feast of the Annunciation is
celebrated exactly nine months before
Christmas. Mary's Son was no ordinary

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ANTICHRIST

noun /ntkrast/

ANTIHRIST

13

APOSTASY

noun /psts/

APOSTAZIE

14

APOSTLE

noun

/psl/

APOSTOL

15

ASCENSION

noun

/snn/

NLARE

16

ASCETICISM

noun /setszm/

ASCEZ

17

AUTHORITY

noun

AUTORITATE

18

BAPTISM

noun /bptzm/

/rt/

BOTEZ

child, but God's divine Son and Word in


human flesh (see article, "Mary," at Luke
1; Is. 7:14; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1-14).
Literally, "against Christ" or "instead of
Christ." Antichrist is used by John to
refer to (a) the opponent of Christ who
will arise at the end of this age, and (b)
the "many antichrists" who stand against
the Son of God (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3).
Literally, "turning away." This sin is
committed when a Christian or body of
believers rejects the true faith of Christ
(1 Tim. 1:5 7; 4:1-3).
Literally, "one who is sent." Apostle is
used as a title for the Twelve Disciples
who formed the foundation of the NT
Church, replacing, symbolically, the
twelve tribes of Israel. In order to
maintain this symbolism, Matthias was
elected to replace Judas (Acts 1:15 26).
The word is also used of the Seventy (or
72) sent by Christ, as well as of Paul, the
repentant persecutor whom the risen
Jesus sent as "apostle to the Gentiles"
(Rom. 11:13).
The ascent of Christ to Heaven following
His Resurrection as Son of God in the
flesh (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:9-11).
Christ's Ascension completes the union
of God and humanity, for a Man who is
God now reigns in Heaven.
(from Gr. askesis, "athlete") A life of
strugglethe crucifixion of the desires
of the flesh, through a life of prayer,
fasting, and self-denial. Through
asceticism the Christian fights temptation
to sin and thereby grows in spiritual
strength. Such spiritual classics as The
Philokalia and The Ladder of Divine
Ascent give directions for the ascetic life
(see Luke 9:23; Gal. 5:24).
The rule of God over the world and the
legitimate authority given by God to
those ordained to shepherd the faithful
(Heb. 13:17). Also, one of the nine choirs
of angels. See also ANGELS.
(from Gr. baptizo, "to be plunged") The
sacrament whereby one is born again,

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BEATITUDE

noun

/bttjud/

FERICIRE

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BELIEF

noun

/blif/

CREDIN

21

BENEDICTION

noun /bndkn/

BINECUVNTAR
E

22

BISHOP

noun /bp/

EPISCOP

23

BORN AGAIN

idio
m

NATERE DIN
NOU

/bn n/

buried with Christ, resurrected with Him


and united to Him. In baptism, one
becomes a Christian and is joined to the
Church. In Christ's baptism, water was
set apart unto God as the means by
which the Holy Spirit would bring to us
new life and entrance into the heavenly
Kingdom (see article "Holy Baptism," at
Rom. 6; Matt. 3:13)
Literally, "exalted happiness." The
ninefold blessing of Christ in the Sermon
on the Mount is called the Beatitudes
(Matt. 5:3-12).
The acceptance of the truths of the
gospel. More than a mental assent, belief
as used in the NT includes trusting in
God from the heart. Such belief results
from (1) hearing the Word of God (Rom.
10:17) and (2) a gift of the Holy Spirit
(Eph. 2:8). Although a Christian is saved
by belief in Christ, faith without action
(that is, a distinct movement of the will
to follow Christ) is hollow and void of
the righteousness necessary to salvation
(see article, "Justification by Faith," at
Rom. 5; Matt. 7:21; John 3:16; James
2:14 26).
Literally, "good word"; blessing.
Benedictions were given by Christ (Luke
24:50, 51) and by the Apostles (2 Cor.
13:14), and are given by the bishop or
priest at the close of every Divine
Liturgy.
(Gr. episkopos) Overseer. A bishop is the
leader of a local community of
Christians. In the New Testament there is
no clear distinction between the offices
of bishop and elder (presbyter), both of
which function as leaders of the
community. However, by the mid- to late
first century, the Church began to reserve
the title bishop for the men of spiritual
qualification who were consecrated to
follow the Apostles in their office of
oversight (see article, "The Four 'Orders'
in Church Government," at 1 Tim.; Acts
1:15 26; 14:23; 1 Tim. 3:1-7).
Literally, "born from above." A person
must be born again to new life in Christ

24

BROTHERS OF
THE LORD

noun /brrz v
ld/

FRAII
DOMNULUI

25

CANON

noun /knn/

CANON

26

CHRISMATION

27

CHURCH

MIRUNGERE

noun

/tt/

BISERIC

to enter God's eternal Kingdom. This


new birth takes place through the
sacrament of Holy Baptism John 3:16;
Rom. 6:3, 4; Gal. 3:27). Spiritual life
begins by receiving the Holy Spirit in
baptism, and it is a dynamic process
which continues throughout life. See
article, "The New Birth," at John 3.
St. James, the first bishop of Jerusalem,
Joses, Simon, and Judas are referred to
as brothers of Christ (Matt. 13:55). In the
ancient Middle East one's close relatives
were frequently referred to as brothers
and sisters. Also, there is an ancient
tradition that the "brothers and sisters" of
Christ were actually children of St.
Joseph from an earlier marriage; they are
called the children of Mary although they
are actually her stepchildren. Thus, these
references to siblings of Christ do not
contradict the ancient belief of the
Orthodox Church that the Virgin Mary
was a virgin before, during, and after the
birth of Christ. The absence of blood
brothers is suggested by Christ's act of
entrusting Mary to the care of the apostle
John (John 19:26, 27), which would have
been against the Mosaic Law had she
had other natural children.
Literally, "a rule." It describes (1) the
inspired Books of the Biblethe Canon
of Scripture; (2) the rules and decrees
issued by the early Church (see Acts
15:23-29) and by Ecumenical Councils
Canon Law; and (3) certain parts of
worship, such as the Liturgical Canon or
the Canon of Matins.
The sacrament completing baptism,
whereby one receives the gift of the Holy
Spirit through anointing with the Chrism,
a specially prepared oil which must be
consecrated by a bishop. On several
occasions in Acts, a baptized Christian
received the gift of the Holy Spirit
through the laying on of the hands of an
Apostle (see Acts 8:14-17; 19:6).
Chrismation is a continuation of that
ancient practice in the Church
The faithful are called out of the world to

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COMMANDME
NT

noun /k
mndmnt/

PORUNC

29

COMMUNION

noun /kmjunjn/

COMUNIUNE

30

CONFESSION

noun

MRTURISIRE

31

CONVERSION

noun /knvn/

CONVERTIRE

31

CORRUPTION

noun /krpn/

CORUPIE

/knfn/

be the Church: the body of Christ, the


Bride of Christ, the New Israel, the ark
of salvation, the assembly of the faithful.
Through the Church, Christians are
united to Christ and to each other. In this
community, the believer receives the
grace of God through the sacraments and
hears the truth of the gospel. This
mystical transformation of people into
one body in Christ takes place in the
Eucharist. Because Christ is the Head of
the Church, the Church is a reflection of
the Incarnation, with both human and
divine qualities (see 1 Cor. 10:16, 17)
The Law of God, given first in the Ten
Commandments on Mt. Sinai, and
completed or fulfilled by the teaching of
Christ (Ex. 20:1-17; Matt. 5:17:27;
John 15:12).
(Gr. koinonia) A common union of the
most intimate kind, enjoyed by
Christians with God and with each other
in the Church. This communion is
especially realized in the mystery of the
Holy Eucharist John 6:56; 1 Cor. 10:16,
17).
(1) The avowal or verbal witness of faith
in Christ, leading to salvation (Rom.
10:9). (2) The sacrament of the
forgiveness of sins, whereby the
repentant sinner confesses his sins to
Christ in the presence of the priest, who
pronounces God's absolution of those
sins (see article, "Confession," at 1 John;
John 20:22, 23; 1 John 1:9).
The beginning of salvation, occurring
when a person repents, believes the
gospel, and enters into a personal
relationship with Christ. Conversion is
not merely a change of belief but the
beginning of a new life in Christ (2 Cor.
5:17), which is a process of growth into
the image and likeness of God. Our
salvation is the working together of
conversion, justification, and
sanctification throughout life
The state of mortality and sinfulness, the
universal condition of fallen humanity.
All are born into a world suffering the

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COSMOS

noun /kzms/

UNIVERS

33

COUNCIL

noun /kansl/

SINOD;
CONSILIU

34

COVENANT

noun /kvnnt/

FGDUIN

35

CREATION

noun /krien/

CREAIE

consequences of the Fall, the sin of


Adam and Eve. These consequences
include physical suffering, death, lack of
perfection and a tendency to sin. See Ps.
53:3; Is. 53:6; Rom. 3:23; 1 John 5:19.
The universe, or "world," created by God
from nothing. It is controlled by God; He
is the life of the world. Sin has corrupted
the entire cosmos, and the rule of evil
will not be abolished until the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ. The universe
will finally be redeemed by Christ when
He comes again to transform the cosmos
into a new heaven and a new earth. See
Gen. 1:1; Rom. 8:19-22; Rev. 21:1.
A group of Christians gathered to
deliberate and ask for the guidance of the
Holy Spirit to administer the Church and
decide on various doctrinal, moral, and
liturgical questions. The Orthodox
Church is conciliar (operating by
councils) on all levels, from a parish to a
worldwide council. While councils are
not seen as infallible, their decisions
become part of Church life when they
are received by the entire Church.
Besides the Jerusalem Council recorded
in Acts 15, the Church counts Seven
Ecumenical Councils in her history.
An agreement or testament between men
or between God and His people. In the
Old Testament, God chose the people of
Israel, ending with John the Baptist, to
prepare the way for the coming of His
Only Begotten Son. Through Christ, the
covenant was perfected, and the
promises of God to Abraham and the
Jews are fulfilled through the Church,
the New Israel, the New Covenant
people of God. See Gen. 13:14
(Gr. ktisis) Everything made by God.
The term creation is applied to the
cosmos in general and to mankind in
particular. Our regeneration in Christ and
the resurrection of the dead are both
often called the "new creation." Creation
has no existence apart from God, but is
nevertheless distinct from God. (That
which is not created, such as divine

