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 2484 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

  • 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.
  • légèrement [French] Lightly.
  • diatonic Melody or harmony built from the seven tones of a major or minor scale.
  • fois [French] “Time”, as in “first time” (première fois) or “second time” (deuxieme fois).
  • couplet [French] A term used in the 1600s and 1700s for the intermediate sections of a rondeau.
  • diatonic scale A seven note musical scale, consisting of five whole steps and two half steps.
  • lusingando [Italian] Caressing, flattering.
  • 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.
  • répertoire [French] A list of compositions that an individual or ensemble is prepared to perform or that are available for performance.
  • rinforzare [Italian] To reinforce.
  • fife A small flute with a narrower bore, thus producing a higher, more piercing sound than a flute. Generally used in military bands.
  • lentissimo [Italian] Very slow.
  • sight-singing The practice of singing a composition at sight, without previous preparation.
  • natural A symbol placed by a note signifying that the note should be played unaltered, as opposed to the sharp or flat of the note.
  • falsetto [Italian] Vocal technique whereby men can sing above their normal range, producing a lighter sound.