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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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

  • double flat An accidental sign consisting of two flat symbols, that lowers a note by two semitones.
  • à la [French] In the manner of.
  • gypsy scale A scale resembling the harmonic minor scale, but with an augmented fourth. It is called the Gypsy scale because of its exotic sound and its use in Hungarian music.
  • technique The mechanical aspect of performing a composition.
  • nonet A composition for nine instruments.
  • etwas [German] “Somewhat”.
  • dramma giocoso [Italian] A kind of comic opera originating around 1750, with sentimental or pathetic plots bordering on tragedy rather than the traditional lighthearted comic plots.
  • diatonic scale A seven note musical scale, consisting of five whole steps and two half steps.
  • articulation The manner in which adjacent notes of a melody are connected or separated. Woodwind and brass instruments generally articulate by tonguing, the use of the tongue to break the airflow into the instrument.
  • zart [German] Tender, delicate.
  • licenza [Italian] A directive to perform a certain passage with some freedom of manner.
  • staff Series of five horizontal lines upon and between which the musical notes are written, thus indicating, in connection with a clef, their pitch.
  • sereno [Italian] Serene, calm.
  • dump A slow, melancholic old English dance, usually in 4/4 time.
  • cadence A sequence of chords that terminates a musical phrase or section.