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 2457 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

  • Ryom Verzeichnis [German] A numbering system identifying compositions by Antonio Vivaldi.
  • Köchel Verzeichnis [German] The numbering system identifying compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • Meistergesang [German] A tradition of songwriting and performance in Germany during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.
  • contrary motion Simultaneous motion of two voices, one of which is in opposition to the other, with one voice rising in pitch while the other one falls in pitch.
  • roulade [French] A highly ornamented vocal composition, usually for one voice and accompaniment.
  • poco a poco [Italian] Little by little.
  • espressione [Italian] “Expression”.
  • gizmo key On a flute, an optional key on the B foot joint which can enhance the responsiveness of C7 (the highest C playable on a flute).
  • chromaticism Use of tones extraneous to a diatonic scale (major or minor).
  • flat An accidental symbol that lowers the pitch of a note by a semitone.
  • fiddle A name for the violin, especially when used to perform folk music.
  • sonata da camera [Italian] A baroque style of sonata, consisting in a suite of stylized dances, performed either by a small ensemble or by a soloist.
  • giocoso [Italian] Jolly, merry, playful.
  • duct flute A type of flute, whose pitch is produced by an air column moving through a channel, or duct, and directed to strike a sharp edge or lip causing the air column to split and vibrate. Several types of duct flutes include recorder, flageolet, penny whistle, whistle flute and slide whistle.
  • bluegrass A form of American country music, inspired by the music of immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as jazz and blues. In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment.