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 2459 terms from 12 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Latin…

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Please note: a music glossary is just like a dictionary. It contains explanations to musical terms. If you are looking for a piece, please go here instead: search tunes.

Some random terms

  • moto [Italian] Motion, movement.
  • tonality The organization of a composition around a tonic.
  • French model A flute with pointed French-style arms and open-hole finger keys, as distinguished from the plateau style with closed holes.
  • cantio [Latin] A religious, monophonic, Latin song of the later Middle Ages.
  • carol A festive song, generally religious but not necessarily connected with church worship, and often with a dance-like or popular character.
  • stanza [Italian] The division of a poem that consists of a series of lines arranged together. This is usually in the form of a recurring pattern of meter and rhyme.
  • Raabe numbers A numbering system identifying compositions by Franz Liszt.
  • tempestoso [Italian] Stormy.
  • Requiem [Latin] A composition to honor the deceased.
  • phrygian The mode based upon the third note of the major scale. In the key of C major, phrygian mode would start on the key of E, and include all the notes of the C major scale.
  • pas de deux [French] An established item in ballet consisting of a dance performed by two dancers.
  • tempo [Italian] Literally, “time”. The speed of a piece of music, usually reckoned by the rate of its beats.
  • sgarbato [Italian] Rude, unkind, impolite.
  • attack The method of beginning a phrase.
  • leggiero [Italian] Light, delicate.