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CREED

noun

/krid/

CREZ

37

CRUCIFIXION

noun /krusfkn/

RSTIGNIRE

38

CURSE

noun /ks/

BLESTEM

39

DAMNATION

noun /dmnen/

DAMNARE;
BLESTEMARE

40

DARKNESS

noun /dkns/

NTUNERIC

41

DEACON

noun /dikn/

DIACON

grace, the divine energies, belongs to


God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)
A statement of belief. Creeds in their
earlier forms were used by the apostles,
and many are recorded in the New
Testament (Eph. 5:14; 1 Tim. 3:16; 2
Tim. 2:11-13). The creed used
throughout the Church was adopted at
the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325 and
expanded at the Council of
Constantinople in A.D. 381. The Nicene
Creed is used at baptisms, the Divine
Liturgy, and in personal daily prayers.
A form of execution of criminals used by
the ancient Romans in which the
offender is nailed through his wrists and
ankles to a cross. A crucified person
usually died from suffocation after
becoming too exhausted to pull himself
up in order to breathe. Besides Christ
Himself (Matt. 27:35-50), the Apostles
Peter, Andrew, James the Less, and
Simon were also crucified.
(Gr. anathema) To cut off, separate; the
opposite of blessing. A divine curse is
God's judgment. Christ delivers believers
from the curse caused by their inability
to live by the law of God (see Gen. 3:1419; 9:25; Mark 11:21; Gal. 3:10-14).
Eternity spent in hell under sentence of
personal condemnation for rejecting the
love and truth of God as revealed
perfectly in Jesus Christ and the Holy
Spirit. See Matt. 25:31-46; John 3:18.
A symbol of sin and rejection of God,
who is light and whose followers walk in
the light of righteousness. See John 1:5;
Rom. 13:12.
Literally, "servant." Originally seven
deacons were ordained to assist the
apostles with the temporal affairs of the
Church (Acts 6:1-7). This established
office has continued in the Church. A
deacon assists the bishop and priest, but
cannot preside over the Eucharist, give
blessings or pronounce absolution. In the
New Testament (Rom.16:1) and the early
Church, women also served as deacons
or deaconesses (1 Tim. 3:813; see note

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DEIFICATION

noun

/difken/

NDUMNEZEIRE

43

DEPARTED

noun

/dptd/

MORT; TRECUT
LA CELE
VENICE

44

DEVIL

noun

/dvl/

DIAVOL

45

DISCIPLESHIP

noun /dsaplp/

CALITATE DE A
FI DISCIPOL

46

DOCTRINE

noun /dktrn/

DOGM;
DOCTRIN

47

EASTER

noun

PATE

/ist/

on v. 11).
The grace of God through which
believers grow to become like Him and
enjoy intimate communion with the
Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit
(see article, "Deification," at 2 Pet. 1; 2
Cor. 3:18; 5:17; 2 Pet. 1:2-4).
The dead. Following death and
judgment, those who have accepted
God's truth and love as fully revealed in
Christ and the Holy Spirit inherit eternal
life in heaven. Those who have rejected
His gift inherit eternal darkness. See
Luke 16:19-31; Heb. 9:27.
Satan, the leader of the fallen angels.
Called by Jesus the father of lies John
8:44), Satan tempts the faithful to join
his rebellion against God. The Greek
word for devil means "separator"; he
seeks to pull people away from God.
Although not evil by nature, the devil
turned by his free choice from what was
according to nature to what was against
it. At the end of time, Christ will judge
the devil and his followers and cast them
into hell. See Matt. 25:41
The life of learning, growing, selfsacrifice, and commitment required of
every Christian. A Christian not only
believes in Christ but leaves everything
to follow Him. See Matt. 4:18-22; 7:2123; Luke 9:23; Gal. 5:24.
The teaching of the Church, called
variously the doctrine of Christ (2 John
9), the apostles' doctrine (Acts 2:42), or
sound doctrine (Titus 1:9; see 2 Tim.
3:16; Rom. 16:17).
The Feast of the Resurrection of Christ,
also known as Pascha (from the Hebrew
word for Passover). Christ proclaimed
Himself as the true Passover and offered
Himself as a sacrifice. Orthodox
Christians celebrate Easter according to
the decree of the Council of Nicea in
A.D. 325: the first Sunday following the
first full moon following the spring
equinox following the Jewish Passover.
Thus, Orthodox Easter is often one, four,
or five weeks after the western Easter.

48

ENERGY

noun /nd/

ENERGIE

49

EPIPHANY

noun /pfn/

BOBOTEAZ

50

EPISCOPACY

noun

/pskps/

EPISCOPIE

51

ESCHATOLOG
Y

noun

/sktld/

ESHATOLOGIE

52

ESSENCE

noun

/sns/

FIIN

53

EUCHARIST

noun

/jukrst/

SF. EUHARISTIE

Used theologically, that which radiates


from the hidden essence or nature of
God. The energies of God, such as grace,
are not created, and allow the believer to
enter into a personal relationship with
God while preserving the unique
character of God, whose essence always
remains hidden from humanity. Moses
was permitted to see the glory of God,
His energies, but was forbidden to gaze
on the face of God, His hidden essence.
See Ex. 33:18-23; 2 Pet. 1:2-4.
Literally, "a breaking through from
above"; the word means a manifestation
of God. Examples of epiphanies are the
burning bush (Ex. 3:1-6) and the
Transfiguration of Christ (Matt. 17:113). Twelve days after Christmas, the
Church celebrates the Feast of Epiphany
to honor the manifestation of the Holy
Trinity at the Baptism of Christ (Mark
1:9-11). See also THEOPHANY.
The order of bishops in the Church (from
Gr. episkopos, "overseer"). See also
BISHOP.
The study of the last days (Gr. eschaton).
According to the Holy Scriptures, Christ
will come again at the end of time to
judge the living and the dead, destroy the
power of evil, and fully reveal the
everlasting Kingdom (Matt. 25:3146;
Rev. 20:1021:1). See also SECOND
COMING.
(Gr. ousia) Also translated as substance,
nature or being. God the Father, the Son,
and the Holy Spirit are "of one essence."
Jesus Christ is "of one essence" with God
the Father and the Holy Spirit in His
divinity, and "of one essence" with all
human beings in His humanity. God's
essence is beyond the understanding and
comprehension of His creatures. God can
be known by humans through the divine
energies and operations of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit (Ex. 33:18-23). See
also ENERGY.
Taken from a Greek word meaning
thanksgiving, Eucharist designates

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EVANGELIST

noun /vndlst/

55

EXCOMMUNIC noun /eksk


ATION
mjunken/

EXCOMUNICARE

56

FAITH

noun

CREDIN

57

FASTING

noun /fstin/

/fe/

EVANGHELIST

POST

Holy Communion, the central act of


Christian worship. At the Last Supper
Christ gave thanks (Matt. 26:27; 1 Cor.
11:24), and embodied in the communion
service is our Own thanksgiving. The
word came into use very early, as
exemplified by its use in the writings of
the apostles (Now concerning the
Eucharist. Didache 9:1) and the
letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch (Ign.
Phil. 4:1, about A.D. 107).
One who preaches the gospel; used
especially of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and
John, who wrote the four NT Gospels.
Literally, "out of communion." This
judgment is pronounced by the Church
on willfully heretical, immoral, or
divisive persons who refuse to repent of
their sins, it excludes them from the
sacramental life of the Church (1 Cor.
5:1-5) Excommunication is not viewed
as eternal damnation but a discipline
pertaining only to this life. It is
administered for the salvation of the
person cut off from communion, with the
hope that this act will ultimately bring
the sinner to repentance.
Belief and trust in Christ as one's Savior.
The effects of this faith are freedom from
the power of the devil, the attainment of
virtue, and progress toward perfection
and union with God. One is saved by
faith through gracea living faith
manifested by a righteous life (see
article, "Justification by Faith," at Rom.
5; Rom. 3:28; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:8; James
2:14 17).
An ascetic exercise whereby one gives
up certain foods, usually meat and dairy
products, as a means of disciplining the
body. Fasting is a part of the ascetic life
and a sign of repentance. Orthodox
Christians fast on most Wednesdays and
Fridays (in memory of the betrayal and
crucifixion of Christ) and during four
fasting seasons: (1) Advent, the forty
days before Christmas; (2) Great Lent,
forty days before Palm Sunday and the
week before Easter, (3) two weeks before

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FATHER

noun /f/

PRINTE

59

FORGIVENESS

noun /fvns/

IERTARE

60

GLORY

noun /lr/

SLAV

the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul (June 29);


and (4) two weeks before the Feast of the
Falling Asleep of the Virgin Mary (Aug.
15).
(1) God the Father is one of the three
Persons of the Holy Trinity. God the Son
is eternally begotten of God the Father.
God the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds
from God the Father (see Matt. 28:19;
John 14:10; 15:26). (2) "Father" is a title
given to one's spiritual father based on
the custom of the Jews, who spoke of
their father Abraham or their father
David, and on the words of Paul, who
called himself the father of his flock. See
Luke 1:73; Acts 4:25 with center-column
note; 1 Cor. 4:15.
The remission of sin and guilt through
the love of Christ. Forgiveness is given
originally in baptism; forgiveness for
continuing sin is reclaimed through
repentance. As God has forgiven the sins
of believers, so are Christians to forgive
those who have sinned against them
(Matt. 6:14, 15; 18:21-35; 1 John 1:9).
The divine splendor of God, or a specific
manifestation of God's presence
frequently likened to a cloud, smoke, or
brilliant light. To serve and worship God
is to glorify Him. Through the Holy
Spirit, Christians are being changed to be
like God and to reflect His glory. (See
Ex. 19:9, 16-18; Is. 60:1; Luke 2:9; Rom.
8:16 18; 2 Cor. 3:18; 4:6.) See also
SHEKINAH.

