Music Dictionary

Musical Dictionary

Our Interactive Dictionary of Musical Terms.

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A cappella
People singing without instruments.


Accelerando
Italian for "accelerating." To grow faster and faster.


Accent
When you are playing music, to accent a note is to make it stand out from other notes by playing it differently.


Accompaniment
Accompaniment is the music played by instruments that is heard behind the main performer. For example, singers might have "piano accompaniment."


Accordion
A musical instrument that is held between your hands, consisting of a bellows, two sets of reeds, a keyboard for the melody, and buttons for bass notes and chords. While playing the keyboard and buttons with your fingers, the bellows are pushed open and closed. They pump air through one set of reeds when being opened and through the second set of reeds when being closed to make the sound.


Adagio
At first translated as “comfortable, at one's ease, without hurrying,” adagio has come to be accepted as the slowest tempo. Adagio is also used as a noun to designate a slow movement or work.


Air
A tune for voice or instrument.


Alla
In the style of -- for example, "alla turca" means in the Turkish style.


Allegro
Italian for "happy." To play a piece in a lively manner, at a fast (but not too fast) pace.


Alto
A vocal range that is usually the lowest female voice in choral music. In a four-part chorus it is below soprano and above tenor. Alto is also used to describe the range of many instruments.


Andante
Italian for "going." To play a piece at a moderate speed -- not too fast, not too slow.


Arabesque
A short piano composition with extra musical decoration.


Aria
A vocal solo, with instrumental accompaniment, from an opera or oratorio.


Arpeggio
Playing the notes in a chord quickly one after the other.


Arrangement
Changing a written piece of music so that it can be played by many different instruments.


Atonal
Music that has no key. All the notes are treated as equal.


Music Dictionary

Musical Dictionary

Our Interactive Dictionary of Musical Terms.

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

A cappella
People singing without instruments.


Accelerando
Italian for "accelerating." To grow faster and faster.


Accent
When you are playing music, to accent a note is to make it stand out from other notes by playing it differently.


Accompaniment
Accompaniment is the music played by instruments that is heard behind the main performer. For example, singers might have "piano accompaniment."


Accordion
A musical instrument that is held between your hands, consisting of a bellows, two sets of reeds, a keyboard for the melody, and buttons for bass notes and chords. While playing the keyboard and buttons with your fingers, the bellows are pushed open and closed. They pump air through one set of reeds when being opened and through the second set of reeds when being closed to make the sound.


Adagio
At first translated as “comfortable, at one's ease, without hurrying,” adagio has come to be accepted as the slowest tempo. Adagio is also used as a noun to designate a slow movement or work.


Air
A tune for voice or instrument.


Alla
In the style of -- for example, "alla turca" means in the Turkish style.


Allegro
Italian for "happy." To play a piece in a lively manner, at a fast (but not too fast) pace.


Alto
A vocal range that is usually the lowest female voice in choral music. In a four-part chorus it is below soprano and above tenor. Alto is also used to describe the range of many instruments.


Andante
Italian for "going." To play a piece at a moderate speed -- not too fast, not too slow.


Arabesque
A short piano composition with extra musical decoration.


Aria
A vocal solo, with instrumental accompaniment, from an opera or oratorio.


Arpeggio
Playing the notes in a chord quickly one after the other.


Arrangement
Changing a written piece of music so that it can be played by many different instruments.


Atonal
Music that has no key. All the notes are treated as equal.


 

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