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

V

  • V.S. [Italian] See volta subito.
  • vago [Italian] Vague, indefinite.
  • valeur [French] See duration.
  • valore [Italian] See duration.
  • vals [Spanish] See waltz.
  • valse [French] See waltz.
  • valzer [Italian] See waltz.
  • vamp Short passage with simple rhythm and harmony that introduces a soloist.
  • vamp till ready In 20th century music, an indication to the accompanist to repeat a passage until the soloist is prepared to enter.
  • variation An altered version of a rhythm, motive, or theme.
  • variazione [Italian] See variation.
  • varighed [Danish] See duration.
  • varsovienne [French] A French dance in 3/4 time with a moderate tempo.
  • vaudeville [French] A variety show with unrelated acts consisting of stand-up comedy, virtuoso instrumental and vocal performance, and song and dance acts.
  • vejrtrækningstegn [Danish] See breath mark.
  • veloce [Italian] Fast.
  • verismo [Italian] A term meaning “realism”, applied to Romantic works (especially operas) of the late 19th century that have to do with unpleasant realities of life.
  • verse A single line in a metrical composition, e.g. a poem. However, the word has come to represent any division or grouping of words in such a composition, which traditionally had been referred to as a stanza.
  • verse anthem Anglican devotional composition for solo voices with a choral refrain.
  • versiering [Dutch] See ornament.
  • verve [French] A high degree of energy, excitement or spirit. Often referred to as the artistic inspiration and special feeling of excitement that is used by artists to realize the expression of ideas in performance or composition.
  • Verzierung [German] See ornament.
  • vibrato [Italian] Small fluctuation of pitch and/or volume, used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to instrumental music.
  • Viennese waltz See waltz.
  • vierenzestigste noot [Dutch] See sixty-fourth note.
  • Viertel [German] See quarter note.
  • Viertelnote [German] See quarter note.
  • Vierundsechzigstel [German] See sixty-fourth note.
  • Vierundsechzigstelnote [German] See sixty-fourth note.
  • vif [French] A tempo directive meaning “lively”.
  • vihjenuotit [Finnish] See cue-notes.
  • villancico [Spanish] A 15th and 16th century form of Spanish poetry that was often set to music.
  • villanella [Italian] A Renaissance polyphonic vocal form, usually with a simple tune in the top voice, and somewhat homophonic, regular rhythms in the lower voices.
  • villanelle [French] A French term used in the 16th century for pastoral poems or songs. The term was later revived, and applied to compositions by later composers.
  • villereccio [Italian] Rustic, rural.
  • vingerzetting [Dutch] See fingering.
  • violento [Italian] Violent, vehement.
  • virelai [French] A Medieval and Renaissance form of French poetry and song, written in an ABBA form with a courtly text.
  • virtuoso [Italian] Performer of extraordinary technical ability.
  • vite [French] Fast.
  • vivace [Italian] A fast tempo marking, usually around 140 BPM.
  • vivacissimamente [Italian] A directive to perform in a very lively or brisk manner.
  • vivacissimo [Italian] A fast tempo, faster than vivace.
  • vivo [Italian] Lively.
  • vocal cords The vocal organs in the human being which produce sound.
  • vocal folds See vocal cords.
  • vocal music music that is written or arranged to be performed by human voices.
  • vocal range The range of notes that a singing voice can encompass.
  • vocalese A style or genre of jazz singing wherein lyrics are written for melodies that were originally part of an all-instrumental composition or improvisation.
  • vocalise [French] A vocal exercise that is sung without words, typically using different vowel sounds.
  • vocalization The singing of vocalises.
  • voce [Italian] See voice.
  • voce di petto [Italian] See chest voice.
  • voce di testa [Italian] See head voice.
  • voce piena [Italian] “Full voice”.
  • voice Either human voice or a melodic layer or part of a polyphonic composition.
  • voice leading See part writing.
  • voimistuen [Finnish] See crescendo.
  • voix [French] See voice.
  • Vokalise [German] See vocalise.
  • volta [Italian] “Time”, as in “first time” (prima volta) or “second time” (seconda volta).
  • volta [Italian] See volte.
  • volta subito [Italian] A directive to turn the page quickly.
  • volte [French] A Renaissance dance for couples in triple meter.
  • volti [Italian] See volta subito.
  • volume Degree of loudness or softness of a sound.
  • von Anfang [German] See da capo.
  • voorslag [Dutch] See appoggiatura.
  • Vorschlag [German] See appoggiatura.
  • Vorspiel [German] See prelude.
  • Vorzeichen [German] See key signature.
  • voz [Spanish] See voice.