TEXT NO 1
Orthodox Christianity is the life in faith of the Orthodox Church, inseparable from that concrete, historic
community and encompassing its entire way of life. The Orthodox Christian faith is that faith "handed once
to the saints" (Jude 3), passed on in Holy Tradition to the apostles by Jesus Christ, and then handed down
from one generation to the next, without addition or subtraction.
The sole purpose of Orthodox Christianity is the salvation of every human person, uniting him to Christ in
the Church, transforming him in holiness, and imparting eternal life. This is the Gospel, the good news, that
Jesus is the Messiah, that he rose from the dead, and that we may be saved as a result.

The Hospitality of Abraham, an Old Testament pointer toward the Holy Trinity.
Orthodox Christians worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spiritthe Holy Trinity, the one God. Following
the Holy Scriptures and the Church Fathers, the Church believes that the Trinity is three divine persons
(hypostases) who share one essence (ousia). It is paradoxical to believe thus, but that is how God has
revealed himself. All three persons are consubstantial with each other, that is, they are of one essence
(homoousios) and coeternal. There never was a time when any of the persons of the Trinity did not exist.
God is beyond and before time and yet acts within time, moving and speaking within history.
God is not an impersonal essence or mere "higher power," but rather each of the divine persons relates to
mankind personally. Neither is God a simple name for three gods (i.e., polytheism), but rather the Orthodox
faith is monotheist and yet Trinitarian. The God of the Orthodox Christian Church is the God
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the I AM who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush.
The source and unity of the Holy Trinity is the Father, from whom the Son is begotten and also from whom
the Spirit proceeds. Thus, the Father is both the ground of unity of the Trinity and also of distinction. To try
to comprehend unbegottenness (Father), begottenness (Son), or procession (Holy Spirit) leads to insanity,
says the holy Gregory the Theologian, and so the Church approaches God in divine mystery, approaching

God apophatically, being content to encounter God personally and yet realize the inadequacy of the human
mind to comprehend him.
The primary statement of what the Church believes about God is to be found in the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed.
Christology --- Our Lord Jesus Christ
The second person of the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, begotten before all ages by the Father without a
mother, was begotten in time by the Virgin Mary the Theotokos without a father. He is the Logos, the Word
of God, and he became flesh and dwelt among us, as says the beginning of the Gospel of John. Jesus Christ
is God in the flesh. This is the doctrine of the Incarnation, that God became a man.
Our Lord Jesus is the Theanthropos, the God-man. He is not half God and half man, nor is he a hybrid of the
two. Rather, he is fully God and fully man, perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity. He has two
natures, joined together in the Incarnation without mixture, division, or confusion. As a result of being fully
God and man, he also has two wills, one human will and one divine will to which the human one is
submitted. He has two natures yet remains one person, one hypostasis.
Jesus is God, the second person of the Holy Trinity. He is the I AM revealed to Moses. He is the way, the
truth and the life. He is the God before the ages, come to Earth as a little child and then died on the cross as
a man and rose from the dead. He and the Father are one, for he is consubstantial with the Father. During his
passion and death on the cross, one of the Trinity suffered in the flesh.
He is the Messiah, the Christthe Anointed One of God, foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament. He
is the Savior of the world, the Lamb of God, the Son of Man. As described in the Gospels, Jesus Christ was
born of a woman, grew into a man, preached, healed, taught his disciples, died in physical reality on the
cross, and then rose bodily from the dead on the third day. He then ascended into Heaven and sat down at
the right hand of the Father. Of all mankind, he alone is without sin.
His work on Earth was for the purpose of saving mankind, for the life of the world. Everything he did was
for our salvation, from relating parables and being baptized by the Forerunner to his glorious death and
resurrection. Because of who he is and of what he did for us, we have the opportunity to become
by grace what he is by nature. That is, we can put on the divine, becoming partakers of the divine nature.

The Church is the Body of Christ, a theanthropic (divine-human) communion of Jesus Christ with his
people. The sole head of the Church is Christ. The traditional belief in the Church is attested to in
the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed as the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. By this is meant that
the Church is undivided and not many (one), sanctified and set apart for the work of God (holy), whole and
characterized by fullness and universality (catholic), and has at its essence the going out into all the world to
preach the Gospel and baptize the nations (apostolic).
The Church is the Bride of Christ, the eschatological spouse of the Son of God, united to him in faith and
love, for which he gave himself up on the cross. The intimacy of a husband and wife is an earthly image of
the intimacy that Christ has with his Church, and the union of an earthly marriage is a shadow of the union
of that marriage of the Lamb of God with the Church.
The community of the Church is the locus of salvation for mankind; it is truly the Ark in which mankind
may be saved from the flood of corruption and sin. In it, Christians sacramentally work out their salvation
with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), worshipping the Holy Trinity in spirit and in truth. The Church is the

pillar and ground of truth (I Tim. 3:15) and thus may be relied upon in the Christian's struggle to apprehend
the one truth for himself. The Church is eternal, and the gates of Hell will never prevail against it
(Matt. 16:18).
The Church consists of the prophets and saints of both the Old and New Covenants, the angels and the
concrete, historical community of believers in this earthly life. Those who have gone on before us are known
as the Church Triumphant, while those in this life are known as the Church Militant.
The boundaries of the Church are ultimately known only to God himself, but outside the historical context of
the Churchthat is, the Orthodox Churchthe nature of the connection of any human being to the Church
(whether a believer in Christ or not) is unknown to us. Throughout Church History, various groups have
broken from the Church, a tragic reality which does not divide the Church but rather divides believers from
the Church. The final status of Christians in such communities is dependent on God's mercy and grace, as is
the case with those with membership in the Church in this life.
Tradition
Holy Tradition is the deposit of faith given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles and passed on in the Church from
one generation to the next without addition, alteration or subtraction. Vladimir Lossky has famously
described the Tradition as "the life of the Holy Spirit in the Church." It is dynamic in application, yet
unchanging in dogma. It is growing in expression, yet ever the same in essence.
Unlike many conceptions of tradition in popular understanding, the Orthodox Church does not regard Holy
Tradition as something which grows and expands over time, forming a collection of practices and doctrines
which accrue, gradually becoming something more developed and eventually unrecognizable to the first
Christians. Rather, Holy Tradition is that same faith which Christ taught to the Apostles and which they gave
to their disciples, preserved in the whole Church and especially in its leadership through Apostolic
succession.
The central location in Holy Tradition is occupied by the Holy Scriptures, the written witness to God's
revelation in the Church. As such, the Scriptures are always interpreted from within the Tradition which was
the context for their writing and canonization.
Worship
A bishop lifting his hands in prayer during the Divine Liturgy.
Worship in the Orthodox Church is understood to be the highest calling of mankind, to fall down at the feet
of the Almighty God, the Holy Trinity, and to be given over entirely to him, becoming united mystically
with him in the holy mysteries. To worship God is to fulfil the purpose for which we were created.
Orthodox worship is liturgical, that is, following specific ritual patterns and cycles in reverent dignity and
embracing the whole of the human person. Its reverence and awe are due to its being understood as entering
into the very throne room of the Creator. Orthodox worship is transformative in its nature, bringing the
Christian more deeply into communion with God and with his cooperation changing him into a holy person,
a saint.
Worship is distinct from veneration in that the latter is simply the genuine respect that Orthodox Christians
show for holy people and things, while worship itself is a total giving over of the self to be united with God.
A secondary but essential component of worship in Orthodoxy is to teach the dogmas of the faith, forming
the Christian in the doctrines of the Church.

