Multilingual Music Glossary

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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

  • bracket In a score, a vertical bracket that groups together the staves relative to the instruments of a section, like the woodwinds or the strings.
  • brillante [Italian] Bright, brilliant.
  • stretto [Italian] A directive to quicken the tempo.
  • response Short choral answer to a solo verse; an element of liturgical dialogue.
  • brioso [Italian] Vivacious, spirited, lively.
  • courante [French] A family of triple meter dances from the late Renaissance and the Baroque era.
  • accompagnato [Italian] Accompanied.
  • sciolto [Italian] A directive to perform at ease, in a light, free manner.
  • al niente [Italian] Literally, “to nothing”. Fade to silence.
  • dolcissimo [Italian] Very sweet, very soft.
  • modulation Moving from one key to another.
  • fipple The block, typically of wood, that forms the floor of the windway of an edge-blown aerophone.
  • quasi [Italian] “Almost”.
  • estampie [French] A type of early instrumental music of the 13th and 14th centuries, consisting of independent sections strung together.
  • similar motion In part-writing, similar motion is the situation in which two voices of the composition move in the same direction, either ascending or descending, but they do not necessarily cover the same interval.