The Audio Dramatist's Lexicon
                  copyright 1987 Yuri Rasovsky
                      (used by permission)

          ACCOUSTIC. (sound recording)   n. a sonic overtone;   (music)
                    adj. accoustical.
          ACCOUSTICAL. (music) Not electronic or prerecorded; produced
               mechanically, vocally or live.
          ACT.   n., (drama) Originally, the major division of dramatic
               action within a play; on the contemporary stage, the major
               division of a play on opposite sides of intermission(s); in
               broadcasting, the major division of a tele- or audio play
               separated by breaks;   v., to perform a role in a dramatic
               production;   v., to make a living performing roles in
               dramatic production; to be an actor.
          ACTION, DRAMATIC. (drama) Gesture, action or dialogue that
               advances the plot of a dramatic work.
          ACTION, FALLING. (literature) Action following the climax, in
               which tension wanes and loose ends are tied up.
          ACTION, RISING. (literature) Action leading up to the climax,
               characterized by mounting tension.
          ACTOR. One who acts, variously called comedian, player, talent,
               tragedian; an often infuriating, ultimately likable,
               neurotic   plagued by narcissistic disorders that compound a
               hopeless addiction to an impossible profession.
          ACTUALITY. (broadcasting, especially broadcast journalism)
               Unrehearsed or documentary sound, speech or music recorded
               in the field.
          ADR [Audio Direct Recording]. (film) The recording of accoustical
               sounds, especially foley effects, direct to film or video
               tape in post; hence ADR ROOM or ADR STUDIO, a studio designed
               for such work, a foley studio, and FOLEY MIXER, an engineer
               specializing in ADR and foley recording.
          AFFILIATE. (broadcasting) A station accepting programs or
               services under contract from, but not owned by, a national
               or regional network. See also independent, o & o.
          AFM. The American Federation of Musicians; the musicians' union.
          AFTRA. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists;
               the talent union that has jurisdiction over radio and audio.
          AGENT, CASTING. A licensed professional who assists producers
               with casting.
          AGENT, LITERARY. A licensed professional who represents writers
               before publishers and producers.
          AGENT, TALENT. A licensed professional who helps actors get work.
               A theatrical agent specializes in dramatic television, film
               and theater; a commercial agent handles TV and radio
               commercials and voice-overs.
          AIR CHECK. (radio) A recording of a program made by the
               broadcaster during broadcast.
          ALLITERATION. (literature) The purposeful repitition of sounds,
               especially at the beginning of words. "The fickle finger of
          AMBIENCE. (audio drama) A sound bed used in lieu of scenery to
               indicate environment or setting. Also called atmosphere.
          AMBIENCE TRACK. (broadcasting) A track devoted to atmospheres.
          ANALOGUE. (in sound recording) A method of recording sound
               information on magnetic tape or conventional disk; not as
               clean a method of recording as digital.
          ANTAGONIST. (literature) A character whose dramatic function is
               to oppose the protagonist; the bad guy.
          ANTICLIMAX. (literature) A minor climax or drop in dramatic
               tension, which, depending on how it's used, can enhance the
               climax, dilute it, and produce numerous wanted or unwanted
          ARCHETYPE. (literature) The first, prototypical and
               quintessential expression of a theme, character type, style,
               genre, etc.
          ARIA. In opera, a solo number; hence, in drama, any long speech
               that suspends the flow of dramatic action, expecially a
               long, reflective soliloque.
          ARISTOTLE. Among his achievements, this Greek philosopher (384-
               322 BC) was the  first and most important dramatic theorist
               of the Western World. His Poetics, apparently written as
               lecture notes, describes Greek Tragedy and attempts to
               explain how it moves an audience. Aristotelian terms and
               principles, such as Hubris, Peripity, Catharsis, are still
               useful to critics and dramatists.
          ARTISTIC DISTANCE. (literature) A psychological distance between
               fictive events of a literary or dramatic work and the life
               experience of the audience, theoretically necessary before
               the work can be appreciated as art. If a work relates too
               personally to the audience, the audience will lose its
               aesthetic objectivity.
          ASIDE. A dramatic convention in which a character speaks his inner
               thoughts aloud to himself; or speaks in a stage whisper to
               another character or the audience, as if the other
               characters in the scene can't hear him/her. In radio, asides
               are often distinguished from regular speech by a change of
               sound quality, mike position, or filter, rather than by a
               stage whisper.
          ASSEMBLY. (audio drama) The first part of the editing process in
               which outtakes are removed from the masters and the remaining
               keepers are placed in broadcast order.
          ATMOSPHERE.   (audio drama), The same as ambience;   (literature)
               The prevailing mood (calm, mysterious, gay, etc.) of a play
               or other work of fiction.
          ATTACK. (theater)   a) v., to begin a scene, line or action; b)
               n., the beginning of a scene, line or action;   n., an
               approach or concept for the production of a drama, writing
               of a script, playing of a role, or reading of a line.
          AUDIO ART. A kind of performance art, which often includes
               dramatic as well as other elements, designed for sound
               recording or radio.
          AUDIO DRAMA. See Drama, Audio. 
          AUTEUR. (cinema) A director of a dramatic production, who creates
               such a strong and pervasive artistic vision over a stage,
               optisonic or audio production, often contributing decisively
               to the script, that s/he is for all intents and purposes,
               the production's author, no matter how many other creative
               persons contribute to it. The term is rarely used in the
               theater, because a production most often needs to be fixed
               and definitive before it can be said to have an auteur.
               American radio drama auteurs include Norman Corwin, Arch
               Oboler, and Orson Welles, also a cinema auteur.
          AUTHOR. (law) In copyright law, the person entitled to hold a
               copyright, usually the "author" in the usual sense, but not
               always, as in a "work  for hire" situation, in which the 
               individual or organization commissioning a work may become
               the author for copyright purposes.
          AUTOMATIC GAIN CONTROL or AGC. (studio) A compressor or limiter.
          BACK. (audio drama) A script indication signalling that a sound
               or voice is in the background. Usually applied to outdoor
               sounds. See off mike.
          BACKGROUND MUSIC. See music, background.
          BACK TIME. (broadcasting) To determine the length of a program
               fragement, or to line up two production elements, such as
               selected lines and a musical bed, by timing them backwards
               from their end points.
          BAFFLE or SOUND BAFFLE. (sound production)   n., A mobile
               partition used in studio to isolate or cushion sound;   v.,
               to isolate or cushion sound by using a portable partition.
          BATHOS. (literatrure) Excessive pathos, often unintentionally
          BEAT. n., (drama)   A stage direction indicating a brief pause
               the length of one stroke in the rhythm of the scene,
               signified by the expression BEAT or an ellipsis (. . .);  
               The smallest unit of dramatic action; it is sometimes handy
               for preparation, rehearsal or taping purposes to divide
               scenes into beats.
          BED. (sound production) Sound or music playing continuously under
               speech, as a musical bed for announcements, or a sound bed
               (ambience) under a scene.
          BG. Background.
          BIAS. (sound recording) An ultrasonic tone that an analogue tape
               recorder inserts on the tape while recording, to prevent
               sound distortion. Different types and brands of tapes
               require different biases during recording. Distortion may
               result when one type of tape is used for recording on a
               machine biased for another type.
          BIBLE. (broadcasting) A treatment for a dramatic serial or soap
               showing the continuity over a number of episodes.
          BILLBOARD. (broadcasting)   n., The opening announcements to a
               program; 2 v., To make or record these announcements.
          BILL. (show business) v. To advertise, publish, identify  or
               announce the name of an  artist or artists involved in a
          BILLING. (show business) n. The order and manner of publishing or
               announcing the names of the artists involved in a particular
               production; hence TOP BILLING, the artist mentioned most
          BINAURAL SOUND. (sound production) Enhanced stereo, whereby up,
               down, front and back can be distinguished as well as left
               and right using only two tracks of sound.
          BLOCK. v., (theater)   To design the flow of movement and
               traffic patterns of objects (such as vehicles) and
               characters in a play, such as the placement of their
               entrances, exits and crosses;   to teach the blocking to, or
               work it out with, the performers during rehearsal.
          BLOCKING. n., (theater) The orchestrated movement of a play.
          BOARD, MIXING. (sound production) An instrument or console that
               channels all sound input devices to all output devices, and
               that contains controls for volume control, EQ, pans, reverb,
               etc. Also called CONSOLE or BOARD.
          BOOK RATE. (studio parlance) The prices that a commercial sound
               studio publishes for its services. The book rate may have no
               relationship to real prices, except as a starting point for
          BOOTH. (studio) The control room of a studio.
          BOY also JUVENILE. (theater)   The youtrhful male love interest
               in a play;   an actor playing the role, or specializing in
               such roles.
          BREAK. (broadcasting)   n., An interruption in the program for
               announcements such as commercials and station I.D.s;   v.,
               to interrupt a program in this way.
