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 2479 terms from 12 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Latin…

You may browse the glossary alphabetically, or directly search for a term by using the search box above.

If you are looking for a symbol, check out our Guide to Musical Symbols.

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

  • da capo aria [Italian] A lyric song in A-B-A form, commonly found in operas, cantatas and oratorios.
  • hocket A Medieval practice of composition in which two voices would move in such a manner that one would be still while the other moved and vice-versa.
  • common chord A chord that appears in more than one key. Frequently used in modulation.
  • chord A set of three or more (according to certain definitions, even two) different notes that sound simultaneously.
  • tasto solo [Italian] Literally, “key only”. A directive indicating that a note is to be performed without harmony, especially used in compositions that use continuo.
  • minuet A 17th-century court dance in moderate triple meter, originating in France.
  • relative key The major and minor keys that share the same key signature.
  • con slancio [Italian] With energy.
  • leading note The major seventh of a scale, so called because it lies a semitone below the tonic and “leads” towards it.
  • fois [French] “Time”, as in “first time” (première fois) or “second time” (deuxieme fois).
  • ruhig [German] Calm, peaceful.
  • prima volta [Italian] “First time”; may refer to the first ending of a repetition.
  • pantomime Theatrical genre in which an actor silently plays all the parts in a show while accompanied by singing.
  • Dixieland An early style of jazz originating in the early 20th century in New Orleans with a simple, cheerful character.
  • con amore [Italian] “With love”, lovingly.