พจนานุกรมดนตรี ( Dictionary of Music)

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DICTIONARY OF MUSIC

A

a Ring finger of the right hand

À (French) by, for, in, to, with, in the manner of
A (Italian) by, for, in, to, with, in the manner of

Accel. (Italian) accelerating, getting steadily faster
Accelerando (Italian) accelerating, getting steadily faster

Acciaccatura (Italian) Grace note; crushed note, written with a diagonal line through the note hook or flag

Accidental sign for raising, lowering the pitch of a note or of canceling a previously applied sign, the sharp and flat signs in a key signature are not strictly accidentals although this term is commonly used to describe them

Accompaniment support provided by harmonically or melodically to the main theme in a piece of music, which although designed to be subordinate may, on occasions, dominate, for example, when the melody line is not playing

Accord (French) chord, tuning

Adagietto (Italian) slow
Adagio (Italian) slow
Adagissimo (Italian) slow

Ad lib. (Latin) at pleasure, as you wish it
Ad libitum (Latin) at pleasure, as you wish it

Agitato (Italian) agitated, agitatedly, excited, fast, hurried, restless

Alberti Bass a simple accompaniment consisting of broken chords, usually 'tonic, dominant, mediant, dominant' in succession

Alborada (Spanish) morning music, particular of a rough pastoral form

Al fine (Italian) to the end

Alla (Italian) to the, at the, on the, with the, in the manner of, in the style of

Alla breve cut time; used for quick duple time in which the half note is given one beat instead of two

Allargando (Italian) getting slower and slower, with a fuller tone

Allegretto (Italian) lively but less so than allegro

Allegrissimo (Italian) very fast tempo marking between presto and vivacissimo

Allegro (Italian) quick, lively, bright, not as fast as presto

Allegro assai (Italian) very quick

Allegro giusto (Italian) quick with precision

Allegro Maestoso (Italian) quick with precision and dignified

Allegro moderato (Italian) moderately quick

Allegro non troppo (Italian) fast, but not too fast

Allemand (French) a dance of German origin with 4 moderate beats to the bar, although sometimes written as two longer beats in a bar, often the first movement in a suite of dances; in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, a quick dance written in triple time, the precursor of the waltz
Allemande (French) a dance of German origin with 4 moderate beats to the bar, although sometimes written as two longer beats in a bar, often the first movement in a suite of dances; in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, a quick dance written in triple time, the precursor of the waltz

Almain (French) a dance of German origin with 4 moderate beats to the bar, although sometimes written as two longer beats in a bar, often the first movement in a suite of dances; in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, a quick dance written in triple time, the precursor of the waltz
Almayne (French) a dance of German origin with 4 moderate beats to the bar, although sometimes written as two longer beats in a bar, often the first movement in a suite of dances; in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, a quick dance written in triple time, the precursor of the waltz
Almand (French) a dance of German origin with 4 moderate beats to the bar, although sometimes written as two longer beats in a bar, often the first movement in a suite of dances; in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, a quick dance written in triple time, the precursor of the waltz

Analysis the study of the form and structure of music

Andaluza (Spanish) various dances of Spanish origin

Andante (Italian) moving along, flowing, at a walking pace

Andante grazioso (Italian) graceful moving along, at a walking pace

Andante sostenuto (Italian) sustained and moving along

Andantino (Italian) andante

Animato (Italian) animated
Animé (French) animated

A poco a poco (Italian) little by little

Appassionata (Italian) impassioned

Appoggiatura (Italian) a note preparatory to another or to a chord acting as an unprepared suspension

Aragonesa (Spanish) a dance associated with Aragon in Spain

Arpeggio (Italian) (Italian) a spread chord played from the top down or from the bottom up

Arpeggio (Italian) played in a "harp-like manner". A spread chord played from the bottom up or from the top down (with a downward pointing arrow).

Arrangement a work that has been arranged

Assai (Italian) very, extremely

A tempo (Italian) the original speed; a direction to return to the original speed after a deliberate change of tempo

Au (French) to the, at the

Augmented the lengthening of note values when recapitulating a fugal theme adding to it's dignity and weight; to increase a perfect or major interval by one half-step; to add to the standard forces in an orchestra, choir or band

Augmented chord a chord that has an augmented interval between its highest and lowest notes



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B


B String The second string of the guitar.