          BREAKDOWN/BREAKDOWNS. [The singular and plural are used
               interchangeably.] (television) n. Written project
               description used for casting purposes, of which the most
               important parts are thumbnail descriptions of the cast of
          BREAK-UP. (sound production) A distortion of sound caused by
               overmodulation in which the sound becomes fuzzy or
          BRIDGE. (audio drama) 1. n., Sound or, most commonly, music
               linking two scenes; 2. v., to employ a bridge.
          BUTT SPLICE. (sound production) In editing, to join cues tightly
          CADENCE. (voice training) Vocal patterns of pitch and rhythm.
          CADENCE, DESCENDING. (voice training) A monotonous vocal pattern
               in which the voice descends in pitch to the same musical
               note at the end of every phrase or sentence.
          CALIBRATION. (sound production) The adjustment of reading
               devices, especially on a recorder to conform to a determined
               standard or another device.
          CALIBRATION TONES (also TEST tones). See tones, calibration.
          CALL. n. (theater) The time and date at which one or more
               production personnel are scheduled to begin a casting,
               rehearsal, taping or posting session. "My call tomorrow is
               for 6 in the morning, but Tiffany doesn't have to show up
               'til noon."
          CALL BACK or CALLBACK or CALL-BACK. (theater) A secondary or
               follow-up casting call, during which talent who have appeared
               at a previous call are called back to audition further.
          CALL SHEET. See Sheet, Call.
          CAMEO. (cinema)   A secondary or tertiary role in a drmatic
               work, sometimes lasting no more than one scene, that is
               played by a name who normally accepts only major roles.
          CAN, IN THE. (studio slang) Finished, recorded. "The tracks are in
               the can."
          CANNED. (broadcast slang)   Removed or recorded, not benefitting
               from the synergetic interaction of spectators and performers
               sharing the same space, said of performance media such as
               video, cinema and audio;   prerecorded, as canned laughter.
          CANS. (studio slang) Earphones.
          CART. (sound production) A cartridge containing tape that can be
               instantly cued.
          CAST. (theater)   n., The talent hired to play the characters in
               a dramatic production, or the characters themselves (cast of
               characters or dramatis personae);   v., to choose and hire
               the talent for one or more dramatic productions.
          CASTING. (theater) n. The process of choosing talent for dramatic
          CASTING CALL. (theater) n. The session or group of sessions
               during which talent auditions for roles in dramatic
               production; the try-out(s).
          CATHARSIS. (Dramatic theory, from a Greek word meaning purgation)
               The affect narrative and musical art sometimes has on an
               audience of purging it of or purifying its emotions,
               especially the emotions of fear and pity.
          CATTLE CALL. (theater slang) A derisive name of the inital
               session or group of sessions during which talent auditions
               for dramatic production, so called because actors are herded
               in and out, and given only a few moments to try out.
          CHANNEL. (studio) The electronic horizontal division of recording
               tape for stereo or multitrack recording, synonymous with
          CHARACTER MAN/WOMAN. (theater) An actor or actress specializing
               in mature roles or roles that call for great skill with
               superficial detail, such as regional accents and physical
          CHORUS. (drama)   A narrator, as in the Elizabethan theater;  
               the group of singers and dancers of the ancient Greek
               theater who performed choral odes commenting on the action
               between scenes, and who, singly and as a group, interacted
               with the actors during the scenes;   (theater) the singing
               and dancing ensemble of a musical theater production.
          CLIMAX. (literature) The highest point of tension in the dramatic
          CLIP. 1. (studio) To cut off the beginning or end of a syllable,
               sound or musical note, usually by accident, as in a bad edit
               or improper setting of a sound-processing device, such as a
               gate; (theater)   to rush;   to top.
          CLOSE-MIKE. v., (studio) To track each actor with his or her
               individual microphone, which requires close proximity of
               actor and mike.
          CLOSET DRAMA. See drama, closet.
          COLD. adj. and adv. (show business) Unrehearsed, as to lay down
               tracks cold, or without even seeing the script in advance, as
               in a cold reading.
          COLLOQUY. (drama) An extended passage of dialogue between two
               characters in a placy.
          COMMEDIA DEL'ARTE. (theater) A terrifically popular and seminal
               theatrical genre originating in Renaiscance Italy, typified
               by stereotyped characters played by actors wearing masks,
               improvisation, recurring gags, and physical humor; it
               profoundly influenced MoliŠre, Chaplin, Buster Keaton, the
               early Marx Brothers, Burlesque and Vaudeville comedy, Punch
               and Judy Shows, mime, circus clowns, and contemporary
               improvisational comedy.
          COMEDIAN. (theater)   A performer of any kind specializing in
               comedy;   an actor specializing in comedy;   (poetic or
               archaic) an actor, even one who performs serious plays.
          COMEDY. (drama)   A play intended primarily to amuse;   any
               play, especially a romantic one, with a happy ending, or
               employing comic structure.
          COMEDY, SITUATION. (drama) A type of comedy, usually domestic, in
               which characters are made to react absurdly to farcical
          COMMERCIAL SOUND STUDIO. A sound studio that hires out its
               facilities, equipment and engineers to ad agencies,
               producers and others, but produces little, if anything of
               its own.
          COMPLICATION. (drama) A factor in the dramatic action that
               intensifies the conflict or a previous complication.
          COMPRESSION. (studio) A type of automatic gain control that
               reduces sounds above a preset ceiling and amplifies sounds
               below a preset floor.
          COMPRESSOR. (studio) A device for affecting compression.
          CONFLICT. (literature) A factor or person that opposes the
               protagonist and causes tension.
          CONSOLE. See mixing board.
          CONTACT SHEET. See Sheet, Contact.
          CONVENTION. (art) A stereotyped artifice that an audience agrees
               to accept, as, in drama, an aside, or, in audio drama, a
               three-legged horse, a musical bridge or, for that matter,
               background music.
          COPYRIGHT. (law)   n., A legal protection of an artistic or
               literary intellectual property, such as a script or audio
               production, against unauthorized use;   to legally protect
               an intellectual property, expecially by registering a
               published work with the Copyright Office of the Library of
          COPYRIGHT, COMMON LAW. (law) A legal protection of an unpublished
               intellectual property, created when an author (or  producer)
               mails the property to him/herself and keeps the sealed
               mailing container, the cancellation date on which provides
               the protection. Once a fairly common practice common law
               copyrighting has diminished since the revamping of the U.S.
               copyright law in the 1980's.
          CORE. (studio) A hub around which tape or film is wound for
               storage, to save money by conserving reels.
          CRISIS. (drama) A minor or major point in the dramatic action in
               which the risk arising from conflict or complication requires a
               response from the protagonist.
          CROSS. (theater)   v., To move across the stage or, in radio
               theater, across the stereo field;   n., a movement thus
          CROSSFADE. (studio)   n., The simultaneous reduction of one
               sound, set of sounds or scene and simultaneously raising of
               another;   v., to make a crossfade.
          CUE. (theater)   v., to give a beginning signal, as when the
               director points to the actor or the studio cue light goes on;
               hence,   to deliver a line, effect or musical passage that
               signals another line, effect or musical passage;   n., a
               beginning signal such as the above examples;   the
               beginning or end of a sound, musical passage or line of
          CUE IN. (broadcasting) The first line, sound or music of a
               program or tape.
          CUE, OPERATIVE. (theater) The operative cue is the word or phrase
               in a line that motivates another character to speak or
               perform an action, even though it is not the final word or
               phrase of the speech.
          CUE OUT. (broadcasting) The sound or line that ends the tape or
               program, and that cues the live station engineer or
               announcer to go on with whatever is next.
          CUE SHEET. See Sheet, Cue.
          CUE, SYSTEMS. (broadcasting) Same as cue out, usually consisting
               of the name and audio logo of the program's distributor.
          CURTAIN. (theater) The final punctuation mark of a major division
               in a dramatic work; in theater, a black out, fade out or
               lowering of the stage curtain; in audio drama, a fade out,
               musical passage, or ring out of a sound effect.
          CURTAIN LINE. (theater) The last line of an act or play, usually,
               in the former instance, giving the audience a sense of
               anticipation for the next act, or, in the latter, giving a
               sense of finality; so-called because, on stage, it is the
               line that cues the curtain to fall.
          CUT. (sound)   a., To edit; b) n., an edit;   v., to record, as
               "to cut a track;" (theater)   v., (command) stop!
          DAT. (studio) Digital audio tape, a compact cartridge, like a
               miniature video tape cartridge, that records electronic
               information which it can transform into sound in the
               playback. A cleaner method of sound reproduction than
               conventional, or analogue methods.
          DEAD. (sound) adj., Lacking reverberation and overtones, said of
               an acoustical environment.
          DEAD ROOM. (studio) A studio with neutral acoustics used to
               record outdoor scenes.
          DECAY. (sound) The diminution of sound, especially residual or
               ambient sound, such as an echo; also ring out.
          DECIBEL or DB. (studio) A unit of sound volume.
          DELIVER.   (theater) To speak a line effectively;   (marketing)
               to get a product (in our case, a program) to consumers
               (audiences), which, in audio drama could be by commercial
               recording, broadcast, cable cast or live presentation.