The center of Orthodox Christian liturgical life is the Divine Liturgy. Other major services
include Vespers and Orthros (Matins).
Sacraments
More properly termed holy mysteries, the Church's entire life is one of sacrament. In the mysteries, the
Christian is united with God, becoming a partaker of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4). With all the sacraments,
God makes his presence known in his divine energies, using physical means to convey Himself to His
people.
There are seven generally recognized sacraments, though the number has never been fixed dogmatically by
the Church. Two are sacraments of initiation into the Church, baptism and chrismation. Another completes
the initiation and nourishes the life of the Christian, the Eucharist, which is regarded as the highest of the
sacraments. The remainder of the sacraments are occasional: holy unction for the sick, confession for
repentance and reconciliation with the Church, marriage for those joined in the marital community,
and ordination for those called to serve the Church in holy orders.
All of the sacraments require preparation in the Church's life, and so may not be administered to the nonOrthodox. The one exception is baptism, which is the mystery that unites the Christian with Christ in the
Church, bringing him from being a believer in Christ as a catechumen (one who is preparing for baptism) to
a full member of the Body of Christ.
TEXT NO 2
Epiphany is a celebration by the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches of the baptism of Jesus in the River J
ordan and themanifestation of his divinity when a dove descended on him. For Orthodox Christians around t
he world it is called Blessingof the Waters Day . In honor of the baptism of Christ, the church's baptismal
water is blessed, and small bottles of the holywater are given to parishioners to take home. In many America
n cities, the priest leads the congregation to a local river whichhe blesses. Many places throughout the world
mark the day with a blessing of the waters and immersion of a cross in seas,lakes, and rivers. At the port of
Piraeus, Greece, the local priest throws a cross into the sea, and the diver who retrieves it isthought to be ble
ssed with good luck in the coming year.
In prerevolutionary Russia, priests and church officials led a procession to the banks of streams or rivers, bre
aking the iceand lowering a crucifix into the water. Those brave enough to jump into the icy waters to recove
r the crucifix were thought tobe especially blessed. In the north, diving for the cross is frequently done on Se
ptember 14 ( see Exaltation of theCross), when the water is warmer.
The holy day of the Epiphany is celebrated in colorful fashion in Tarpon Springs, Fla., at one time a sea spon
ge center withthe largest sponge market in the world. The community has a strong Greek influence, going ba
ck to the beginning of the 20thcentury when sponge divers from Greece came here to take part in the growin
g sponge industry. On Epiphany, up to 100young men from Greek Orthodox churches compete in diving
for a gold cross. The cross has been tossed into the bayou bythe chief celebrant from the town's St. Nicholas
Greek Orthodox Church, and the person who retrieves it will be speciallyblessed.
Events of this holiday begin the day before with a blessing of the sponge fleet. The next morning, after the c
hurch serviceand a blessing of the waters, there is a parade of school and civic groups led by ecclesiastical di
gnitaries in their vestments.Many of the paraders wear Greek costume. After the parade, when the cross has
been retrieved, the day becomes festive,with bouzouki music, dancing, and feasting, especially on roast lam
b. Epiphany has been observed in this manner at TarponSprings since 1904, and now attracts about 30,000 p
eople.

In Greece, Epiphany is one of the country's most important church days, especially in the port towns where
diving for thecross takes place. After services, on the eve of Epiphany in Cyprus, priests visit houses to clea
nse them from demons knownas Kallikantzari . According to Cypriot tradition, these evil spirits appear on e
arth at Christmas, and for the next 12 days playevil tricks on people. On the eve of their departure, people ap
pease them by throwing pancakes and sausages onto theirroofs, which is where the demons dwell.
Theophany (from Greek theophania, meaning "appearance of God") is one of the Great Feasts of
the Orthodox Church, celebrated on January 6. It is the feast which reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the
world through the Baptism of the Lord (Mt.3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22).
Baptism of Christ
This observance commemorates Christ's baptism by John the Forerunner in the River Jordan, and the
beginning of Christ's earthly ministry. The Feast of Theophany is the culmination of the Christmas Season,
which starts on December 25 and ends on January 6. In mystic commemoration of this event, the Great
Blessing of Water is performed on this day, and the holy water so blessed is used by the local priest to bless
the homes of the faithful.
The feast is called Theophany because at the baptism of Christ the Holy Trinity appeared clearly to
mankind for the first timethe Father's voice is heard from Heaven, the Son of God is incarnate and
standing physically in the Jordan, and the Holy Spirit descends on Him in the form of a dove.
This feast is also sometimes referred to as Epiphany by English-speaking Orthodox Christians, but
that name more properly refers to the Western Christian feast falling on that same day and commemorating
the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus. The term epiphany does appear in some of the service texts for this
feast, however.
Originally, there was just one Christian feast of the shining forth of God to the world in the human
form of Jesus of Nazareth. It included the celebration of Christ's birth, the adoration of the wise men, and all
of the childhood events of Christ such as his circumcision and presentation to the temple as well as his
baptism by John in the Jordan. There seems to be little doubt that this feast, like Pascha and Pentecost, was
understood as the fulfillment of a previous Jewish festival, in this case the Feast of Lights. The Armenian
Apostolic Church still keeps January 6 as a feast of both Christ's Nativity and baptism.
Celebration of the feast

The Baptism of Christ (Menologion of Basil II, 10th-11th c.)


The services of Theophany are arranged similarly to those of the Nativity. (Historically the Christmas
services were established later.)

The Royal Hours are read and the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is served with Vespers on the eve of
the feast. The Vigil is made up of Great Compline and Matins. On the morning of the feast, the Divine
Liturgy is served.
The Liturgy of the feast begins with psalms of glorification and praise instead of the three
normal Antiphons. And the baptismal line from Galatians 3:27 replaces the Thrice-Holy.
For as many as been baptized into Christ have put on Christ: Alleluia.
The Gospel readings of all the services tell of the Lord's baptism by John in the Jordan River.
The epistle reading of the Divine Liturgy tells of the consequences of the Lord's appearing which is the
divine epiphany.
Since the main feature of the feast is the blessing of water. It is prescribed to follow both the Divine Liturgy
of the eve of the feast and the Divine Liturgy of the day itself. But most local parishes do it only once when
most of the parishioners can be present. The blessing verifies that mankind, and all of creation, were created
to be filled with the sanctifying presence of God (deification).
In connection with the feast, it is traditional for the priest to visit all the homes of the faithful for their
annual house blessing or Benediction using the water that has been blessed at the Theophany services.
Hymns
Troparion (Tone 1)
When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, worship of the Trinity wast made manifest; for the voice
of the Father bore witness to Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit in the form of a dove
confirmed the truth of His word. O Christ our God, Who hath appeared and enlightened the world, glory to
Thee.
Kontakion (Tone 4)
On this day Thou hast appeared unto the whole world, and Thy light, O Sovereign Lord, is signed on us who
sing Thy praise and chant with knowledge: Thou hast now come, Thou hast appeared, O Thou Light
unappproachable.

Nr.
Crt
.

TERMEN

OBJECT COMPLE
MENT

Cate
gori
e
morf
olog
ic
c.
noun

Transcriere
fonetic

Traducere

Definiie n englez

/abdkt
kamplmnt/

COMPLEMENT
DIRECT

The element of a clause that adds


meaning to the object, traditionally
associated with completing the action of
the verb. An object complement usually
follows the direct object. e.g. 'she made
me angry', where 'angry' is the
complement, or 'She called me a fool',

ONOMATOPOEIA

noun /nmt
pi() /

ONOMATOPEE

OPEN CLASS
WORDS

c.
/pn kls
noun wdz /

CUVINTE CU
CLASA
DESCHISA

ORTHOGRAPHY

noun /grfi/

ORTOGRAFIE

OXYMORON

noun /ksmrn/

OXIMORON

PARADOX

noun /prdks/

PARADOX

PARALLELISM

noun /prllzm/

PARONOMASIA

noun /prn
mez/

ANALOGIE,
PARALELISM
ASEMANARE
PARONOMAZIE

PARSING

Adj.

/pz/

ANALIZARE

10

PASSIVE

Adj.

/psv/

PASIV

where 'a fool' is the complement.


use of words to imitate natural sounds;
accommodation of sound to sense.
*At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara dixit.
Ennius
the category of content wordsthat
is, parts of speech (or word classes) that
readily accept new members. Contrast
with closed class.
A language's standard system of spelling.
Deviation from orthography may be used
to create effects such as dialect.
apparent paradox achieved by the
juxtaposition of words which seem to
contradict one another. *Festina lente.
an assertion seemingly opposed to
common sense, but that may yet have
some truth in it. *I must be cruel only to
be kind. Shakespeare, Hamlet
The grammatical or rhetorical framing of
words, phrases, sentences or paragraphs
to give structural similarity.
use of similar sounding words; often
etymological word-play. *Thou art Peter
(Greek petros), and upon this rock
(Greek petra) I shall build my church.
Matthew 16
Describing the syntactic structure of a
sentence, using elementary units such as
morphemes, words, phrases, grammatical
categories.
Or comprehending a sentence by
analysis of word meaning and order. This
operation is carried put at the
subconscious level. Computers have also
been programmed to carry out parsing
with some success.
Contrasting with active voice, the
passive voice refers to sentence or clause
structures where the subject is the
recipient of the action of the verb. The
'thing' doing the action (if specified) is
known as the agent. The passive verb is
constructed by a form of the auxiliary
verb 'be'
followed by the 'ed' participle of the verb.
eg. The pie was consumed (agentless

11

PERIODIC
SENTENCE

c.
/prdk s
noun ntns/

PROPOZIIE
PERIODIC

12

PERSONA

noun /psn/

PERSOAN

13

PERSONIFICATIO
N

noun /psnf
ken/

PERSONIFICARE

14

PHONEME

noun /fnim/

FONEM

15

PHONEMIC
ALPHABET

c.
/fnimk l
noun fbt/

ALFABET
FONEMIC

16
17

PHONETIC
PHONETICS

Adj. /fntk/
noun /fntks/

FONETIC
FONETIC

18

PHONOLOGY

noun /fnli/

FONOLOGIE

19

PLEONASM

noun /pli()nzm/

PLEONASM

20

POLYSEMANTIC

Adj.

