Ahava raba: a specific mode used in Klezmer music

ballad: a story that is set to music

banjo: a 5-stringed instrument played by plucking the strings

b-boying/b-girling: hip hop dancing; also known as breaking

beatboxing: a form of vocal percussion that imitates beats used in hip hop

brass family: instruments that are made out of metal and played by buzzing into a mouthpiece

cascara: Spanish for “shell”; the cascara is a rhythmic pattern played on the timbales

clave rhythm: a two-bar rhythmic pattern that is the foundation of Afro-Cuban music

claves: a pair of wooden sticks that are struck together to play the clave rhythm

coro: Spanish word for “chorus”

DJing: using two turntables to make the beats used in hip hop

dynamics: how loud or soft a song/music is

ensemble: a group of people who play music together

flow: the way an MC’s lyrics fit with the beat in hip hop

folk tale: a story that is passed through oral tradition from generation to generation

freestyle: an improvisational verse performed on the spot

gospel: a genre of American music with influences from African-American spirituals and other folk music; unlike spirituals, gospel music often includes instruments such as drums, bass, and the organ

graffiti: hip hop’s visual art form; images with social messages in public spaces

guajeo: a repeated pattern of arpeggiated chords played on the piano

hook: a repeated phrase that returns like a chorus

klezmer music: a type of Jewish folk music from Eastern Europe

knowledge: understanding of the hip hop culture as a whole, especially in relation to how you understand yourself

lyrics: the words to a song

march: a musical genre with a pattern of one strong and one weak beat

MCing: “Master of Ceremonies,” otherwise known as “rapping” in hip hop

melody: the tune of the song

message: something that the musicians want you to learn

meter: a repeating pattern of strong and weak beats in music

oral tradition: the passing down of stories, songs, or other practices from generation to generation through word of mouth

patriotic: showing love or pride for your country

ritardando: when the tempo slows down in music

salsa: Afro-Cuban dance music as it is played in the United States

spirituals: songs with religious texts originally sung by African-American slaves to express their emotions during times of difficulty; spirituals often contained coded messages

steady beat: the pulse in music

tempo: how fast or slow a song is

theme: a small part of the melody that frequently occurs in a piece of music

timbre: the quality of sound in music, what makes an instrument or voice sound different from others

tumbao: a repetitive rhythmic pattern heard on the bass, congas, and piano in salsa music

Underground Railroad: a network of secret routes and safe houses that helped slaves from the United States to escape to free states and Canada in the 19th Century

Yiddish: the language of the Ashkenazi Jews dating back to the 9th century