          DELIVERY.   (theater) the affective speaking of lines   the
               employment of cadence, timbre, quality, volume, etc. to imbue
               lines with meaning, emotion, beauty and interest;  
               (marketing) the method or system by which a program or
               product is put before audiences or consumers.
          DENOUEMENT. (drama, from the French: "end") Dramatic action
               following the climax that resolves the plot; the falling action.
          DEUS EX MACHINA. (drama, from the Greek: "God out of the
               Machine") An improbable or inorganic plot contrivance to
               resolve the various complications of the dramatic action, such as
               the cavalry coming to the rescue, an unexpected inheritance,
               or a sudden remission.
          DIALOGUE. (drama) The words uttered in a play; the lines given
               actors to speak.
          DICTION.   (literature) The artistic choice and order of words;
               the vocabulary and syntax of a literary work;   (voice
               training) the clear pronunciation and annunciation of
               consonants and vowels.
          DIGITAL. (studio) A method of turning sound information into
               computer or electronic information and then back again for
               taping and playing back; cleaner than analogue reproduction.
          DIRECTION. (theater) The guidance and instructions of the
               director, as in the phrase "to take direction," meaning to
               follow the director's orders, something actors are not
               equally capable of doing.
          DIRECTOR. (theater) In American theater, television, cinema and
               audio drama, the person who conducts performances and
               rehearsals and who supervises, defines and gives unity to
               the performances.
          DIRECTOR, CASTING. A person hired to take charge of casting
               details for a production, series or theater company.
          DISPLACE ACTION. (theater) To call attention to an unimportant
               production element at the expense of an important one; to
          DOCUDRAMA or DOCUMENTARY DRAMA. (broadcasting) A presentation
               combining elements of theater and documentary; either a
               dramatization of historical or current events that makes, or
               purports to make, extensive use of authentic elements, or a
               purely fictive work, the documentary elements of which
               contributes to a sense of realism and immediacy.
          DOPPLER EFFECT. (physics) An apparent pitch change that takes
               place as a sound approaches (getting higher) or recedes
               (getting lower) from a sound receiver.
          DRAMA. (as opposed to theater):   The field of performance art
               concerned with the acting out of a story from a written
               script primarilly using speech and movement; especially as
               pertains to the substantive and literary aspects of such
               performance art;   a type of play, serious in tone, but
               lacking the elevation and fatalism of tragedy.
          DRAMA, AUDIO. Drama for the ear, whether performed live before an
               audience or transmitted via radio, cable audio, cassettes,
               compact disks or other media; distinguished from play
               readings by its reliance on the electronic amplification,
               homogenization and manipulation of music, sound effects, and
          DRAMA, CLOSET. A type of play written to be read rather than
               performed, or a narrative poem cast as a play but meant to
               be read, e.g., Milton's Samson Agonistes, Goethe's Faust,
               Ibsen's Peer Gynt.
          DRAMA, REMOTE. As coined in this book, dramatic performance
               employing technology to reach an audience physically removed
               from the performance space, and sometimes removed in time as
               well; the most far-reaching theatrical innovation of the
               Twentieth Century.
          DRAMATIC. Possessed of values appropriate to drama, considered
               exclusively of theatrical values.
          DRAMATIC ACTION. See action, dramatic.
          DRAMATIC LITERATURE. The body of written drama, especially that
               which possesses literary merit as well as, or more than,
               theatrical merit; drama considered as a branch of
          DRAMATIST. A playwright, particularly one who writes with
               distinction on serious subjects.
          DRAMATIST, AUDIO (or AURAL. DRAMATIST) (author's coinage) A
               sonicauteur: one who writes, produces and directs audio drama
               professionally; a great unsung and persecuted benefactor of
          DROP OUT. (studio) A technical aberration in which sound
               arbitrarily disappears or drops out of a section or sections
               of exposed tape.
          DYNAMICS. (sound) Relative loudness; sonic volume.
          ECHO. (audio drama) A sonic overtone purposely introduced to
               establish a live outdoor environment; often used to mean
          ECHO CHAMBER. (studio) An acoustic environment that enhances
          ENSEMBLE. (theater)   n., the quality of a performance in which
               the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; that is, the
               rapport among and the combined performances of the cast have
               a personality and importance greater than that of the
               performers individually; a work benefitting from strong
               ensemble is often called an ENSEMBLE PIECE;   adj., of such
               a quality;   n., a) The cast of a production; b) the
               performers in a repertory company.
          EPIPHANY, EPIPHANAL MOMENT. (from the Greek: showing forth)   In
               drama, especially in tragedy, the protagonist's sudden insight
               into his/her condition or circumstances, caused by his/her
               struggle with antagonistic forces, that leads him/her to
               take action that brings on the climax or reversal (called by
               Aristotle anagnorisis);   a literary expression introduced
               by James Joyce to denote a gesture or action that sums up or
               reveals the essense of a fictional character to an audience.
          EPISODE.   In broadcasting, a discreet program in a series or
               serial;   in drama, a unified portion of a plot, an
          EPISODIC. adj,   (literature) Containing many totally or
               partially self-contained episodes;   (drama) used
               pejoritively, containing too many scenes or episodes, and,
               hence, structurally weak or unwieldy;   (broadcasting) n.,
               a broadcast series of self-contained episodes, usually
               melodramas, featuring recurring lead characters and any
               number of transient secondary characters.
          EQ. (sound production) To "equalize," or electronically adjust,
               the pitch of recorded sound.
          EQUALIZATION: (sound production) The balance between the various
               frequencies of sound that affect pitch.
          EQUALIZER. (sound production) An electronic divice that adjusts
          EXPOSITION. (literature) Presentation of information essential to
               the understanding of the dramatic action, especially of events
               that occurred prior to the opening scene or off-stage.
          EXPRESSIONISM. (art) A stylized and highly personal form of
               theater in which reality is distorted by the passionate and
               distorted vision of the writer.
          FADE. (studio)   v., To gradually diminish volume;   n., a
               change in volume so made.
          FADE OUT. (studio)   v., To gradually lower volume until the
               sound disappears;   a change in volume so made.
          FADE UP. (studio)   v., To gradually raise volume;   n., a
               change in volume so made.
          FAIR USE. (law) A stipulation in the Copyright Act of 1976
               (Section 107) under which some limited "fair use" may be
               made of a protected work without permission "for purposes
               such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching . . .
               scholarship or research." Whether fair use includes such
               things as exerpting sections of commercial recordings for
               background music in audio drama is not clear.
          FARCE. (drama) A broad style of comedy that relies on ridiculous
          FAST-WIND. (studio) To spool or wind tape around a reel or hub at
               high speed. See also slow-wind.
               stipulation guaranteeing that no other contractee is
               receiving more favorable conditions (although others may
               receive conditions equally favorable).
          FIELD. (studio)   An area out of the studio or controlled
               conditions where a recording is made; recordings thus made
               are FIELD RECORDINGS;   the area before or around a
               microphone effective for picking up sound.
          FILTER. (studio)   v. to remove frequencies from a sound to
               remove unwanted sounds or to produce an effect, such as to
               reproduce the sound of telephone reception;   n., a device
               that produces such an effect, an equalizer; a script indication
               prescribing the use of such a device.
          FLASHBACK. (literature)   v., to show events in retrospect; to
               interrupt a scene or scenes of current events with a scene,
               scenes or scene fragment(s) of past events;   n., a
               retrospective scene.
          FLOAT. (studio) To protect a recording or broadcast environment
               from outside vibration, as from passing traffic, by building
               it as an inner room connected to an outer room by shock
               absorbers, or raising a false floor over the real one.
          FLUB. (theater)   n., An actor's mistake of delivery;   v., to
               make such a mistake.
          FLYING/ON THE FLY. (studio slang) "Winging it," especially
               overdubbing or punching in a sound or piece of music without
          FOIL. (drama) A character whose dramatic purpose is to set-off
               another character by contrast; a side-kick.
          FOLEY or FOLEY EFFECTS. (film, from Jack Foley, a sound mixer) In
               broadcast drama and film, sound effects laid in live during
               mastering or overdubbing, and not prerecorded. A studio
               built for the production of such effects is a FOLEY STAGE,
               FOLEY ROOM or ADR room. The person producing these effects
               is the FOLEY PERSON, FOLEY OPERATOR or ADR mixer.
          FRAMING DEVICE. (literature) A plot device to set-off the dramatic
               action within the context of an amplifying situation, which
               opens and closes, or frames, the main action, as when the
               play unfolds in retrospect, or in a "play within a play."
          FRENCH SCENE. See scene, french.
          FRICATIVE. (speech) A vocalization   such as the letters f, s, v
               and z   produced by forcing breath through a narrow opening
               in the mouth. These sounds tend to pop the mike.
          FULFILLMENT. (marketing) The segment of business operations
               dealing with fulfilling orders, as when listeners order
               cassettes, transcripts or other premiums. A firm that
               specializes in this is called a FULFILLMENT HOUSE.
          GAIN. (studio) Loudness, sonic volume.
          GATE or NOISE GATE. (studio) A machine that reduces tape hiss, room
               tone and other unwanted noise during transmission or
               recording by reducing or shutting off sound below a preset
          GATING. (studio) Employing a device that shuts off sound under a
               preset minimum and turns it on again when it exceeds the
               minimum. Used for noise reduction.