B1, B2, B3, B4, …… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time.
Symbol used in standard notation for guitar. Number indicates which fret. Example: B7 (C7, CVII, VII)

Bagatelle (French, German) trifle, unpretentious; a short, light instrumental piece of music of no specified form, usually for piano

Bajo (Spanish) low, deep

Balalaika a triangular guitar-like instrument with a fretted finger-board normally bearing three strings of Russian origin

Balance The adjustment of volume and timbre between instruments or voices so that, when required, each is clearly heard through the general texture. A Harmonious or satisfying arrangement or proportion of parts or elements.

Ballabile (Italian) in a dance style, to be danced

Ballad a narrative song, often sentimental, with verses alternating with a refrain

Ballade thirteenth-, fourteenth- and fifteenth-century formes fixes, a strophic piece, each stanza having an initial repeated section followed by a second section played only once, and a final refrain; a dramatic heroic piano piece often inspired by poetry; a setting of a poem to music

Barcarola (Italian)a song or instrumental piece associated with boats and boating generally in compound duple (6/8) or compound quadruple (12/8)
 Barcarolle (French)a song or instrumental piece associated with boats and boating generally in compound duple (6/8) or compound quadruple (12/8)

Barocco (Italian) bizarre, a very clearly definable type or genre of European music from the period c. 1580 to c. 1730

Baroque (French) bizarre, a very clearly definable type or genre of European music from the period c. 1580 to c. 1730

Baroque dance the baroque style of dance evolved during the middle of the seventeenth-century

Baroque guitar an early form of the modern guitar, normally double strung with five courses unlike the six single strings on the modern instrument

Barre (French) a device that clamps to the neck of a plucked string instrument  and which change its tuning by shortening the sounding length of every string

Bass Strings The wound strings on a guitar. The fourth, fifth, & sixth strings.

Basso continuo figured bass

Beam A part of a note.

Beam Grouping Notes beamed in groups in a manor to distinguish the beats in a measure.

Ben (Italian) well, much

Binary form a musical form made up of two sections sometimes termed A and B

Bis (French) repeat, encore, play again

Bolero Spanish dance in 3/4 time; Cuban dance derived from the Spanish bolero, initially into 2/4 time then eventually into 4/4, but always slow

Borre (English)a French dance similar to the gavotte but beginning on the fourth beat of four rather than the third of four as in the gavotte
Borree (English)a French dance similar to the gavotte but beginning on the fourth beat of four rather than the third of four as in the gavotte

Bossa nova a Brazilian popular music style developed in the late 1950s

Brace a rustic dance in duple time, similar to the gavotte, originating in France

Braces Strips of wood attached to the inner top or back of a guitar to increase strength. 

Bracket a perpendicular line with bracket joining multiple staves

Branle (French) a rustic dance in duple time, similar to the gavotte, originating in France
Bransle (French) a rustic dance in duple time, similar to the gavotte, originating in France
Brantle a rustic dance in duple time, similar to the gavotte, originating in France

Brazilian Leopard Wood An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Breve (Italian) a double whole note

Bridge Through the saddle, a wood bridge transfers the vibrating energy of the string to the top of the guitar.

Brillante (French) brilliant, bright, sparkling, with verve and vivacity
Brillante (Italian) brilliant, bright, sparkling, with verve and vivacity

Broken chord an arpeggiated chord where the notes are played one after the other

Burlesca (Italian) jocular



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C


C1, C2, C3, C4, …… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time.
Symbol used in standard notation for guitar. Number indicates which fret. Example: B7 (C7, CVII, VII)

C clef clef sign that marks the position of the note C on the staff. 

Calando (Italian) diminuendo

Calcando (Italian) accelerando

Calmato (Italian) calmed, calming

Calypso Caribbean popular musical form often humorous sung by a single guitarist or bands

Canadian Cypress Alaskan Yellow Cedar, sometimes called Canadian or New World Cypress, is fine and even textured with very close grains. In terms of dimensional change due to moisture content change, it is one of the most stable. It is light yellow in color.

Canari very fast gigue-like dance, in triple or duple-compound meter, with a 'skipping' feel

Can-can Parisian dance, originating in Paris, involving a line of high-kicking women

Canon a musical form in which a (second, third, fourth, ….) line starting later than the one before it matches it note for note but such that the parts overlap

Cantabile (Italian) in a singing style
Cantando (Italian) in a singing style

Cante hondo (Spanish) serious Spanish flamenco song making use of the Phrygian cadence and the word ole
Cante jondo (Spanish) serious Spanish flamenco song making use of the Phrygian cadence and the word ole

Canzonet (Italian) short, simple song
Canzonetta (Italian) short, simple song

Capotasto (Italian) device that clamps to the neck of a guitar and which change its tuning by shortening the sounding length of every string

Capriccio (Italian) light, quick, sometimes fanciful composition

Capriccioso (Italian) capricious

Caprice (English) light, quick, sometimes fanciful composition

Caprice (French) light, quick, sometimes fanciful composition

Carezzando (Italian) caressing

Carol (English) Christmas song

C clef clef sign that marks the position of the note C on the staff.

Cédez (French) slow down generally before a return to an earlier tempo

Cejilla device that can be moved to change the pitch of the flamenco guitar

cf. (Latin) abbreviated form of conferatur meaning 'compare'

Chaconne a slow stately dance with variations, popular during the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, generally in triple time, played over a ground bass

Chamber a prefix used to describe small-scale musical activities, for example- chamber symphony (a symphony for a small ensemble of players), chamber music (music generally written to be played one-to-a-part)

Character piece a musical piece representing a location, mood or personality

Chitarra (Italian) guitar

Chitarra batente guitar from Calabria (southern Italy), also known as 'Renaissance guitar'. With four or five metal strings

Chitarrone a long-necked member of the lute family fitted with extra bass strings, used to accompany solo singers, which was popular in the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries

Choral music sung by a choir

Chord diagrams a form of musical notation using vertical and horizontal lines to represent the strings and frets on a guitar that uses numbered dots to show the position of  the fingers.

Chord symbols abbreviations for chord names used by players of the guitar, ukulele….

Chorus a fairly large choir; a refrain of a song

Chromatic a scale in which all the intervals between succeeding notes is a semitone (half-note)

Chromatic interval a note that does not form part of the major or natural, melodic or harmonic minor scales

Chromatic scale Scale composed of twelve half steps

CI, CII, CIII, CIV, CV, CVI…… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time.

Ciacona (Italian) slow stately dance with variations, popular during the seventeenth- and eighteenth-centuries, generally in triple time, played over a ground bass

Cinq (French) five

Circle of fifths chain of intervals. each interval a fifth, after passing through every note of  the scale returns to a note, several octaves different, from that on which the chain began.

Classical a period in music generally understood to be between 1750 and 1820; music that is has an enduring quality

Classical Guitar A guitar, usually of six nylon strings, used to play classical style music.

Classical music a period in music generally understood to be between 1750 and 1820; music that is has an enduring quality

Clave five-note, two-bar rhythmic pattern which generates rhythmic measurement and is the foundation and backbone of salsa
Clef symbol placed on the left of the stave which establishes the relationship between notes and their position on the staff lines and spaces

Coda (Italian) passage ended onto the end of a composition

Common chord a chord containing a root, third, and fifth

Common time the time signature 4/4

Compass the range of an instrument

Composé (French) composed

Composer a person who writes music

Con (Italian) with

Con amore (Italian) with love, lovingly

Con brio (Italian) with spirit

Concert (Italian) musical performance in front of an audience

Concertant (French) in the form of a concerto, where there is interplay between the performers
Concertante (Italian) in the form of a concerto, where there is interplay between the performers

Concertino (Italian) a shorter work

Concert master (German) the first violinist or leader of an orchestra
Concert-meister (German) the first violinist or leader of an orchestra

Concerto ensemble music for voice(s) and instrument(s) (seventeenth-century

Concord a chord, or group of notes complete and in total harmony with each other

Conduct to direct a performance by an ensemble

Conductor a person who conducts

Conservatoire (French) where musicians study
Conservatorium (German) where musicians study
Conservatory where musicians study

Contemporary music a term applied  to any music written within the last forty or fifty years

Contradanza (Italian) popular eighteenth-century French dance form

Corda (Italian) string
Corde (Italian) strings
Corde (French) string
Cordas (Portuguese) strings

Corde à jour (French) open string
corde à vide (French) open string

Countermelody a melody designed to fit against a more important line

Counterpoint the technique of setting a melody or melodies in conjunction with another

Courante Rapid French dance in triple meter time

Crescendo increasingly loud

Crescendo e accelerando increasingly loud and getting steadily faster

Croche (French) eighth note

Crochet (French) flag attached to the tail of a note to show its length
Crochets (French) flags attached to the tail of a note to show its length

Cut-a-Way A Cut out of a guitar body that allows for easier access to the upper areas of the fingerboard.

