13 April 2013

A Small Guide To Anime Music Expressions

This guide here will contain most of the expressions or abbreviations I am likely to use when describing and reviewing a music piece, or in the music and anime industry in general. In the future, I will probably turn this into a page in its own right, and will get updated oftenly, as it is not nearly complete.

                                                        It took me two hours to organize this alphabetically...
                                                        You better like it.

  • Anisong - A portmanteau of the words anime and song (sometimes also spelled as anison). Usually used to represent any song in an anime or the style itself.
  • A-side - The first or main song in the given single release. Most certainly the one to get a MV.
  • Acoustics - Usage of acoustic instruments in a song, such as the guitar, or the acoustic-only version of a song.
  • Album - The main release of an artist. Usually features 12 - 15 songs, including most singles that came before it.
  • Animax - A renowned anime and anisong related TV in Japan. Also refers to an annual anisong concert called Animax Musix.
  • Animelo - The biggest anime music festival in Japan. Held anually each year in Saitama Super Arena, and it features most of the currently active anisong artists.
  • Arrangement - Everything in a song except a musician's voice; instruments, tempo and rhythm.
  • B-side - All the other songs in a single besides the A-side. Usually of a different structure than the A-side.
  • Ballad - A song of a slow tempo. Its most oftenly used theme is love, and it can refer to either a sad or a happy song.
  • Best-of album - The compilation of an artist's most renowned and famous songs. Contains popular A-sides from singles, but album tracks can be found on it as well. Some musicians tend to release a new song in the best-of album as well.
  • Bridge - A transition between two sections of a song, usually only instrumental.
  • Cadence - The sequence of tones that serves as the base to a song.
  • CD - Easily transportable media carrier. Most oftenly used form of music releases.
  • Character song - A song tied to an anime which is sung in the spirit of a certain character's voice, and its theme usually revolves around the character's personality traits.
  • Chorus - The section that represents the main theme in a song. Most songs will have three repetitions of it.
  • Classical style - A style of composition in which the song features the most common instruments from a symphonic orchestra, such as the violin, piano, harp etc.
  • CM - Abbreviation for commercial. Some songs featured in commercials when released in singles will be indexed as CM songs.
  • Concert - A live musical performance in front of an audience, in a suitable venue. It can either feature a single musician, or a group.
  • Cover - Can either refer to: 1. A cover of a single, album or any other music release. 2. A version of a song released beforehand sung by another artist.
  • Crescendo - Gradual increase in the volume or intensity of a musical piece.
  • Dance - Genre of music which was originally intended only to be danced to, but has found its place in today's pop music. Usually fast and catchy.
  • Debut - The start of work and subsequent releases for a musician.
  • Debut single - The first music released by an artist commercially. Can also be in album, or more recently in mini-album form.
  • Discography - The entire musical opus of a certain artist.
  • Double A-side - A single in which both songs are treated as A-side songs, and as such, both can get a musical video.
  • Doujin music - Self-published works, or works not signed under any recording label. Such products are sold either online, or at popular conventions like Comiket.
  • Digital single - A single released only through means of the Internet. They are commonly distributed through downloads, and feature only one song.
  • Drama CD  - Sequels or side stories of popular manga, anime and light novels in audio form.
  • Dubstep - A genre of electronic dance music, very popular in today's mainstream media. Usually features bass lines and sub-bass frequencies.
  • ED  - Abbreviation of ending. A song labelled this way was used as an anime, drama or game ending theme.
  • Enka - A popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically.
  • Filters - Effects added to a musician's voice for achieving more impact.
  • Game music - A genre of music similar to anisong, except it features more techno and trance styles.
  • Glissando - A glide from one tone to another on an instrument.
  • Glowstick - Also referred to as a penlight or a cyalume. It is a short-term translucent plastic tube made in different colours. Very commonly used at concerts of anisong and K-pop artists.
  • Gothic - An intense, dark style of music. Usually mixes with rock.
  • Hiatus - A pause in a musician's release cycle. In some cases it lasts a few months, while at others it can last several years, resulting in a recording label change.
  • Idol - An image of an artist best suited to the general public for their enjoyment.
  • IN - Abbreviation for insert. A song labelled by this was inserted in an anime during a certain situation, or for ambiental usage.
  • Instrumental - A version of a song featuring only the arrangement, without the artist's voice or with only the filters that were applied on it.
  • Interlude - A song in album or at a concert that sums up the music heard beforehand and prepares the audience for songs to follow.
  • Jazz - A style of music which often consists of improvisation, but also instruments such as the saxophone and the piano.
  • J-pop - Japanese pop music.
  • J-rock - Japanese rock music.
  • Key - The tonic note and chord of a song that gives a subjective impression of either happy (major keys) or sad (minor keys).
  • Live version - Refers to a version of a song that was recorded live at a concert.
  • Maxi-single - Sometimes called EP or Extended Play. It is a single that has more songs than a normal single, but less songs that a mini-album. It usually has 3-4 songs.
  • Metal - A type of rock music that is harder and more intense than its origin. Usually intertwined with Gothic styles.
  • Middle 8 - The sequence of music that comes after the second chorus (or verse) in a standard structure of a song. It usually has a different melody from the rest of the song, and is used to achieve intensity and to lead in into the final chorus.
  • OP - Abbreviation for opening. A song labelled this way was used as an opening theme to an anime, game or drama.
  • Operatic - A style of voice similar to opera singers. Sometimes associated with Gothic styles of music.
  • OST - Abbreviation for original soundtrack. It is a release that contains all the musical pieces featured in an anime.
  • Otagei - Referred to as wotagei as well. A type of dancing and cheering gestures usually using glowsticks. Performed mostly at anisong and idol concerts.
  • OVA - Abbreviation for official video animation. Used to get the viewers acquainted with the characters before the anime airs, or features a side-story to the already released one.
  • Prelude - A piece of music featured in an album or at a concert which reveals the concept and the overall theme, as well as leading into the first song.
  • PV - Abbreviation for promotional video, but more known to Western fans as music video or MV. It is a video featuring the song it promotes, as well as the artist, a dance choreography, a theme, or a story.
  • Re-cut single - A single that was released previously in an album, and afterwards released on a CD alone, or with a B-side, and usually getting its own PV.
  • Recording label - A company that forms a contract with a musician, distributing his/hers music and promoting the music itself in change for the copyright on the songs. Some of the most popular labels with anisong musicians are Lantis, King Records and Geneon Universal.
  • Remastered song - An older song released with newly played instrumentals and resung vocals.
  • Remix - A version of a song with different tempo and arrangement than the original, but still featuring the same melody
  • Rock - A genre of music most famous by its intensity and usage of electric and acoustic guitars.
  • Release era - The series of singles which begins after the last album and leads up to the next one.
  • Seiyuu - A voice actor in television anime. Some seiyuus also take on a singing career and become seiyuu-singers or idols.
  • Short version - The version of a song which is commonly shortened to the first verse and first chorus as to fit with the opening or ending sequence of an anime.
  • Strings - Usually refers to all of the string instruments in an arrangement, notably the violin, the viola and the cello.
  • Synths - Refers to the artificially created sounds in an arrangement, either in electronic music or when they are mixed with different genres.
  • Talent agency - An agency which takes care of an idol's image, or manages the voice acting work of a seiyuu.
  • Techno - A form of electronic music commonly used in mainstream pop.
  • Tour - A series of concerts of a certain artists, all of which are in a different place in a country or in the world. Usually contained to a certain time schedule.
  • Trance - A form of electronic music that is based on repetition as to induce a "trance".
  • Tie-in - The media (most commonly anime, drama or game) to which a single or a song is related to and used in.
  • V.A. - Abbreviation for Various Artists.
  • Verse - The section of the song that features a secondary theme and leads into the chorus.
  • Vocaloid - A popular singing voice synthetizer.
  • Vibrato - A musical effect consisting of regular, pulsating change in pitch. Usually used in the vocals for more effect.
  • Vocoding - The process of artificially pitching the musician's voice.

3 comments:

  1. Just a small note: OST stands for Original Soundtrack. They're also official, but the correct O in this case is Original.

    Also think this is a good primer for reviewers to work with, though I like to divide my Classical style into Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Avant-garde, and so on :3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thanks for the correction. I must of gotten them mixed with OVAs.
      The classical style can be divided into many styles, but most of anime music (even soundtracks) aren't as sophisticated genre-wise, unfortunately, so simple labels are enough :)

      Delete

13 April 2013

A Small Guide To Anime Music Expressions

This guide here will contain most of the expressions or abbreviations I am likely to use when describing and reviewing a music piece, or in the music and anime industry in general. In the future, I will probably turn this into a page in its own right, and will get updated oftenly, as it is not nearly complete.

                                                        It took me two hours to organize this alphabetically...
                                                        You better like it.

  • Anisong - A portmanteau of the words anime and song (sometimes also spelled as anison). Usually used to represent any song in an anime or the style itself.
  • A-side - The first or main song in the given single release. Most certainly the one to get a MV.
  • Acoustics - Usage of acoustic instruments in a song, such as the guitar, or the acoustic-only version of a song.
  • Album - The main release of an artist. Usually features 12 - 15 songs, including most singles that came before it.
  • Animax - A renowned anime and anisong related TV in Japan. Also refers to an annual anisong concert called Animax Musix.
  • Animelo - The biggest anime music festival in Japan. Held anually each year in Saitama Super Arena, and it features most of the currently active anisong artists.
  • Arrangement - Everything in a song except a musician's voice; instruments, tempo and rhythm.
  • B-side - All the other songs in a single besides the A-side. Usually of a different structure than the A-side.
  • Ballad - A song of a slow tempo. Its most oftenly used theme is love, and it can refer to either a sad or a happy song.
  • Best-of album - The compilation of an artist's most renowned and famous songs. Contains popular A-sides from singles, but album tracks can be found on it as well. Some musicians tend to release a new song in the best-of album as well.
  • Bridge - A transition between two sections of a song, usually only instrumental.
  • Cadence - The sequence of tones that serves as the base to a song.
  • CD - Easily transportable media carrier. Most oftenly used form of music releases.
  • Character song - A song tied to an anime which is sung in the spirit of a certain character's voice, and its theme usually revolves around the character's personality traits.
  • Chorus - The section that represents the main theme in a song. Most songs will have three repetitions of it.
  • Classical style - A style of composition in which the song features the most common instruments from a symphonic orchestra, such as the violin, piano, harp etc.
  • CM - Abbreviation for commercial. Some songs featured in commercials when released in singles will be indexed as CM songs.
  • Concert - A live musical performance in front of an audience, in a suitable venue. It can either feature a single musician, or a group.
  • Cover - Can either refer to: 1. A cover of a single, album or any other music release. 2. A version of a song released beforehand sung by another artist.
  • Crescendo - Gradual increase in the volume or intensity of a musical piece.
  • Dance - Genre of music which was originally intended only to be danced to, but has found its place in today's pop music. Usually fast and catchy.
  • Debut - The start of work and subsequent releases for a musician.
  • Debut single - The first music released by an artist commercially. Can also be in album, or more recently in mini-album form.
  • Discography - The entire musical opus of a certain artist.
  • Double A-side - A single in which both songs are treated as A-side songs, and as such, both can get a musical video.
  • Doujin music - Self-published works, or works not signed under any recording label. Such products are sold either online, or at popular conventions like Comiket.
  • Digital single - A single released only through means of the Internet. They are commonly distributed through downloads, and feature only one song.
  • Drama CD  - Sequels or side stories of popular manga, anime and light novels in audio form.
  • Dubstep - A genre of electronic dance music, very popular in today's mainstream media. Usually features bass lines and sub-bass frequencies.
  • ED  - Abbreviation of ending. A song labelled this way was used as an anime, drama or game ending theme.
  • Enka - A popular Japanese music genre considered to resemble traditional Japanese music stylistically.
  • Filters - Effects added to a musician's voice for achieving more impact.
  • Game music - A genre of music similar to anisong, except it features more techno and trance styles.
  • Glissando - A glide from one tone to another on an instrument.
  • Glowstick - Also referred to as a penlight or a cyalume. It is a short-term translucent plastic tube made in different colours. Very commonly used at concerts of anisong and K-pop artists.
  • Gothic - An intense, dark style of music. Usually mixes with rock.