          GENERATION. (studio) A recording considered in relation to its
               distance from the original live sound; the original
               recording of the live sound, the master, is the first
               generation, a dub of that recording, which may or may not
               include additional sounds, is the second generation, a dub
               of the dub is third generation, etc.
          GENERATION LOSS. (studio) A degredation in sound quality that
               occurs every time recorded sound goes down another
          GENRE. A literary "species" or form, such as tragedy, sitcom,
               Western, soap, docudrama, etc.
          GENRE WRITING. (literature) Writing in a genre subject to highly
               prescripted structure, tone, atmosphere, style, dialogue and
          GRAMS. (short for "gramophone") 1. A script indication, usually in
               documentaries, that signifies the use of a prerecorded,
               often historical or vintage, sound byte or bed; 2. recorded
          GRAMS OPERATOR. (British) The studio technician in charge of
               laying down prerecorded music, sounds and voicies.
          GRAND GIGNOL [from Fr., Theƒtre de Grand Gignol   Theatre of the
               Big Puppet   in Paris, a hole-in-the-wall playhouse at the
               turn-of-the-century where such performances originated],
               sometimes simply GIGNOL [pronounced geen-Y L].  n., adj. A
               theater movement characterized by accessive melodrama,
               violence, gore and spectacle; hence, anything graphically
               shocking, violent and gorey.
          GRAVEL BOX, GRAVEL PIT. A Foley device for making the sound of
               footfalls on various surfaces, whether of gravel or another
          HASH or GROTZEL. (studio slang) Unwanted random sounds, such as
               tape hiss, print-through, clicks from bad edits and punches,
               intrusive room tone, etc.
          HEAD/TAPE HEAD. (studio) The magnetic device on a recorder that
               touches the tape and either records (RECORD HEAD) or
               reproduces (PLAYBACK HEAD) sound.
          HEAD, SYNC. (studio) A head that plays back previously recorded
               sounds in synchronization to new sounds as they are being
               laid down on the same tape.
          HOT ON MIKE. (audio drama) Intimate and very close to the
               microphone, said of delivery.
          HOUSE. (theater slang) A `live' audience, that is, an audience
               bodilly present in the performance environment. "What a
               great house we had today" translates as "What a receptive
               and responsive audience we had today;" "nice house" = "large
               audience;" etc.
          HUBRIS. (drama, from the Greek: Pride) Excessive confidence,
               overweening pride, usually the mistaken overestimate of
               one's capacity to control one's destiny or contend with God;
               often the one tragic flaw in an otherwise noble character.
          INDEPENDENT. A station neither owned nor affiliated with a
          IN MEDIAS RES. (literature, from the Greek: "in the middle of
               things") A plot device wherein the action begins close to
               the climax or at an exciting point, flashes back to the
               beginning and then proceeds to the end.
          INAMORATA.  (theater)   the role of female love interest;   the
               actress playing or specializing in such roles;   the
               leading lady of a commedia dell'arte troupe.
          INBOARD. (electronics) adj., Built-in, as opposed to outboard,
               frequently used in relation to sound equipment.
          INDEX. (recording)    n. An electronic signal that can be laid
               on a DAT to mark the beginning of a take or passage to be
               played, so that in playback the DAT can be instantly cued to
               that point;  hence   v. to mark a DAT with such a signal.
          INDICATE. (theater) To play a quality superficially and without
               investment or sincerity, usually obviously so; to employ
          INDICATION. (theater)   A conventionalized or broad physical or
               vocal gesture substituting for one that the audience could
               not perceive, such as a stage whisper; hence   the
               affectation of emotion, display of all the outward signs of
               emotion with no inner truth; the going through the motions;
                 in script writing, an instruction to the actor, director
               or engineer written into the script; a stage direction.
          INFORMATION. (technology) The code enscribed in a transmission
               substance (film emulsion, radio waves, electro-magnetic
               energy) captured on or flowing through a medium (film, tape,
               air, cable) that is made from light and sound that can be
               transformed back into light and sound.
          INGENUE. (theater)   the conventional role of attractive, young
               female lead;   the actress playing or specializing in such
          IN POST. (film) During post-production.
          IN REPERTORY. (performing arts) adv. Said of an engagement,
               season or set of performances of a star performer or
               performance ensemble, especially a theatrical one: in a
               revolving repertory of performance pieces or plays;
               broadcasts in repertory are rare in American radio, but not
               unheard of.
          INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. (law) A product of imagination   such as a
               novel, play, recording, painting, invention   capable of
               some sort of physical embodiment.
          INTERCUT. (studio)   v., To interrupt the recording of a scene
               because of a flub and then to resume recording from or just
               prior to the stopping point;   n., a correction thus made.
          INTERIOR MONOLOGUE. (literature) A soliloquy representing the
               unspoken thoughts of a character in a play; in radio often
               electronically set-off from normal dialogue.
          INTERLUDE. (drama) A conversation, skit, scene, musical number,
               often only tangentially related to the plot, that suspends
               the flow of dramatic action.
          IPS. (studio) Inches per second, a standard unit of analogue tape
               recording and playback speed in America. Professional
               recordings are made no slower than 7-1/2 ips, and may be
               made at 15 ips, 30 ips or faster, to increase sound quality.
          IRONY. A literary device, and one particularly used in drama, in
               which what is stated contrasts or conflicts with what is
               wryly suggested.
          ISO BOOTH. (isolation booth), a small room, often adjacent to or
               within a larger studio, for recording a sound in isolation
               from other sounds.
          JUMP or JUMP CUT. (film) A sudden transition between scenes of a
               radio and teleplay, indicated in scripts by the phrases JUMP
               TO . . . or CUT TO . . . .
          JUVENILE. See boy.
          KEEPER. (studio) A good take.
          KUNTSKOPF. (German: art head) The head-shaped microphone assembly
               used in mastering binaural audio.
          LAVALIER. (studio) A type of small, personal microphone that may
               be worn unobtrusively on the body.
          LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS, THE. In all types of performance and
               presentation, whether theatrical, literary, musical, sports-
               related, journalistic or otherwise, the effect of boredom
               produced by duration on an audience; the longer a
               performance or presentation, the more the law of diminishing
               returns must be counteracted by ever more impressive effects
               or ever more absorbing content.
          LAY DOWN. (studio slang) v.t., to record (something).
          LAY IN. (studio slang) to overdub.
          LAZZO, plural LAZZI. (theater) Recurring or running gag, skit,
               stage business or comic routine of the commedia dell'arte,
               hence any such business recurring or imbedded in various
               contexts and various works, such as the "Slowly I Turned"
               lazzo of Vaudeville.
          LEAD. (theater) n. The most or one of the most impportant actors
               or roles in a dramatic production, a principal.
          LEADER. (studio)   n., A length of nonrecordable film, tape or
               paper that can be edited to recording tape or film to mark
               cues or protect the ends;   to separate tracks with leader.
          LEADING MAN or LEADING WOMAN. (theater) n. An actor who usually
               plays only the most important roles in dramatic productions;
               the actor playing the most important role in a specific
               production (when the actor in this sense is female,  the
               term LEADING LADY is used).
          LEVEL. (studio) Sound volume.
          LIBRETTO. (theater)   The spoken portion of a musical play
               script;   in opera, the entire text.
          LIMIT. v., (studio) To use an electronic device to keep
               transmitted or recorded sounds below a preset threshold of
          LIMITER. (sound production) An electronic device that limits
               sound, that is, keeps loud sounds beneath a preset ceiling
               of volume; similar to a compressor; also called AGC or
               automatic gain control.
          LINE. (theater) A unit of dialogue equivalent to a phrase,
               sentence or speech, depending upon the context in which the
               word is used.
          LINES. (theater) Dialogue.
          LIVE. [l v].   (sound) adj. An acoustical environment possessing
               reverberation;   (broadcast) adj. & adv. unrecorded, in
               real time, during performance, as "a live broadcast;  
               (broadcast) adj. witnessing or participating in a broadcast
               program as it is being recorded or transmitted before a
               studio audience.
          LOOP, or TAPE LOOP. (studio) A tape that has been spliced into a
               loop so that the sound recorded on it can be extended
               indefinitely, usually to provide a bed for other sounds.
          MANNERISM, to be MANNERED. (theater)   An actor's often
               repetitious affectation of performance, used to disguise
               fatigue, indifference, jitters, or a lack of real technique;
                 in art and literature, any overused and stale stylistic
          MARQUEE VALUE. (show business) The ability of the publicized name
               of a performer, author, director, composer, et al. to
               attract audiences to a production..
          MASK. (theater) n.   A character of the commedia dell'arte (e.g.,
               Harlequin, Pierrot, Pantalone); hence   any stereotyped
               comic character (e.g., Chaplin's Tramp, Mickey Mouse) whose
               name, personality, costume and make-up recur in various
               otherwise disconnected theatrical works.
