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 2453 terms from 12 languages, including English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Latin…

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Some random terms

  • frottola [Italian] A secular song that was popular in Italy in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, direct predecessor of the madrigal.
  • inquieto [Italian] Restless, uneasy, agitated.
  • whole tone An interval of two semitones, a major second.
  • 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.
  • fanfare A short, lively, loud, militaristic composition, usually composed for brass instruments and percussions.
  • transcription Either notating an unnotated piece, or rewriting a piece, either simply recopying, as for clarity, or as an arrangement for another instrument.
  • appassionato [Italian] Passionate, with intense emotion or feeling.
  • leggiero [Italian] Light, delicate.
  • arrangement A rewriting of a piece of existing music with additional new material, or a fleshing-out of a compositional sketch. If a musical adaptation does not include new material, it is more accurately termed a transcription or orchestration.
  • libretto [Italian] A “little book” that contains the complete text of an opera, oratorio, and so forth.
  • alla breve [Italian] A time marking indicating a quick duple meter, with the half note rather than the quarter note getting the beat (2/2 rather than 4/4).
  • risoluto [Italian] Bold, resolute.
  • Klavier [German] A keyboard instrument; usually, a piano.
  • moresca [Italian] An exotic Renaissance dance simulating a battle between the Moors and the Christians.
  • rasch [German] Rapid, swift.