Multilingual Music Glossary

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

Found a word you don't know? No problem. Look it up in the Music Glossary!

We are currently providing explanations for 2461 terms from 12 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Latin…

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Some random terms

  • vif [French] A tempo directive meaning “lively”.
  • score The complete musical notation of a composition, especially for an ensemble, where the individual parts are lined up vertically.
  • dur [French] Literally, “hard”. With a harsh or ungraceful tone.
  • reprise [French] Repetition.
  • section A group of identical or similar instruments in an ensemble.
  • woodwind A family of blown wooden musical instruments. Today some of these instruments are actually made from metal. The woodwind instruments commonly used in a symphony orchestra are flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon.
  • animato [Italian] Animated or spirited.
  • larghetto [Italian] A tempo not quite as slow as largo, usually around 60–66 BPM.
  • springer An ornament consisting of the main tone followed by the tone above it followed by the tone above that, then returning to the original main tone.
  • bluegrass A form of American country music, inspired by the music of immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as jazz and blues. In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment.
  • new age Style of popular music of the 1980s and 1990s, characterized by soothing timbres and repetitive forms that are subjected to shifting variation techniques.
  • boogie-woogie A style of piano-based blues that became very popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but originated much earlier, and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once, guitar, big band, and country and western music, and even gospel. Whilst the blues traditionally depicts a variety of emotions, boogie-woogie is mainly associated with dancing.
  • elegante [Italian] Elegant, graceful.
  • melodic minor scale A minor scale where the sixth and seventh tones are raised by a semitone when the scale is ascending. When the scale is descending, the melodic minor scale is the same as the natural minor scale.
  • cut off An arm and hand motion by a conductor that indicates to an ensemble that they stop performing. This is normally done at the end of a composition, at the end of a movement or section, or on a fermata.