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gagaku  Traditional court music of Japan.

galliard  Lively, triple-meter French court dance.

gamelan  Musical ensemble of Java or Bali, made up of gongs, chimes, metallophones and drums, among other instruments.

gavotte  Duple meter Baroque dance type of a pastoral character.

genre  General term describing the standard category and overall character of a work.

Gesamtkunstwerk German for "total artwork"; a term coined by Richard Wagner to describe the synthesis of all the arts (music, poetry, drama, visual spectacle) in his late operas.

gigue  Popular English Baroque dance type, a standard movement of the Baroque suite, in a lively compound meter.

gioioso  Joyous.

glee club  Specialized vocal ensemble that performs popular music, college songs and more serious works.

glissando  Rapid slide through pitches of a scale.

glitter rock  Theatrical, flamboyant rock style popular in the 1970s.

glockenspiel  Percussion instrument with horizontal, tuned steel bars of various sizes that are struck with mallets and produce a bright metallic sound.

Gloria  A section of the Mass; the second musical movement of the Ordinary.

Goliard song  Medieval Latin-texted secular song, often with corrupt or lewd lyrics; associated with wandering scholars.

gong  Percussion instrument consisting of a broad circular disk of metal, suspended in a frame and struck with a heavy drumstick. Also tam-tam.

gospel music  Twentieth century sacred music style associated with Protestant African-Americans.

grace note  Ornamental note, often printed in small type and not performed rhythmically.

Gradual  Fourth item of the Proper of the Mass, sung in a melismatic style, and performed in a responsorial manner in which soloists alternate with a choir.

grand opera  Style of Romantic opera developed in Paris, focusing on serious, historical plots with huge choruses, crowd scenes, elaborate dance episodes, ornate costumes and spectacular scenery.

grave  Solemn; very, very slow.

Gregorian chant  Monophonic melody with a freely flowing, unmeasured vocal line; liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church. Also plainchant or plainsong.

ground bass  A repeating melody, usually in the bass, throughout a vocal or instrumental composition.

grunge rock  Contemporary Seattle-based rock style characterized by harsh guitar chords; hybrid of punk rock and heavy metal.

guitar  Plucked-string instrument originally made of wood with a hollow resonating body and a fretted fingerboard; types include acoustic and electric.