          MASTER. (studio)   n., The raw first generation recording from
               which the overdub and mix is made; also VOICE MASTER, MUSIC
               MASTER, etc.;   n., the final mix or completely packaged
               program from which all copies are to be made; also BROADCAST
               MASTER, TRANSMISSION MASTER;   v., to record a master.
          MELODRAMA. (drama)   used pejoratively, an inflated, unctuous
               style of writing or performing; hammy performance;   a
               style of drama in which good and evil are personified in
               opposing characters, and often including sensational
               elements;    a theatrical form of the 18th Century in which
               spoken lines are heavilly underscored by instrumental music,
               which evolved into a popular 19th Century from,
               incorporating elements of definition 2 with songs or
               ballads, which heavily influenced grand opera and led to
               melodrama in the modern sense.
          METAPHOR. (literature) The comparison of essentially unlike
               things, such as "the slings and arrows of outrageous
               fortune." (Shakespeare) When the things compared are joined
               by a connective, it is a SIMILE, as in "Life is like a
               sewer; you get out of it exactly what you put into it." (Tom
               Leher.) Sometimes the metaphor is submerged or implied, as
               in this 16th Century lyric comparing love's absence to
               drought: "Western wind, when wilt thou blow, / The small
               rain down can rain? / Christ, if my love were in my arms /
               And I in my bed again!"
          METONYMY. (literature) The substitution of the name for one thing
               for another that it closely relates to, as when speaking of
               someone's hand to mean someone's handwriting.
          MIS EN SC NE [m z  ah(n) sen ; m z  ahn s n ; Fr., literally
               "placement/setting in the theater."]. (theater) n.   the
               staging or production design of a dramatic work, considering
               such factors as blocking, scenery, props, lighting,
               costuming, sound plot and direction of the actors as they
               form an artistic physical, optisonic or sonic interpretation
               of the work; hence,   in cinema (and by extension in any
               form of theater), a director's, especially an auteur's,
               style, as manifested in a particular work, or in the
               director's collective ouvre.
          MIX. (radio)   n., a recording made from a master and sounds,
               music and voices blended together in final or near final
               form;   n., the process by which such a recording is made;
                 v., to combine prerecorded sound, music and voices into
               final or near final form.
          MIXING BOARD. See board, mixing.
          MONO (monophonic sound). Sound originating from one sound source
               or speaker.
          MOS. (broadcast journalism) Man-on-the-street; when MOS occurs as
               a script indiation, it means that the dialogue that follows
               comes from an interview with an ordinary citizen recorded in
               the field.
          MOUNT. (theater) v.t. To produce or direct something, as "to
               mount a production."
          MULTITRACK. (studio) A method of mixing audio programs using
               three or more discrete channels of sound which are mixed down
               to one or two.
          MUSIC, BACKGROUND. (theater) Music that the characters supposedly
               do not hear and that the audience pretends not to hear, that
               seems to arise from etherial musicians, and that reinforces
               the mood or atmosphere of a scene.
          MUSIC, SOURCE. (theater) As distinguished from background music,
               music that supposedly originates in the environment of a
               scene and that the characters hear, as the band in a night
          MUSIC, STOCK. (film) Generic prerecorded music.
          MUSIC, TITLE. (film) The theme music or leitmotif for a program
               or series. MAIN TITLE: The theme music that opens a program,
               hence, the entire program opening; the billboard. CLOSING or
               END TITLE: The theme music that closes the program, hence,
               the entire program closing, outro.
          NAME. A star; a well-known or prestigious performer, director or
               producer whose participation will lend credibility,
               legitimacy or audience-appeal to a production.
          NARRATE. (drama) To describe or tell at length, especially of
               off-stage action.
          NARRATION. (drama) Descriptive speeches, especially of off-stage
               action; any speech of a Chorus or narrator.
          NARRATIVE. (literature) A story, tale.
          NARRATIVE HOOK. (literature) A plot device or any other stratagem
               that grabs the audience's attention at the beginning of a
               dramatic program.
          NATURALISM. (literature) A style of writing and performance in
               which the situations are presented with convincing but
               selective verisimilitude.
          NEEDLE DROP. (studio) A fee paid to the copyright owner or
               publisher every time a stock effect or piece of music is
               used in an audio production.
          NETWORK. (broadcasting) A regional or national organization
               offering subscribing stations and O and Os programs and other
          NOISE. (studio) Unwanted sound, hash. Tracks are said to be noisy,
               not when they're loud, but when hash is intrusive.
          NOISE GATE. See gate, noise. 
          NOISE, PINK. (sound) Random frequencies of sound, sometimes
               purposely introduced on audio tracks to camouflage edits and
          NOISE, WHITE. (sound) As opposed to pink noise, a pure frequency
               of sound.
          NPR. National Public Radio, the radio equivalent of PBS, with
               which it is often confused by civilians.
          O AND O or O & O. (broadcasting) A station owned and operated by
               a national network.
          OBJECTIVE. n., (drama) the often covert aim of a character in a
          OFF MIKE. (radio) Away from the microphone, with some room slap
               audable. (See back)
          ON MIKE. (radio) Down stage or at the ideal microphone position.
          OBLIGATORY SCENE. See Scene, Obligatory.
          ONOMATOPOEIA. (literature) A word or expression that sound like
               the thing it describes, such as slush, pow, sizzle, thud.
          OPTISONIC. (adj.) As coined in this book, pertaining to remote
               dramatic forms combining light and sound, such as film,
               video tape, optical disk and other technologies.
          ORGANIC.   In playwrighting, arising intrinsically, as from the
               natural consequences of the characters, their situations and
               interactions, as opposed to a contrivance such as a deus ex
               machina;   In acting, employing one's own emotional
               equipment appropriately and spontaneously in performance, as
               opposed to indication.
          OUT or SOUND OUT. (audio drama) A script indication for an abrupt
               drop to zero volume.
          OUTBOARD. (electronics) adj., In electronics, external; as a
               device that can be wired to a tape recorder or console that
               enhances its performance.
          OUTTAKE. (film) A bad take or one not destined for use.
          OVERDUB. (studio)   v. In multitracking, to record sounds, music
               or voices on empty tracks of an already recorded tape in
               preparation for mixing;   n., the stage of the production
               process in which this is done.
          OVERMODULATION. (studio) Sound distortion and/or signal break-up
               in a recording, playback or broadcast resulting from two
               much gain.
          OXYMORON. (literature) Either a big dumb guy or, less
               facetiously, an expression combining contradictions, as
               "thunderous silence" or "honest politician."
          PA or PRODUCTION ASSISTANT. (audio drama) The producer's and/or
               director's assistant in the studio; the radio equivalent to
               the stage manager.
          PACIFICA. A small but influential public radio network and
               program syndicator, generally considered far less
               politically neutral than PRI or NPR.
          PACKAGE. (broadcasting)   v., To add the wrap-arounds, credits,
               break announcements and previews to a final mix so that the
               program is ready to air;   n., a bundle of programs, or a
               bundle of services accompanying a program, offered to
               stations by a distributor, or to the distributor by a
          PACKAGING. (broadcasting) The wrap-arounds, credits, break
               announcements and previews that make a program ready to air
               and help make an audience receptive to the program.
          PAGEANT. (theater) An elaborate celebratory or `occasional' kind
               of loosely constructed theatrical work, often essentially
               dramatic, emphasizing sentiment and spectacle, built around
               a central theme of great significance to the community at
          PAGEANTRY. Spectaular display, magnificent theatricality.
          PANDER TO AN AUDIENCE. To subvert artistic integrity, by creating
               or altering a literary work or performance
               opportunistically, thus lessening its artistic merit, to
               gain the approbation of an audience.
          PAN. (studio) To move sound in stereo artificially.
          PAN POT. (studio) The knob on a studio console that moves sound
               articifially in stereo.
          PARADOX. (literature) A statement or situation that seems, but
               need not be, self-contradictory.
          PASS. (studio) n, One continuous pass of the recording tape over
               the record head of the tape recorder, during a session; a
          PATCH. (electronics)   v., To connect one piece of electronic
               equipment to another by some temporary device, so that they
               interact;   n., a connection so made.
          PATCH BAY. (electronics) A bank of receptors, usually on the
               console and resembling an old fashioned telephone
               switchboard, for patching.
          PATCH, PHONE. (sound studio) A hook up between a telephone line
               and a recording or broadcasting device so that sound
               information may be captured or broadcast directly from the
          PATHOS. (literature) That which evokes sympathy, sorrow or pity.
          PERIPHRASIS. (literature) The substitution of a descriptive
               phrase for the name of something, either because it
               expresses more than the name alone, or because expressive
               precision is for some reason impossible; as "wet roads" for
               "sea," "tawny majesty" for lion, or "whatshisname, that
               writer with the beard who blew his brains out" for
          PERIPITY. (dramatic theory)  In drama, an ironic reversal seen
               when a character's actions bring about the opposite result
               to that which was intended, as when MacBeth's murders,
               perpetrated for his gain, bring about his downfall. 
          PERSONIFICATION. (literature) The giving of human attributes to
               non-human things, as in expressions like "cruel sea,"
               "howling gail," "blushing rose," "rosey-fingered dawn," etc.
