Multilingual Music Glossary
- habanera Moderate duple meter dance of Cuban origin, popular in the nineteenth century. It is based on a characteristic rhythmic figure.
- hairpin The symbol, made up of two joined lines, used to indicate a crescendo or a decrescendo.
- Halbe See half note.
- Halbenote See half note.
- Halbton See semitone.
- half note A note that has half the duration of time of a whole note.
- half-step See semitone.
- Haltebogen See tie.
- halve noot See half note.
- halvnode See half note.
- halvnot See half note.
- halvton See semitone.
- Handel-Werke-Verzeichnis The numbering system identifying compositions by George Frederic Handel.
- Handschrift See autograph.
- håndskrift See autograph.
- handskrift See autograph.
- harmonic Any integer multiple of the fundamental frequency of a tone. The fundamental frequency is considered to be the first harmonic; doubling its frequency you obtain the second harmonic, tripling it you obtain the third harmonic, and so on.
- harmonic minor scale A minor scale where the seventh tone is raised by a semitone, both ascending and descending.
- harmonie See harmony.
- harmony Tones sounding simultaneously.
- haut Literally, “high”. Medieval category of loud instruments, used principally for outdoor occasions.
- hautbois Oboe.
- hauteur See pitch.
- head joint The top section of a flute, with the tone hole where the player initiates the sound by blowing air across the opening.
- head voice The highest register of the voice, excluding falsetto.
- heavy metal Rock style that gained popularity in the 1970s, characterized by simple, repetitive ideas and loud, distorted instrumental solos.
- heftig Vehement, boisterous.
- hele See ornament.
- hele noot See whole note.
- hele toon See whole tone.
- helnode See whole note.
- helnot See whole note.
- helton See whole tone.
- heltone See whole tone.
- hemidemisemiquaver See sixty-fourth note.
- hemiola In modern musical parlance, a metrical pattern in which two bars in simple triple time are articulated as if they were three bars in simple duple time.
- hémiole See hemiola.
- hengitysmerkki See breath mark.
- heptatonic scale Any scale of seven tones.
- herstellingsteken See natural.
- Hertz The basic unit of measurement of frequency, definable as one cycle per second. Usually abbreviated “Hz”.
- heterophony Texture in which two or more voices (or parts) elaborate the same melody simultaneously, often the result of improvisation.
- hidastaen See ritenuto.
- Hilfslinie See ledger line.
- hitaasti See adagio.
- hjälplinje See ledger line.
- hjælpelinie See ledger line.
- hocket A Medieval practice of composition in which two voices would move in such a manner that one would be still while the other moved and vice-versa.
- hold See fermata.
- Holzbläser See woodwind.
- homofoni See homophony.
- homofonía See homophony.
- homophonie See homophony.
- homophony Music in which one voice leads melodically followed by the other voices more or less in the same rhythm. In contrast with polyphony.
- hopak A folk Ukrainian dance, introduced to the orchestra by such composers as Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky.
- hoppande See disjunct.
- hoquet See hocket.
- hoquetus See hocket.
- houtblazers See woodwind.
- hulplijntje See ledger line.
- Hundertundachtundzwanzigstel See one hundred and twenty-eighth note.
- Hundertundachtundzwanzigstelnote See one hundred and twenty-eighth note.
- huojunta See beat.
- HWV See Handel-Werke-Verzeichnis.
- hymn Song in praise of God; often involves congregational participation.
- hymne national See national anthem.
- hyperaeolian See locrian.
- Hz See Hertz.