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 2432 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

  • quadruplet A group of four notes played in the time usually taken to play six.
  • haut [French] Literally, “high”. Medieval category of loud instruments, used principally for outdoor occasions.
  • rinforzare [Italian] To reinforce.
  • Gesamtkunstwerk [German] The integration of all of the arts (music, poetry, dance and other visual elements) into a single medium of dramatic expression. This term was used by Richard Wagner to describe the vision of his later operas in the late Romantic era.
  • exposition The first statement of a theme.
  • moresca [Italian] An exotic Renaissance dance simulating a battle between the Moors and the Christians.
  • Eingang [German] An introduction, preface or prelude.
  • marziale [Italian] Martial, with a military feeling.
  • score The complete musical notation of a composition, especially for an ensemble, where the individual parts are lined up vertically.
  • volta [Italian] “Time”, as in “first time” (prima volta) or “second time” (seconda volta).
  • lentissimo [Italian] Very slow.
  • Lied [German] (Plural: Lieder.) Literally, “song”; most commonly associated with the solo art song of the nineteenth century, usually accompanied by piano.
  • polka A lively ballroom dance of Bohemian origin in duple meter greatly, popular in the 19th century. Also a short, lyric piano composition.
  • compound interval An interval greater than an octave.
  • staccatissimo [Italian] A style of playing notes in a detached, separated, distinct manner that shortens the notated duration of the note in a more exaggerated way than normal staccato.