          PHASE. (studio) The synchronicity between two sound signals or
               electircal currents, which, when exactly in sync, are said
               to be IN PHASE, and when not, OUT OF PHASE.
          PHASE CANCELLATION. (studio) The loss of sound frequencies caused
               when two identical signals, as a sound in stereo center
               recorded on two stereo channels, are out of phase.
          PHYSICALITY.   In audio drama, an element of palpable reality,
               such as touching, movement, gesture, etc., used by talent as
               a performance aid;   the physical relationship with other
               characters, gesture, environment and movement that the
               talent can convey vocally, though standing still at the
          PICK UP. (studio)   n., a wild line or intercut;   v., a line or
               sequence of lines recorded wild;   (theater) n., directorial
               note given to actors between takes, run-throughs or
          PICK UP (or TIGHTEN) ONE'S CUES. (theater) to leave less pause
               between the beginning of one's line and the end of the
               previous line.
          PINK NOISE. See noise, pink.
          PLAYER, SUPPORTING. Anm actor playing a secondary  of tertiary
               role in a production.
          PLOSIVE. n., (speech) A vocalization produced by the total
               stoppage and sudden release of breath, such as the inital
               sounds in the words Pet, kite and tar. Such sounds tend to
               pop the mike.
          PLOT. (literature)   n., As opposed to story, the events of a
               fictional work arranged in order of presentation;   v. to
               arrange a story into a plot.
          PLOT POINT. (drama) A bit of information that must register with
               the audience before it can understand why the dramatic
               action is moving in certain directions.
          POETIC JUSTICE. (literature) The doctrine that fictional
               characters should receive their just deserts in a fitting
               way, that by the end of the work, evil should be punished
               and virtue rewarded.
          POP. (studio)   v., To make a popping sound by pronouncing a
               plosive or fricative too directly into a microphone;   n., a
               sound so made.
          POP FILTER/WIND SCREEN. (studio) A device fitting over the
               microphone to reduce unwanted sounds from pops, exhalations,
               and the flow of air in a recording environment.
          PORTMANTEAU WORD. (language) A word derived from fragments of
               other words to express a combined meaning; for instance,
               "grumble," to complain under one's breath, combines "gripe"
               and "mumble." 
          P.O.V. (film and broadcast) Point of view, the desired illusion
               of physical audience orientation towards a scene or scene
               fragment, as when all sounds are heard from a specific
               character's POV.
          POST-PRODUCTION or POST. (studio) All studio work done on a
               program after the taping of voices or music: editing,
               overdubbing, mixing.
          PRINCIPAL. (theater) n. One of the lead actors or roles in a
               dramatic production.
          PRE-MIX. (studio)   v., To mix part of the sounds of a scene or
               production before mixing all of them or before the voice
               session;   n., a partial sound mix.
          PREPARATION. (literature) Information that has to be planted in
               advance of an action in order to make it believable. Also
               called PRIMING or THE SET-UP.
          PRESENCE.   (theater) Stage or mike presence, the quality in a
               performer of looking as if he or she belongs on a stage, or
               sounds as if he or she belongs in front of a mike; presence
               comes from confidence, technique and indefinable intuitive
               factors;   (studio) overtones on sounds, the audable flow
               of air and pink noise picked up by a mike or mikes and
               peculiar to the sonic environment; also called room tone.
          PRIME. (literature) To prepare an audience for an action or an
               effect, by planting information or employing other
               preparatory stylistic elements in advance of the action or
          PRINT-THROUGH. (studio) An unwanted echo of sound recorded on a
               reel of analogue tape, caused by saturated layers printing
               through to adjacent layers wound above and below it.
          PROBLEM PLAY. (drama) A play written to examine a moral, societal
               or political problem.
          PRODUCER. (show business) A job title with many definitions, from
               a kind of glorified flunky to the big boss or creative agent
               employed on a program or production. In theater outside the
               United States, the producer is what we call the director. In
               audio drama, the executive who oversees all production
               activity and personnel, and who has the creative and
               managerial responsibility for the final production.
          PRODUCER, EXECUTIVE. The executive who supervises the producer
               and who has all administrative and fiscal (sometimes also
               marketing, promotion and distribution) responsibility for a
          PROMO. (broadcasting) A spot announcement advertising the program.
          PROTAGONIST. (literature) The main character of a play; the hero.
          PROPERTY. (theater) A script, or literary work used as the abasis
               for a script, considered as a production commodity.
          PROXIMITY EFFECT. (studio) The "warming" or mellowing of a sound
               produced when the source moves close to the microphone.
          PSA. (broadcasting) Public service announcement; a commercial for
               a non-profit organization or a charitable cause.
          PUBLIC DOMAIN. (law) A concept in copyright law concerning the
               expiration of copyright and other intellectual property
               protections (e.g., patents, trade marks). A work is
               protected only for a limited time, after which it "falls
               into the public domain," or becomes the common property of
               the human race.
          PUMPING. (studio) An undesirable distortion of sound caused by
               too much compression.
          PUNCH. (studio)   a) v., To make an edit or to overdub a sound by
               turning on the record button as the moving tape passes the
               record head (also punch in); b) n., an edit so made; in
               theater,   v., to emphasize a word, line or sound;   n.,
               emphasis of a word, line or sound.
          QUAD. (studio) Short for quadrophonic; four-channel stereo
               requiring two front and two back speakers.
          QUAD, MATRIXED. (studio) Three-channel stereo, required when
               broadcasting quad under certain conditions, using two front
               channels and one rear channels matrixed to give a
               quadrophonic impression.
          RADIO, COMMERCIAL. The system of stations financed primarily by
               the sale of advertising time.
          RADIO, COMMUNITY. The system of non-commercial broadcasters, many
               of them public radio stations, emphasizing volunteer,
               inclusive, community participation in station operations.
          RADIO, PUBLIC. The system of non-commercial stations operating
               nominally in the community interest, under qualifications
               set by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and operated
               by the dregs of humanity.
          RADIO, UNIVERSITY. The system of non-commercial stations, usually
               not CPB qualified, operated at low power by universities
               primarily to serve the university community and to train or
               provide recreation for student volunteers. Many American
               colleges have their own 50 watt stations.
          READ-THROUGH (n.), READ THROUGH (v.). (theater)   n., a run-
               through in which the cast reads a play aloud without movement
               or interruption from the director;   v., to hold or
               participate in a read-through.
          REALISM. (drama) A type of political expressionism originating in
               Germany after World War I; the theatrical equivalent to the
               editorial cartoon.
          RECAP. (drama)   n., (recapitulation) a summary of the action
               that has transpired thus far in the dramatic work, as at the
               beginning of serial episodes or as appears when necessary to
               reinforce plot points;   v., to make such a summary, to
          RECORDIST.  (Production) The recording engineer; the engineer
          operating the console during mastering.
          REMOTE. (broadcasting)   n., a television or radio session held
               "in the field," that is, outside of the studio;   a
               production or part of a production so made;   adj.,
               pertaining to field production;   
          REPERTOIRE. See repertory.
          REPERTORY. (performance) n.,   the works represented in a season
               of performance, REPERTOIRE;   the technique or bag of
               tricks, considered critically, at the command of a
               performer, ensemble or artist: technique;   a method of
               presenting a season of performance in which an esnsemble of
               performers is engaged to appear in works alternating
               throughout the performance year.
          REPERTORY COMPANY or REPERTORY ENSEMBLE.   A theater troupe
               consisting of actors engaged for the season, presenting
               works in repertory;   used somewhat improperly, a theater
               troupe presenting regular seasons of works, whether
               sequentially or alternating, whether with an ensemble
               engaged for the season or performers engaged per production.
          REPRESENTATIONALISM. (drama) Playwrighting and theatrical
               presentation in which action is presented on a bare or
               austere stage and in which much of the action and locale are
               suggested by the lines are said to be "representational."
               Examples include Greek tragedy and Elizabethan plays.
          REVERB. Reverberation; a sonic overtone purposely introduced to
               give the impression of some kind of live indoor environment,
               as a cave, auditorium, hallway, etc. See also echo.
          REVERSAL. (literature, also [Greek] peripity) A point in or near
               the climax of dramatic action in which the fortunes of the main
               character change from the course they had been taking up til
          RF. (studio) Radio frequencies; the often unwanted reception of
               broadcast signals on recording or playback equipment.
          RIDE GAIN. (studio) to manually control the volume during
               recording or mixing.
          RING OUT. See decay.
          ROLE, SUPPORTING. A secondary character in a dramatic work.
          ROMANCE: (literature)   A literary work or play appealing to a
               sense of adventure, often episodic and melodramatic, taking
               place on a vast terrain and emphasizing thrilling incidents
               and romantic love;   a literary work or play, about the
               love lives of appealing principal characters, and
               celebrating the importance of romantic love.
          ROOM TONE. See tone, room.
          RUN-THROUGH or RUN THROUGH. (theater)   n., (hyphenated) the
               uninterrupted rehearsal of an extended portion of a script
               or the entire script;   v., (without the hyphen) to
               rehearse an extended portion of or the entire script without
          RUN-THROUGH, FINAL: n. In audio drama, the last rehearsal,
               especially or a work to be recorded or broadcast before a
               studio audience, held as if it were an actual performance;
               the radio equivelent of a dress rehearsal.