POLISEMANTIC

21

PRAETERITIO

/pls
mntk/
noun /prtrt/

PRETERITION

passive)
The pie was consumed by the boy
(agentive passive)
A sentence that presents its central
meaning in a main clause at the end.
A persona is the figure in a poem who
appears to be speaking. A clear example
would be Mr Prufrock in T.S. Eliot's
poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred
Prufrock'. Note that we cannot
automatically assume that a more
anonymous 'speaking voice' in a poem is
the author. A persona in a poem is like a
narrator in a novel, but is often not very
clearly delineated.
attribution of personality to an
impersonal thing. *England expects
every man to do his duty. Lord Nelson
The smallest sound unit in the sound
system of a language that can be
segmented from the acoustic flow of
speech. Distinctive sounds that make up
spoken words.
IPA (International Phonetic alphabet)
based primarily on the Latin alphabet,
with the addition of Greek, reversed, and
new letters. Also includes diacritics to
indicate, for instance, long vowels,
nasalization, lip rounding, etc. Used for
the written notation of spoken language.
Of or relating to speech sound.
The study of speech sounds in language.
Commonly divided into the study of; the
production of speech sounds (articulatory
phonetics), the physical properties and
transmission of those sounds (acoustic
phonetics), and their perception (auditory
phonetics).
Study of the pattern of speech sounds in
a language, the grammatical rules that
determine how phonemes may be linked
to create meaning in a given language.
use of superfluous or redundant words,
often enriching the thought. *I have seen
no stranger sight since I was born.
Having multiple meanings
(=paraleipsis): pretended omission for
rhetorical effect. *Let us make no

23

PRAGMATICS

noun

25

PREDICATOR

noun

24

PROLEPSIS

noun

25

PROSE

noun

26

REGISTER

noun

27

RHETORICAL
PURPOSE

c.
noun

28

RHYME

noun

judgment on the events of


Chappaquiddick, since the facts are not
yet all in. A political opponent of Senator
Edward Kennedy
/prgmtks/ PRAGMATIC
Study of the production, understanding
and function of language within context.
This may be seen as a difference of
perspective rather than level of analysis.
/prdket/
PREDICATIV (VB) In grammar a verb giving information
about the subject of a sentence. The
predicator may be transitive(requiring an
object), intransitive or linking. The
predicator expresses action, process or
relationship in a sentence.
/prlpss/
PROLEPSIS
the anticipation, in adjectives or nouns,
of the result of the action of a verb; also,
the positioning of a relative clause before
its antecedent. *Consider the lilies of the
field how they grow.
/prz/
PROZ
form of language that exhibits
a grammatical structure and a natural
flow of speech, rather than a rhythmic
structure as in traditional poetry. Where
the common unit of verse is based on
meter or rhyme, the common unit of
prose is purely grammatical, such as a
sentence or paragraph
/rst/
REGISTRU
Variety of language defined by situation.
Formality or apropriatness depending on
situation.
/rtrkl pp SCOP RETORIC
The reason for the speaker's remarks; or
s/
a definition of the attitude that the author
would like the reader to adopt.
/ram/
RIM
Repetition of the same phoneme or group
of phonemes e.g. soul/coal. Similar but
not identical phonemes or groups of
phonemes e.g. five/fife may be used to
create what is termed half rhyme. It is
also possible to create eye rhyme, a
visual effect utilising associations
formed by repetition of groups of
graphemes e.g. the cough/through, this
effect tends to be weaker than rhyme
using sounds. Of course the two effects
may be combined e.g. cough/rough. In
English it is most common to rhyme
words at the ends of lines in a poem or
song. This is called end rhyme. It is also
possible to rhyme words in other

29

SELECTION OF
DETAIL

noun /slkn v
ditel/

SELECIE DE
DETALIU

30

SENTENCE

noun /sntns/

PROPOZIIE

31

SEMANTICS

noun /smntks/

SEMANTIC

32

SIMILE

noun /smli/

COMPARAIE

33

SOUND
SYMBOLISM

c.
/sand smbl
noun zm /

SIMBOLISMUL
SUNETULUI

34

SPEECH ACT

c.
/spi kt/
noun

VORBIRE

35

SYLLEPSIS

noun /s`lp.ss/

SILEPSIS

36

SYNCHYSIS

noun /`sn.k.ss/

INTERLOCUIUN
E

37

SYNECDOCHE

noun /snkdki/

SINECDOC

38

SYNESIS

noun /s`n.ss/

SINESIS

positions. This is called internal rhyme.


Facts, circumstances, characteristics,
techniques, ect., used by the writer to
convey tine, purpose or effort.
Structure
When an essay question asks you to
analyze sentence structure, look at a type
of sentences the author uses.
Major branch of linguistics devoted to
the study of meaning in language.
Includes analysis of words, sentences
and relations, such as antonymy and
synonymy.
an explicit comparison between two
things using 'like' or 'as'.
*My love is as a fever, longing still
For that which longer nurseth the
disease, Shakespeare, Sonnet CXLVII
Sound symbolism is what happens when
we are able to interpret the sounds in
words and phrases as being particularly
meaningful. The most obvious example
is onomatopoeia.
An utterance that performs an action,
such as an apology, or a complaint. Some
may be context dependent, for example
saying 'I sentence you to life
imprisonment' if you are not a judge and
you are not in a courtroom probably
won't result in the desire action.
use of a word with two others, with each
of which it is understood differently.
*We must all hang together or assuredly
we will all hang separately. Benjamin
Franklin
interlocked word order. *aurea
purpuream subnectit fibula vestem
Vergil, Aeneid 4.139
understanding one thing with another;
the use of a part for the whole, or the
whole for the part. (A form of
metonymy.)
*Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6
(=constructio ad sensum): the agreement
of words according to logic, and not by
the grammatical form; a kind of
anacoluthon.
*For the wages of sin is death. Romans 6

39

SYNTAX

noun /sntks/

SINTAX

40

STYLE

noun /stal/

STIL

41

STYLISTIC

Adj.

STILISTIC

42

SUFFIX

noun /sfks/

SUFIX

43

TAUTOLOGY

noun /ttli/

TAUTOLOGIE

44

TONE

noun /tn/

TON

45

UNDERSTATEME
NT

noun /nd
stetmnt/

AFIRMAIE
MODEST

46

TANKA

noun /ta:nk/

TANKA

47

TENOR

noun /tn/

CONINUT

48

VOICING

vb

SONORIZA

49

VOWEL

noun /val/

/stalstk/

/vs/

VOCAL

The way an author chooses to join words


into phrases, clauses, and sentences.
Characteristic or distinctive language
use, this may vary between genres, roles,
authors and so on
An essay that mentions stylistic
devices/elements is asking you to note
and analyze all of the elements in
language that contribute to style-such as
diction, syntax, tone, attitude, figures,
connotations and repetition.
Devices/Elements An addition to the end
of a word that makes a new word (e.g.
-ization). This may effect a change in
word class, as when the adjective
"happy" becomes the noun "happiness".
repetition of an idea in a different word,
phrase, or sentence.
*With malice toward none, with charity
for all. Lincoln, Second Inaugural
Similar to mood, tone describes the
author's attitude toward his or her
material, the audience, or both.
The ironic minimizing of fact,
understatement presents something as
less significant than it is.
A tanka is a five-line, 31-syllable poem
that has historically been the basic form
of Japanese poetry. Of all the poetic
forms ever written by the Japanese,
Tanka is clearly the most rigidly adhered
to form in terms of structure. It is
constructed by 5 lines or units which
must contain an odd number of syllables
(e.g. 1,3,5,7), ending in the traditional 77 onji pattern. Here's a novel way for you
to remember the 31 syllable rule
Relationship between participants in
situation - roles and status informal/formal everyday/scientific
Creation of a sound by vibration of the
vocal folds in the larynx.
One of two general categories used to
classify speech sounds, the other being
consonant. Phonetically they are sounds
made with an open vocal tract so that air
escapes evenly, without audible friction,
over the centre of the tongue.
Graphologically, also used to describe

50

ZEUGMA

noun /zjugm/

ZEUGM

the graphemes (in English, 'a', 'e', 'i', 'o',


'u' ) representing such sounds in written
language.
two different words linked to a verb or
an adjective which is strictly appropriate
to only one of them.
*Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick
fire shall burn

Is Stylistics a Controversial Branch of Language Study?