  • Hiatus - A pause in a musician's release cycle. In some cases it lasts a few months, while at others it can last several years, resulting in a recording label change.
  • Idol - An image of an artist best suited to the general public for their enjoyment.
  • IN - Abbreviation for insert. A song labelled by this was inserted in an anime during a certain situation, or for ambiental usage.
  • Instrumental - A version of a song featuring only the arrangement, without the artist's voice or with only the filters that were applied on it.
  • Interlude - A song in album or at a concert that sums up the music heard beforehand and prepares the audience for songs to follow.
  • Jazz - A style of music which often consists of improvisation, but also instruments such as the saxophone and the piano.
  • J-pop - Japanese pop music.
  • J-rock - Japanese rock music.
  • Key - The tonic note and chord of a song that gives a subjective impression of either happy (major keys) or sad (minor keys).
  • Live version - Refers to a version of a song that was recorded live at a concert.
  • Maxi-single - Sometimes called EP or Extended Play. It is a single that has more songs than a normal single, but less songs that a mini-album. It usually has 3-4 songs.
  • Metal - A type of rock music that is harder and more intense than its origin. Usually intertwined with Gothic styles.
  • Middle 8 - The sequence of music that comes after the second chorus (or verse) in a standard structure of a song. It usually has a different melody from the rest of the song, and is used to achieve intensity and to lead in into the final chorus.
  • OP - Abbreviation for opening. A song labelled this way was used as an opening theme to an anime, game or drama.
  • Operatic - A style of voice similar to opera singers. Sometimes associated with Gothic styles of music.
  • OST - Abbreviation for original soundtrack. It is a release that contains all the musical pieces featured in an anime.
  • Otagei - Referred to as wotagei as well. A type of dancing and cheering gestures usually using glowsticks. Performed mostly at anisong and idol concerts.
  • OVA - Abbreviation for official video animation. Used to get the viewers acquainted with the characters before the anime airs, or features a side-story to the already released one.
  • Prelude - A piece of music featured in an album or at a concert which reveals the concept and the overall theme, as well as leading into the first song.
  • PV - Abbreviation for promotional video, but more known to Western fans as music video or MV. It is a video featuring the song it promotes, as well as the artist, a dance choreography, a theme, or a story.
  • Re-cut single - A single that was released previously in an album, and afterwards released on a CD alone, or with a B-side, and usually getting its own PV.
  • Recording label - A company that forms a contract with a musician, distributing his/hers music and promoting the music itself in change for the copyright on the songs. Some of the most popular labels with anisong musicians are Lantis, King Records and Geneon Universal.
  • Remastered song - An older song released with newly played instrumentals and resung vocals.
  • Remix - A version of a song with different tempo and arrangement than the original, but still featuring the same melody
  • Rock - A genre of music most famous by its intensity and usage of electric and acoustic guitars.
  • Release era - The series of singles which begins after the last album and leads up to the next one.
  • Seiyuu - A voice actor in television anime. Some seiyuus also take on a singing career and become seiyuu-singers or idols.
  • Short version - The version of a song which is commonly shortened to the first verse and first chorus as to fit with the opening or ending sequence of an anime.
  • Strings - Usually refers to all of the string instruments in an arrangement, notably the violin, the viola and the cello.
  • Synths - Refers to the artificially created sounds in an arrangement, either in electronic music or when they are mixed with different genres.
  • Talent agency - An agency which takes care of an idol's image, or manages the voice acting work of a seiyuu.
  • Techno - A form of electronic music commonly used in mainstream pop.
  • Tour - A series of concerts of a certain artists, all of which are in a different place in a country or in the world. Usually contained to a certain time schedule.
  • Trance - A form of electronic music that is based on repetition as to induce a "trance".
  • Tie-in - The media (most commonly anime, drama or game) to which a single or a song is related to and used in.
  • V.A. - Abbreviation for Various Artists.
  • Verse - The section of the song that features a secondary theme and leads into the chorus.
  • Vocaloid - A popular singing voice synthetizer.
  • Vibrato - A musical effect consisting of regular, pulsating change in pitch. Usually used in the vocals for more effect.
  • Vocoding - The process of artificially pitching the musician's voice.

3 comments:

  1. Just a small note: OST stands for Original Soundtrack. They're also official, but the correct O in this case is Original.

    Also think this is a good primer for reviewers to work with, though I like to divide my Classical style into Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Avant-garde, and so on :3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, thanks for the correction. I must of gotten them mixed with OVAs.
      The classical style can be divided into many styles, but most of anime music (even soundtracks) aren't as sophisticated genre-wise, unfortunately, so simple labels are enough :)

      Delete