          SAFETY COPY or SAFETY. (studio) A good quality copy of the final
               mix or packaged program kept in case something happens to the
          SATIRE. (literature) A type of comedy, low or high, that
               ridicules aspects of human behavior, the purpose of which is
               to arouse contempt for the object.
          SATURATE. (studio) To raise the sound levels during recording
               above the highest point that  the recording medium can
               tolerate, incurring resultant distortion and possibly print
          SATURATION. (studio) Distortion of sound on a recording medium
               due to high sonic volume.
          SCALE. (show business) n. Minimum payment for work tolerated by a
               union per the applicable union-management agreement.
          SCENARIO. (theater) A narrative outline of a plot; see also
               treatment, bible.
          SCENE. (drama)   A dramatic unit in which all action is
               continuous and ensues in one location; by extension,  
               continuous action within a scene in the first sense, unified
               by mood, participating characters or spine, etc., useful as
               rehearsal units;   the locale or setting of a unit of
          SCENE- -FAIRE. See scene, obligatory.
          SCENE, FRENCH. (theater) A unit of continuous dramatic action
               delimited by the entrance or exit of one or more characters;
               for logistical reasons, the director sometimes divides a
               play into French scenes for rehearsal or taping purposes.
          SCENE, OBLIGATORY. (drama)   the climactic scene in a well-made
               play in which all the threads of the plot are unsnarled;   a
               scene necessitated by audience expectations, balance,
               completeness, poetic justice, etc. though not essential to
               the plot, as when the fate of a character the audience has
               taken an interest in is shown after the character has
               stopped playing an important role in the action.
          SCHMALTZ. n. (theater slang, from Yiddish: "chicken fat")
               Lugubrious sentimentality; `laying it on thick.'
          SCRUB. v. (digital audio) During editing, the digital equivelent
               to rock recording tape back and forth by hand over the
               playback head in order to locate an exact edit point.
          SHTICK. (theater slang) Excessive, hammy, stereotyped mannerism,
               or an actor's overused bag of tricks, especially when used
               for low humor or to pander to an audience; not always a
               pejorative term.
          SECOND. (studio parlance) n. An apprentice or assistant engineer
               in a commercial sound studio; often merely a gofer.
          SEGUE. (music) 1. n., A smooth or gradual transition from one
               sound to another or one scene to another without pause; 2.
               v. to make such a transition.
          SEQUENCE. (literature) n. As opposed to a scene, a montage
               consisting of narration, snatches of dialogue, sound bytes,
               etc., that summarizes events or presents them in quick
          SERIAL. (literature) A regularly-scheduled continuing series that
               presents a story over many programs in a series, or
               installments in a periodical.
          SERIES. (broadcasting) A regularly-scheduled program, the episodes
               of which share a unifying element, such as continuing
               characters, theme, format, setting, continuing plot line,
          SESSION. (studio parlance) A continuous period of work on one
               project in a sound studio.
          SFX or FX. (audio production) Sound effects.
          SHEET, CALL. (theater) A rehearsal schedule.
          SHEET, CONTACT. (theater) A list of key personnel with their
               contact information, distributed to the cast and crew at the
               beginning of production work.
          SHEET, CUE. (broadcasting) A fact sheet or tape box label showing
               the cues in and out, the duration, playback speed and other
               essential playback information.
          SHEET, TRACK. (studio) A list in order of the takes on a
               recording, also showing the tracks of multi-track tape that
               sounds have been recorded to, often with other notes useful
               in post-production.
          SHOCK MOUNT. (studio)   n., A device fitted between a mike and
               its stand to prevent unwanted sound produced by vibrations
               from the studio floor;   v., to rig a microphone in such a
          SIDES. (theater)   A special script containing only one
               character's lines with cues in and out; hence,   any script
               fragment prepared for use by talent during auditions or
          SIGNAL. (studio)   The sound source;   wanted sound, as in the
               expression "signal to noise ratio," the ratio between wanted
               and unwanted noise being recorded.
          SIMILE. See metaphor.
          SITCOM. (broadcasting) A type of broadcast comedy series
               employing farcical situations and recurring lead characters
               in self-contained episodes.
          SITUATION COMEDY. See Comedy, Situation. 
          SLAP. (sound) Sound reverberating from the walls, floor and
               ceiling of a studio.
          SLAPSTICK. (theater) A type of broad comedy relying upon
               exagerated physical assault for its humor.
          SLATE. (studio)   v., To record an announcement of the take
               information, such as the take number, in front of the take
               as a kind of audio label;   n., the audio label so
          SLATE TONE. See tone, slate.
          SLOW-WIND [w nd]. (studio) To wind or spool analogue tape at
               playback speed for storage to prevent print-through,
               stretching and other damage. Slow-winding is a very even
               unstressful wind, which places a thin air cushion between
               layers of wound tape. The most common and practical method
               is simply to store tape tails out after play, without
               rewinding it.
          SNEAK. (studio) To fade a sound up or down so slowly that its
               appearance or disappearance is barely noticeable.
          SOAP or SOAP OPERA. (radio) A broadcast serial, presenting by and
               large domestic situations in melodramatic terms, so called
               because at one time such programs were sponsored by soap
               companies; any dramatic work resembling a soap opera in
          SOLILOQUY. (drama) A speech, usually extended, representing the
               inner thoughts of a character, spoken while the character is
               alone or believes him/herself to be alone in the scene.
          SOUNDSCAPE.   (audio drama) The environment for dramatic action
               created on the audio stage by descriptive dialogue and sonic
               effects; the audio equivilent to effects produced in the
               theater by sets, props and lighting;   (audio art) a work
               for listening that manipulates and orders sound to create a
               mood or conjur the impression of an environment; the audio
               equivelent of landscape painting.
          SOURCE MUSIC. See music, source.
          SPOT CHECK. (broadcasting) A check of the exposed recording tape
               for flaws made by playing only brief passages at various
               points on the tape.
          SPIKE.   (theater) v., to fix a position on stage or before the
               mike exactly by marking the floor with tape, chalk, etc.;  
               n., the mark made for this purpose;   (electronics) n., an
               unwanted sudden surge of power through the circuitry of
               electronic equipment that can sometimes cause technical
               aberrations and system crashes.
          SPINE. (theater) An underlying motivational or structural unity
               of a scene, play, or character.
          SPLICE. (studio)   v., To edit tape by physically cutting and
               joining;   n., the juncture of two pieces of tape edited
          SPOT. (broadcasting)   v. To locate and mark the most desirable
               position for performing, so as to be in the optimal view of
               the camera or range of the microphone;   short for spot
          SPOT ANNOUNCEMENT. (broadcasting) A broadcast advertising or
               public service message between 10 to 120 seconds long; a
          STAGE. (theater)   n. As used in this book, the "place" of
               theatrical action; in a playhouse the stage is a physical
               space in an auditorium in view of the audience, shared by
               the sets, props and actors, in radio it is the space between
               the speakers in the audience's listening environment;  
               v.t., to turn a literary property into a performance, to
               produce and/or direct something.
          STAGE WAIT. (theater) A pause to heighten suspense.
          STAGE, GIVE. (theater) v., In acting, to yield the spotlight, to
               help focus the audience's attention away from oneself to
               another actor, as by pointing one's body toward the actor,
               facing away from the audience or moving out of the light,
          STAGE, TAKE. (theater) v., In acting, to command the spotlight,
               to draw the audience's attention to oneself, as by standing
               at the most prominant stage position, by raising one's
               voice, by moving when other performers are still, etc.
          STING. (audio drama) A sharp musical chord used for punctuation.
          STOCK MUSIC. See music, stock.
          STORY. (literature) As opposed to plot, the chronological
               sequence of events in a literary work.
               or monologue representing the thoughts or free associations
               of a character.
          STRUCTURE, COMIC. (literature) A plot structure in which
               everything tends to go badly for the protagonist until the
               climax, after which his or her fortunes improve.
          STRUCTURE, TRAGIC. (literature) A plot structure in which
               everything goes well for the protagonist until the climax,
               after which everything goes badly.
          STUDIO.   The place where programs are recorded or performed for
               broadcast; more specifically   the room in a production
               facility containing the talent, musicians and/or Foley
               operators, as opposed to the booth or control room.
          STUDIO MANAGER. (British studio parlance) the chief engineer on a
               session who coordinates the efforts of the GRAMS & foley
               operators, and who operates the console; the recordist.
          STYLE. (the arts)   The sum of elements (diction, vocal and
               physical gesture, tempo, ornamentation, etc.) appropriate
               for the writing, performance or production of a performance
               work;   the characteristic techniques, themes and artistry
               of a particular author, performer, director or producer of
               an artistic work;   panache, flair, the pleasing and
               distinctive affect of personality, charm and audacity.
          SUBPLOT. (literature) A subsidiary plot woven into the fabric of,
               subsidiary to, and often amplifying the main plot.
