Multilingual Music Glossary
Found a word you don't know? No problem. Look it up in the Music Glossary!
We are currently providing explanations for 2464 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
- tasto solo Literally, “key only”. A directive indicating that a note is to be performed without harmony, especially used in compositions that use continuo.
- pointed arms On a flute, arms connecting the keys to the rods which are pointed and extend to the keys' centers; found on more expensive flutes.
- beat A throbbing that is heard when two tones are slightly out of tune.
- treble The highest part of a polyphonic composition.
- tritone A dissonant interval consisting of three whole steps.
- divisi Literally, “divided”. A directive in ensemble music that instructs one section to divide into two or more separate sections, each playing a separate part. Often these separate parts are written on the same staff.
- 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.
- just intonation Tuning system in which the notes are obtained by adding and subtracting natural fifths and thirds.
- comodamente Comfortably.
- lentamente Slowly.
- comic opera A sung dramatic work of a light or comic nature, usually with a happy ending.
- triste Sad.
- instrumentation The particular combination of musical instruments employed in a composition.
- bel canto Literally “beautiful singing”. Elegant Italian vocal style, characterized by florid melodic lines and delivered by voices of great agility, smoothness and purity of tone.
- lip plate The part of a flute which contacts the player's lower lip, allowing precise positioning and direction of the air stream.