Multilingual Music Glossary
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…
You may browse the glossary alphabetically, or directly search for a term by using the search box above.
If you are looking for a symbol, check out our Guide to Musical Symbols.
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
- mariachi Traditional Mexican ensemble popular throughout the country, consisting of trumpets, violins, guitar and bass guitar.
- staccatissimo 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.
- Opp. Plural of Op.
- tablature Any form of musical notation using symbols or letters rather than notes on the staff to describe pitches.
- zart Tender, delicate.
- inversion The position of a chord when the fundamental is not the lowest note. Also, the inversion of the order of the notes of an interval, obtained by raising or lowering either of the notes the necessary number of octaves.
- Tzigane Term used for a composition having gypsy influences or flavor.
- SATB An abbreviation used to denote the number of voice parts in a vocal composition. It implies that the composition has one soprano part, one alto part, one tenor part, and one bass part. Common variants of this are: SSATTB (Soprano in two-parts, Alto, Tenor in two-parts , and Bass), SSATB, SSA, TTBB, etc.
- mezzo forte Moderately loud. Not quite so loud as forte.
- forefall An ascending appoggiatura.
- transposing instrument Those instruments which are notated in one key on paper, yet sound another key when they are performed.
- Hertz The basic unit of measurement of frequency, definable as one cycle per second. Usually abbreviated “Hz”.
- Ausdrucksvoll Expressive.
- Gregorian chant Monophonic melody with a freely flowing, unmeasured vocal line; liturgical chant of the Roman Catholic Church.
- gentile Gentle, kind.