          SUBTEXT. (literature) The covert, implicit or psychological
               meaning of an utterance, which may be more than, or the
               opposite of, the overt or apparent meaning.
          SURREALISM. (literature) A style of writing and performance
               depicting unconscious and subjective realities.
          SUSPENSE. (literature) Uncertainty coupled with anxiety;
               apprehension causing a tense expectancy in the audience.
          SYMBOL. (the arts) Something employed to stand for something
               else, often a simple or mundane object representing a
               complex idea, psychological or emotional state, or taboo.
          SYNDICATOR. An independent distributor of broadcast programs.
          SYNDICATION. (broadcasting) A method of delivering programs
               through a syndicator, or independent distributor.
          SYNECDOCHE. (literature) In discourse, the substitution of a part
               of something for the whole and vice versa; as when "stage"
               is used to mean "theater."
          SYSTEMS CUE. See cue, systems.
          TABLE WORK. (theater) n., Rehearsals in which the play is read
               without movement, often with the actors sitting around a
               table, in which the focus is on characterization and
               interpretation; hence in radio, rehearsals held away from
               the mikes or outside the studio, for the same purpose.
          TAFT-HARTLEY. (labor law) As used in talent-producer relations,
               The Taft-Hartley or Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947,
               as amended in 1951, contract provisions allowed or mandated
               by The Taft-Hartley Act regarding non-union talent working
               under AFTRA auspices. Non-union talent may be hired on a
               union job provided the talent agrees to join AFTRA within 30
               days of the  job. Talent that becomes subject to this
               provision is said to be TAFT-HARTLEYED, that is, to be
               forbidden to work in a union shop after the 30-day period
               unless s/he has joined AFTRA.
          TAKE. (film)   n., One of possibly several versions recorded of
               the same fragment of a work, from which the most
               satisfactory will be chosen for the final program;   v., to
               record a take;   (theater) a physical or vocal reaction
               usually broad and registering surprise, as in the phrase "to
               do a take."
          TALENT. (broadcasting) An actor; actors.
          TAIL OUT or TAILS OUT. adv. (studio) [Said of exposed analogue
               recording tape] Sppoled on a core or reel so that the
               beginning of the program is closest to the core or reel.
          TAPE HEAD. See head.
          TAPE HISS. (studio) A kind of unwanted noise heard to a greater
               or lesser degree on all magnetic analog recording tape.
          TEASER. (broadcasting) An element at the beginning of a program
               enticing the listener to stay tuned, usually a preview or
               excerpt; a narrative hook.
          TENSION. (literature) The basic element of most music, literature
               and drama in the Western World; the introduction,
               intensification, suspension and relief of which provides
               structure and is often essential to keep a work of any
               length interesting and meaningful.
          TEST TONES. See, tones, test.
          THEATER.   As opposed to drama, broadly speaking, the field of
               performance art concerned with acting out a story through
               dance, mime, speech, oral narrative, song, or a mixture of
               these things, coupled with special effects, costume,
               scenery, lighting, etc.; and thus encompassing the genres of
               drama, ballet, opera, pantomime, masque, performance art,
               story telling, etc.;   (also THEATRICALITY) the non-
               literary aspects of performance, especially those
               contributing to sensation and spectacle;   a building
               dedicated to performance, or figuratively in audio drama,
               the mind of the listener;   a company or ensemble
               specializing in theatrical performance, as the Dance Theater
               of Harlem, MoliŠre's Comedie fran‡aise, or Welles' Mercury
               Theater of the Air.
          THEATER OF THE ABSURD. A misnomer for various forms of symbolic,
               emblematic, expressionistic drama usually on existential
               themes that had a vogue after World War II, typified by the
               early works of Edward Albee, Samuel Becket, and Eugene
          THROUGH-LINE. (theater) The unifying element   thematic,
               motivational, or otherwise   of a scene, sequence, act or
               entire play; often used synonymously with spine.
          TIGHTEN CUES. (theater) To reduce the gap between the end of one
               sound, musical passage or line and the beginning of a
               following sound, musical passage or line.
          TITLE or TITLE MUSIC. See music, title. 
          TONE. (literature) The playwright's attitude, as the audience
               infers it, in his work.
          TONE, ROOM. (sound) See presence.
          TONE, SLATE. (studio) A low pitched tone recorded as a bed under
               the slate, which, when the tape is fast wound over the
               plaback head, is heard as a beep; used to facilitate the
               editing of analogue tape.
          TONES, CALIBRATION. (studio) White noise that tests and allows for
               adjustments to a recording or playback device's
          TONES, TEST. (studio) Tones recorded at the beginning of a tape
               before the program, by which the playback engineer sets the
               playback level, and checks phasing and alignment.
          TOP. (theater) v.,   to begin a line before the previous speaker
               has finished and at a louder volume; to clip;   to produce
               something in time more interesting than that which came
          TRACK. (studio)   v., To record;   n., one of the horizontal
               divisions of recording tape into discrete channels for
               multitrack recording;   n., a recording.
          TRACK, PRESENCE. (film) An audio track devoted to artificial or
               actual room tone, ambience or pink noise, used to heighten a
               sense of reality and camouflage edits within a scene.
          TRACK SHEET. See Sheet, Track.
          TRAGEDY. (drama, from the Greek: goat song)   The ancient quasi-
               religious, highly conventionalized drama of ancient Greece;
                 the Western verse drama arising from Greek and mideavil
               scholastic drama, written partially or completely in verse
               and predominantly serious in tone, in which the protagonist
               suffers a grave material loss or death at the end, hence;  
               in contemporary terms, a dramatic form in which antagonistic
               forces compel a protagonist to confront his/her moral worth,
               and in choosing the moral  over the materially advantageous
               choice is enlightened and enobled, though outwardly
               suffering a grevious loss; or   any play dealing with
               profound themes and employing tragic structure.
          TRAGIC FLAW. (drama, also [Greek] hamartia) A shortcoming or
               weakness in an otherwise admirable character that
               contributes to his or her ruin; in Greek tragedy, this was
               often hubris.
          TRAGICOMEDY. (drama) A play with many humorous moments, but
               tragic overall.
          TREATMENT. (film) A narrative outline of a dramatic work for
               cinema or broadcast. See Bible.
          TROD THE BOARDS. (theater parlance) To act professionally; to be
               a professional actor.
          TROPE. (literature) Any figure of speech.
          TURN. n. (British vaudeville) A variety act (e.g., knife
               throwing, magic act, comedy team), specialty, skit, routine
               or lazzo. A well-known skit or skit worthy of a great
               performer is a STAR TURN, a term used sarcasticaly for a
               temper tantrum and over-acting.
          TURNING POINT (also REVERSAL, PERIPETY). (drama) The point in the
               dramatic action on or near the climax in which the fortunes of
               the protagonist turn from bad to good or good to bad.
          TWEEK. (production) To make refining adjustments and
          OUTRO. (broadcasting) The closing announcements of a broadcast
               program, including the system cue.
          UNIONS or GUILDS. Professional American audio drama often, but
               not always, falls within the jurisdictions of Aftra, Afm,
               Writers Guild and sometimes NABET or other technicians' union.
          UNWIRED NETWORK. (broadcasting) An independent program service,
               or syndicater, and the stations carrying its program(s).
          UP FULL. (studio) To fade a sound up quickly to the maximum
               desired level.
          UPSTAGE. (theater)   n., Away from the audience, towards the
               back of the stage, the opposite of downstage;   v, to
               displace action; to draw inappropriate attention to oneself at
               the expense of another performer or of the focus of the
               scene, originally by standing upstage of other players so
               that they have to turn their backs to the audience to
               maintain eye contact.
          VERISPEED. (studio) Short for variable speed;   n., A mechanism
          on a recorder that alters the speed of tape in order to
          alter the sound recorded on it;   v., to alter a sound
          using such a device.
          VOICE OVER. (broadcasting) n.,   in TV and film, an unseen voice
               added to the sound track in post;   in radio, narration for
               a spot announcement;   in radio drama, narration heard over
               music, sound or, especially, dialogue.
          VU. (studio) Short for volume unit, a sound measurement unit used
               in recording studios.
          WALLA. (film)   Crowd noises;   talent specializing in crowd
          WELL-MADE PLAY. (drama) A type of play seen especially in
               England, France and the United States from 1825 to the
               present in which tight construction and careful, logical
               plotting are emphasized. Examples include Alexandre Dumas
               fils' La Dame aux Camelias and Gore Vidal's The Best Man.
          WHITE NOISE. See noise, white.
          WILD. (studio) adj., adv. Preformed or recorded out of sequence
               and/or isolated from the rest of the scene, sequence or
          WILD TRACK. (studio)   v., To record a portion of script out-of-
               sequence, and in isolation, usually to correct an error;  
               n., a recording thus made, a pick up.
          WIND SCREEN. See pop filter.
          WRAP-AROUNDS. (broadcasting) Opening and closing packaging for a
          WRITERS GUILD. The union representing writers, especially in 
               television, cinema and commercial radio.
          X-Y PATTERN. (studio) A method of taping in stereo using two
               mikes with overlapping patterns.