1 Key Notions of Stylistics
Stylistics has been considered a developing and controversial field of study (Crystal and Davy, 1969,
vii) for several decades. The existing approaches to stylistic analysis are numerous and diverse, causing
difficulties to a researcher striving to apply methods of stylistic analysis and to draw distinct lines of
demarcation between them. As aptly pointed out by Hoffmannov (1997.5), stylistics is a field of study
which is not only highly interdisciplinary but also considerably eclectic.
In my contribution I will make an attempt at surveying some of the key features generally associated
with the concept of style. Factors determining the use of language, such
as variation, distinctiveness and choice will be questioned against the diverse concepts of stylistics and
style current in British and Czech literature on the subject.
At the same time, discrepancies in the understanding of the terms style and register will be clarified. The
terms are neither identical nor interchangeable, each of them providing a different evaluation of styleconstituting properties.
Since foreign learners cannot rely on their intuition, it is inevitable to cultivate their stylistic awareness,
both in the theoretical aspects and practical application (cf. Crystal and Davy 1969). In my considerations I
will try to answer the question posed by Enkvist (1964.3): What must we do to give the students of a
foreign language a sense of style in that language?
2 Functional Interpretation of Style
The functional approach to style is a common point of departure in both Czech and British linguistic
traditions: each style fulfills a specific function in the social context. In this respect, similar standpoints can
be traced in the interpretation of style and stylistics by the Prague School (Mathesius 1982), in the
functionalism of Halliday (1994), in the theoretical preliminaries of the founders of British linguistic
stylistics Crystal and Davy (1969) and in the theoretical views adopted by Fowler (1996) as a representative
of critical discourse analysis.
However, the delimitation of style as well as the choice of respective terminology to cover this field of
study has been entirely different in the Czech linguistic thinking and in the English tradition. In British
sources the basic notion in stylistics is no longer termed style; in contemporary works devoted to stylistic
aspects the basic notion is that of register.
3 The Notion of Style in British and Czech Linguistic Tradition
In Crystal s reference book A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics stylistics is defined as a branch of
linguistics which studies the features of SITUATIONally distinctive uses (VARIETIES) of LANGUAGE,

and tries to establish principles capable of accounting for particular choices made by individual and social
groups in their use of language(1992.332).
All the three key features which are considered highly
relevant with regard to style, variation, distinctiveness and choice, are incorporated in this definition. In this
dictionary the term style, however, is not recognized as an independent entry suitable to serve as a technical
term.
Fowler (1966.15) originally gives the following definition of style: Style - a property of all texts, not just
literary - may be said to reside in the manipulation of variables in the structure of a language, or in the
selection of optional or latent features.
In his later evaluation, Fowler (1996.185) rejects the term style as a working term, arguing that it lacks
precision. He claims that "the word has an inevitably blurring effect, because the kinds of regularities
referred to are so diverse in their nature". Although style has been re-defined by him as "a recognizable and
characteristic way of doing something", such delimitation is too broad to be called a definition. Instead,
Fowler prefers the sociolinguistic term register. In Fowler s definition "a register is [...] a distinctive use of
language to fulfill a particular communicative function in a particular kind of situation [...] (1996.191). A
sociolinguistic term has been chosen, which seems to be better suited to the phenomenon of style which
is socially determined.
In the Prague School the role of the situation in formulating the message was duly stressed by Mathesius:
Kad promluva m svj vlastn vcn obsah a vyrst ze zvltn situace a
v kad se obr aktuln postoj mluvho ke skutenosti, kterou promluva vyjaduje, a jeho vztah k
posluchai, a skutenmu, nebo mylenmu"(1982.93).
[Every utterance has its own referential content and stems from a particular situation in which the current
attitude of the speaker to the reality expressed by the utterance is reflected, together with the attitude to the
concrete or envisaged hearer; translated into English by L.U.]
The stress on the fact that every utterance stems from a particular situation gives evidence of the
contextual approach adopted by the Prague School. A recent Czech definition of the term style can be found
in echov, Chloupek, Krmov and Minov. The definition does not include any mention of the
situation-dependent usage: "Jazykov styl [...] je zpsob clevdomho vbru auspodn (organizovn)
jazykovch prostedk, kter se uplatuje pi genezi textu; v hotovm komuniktu se pak projevuje jako
princip organizace jazykovch jednotek, kter z st a jednotlivost tvo jednotu vyhovujc
komunikanmu zmru autora" (1997.9).
[A language style [...] is a method of goal-oriented choice and arrangement (organisation) of language means
which is applied in the making of the text; in the final product it is thus reflected as the principle of
organizing language units which, out of parts and details, shapes
a unity compatible with the communicative intention of the author; translated into English by L.U.]
3.1 Variation
In contemporary linguistics language is considered to be a heterogeneous phenomenon whose major
characteristic feature is that of variation: It is generally accepted nowadays by linguists of all theoretical
persuasions that there is, in reality, no such thing as a homogeneous, stylistically and socio-expressively
undifferentiated language system (Lyons 1995.340).
In British linguistics two types of variation in language are generally acknowledged: variations as to the
use in social situations and variations according to the user.

The first type of variation is called register. Crystal s definition of the term register stresses its
conditioning by the social situation in which a variety appears: [...] the term refers to a VARIETY of
LANGUGE defined according to its use in social SITUATIONS...
Fowler s definition of the register lays stress on the context in which it is used: Varieties of a language
according to the use to which it is being put, and the context in which it is uttered, are known as registers
(1996.33). Thus it is the use which is the centre of attention of language scholars in the study of registers.
In his interpretation of the varieties of English, Crystal (1988.95) specifies the variation determined
by group identities: The more a group of people are given the status of a social institution within a
community, the more distinctive their language is likely to be. The most idiosyncratic varieties of English
are those associated with the church and law. A sample of written legal discourse below gives evidence of
the intricate style of legal documents.
3.2 Distinctiveness
Distinctions between the choices made by the speaker in rendering the message are due, among other
things, to the functions of language which prevail in the given discourse. A style in which the referential
function prevails (matter-of-fact style, in Czech vcn styl) differs considerably from the style in which
the expressive and the conative functions are dominant. Holmes (1992.14) tackles the relationship between
the referential content and the affective content of the message and states that the two components are
mutually interrelated. If the content of the message is mainly referential, it is less affective, and vice versa
3.3. Choice
Characterizing the choice the user has in expressing himself/herself, we usually have in mind the meaning
potential of a particular language. Style can be defined as choice from linguistic possibilities. The meaning
potential consists of the means already existing in the language as well as the means which can potentially
come into being. This process is called re-accentuationthrough which new meanings are created on the
basis of new contextual specifications.
4

Contrastive Approaches to Stylistic Analysis

In contemporary British stylistics two contrastive approaches to stylistic analysis are distinguished. It can
be argued that each of them brings valuable observations about the way language is organized in different
styles.
The first approach can be called traditional. The text is viewed as a final product of the producer
s activity: Style, viewed as a particular choice of language made by an author, in a sense embodies that
authors achievement, and way of experiencing and interpreting the world (Leech et al. 1982.158).
A more recent approach understands the text as a dynamic entity in which the meanings are unfolded and
discovered by the recipient in the process of its interpretation. The change of perspective is connected with
the distinction between text and discourse.
Fowler (1996.111) specifies the text in the following way: To look at language as text entails the study of
whole units of communication seen as coherent syntactic and semantic structures which can be spoken or
written down.
The discourse, however, is not only a language product, it reflects extra-linguistic
factors: Discourse is the whole complicated process of linguistic interaction between people uttering and
comprehending texts. To study language as discourse requires, therefore, attention to facets of structure

which relate to the participants in communication, to the actions they perform through uttering texts, and to
the contexts within which the discourse is conducted (1996.111).
4.1 Text as Product
In the text-as-product view, the text as a coherent piece of language is analysed from bottom to top,
according to the individual levels of language seen in their interrelation (see Crystal and Davy 1969). In this
view the text is interpreted as static.
Bakhtin mentions a passive understanding in which the actual meaning of the utterance is not grasped: A
passive understanding of linguistic meaning is no understanding at all, it is only the abstract aspect of
meaning (1994.281).
In this method of analysis the investigation of spoken language usually starts at the phonetic/
phonological level. In written language the graphetic/graphological devices are analysed. Other levels of
analysis comprise the grammatical, lexical and semantic levels. The final description is presented as
a mosaic of stylistic markers constituting the style.
4.2 Discourse as Process
Another possible angle from which a style can be analysed is a discourse-as-process view. The style is
seen as an entity dependent on the process of interaction between the producer and the recipient. In Bakhtin
s view, the text is based on dialogism: Responsive understanding is a fundamental force, one that
participates in the formulation of discourse, and it is moreover an activeunderstanding [...] (1994.280). The
text is thus seen as a contextually determined entity which is shared by the producer and the recipient and
the interpretation of which remains open.
The notion of interactive meaning is explained by Thomas: [...] meaning is not something which is
inherent in the words alone, nor is it produced by the speaker alone, nor by the hearer alone. Making
meaning is a dynamic process, involving the negotiation of meaning between the speaker and the hearer, the
context of utterance (physical, social and linguistic) and the meaning potential of an utterance (1995.22)
5 Stylistically Significant Features
Styles differ according to features which influence the speaker s /writer s choice of means of expression.
In this brief overview the most relevant features having a direct bearing on the delimitation of styles will be
discussed. Halliday (1978) has introduced three concepts which are crucial in the interpretation of messages,
namely field, tenor and mode. These concepts have been used as reliable indicators of stylistic differences.
Field, tenor and mode are factors influencing the choice of language means and posing limitations on the
repertoire of phonological, grammatical and lexical devices.
5.1 Field
Field of discourse (or field) entails a classification of REGISTERS in terms of subject-matter
(Crystal 1992.136). The topic under discussion is highly relevant with regard to the choice of means of
expression resulting in a particular style.
Everyday topics in face-to-face conversation are characterized by the use of basic vocabulary.
Grammatical structures tend to be simple, elliptical, or incomplete. Frequent reductions of the sound
structure (contracted forms, assimilations etc.) are manifestations of the style of speaking which is called
casual or relaxed.

Sophisticated topics in such areas of human activity as science and law require the use of elaborate
means of expression with regard to vocabulary, grammar and phonological structure. The stratification of
English vocabulary according to its origin is matched by the triple synonymy distinction revealing semantic
and stylistic differentiation.
In covering sophisticated topics long, polysyllabic words of foreign origin having a high degree of
abstraction dominate. The grammatical structure of elaborate styles is thorough, complete and precise.
Cohesive devices are important signals of textual unity and indicate the crucial points in the structure of the
text.
5.2 Tenor
The term tenor indicates the relationship between the participants in discourse. From the sociolinguistic
point of view, the interlocutors are characterized according to whether they show solidarity or distance,
according to their status reflecting power relations which can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical, and
with regard to the level of formality which they have adopted in their communication (cf. Holmes 1992). In
Example 8 below the speakers show solidarity, equality and informality.
5.3 Mode
The term mode is delimited by Crystal (1992.220) as a term used in HALLIDAYAN classification of
LANGUAGE VARIETIES, referring to the MEDIUM of language activity which determines the role played
by the language in a situation. Mode of discourse is also called channel through which communication
passes.
The traditional division into spoken mode and written mode has been kept. However, there is a strong
tendency in present usage to dissolve this dichotomy and produce types of communication which
are hybrid in the sense that features of both modes are merged (advertisements, chats, talk-shows, e-mails
etc.).
The distinction between speaking and writing is based on a different hierarchy of language functions
which operate in these modes. Spoken language is characterized by a strong presence of expressive and
conative elements, whereas written language is closely connected with the intellectual content (Vachek
1976.414). In Hallidays view, the distinction between speech and writing can be explained as the difference
between a process (speech) and a product (writing). Halliday claims that writing exists, whereas speech
happens (1994.xxii).
5.3.1 Spoken Language
The distinction which is made when studying spoken language concerns the dichotomy private vs.
public. The existence of corpora (e.g. A Corpus of English Conversation, the Spoken English
Corpus, British National Corpus) make it possible to study long stretches of authentic conversation
representing impromptu speech.
Private conversation (face-to-face conversation) is unprepared and produced on the spot. It is loosely
structured and organized in long clause-complexes (cf. Halliday 1990). In private conversation interlocutors
show a high degree of involvement and subjectivity, attitudinal meanings are prevalent.
5.3.2 Written Language
The difference between spoken and written language can be seen in three significant aspects: structure,
content and the character of communication.

In writing the linear development and fluency are dominant discourse features, whereas in speaking the
circular character of the message can be observed: the topic(s) are recurrent. The language is characterized
by normal non-fluency (Crystal-Davy 1969.104). Written messages are more compact and condensed
(Vachek 1976.337-352), brevity of expression is expected.
The content of the message in the written form is more intellectual (Vachek 1976. 414), due to the
planned activity and careful choice of the language means by the writer. The writer is matter-of-fact,
more formal and more abstract compared with the speaker.
In conclusion it can be stated that written language is static, whereas spoken language is dynamic.
Written texts are planned, finished products, while spoken communication is an ongoing process which is
usually unprepared, or partly prepared.
6 Domain and Province
The content of the message is closely connected with another term which is sociolinguistic in nature,
namely domain. This term is defined as a group of institutionalised social situations typically constrained
by a common set of behavioural rules (Crystal 1992.112). In certain situations certain types of speech
behaviour are expected from the user as part of the social norm.
The term domain is comparable, though not identical, with the term province which is defined with
reference to the kind of occupational or professional activity being engaged in (Crystal1969. 71). The
sphere of activity and the social role which the speaker performs pose requirements on his/her linguistic
choices.
In English the process of codification is natural, no institutional codification has taken place and all the
sources which deal with the norm (dictionaries, grammar books, stylistic manuals etc.) are thus
merely descriptive. Czech language, on the other hand, has undergone institutional codification and the
norm is prescribed to its users.
7 Category of Formality
Formality is a sociolinguistic category which has been defined as a level of language considered
APPROPRIATE to socially formal situations (Crystal 1992.141). A socially formal situation is reflected in
social distance, impersonality, a high degree of politeness, lack of imposition in speech and writing, as
shown in the example below.
8 Acceptability and Appropriateness
Crystal and Davy stress linguistic awareness and linguistic appropriateness with regard to style and
claim that The native speaker of English of course has a great deal of intuitive knowledge about linguistic
appropriateness and correctness - when to use one variety of language rather than another - which he has
amassed over the years (1969.5), while the foreign learner has no intuitive sense of linguistic
appropriateness in English at all: he has no awareness of conventions of conformity, because he has not
grown up in the relevant linguistic climate(1969.6). Manuals of English style stress the need for
intelligibility and clarity of expression. Fowler& Fowler (1970.11) emphasize that the writer should be
direct, simple, brief, vigorous and lucid.
The most demanding stylistic aspects for Czech learners of English are the distinction between formality
and informality in discourse, use of politeness strategies, use of indirect speech acts and the distinction
between nominal and verbal ways of expression.
http://www.phil.muni.cz/stylistika/studie/controversial.htm

Nr.
Crt
.

TERMEN

DA CAPO

Categ Transcriere
orie
fonetic
morfo
logic
interje /d cp/
ction

Traducere

Definiie n englez

DIN NOU

DECEPTIVE
CADENCE

C,
noun

/dsptv ked
ns/

CADEN
NELTOARE/

DEVELOPMENT

Noun

/dvlpmnt/

DEZVOLTARE

DISSONANCE

Noun

/dsnns/

DISONAN

DOLCE

/dli/

DULCE

DOLORE

Adv.
Adj.
Noun

In sheet music, an instruction to repeat


the beginning of the piece before
stopping on the final chord.
A chord progression that seems to lead to
resolving itself on the final chord; but
does not.
Where the musical themes and melodies
are developed, written in sonata form.
Harsh, discordant, and lack of harmony.
Also a chord that sounds incomplete
until it resolves itself on a harmonious
chord.
Sweetly

/dl:r/

DURERE

Pain, distress, sorrow, grief con dolore:


with sadness

DOUBLE DOT

c.
noun

/dbl dt/

DUBLU PUNCT

Two dots placed side by side after a note


to indicate that it is to be lengthened by
three quarters of its value.

DOUBLE STOP

c.
noun

/dbl stp/

DUBLU COARDE

The technique of playing two notes


simultaneously on a bowed string
instrument

DRAMMATICO

/drmtk/

DRAMATIC

Dramatically

10

DRONE

Adv.
Adj.
Adj.
Adv.

/drn/

ZBRNIT

11

DROP

Noun

/drp/

CDERE
BRUSC

12

DUET

Noun

/dju()t/

DUET

13

DYNAMICS

Noun

/danmks/

DINAMIC

14

ECO

Noun

/ik/

ECOU

15

ELEGY

Noun

/li/

ELEGIE

Dull, monotonous tone such as a


humming or buzzing sound. Also a bass
note held under a melody.
Jazz term referring to a note that slides to
an indefinite pitch chromatically
downwards
A piece of music written for two
vocalists or instrumentalists.
Pertaining to the loudness or softness of
a musical composition. Also the symbols
in sheet music indicating volume.
The Italian word for "echo"; an effect in
which a group of notes is repeated,
usually more softly, and perhaps at a
different octave, to create an echo effect
An instrumental lament with praise for
the dead.

16

ENCORE

Noun

/k/

DIN NOU

17

ENERGICO

/ni.c/

ENERGIC

18

ENFATICO

/nft.k/

EMFATIC

19

ENHARMONIC
INTERVAL

Adv.
Adj.
Adv.
Adj.
c.
noun

/nhmnk
ntvl/

INTERVAL
ENARMONIC

20

ENSEMBLE

Noun

/nsmbl/

MPREUN

21

EROICO

/ hrk/

EROIC

22

ESPANSIVO

/.spn`sv/

EXCESIV

23

ESPRESSIVO

/sprsv/

EXPRESIV

24

ETUDE

Adv.
Adj.
Adv.
Adj.
Adv.
Adj.
Noun

/etjud/

STUDIU

25

EXPOSITION

Noun

/kspzn/

EXPUNERE

26

EXPRESSIONIS
M

Noun

/ksprnzm/

EXPRESIONISM

27

FALL

Noun

/fl/

CDERE

28

FANTASIA

Noun

/fntezj/

FANTEZIE

29

FALSETTO

Noun

/flst/

FALSET

30

FERMATA

Vb.

/f`mt/

STOP

31

FIFTH

Noun

/ff/

CVINTET

32

FINALE

Noun

/fnli/

FINAL

33

FINE

Noun

/f`n/

FINE

34

FLAT

Noun

/flt/

BEMOL

A piece of music played at the end of a


recital responding to the audiences
enthusiastic reaction to the performance,
shown by continuous applause.
A symbol in sheet music a direction to
play energetically.
Emphatically
Two notes that differ in name only. The
notes occupy the same position. For
example: C sharp and D flat.
The performance of either all
instruments of an orchestra or voices in a
chorus.
Heroically
Effusive; excessive in emotional
expression; gushy.
A direction to play expressively.
A musical composition written solely to
improve technique. Often performed for
artistic interest.
The first section of a movement written
in sonata form, introducing the melodies
and themes.
Atonal and violent style used as a means
of evoking heightened emotions and
states of mind.
Jazz term describing a note of definite
pitch sliding downwards to another note
of definite pitch.
A piece not adhering to any strict
musical form. Can also be used in con
fantasia: with imagination
A style of male singing where by partial
use of the vocal chords, the voice is able
to reach the pitch of a female.
To hold a tone or rest held beyond the
written value at the discretion of the
performer.
The interval between two notes. Three
whole tones and one semitone make up
the distance between the two notes.
Movement or passage that concludes the
musical composition.
The end, often in phrases like al fine (to
the end)
A symbol indicating that the note is to be
diminished by one semitone.

35
36
37

FORM
FORTE (F)
FORTE PIANO
(FP)

Noun
Adv.
Adv.
Adj.

