Glossary

Here are basic definitions from music theory, game design and other music games related fields. You can click on a term for more info.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A (Back to Top)

Accompanist (role) — Participant that plays music during the game but doesn’t have to follow the rules.

Ad libitum — "As you like it", a score annotation that gives a level of freedom to the performer.

Agenda — The most general aim the player wants to achieve when entering a game.

Aleatoricism — Using chance in music-making.

Aspect — Any quality of musical material.

B (Back to Top)

Balance — Game is balanced when it's mechanics don't lead to the dominance of a single scenario.

Bartle types — Taxonomy of players by their playstyle preference in relation to others and the game.

BCG — Basic Conducting Gestures, a set of gestures that are often used in music games.

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Conductor (role) — Participant that makes music without producing sounds directly.

Constellation — A line-up for a single performance of improvised music.

Constructor (role) — Participant that doesn't influence music directly, but rearranges the objects in the playing space.

Co-optionality — A feature of a game — co-optional game may be played cooperationally and competitively during a single playthrough.

Cue cards — Cards that can be shown by the Conductor (or Prompter) to Players to cue the direction of improvisation.

D (Back to Top)

Dice — Throwable objects used for repeatable randomization of more than 2 states.

Dimension — An aspect applicable to a single sound and continous.

Downtime — A situation during the game when a player is not engaged in play.

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Emergence — A phenomenon when qualities of the entity are not due to qualities of its parts but as the result of interactions between them.

End Condition — A rule by which the game ends.

Event — "Anything" in music terms — a unit of music at any given scale of consideration.

Extended technique — Any unusual way of producing sounds with your instruments or voice.

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Fighting — A situation during the game when Players exchange actions to establish a winner over an objective.

First Rule Of Music Games — "The main aim of playing a music game is to play good music".

Found sound — Music material that was not produced by an instrument or vocals.

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Gamer (role) — Participant that takes full part in the game. One of the Roles.

Genre — A conventional category that identifies some work (piece of music, game, etc.) as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions.

Goals — In games, goals are usually established by rules and are the main factor that differentiates games from other types of play.

For Game piece check Music game.

H (Back to Top)

Hambone — A name for body percussion.

Horizon of intent — A set of desirable moves at the given stage of the game.

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Insert game — A game easy to be made a part of other musical structures.

Inspire cards — Deck of cards that show images to interpret musically.

Instrument Preparation — Altering sounds of the instruments by placing objects on/in/around it.

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Johnny — a category of a player in psychographics, plays for self-expression

Judge (role) — Participant that affects only the outcome of the game.

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Karaoke — Amateur singing used as a pastime, most often to a backing track and with lyrics displayed.

King-making — Game design issue that occurs in competitive games for more than two players when one's result is not dependent on one's performance.

L (Back to Top)

Learning curve — Characterisation of progress of skill during the gaming experience.

Ludomusical dissonance — Situation when gaming incentives in a music game lead Players to play worse music.

M (Back to Top)

Mechanic — A subsystem of the game that regulates interaction with a game state.

Music game — A set of rules that control players to create music.

N (Back to Top)

Non-idiomatic music — The genre of "no genre", also known as free music.

O (Back to Top)

Open work — A work of art which is not fully determined by its author.

P (Back to Top)

Parameter — A scalable quality of the material.

Pervasive Game — A game where the gaming experience blends with the real world.

Player — other name for a: Gamer

Prompter (role) — Participant that gives signals to change music without deciding about the direction of that change.

Psychographics — Three player types, Timmy, Johnny, and Spike, by main internal motivation to play.

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Quarterbacking — Game design issue that occurs in cooperative board games when all decisions are taken by one player that is more skilled in the game than others.

R (Back to Top)

Roles — A way of participating in a music game (like playing, conducting, accompanying or judging).

RPG — Role-Playing Game, a game where main focus is assuming the role of a fictional character.

Rule Cards — Cards that provide instruction to players (usually in text).

S (Back to Top)

Segue — smooth transition

Skill floor — Minimum skill required to play the game. See: Learning curve

Speedrun — Playing the game as fast as possible.

Spike — a category of a player in psychographics, plays for the challenge

Stacking — An arrangement or a mechanic of there being more and more of something.

T (Back to Top)

Tagging Out — A transition done when one player (usually of his or her own initiative) swaps in for another player.

Timmy — a category of a player in psychographics, plays for an unusual experience

Trading — When two musicians interchange their playing.

Transition — Changing from one section of the work to another.

U (Back to Top)

Upgrade — Game mechanics of providing better possibilities to the player.

V (Back to Top)

Victory condition — A rule (preferably precise and conclusive) that decides who wins the game.

W (Back to Top)

X (Back to Top)

Xenochrony — Extracting a part of one piece of music and combining it within a context of a rhythmically different piece.

XP — "Experience points" — gathered during some games to gain upgrades.

Y (Back to Top)

Yes And — Method of improvising when you accept everything that is played and do something with it.

Z (Back to Top)


You can contriute to the glossary, e.g.:

gaming terms: Bluff, Buff, Combo, Component, Draft, Eurogame, Flavor, Hook, Ludology, Nerf, Worker Placement…
music terms: A Capella, Canon, Concept, Da Capo, Drone, Fermata, Genre, Movement, Music of Friends, Notation, Polyrythm, Program music, Timbre, Variation

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