/fm/
FORM
/fti/
FORTE
/fti pjn/ PIANO FORTE

38

FORTISSIMO (F
F)

Adv.

/ftsm/

39

FORTISSISSIMO
(FFF)

Adv.

/ftsm/

40
41

FORTE
FOURTH

Adv.
Noun

/fti/
/f/

FOARTE
PUTERNIC
FOARTE
PUTERNIC
PUTERNIC
CVARTET

42

FUGUE

Noun

/fjug/

FUG

43

FUNEBRE

Adj.

/fjunb/

FUNEBRU

44

FURIOSO

Adv.

/fjrs/

FURIOS

A symbol indicating to play loud.


The interval between two notes. Two
whole tones and one semitone make up
the distance between the two notes.
A composition written for three to six
voices. Beginning with the exposition,
each voice enters at different times,
creating counterpoint with one another.
Funeral; often seen as marcia
funebre (funeral march), indicating a
stately and plodding tempo.
Furiously

45

FURIA

Noun

/fjri/

FURIE

Fury

46

FUOCO

Adv.
Adj.

/fk/

FOC

Fire; con fuoco: with fire, in a fiery


manner

47

GALLIARD

Noun

/glrd/

GALLIARD

48

GAVOTTE

Noun

/gvt/

GAVOT

49
50

GENTILE
GLEE

Adv.

/ntal/
/gli/

GENTIL
COMPOZIIE
MUZICAL

51
52

GLISSANDO
GIOCOSO OR
GIOIOSO

Adv.
Adv.

/gli.spn`d/
/s/

GLISSANDO
VESEL

Music written for a lively French dance


for two performers written in triple time.
A 17th century dance written in
Quadruple time, always beginning on the
third beat of the measure.
Gently
Vocal composition written for three or
more solo parts, usually without
instrumental accompaniment.
Sliding between two notes.
Gaily

53

GIUSTO

Adv.

/jst/

STRICT

54

GRANDIOSO

Adv.

/grnds/

MRE

55

GRAVE

Adv.

/grev/

GRAV

56

GRAZIOSO

Adv.

/grtsis/

GRAIOS

57

GREGORIAN
CHANT

/grgrn

GREGORIAN

The structure of a piece of music.


Strong (i.e. to be played or sung loudly)
Strong-gentle (i.e. loud, then
immediately soft (see dynamics), or
an early pianoforte)
Very loud (see note at pianissimo)
As loud as possible

Strictly, exactly (e.g. tempo giusto in


strict time)
Word to indicate that the movement or
entire composition is to be played
grandly.
Word to indicate the movement or entire
composition is to be played very slow
and serious.
Word to indicate the movement or entire
composition is to be played gracefully.
Singing or chanting in unison without

58

GUSTOSO

noun

nt/

Adv.

/`gsts/

GUSTOS

strict rhythm. Collected during the Reign


of Pope Gregory VIII for psalms and
other other parts of the church service.
With happy emphasis and forcefulness

Course Introduction
Although it is significantly expanded from "Introduction to Music Theory", this course still covers only the
bare essentials of music theory. Music is a very large subject, and the advanced theory that students will
want to pursue after mastering the basics will vary greatly. A trumpet player interested in jazz, a vocalist
interested in early music, a pianist interested in classical composition, and a guitarist interested in world
music, will all want to delve into very different facets of music theory; although, interestingly, if they all
become very well-versed in their chosen fields, they will still end up very capable of understanding each
other and cooperating in musical endeavors. The final section of this course does include a few challenges
that are generally not considered "beginner level" musicianship, but are very useful in just about every field
and genre of music.
The main purpose of the course, however, is to explore basic music theory so thoroughly that the interested
student will then be able to easily pick up whatever further theory is wanted. Music history and the physics
of sound are included to the extent that they shed light on music theory. Students who find the section on
acoustics (The Physical Basis) uninteresting may skip it at first, but should then go back to it when they
begin to want to understand why musical sounds work the way they do. Remember, the main premise of this
course is that a better understanding of where the basics come from will lead to better and faster
comprehension of more complex ideas.
It also helps to remember, however, that music theory is a bit like grammar. Languages are invented by the
people who speak them, who tend to care more about what is easy and what makes sense than about
following rules. Later, experts study the best speakers and writers in order to discover how they use
language. These language theorists then make up rules that clarify grammar and spelling and point out the
relationships between words. Those rules are only guidelines based on patterns discovered by the
theoreticians, which is why there are usually plenty of "exceptions" to every rule. Attempts to develop a new
language by first inventing the grammar and spelling never seem to result in a language that people find
useful.
Music theory, too, always comes along after a group of composers and performers have already developed a
musical tradition. Theoreticians then study the resulting music and discover good ways of explaining it to
the audience and to other composers and performers. So sometimes the answer to "Why is it that way?" is
simply "that's what is easiest for the performer", or "they borrowed that from an earlier music tradition".
In the case of music, however, the answers to some "why"s can be found in the basic physics of sound, so
the pivotal section of this course is an overview of acoustics as it pertains to music. Students who are already
familiar with notation and basic musical definitions can skip the first sections and begin with this
introduction to the physical basis of music. Adults who have already had some music instruction should be
able to work through this course with or without a teacher; simply use the opening sections to review any
concepts that are unclear or half-forgotten. Young students and beginning musicians should go through it
with a teacher, in either a classroom or lesson setting.
There is, even within the English-speaking world, quite a variety of music teaching traditions, which
sometimes use different terms for the same concepts. The terms favored in this course are mostly those in

common use in the U.S., but when more than one system of terms is widely used, the alternatives are
mentioned.
1.1. Pitch
The Staff
People were talking long before they invented writing. People were also making music long before anyone
wrote any music down. Some musicians still play "by ear" (without written music), and some music
traditions rely more on improvisation and/or "by ear" learning. But written music is very useful, for many of
the same reasons that written words are useful. Music is easier to study and share if it is written
down. Western music specializes in long, complex pieces for large groups of musicians singing or playing
parts exactly as a composer intended. Without written music, this would be too difficult. Many different
types of music notation have been invented, and some, such as tablature, are still in use. By far the most
widespread way to write music, however, is on a staff. In fact, this type of written music is so ubiquitous
that it is called common notation.
The Staff
The staff (plural staves) is written as five horizontal parallel lines. Most of the notes of the music are placed
on one of these lines or in a space in between lines. Extra ledger lines may be added to show a note that is
too high or too low to be on the staff. Vertical bar lines divide the staff into short sections
called measures or bars. A double bar line, either heavy or light, is used to mark the ends of larger sections
of music, including the very end of a piece, which is marked by a heavy double bar.
Many different kinds of symbols can appear on, above, and below the staff. The notes and rests are the
actual written music. A note stands for a sound; a rest stands for a silence. Other symbols on the staff, like
the clef symbol, the key signature, and the time signature, tell you important information about the notes and
measures. Symbols that appear above and below the music may tell you how fast it goes (tempo markings),
how loud it should be (dynamic markings), where to go next (repeats, for example) and even give directions
for how to perform particular notes (accents, for example).
Groups of staves
Staves are read from left to right. Beginning at the top of the page, they are read one staff at a time unless
they are connected. If staves should be played at the same time (by the same person or by different people),
they will be connected at least by a long vertical line at the left hand side. They may also be connected by
their bar lines. Staves played by similar instruments or voices, or staves that should be played by the same
person (for example, the right hand and left hand of a piano part) may be grouped together by braces or
brackets at the beginning of each line.
Clef
Treble Clef and Bass Clef
The first symbol that appears at the beginning of every music staff is a clef symbol. It is very important
because it tells you which note (A, B, C, D, E, F, or G) is found on each line or space. For example, a treble
clef symbol tells you that the second line from the bottom (the line that the symbol curls around) is "G". On
any staff, the notes are always arranged so that the next letter is always on the next higher line or space. The
last note letter, G, is always followed by another A.

A bass clef symbol tells you that the second line from the top (the one bracketed by the symbol's dots) is F.
The notes are still arranged in ascending order, but they are all in different places than they were in treble
clef.
Memorizing the Notes in Bass and Treble Clef
One of the first steps in learning to read music in a particular clef is memorizing where the notes are. Many
students prefer to memorize the notes and spaces separately. Here are some of the most popular mnemonics
used.
Moveable Clefs
Most music these days is written in either bass clef or treble clef, but some music is written in a C clef. The
C clef is moveable: whatever line it centers on is a middle C.
The bass and treble clefs were also once moveable, but it is now very rare to see them anywhere but in their
standard positions. If you do see a treble or bass clef symbol in an unusual place, remember: treble clef is
a G clef; its spiral curls around a G. Bass clef is an F clef; its two dots center around an F.
Much more common is the use of a treble clef that is meant to be read one octave below the written pitch.
Since many people are uncomfortable reading bass clef, someone writing music that is meant to sound in the
region of the bass clef may decide to write it in the treble clef so that it is easy to read. A very small "8" at
the bottom of the treble clef symbol means that the notes should sound one octave lower than they are
written.
Why use different clefs?
Music is easier to read and write if most of the notes fall on the staff and few ledger lines have to be used.
The G indicated by the treble clef is the G above middle C, while the F indicated by the bass clef is the F
below middle C. (C clef indicates middle C.) So treble clef and bass clef together cover many of the notes
that are in the range of human voices and of most instruments. Voices and instruments with higher ranges
usually learn to read treble clef, while voices and instruments with lower ranges usually learn to read bass
clef. Instruments with ranges that do not fall comfortably into either bass or treble clef may use a C clef or
may be transposing instruments.
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