Cut time quick duple time in which the half note is given one beat instead of two



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D


D String The fourth string of the guitar.

Da (Italian) from, of

Da capo (Italian) from the beginning

Da capo al fine (Italian) return to the beginning and end at the point marked by the word fine

Da capo al segno (Italian) return to the beginning and end at the point marked with a sign

Dal segno (Italian) from the sign

Damp to quiet a stringed instrument by touching the string(s)

Danse (French) dance
Danza (Italian) dance
Danza (Spanish) dance

D.C. (Italian) Da capo; from the beginning

D.C. al fine (Italian) Da capo al fine; return to the beginning and end at the point marked by the word fine

D.C. al segno (Italian) Da capo al segno; return to the beginning and end at the point marked with a sign

De (French) from, of

Decrescendo (Italian) to get gradually softer

Deutsch (German) German

Deux (French) two

Deuxième (French) second

Deux temps (French) in 2/2 time, in a tempo where there are two dance steps to a bar whatever the time signature

Development a musical form during which thematic material, introduced earlier, is greatly extended

Diatonic notes that occur naturally in a scale, without being modified by accidentals other than those in the relevant key
signature

Diatonic interval the interval between any two notes that both appear in the major or minor scales of the prevailing keynote

Diatonic scale any scale of the major, natural minor, melodic minor or harmonic minor scales based on a particular key note

Difference tone a third note, with a frequency given by the difference in the frequencies of two other notes played together
Differential tone a third note, with a frequency given by the difference in the frequencies of two other notes played together

dim. (Italian) Diminuendo

Diminished an interval narrowed by one semitone from a perfect or minor interval

Diminuendo (Italian) gradually getting softer

Dix (French) ten

Doigt (French) finger

Doigté (French) fingering

Dolce (Italian) soft, sweet

Dolcissimo (Italian) very softly, very sweetly

Dolente (Italian) sorrowful

Dolentemente (Italian) sorrowfully

Dolentissimo (Italian) very sorrowful

Dolore (Italian) pain

Dolorosamente (Italian) painfully

Doloroso (Italian) painful

Dominant the fifth degree of the diatonic scale

Dot placed above or below the notehead it indicates a staccato, placed immediately after a note it indicates that the note should be extended by half as much again as its principal time value a note with two dots following it, indicates that the note should be extended by a further quarter of its principal time value

Double (French) variation

Double bar a pair of vertical lines at the end of a section of a work

Double-bémol (French) double flat sign

Double concerto a concerto for two solo instruments and orchestra

Double counterpoint a method of counterpoint in which a second melody is added to an existing melody

Double-croche (French) sixteenth note

Double-dièse (French) double sharp sign

Double exposition in a concerto, when the theme is stated twice, once by the orchestra and once by the soloist

Double flat the sign that lowers a note by two semitones

Double fugue a fugue which has two separate subjects

Double-pause (French) double whole rest

Double-ronde (French) double whole note

Double sharp the sign that raises a note by two semitones

Double-time in jazz, packing twice as many notes in a measure as were there in the preceding measures so that the tempo appears to gain a great deal of momentum but the chord progressions played by the rhythm section remain the same

Double whole note a Breve

Doubling where two instruments play the same part in ensemble playing

Drei (German) three

Due (Italian) two

Duet a piece of music for two players

Duettino a little duet

Duo (Italian) duet
Duo (French) duet

Duple meter a time signature, with an even number of beats- 2/2, 4/2, 6/8…

Duplet a pair of notes, or a note and a rest, having the time usually given to three

Duple time a time signature, with an even number of beats- 2/2, 4/2, 6/8…

Duration the length of time that a note is sounded, or rest is held

Dynamic mark mark indicating that the dynamic level of a piece should gradually or suddenly change

Dynamics varying degrees of loudness or softness



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E


E string The first or sixth string of the guitar.

Early music music written from the Middle Ages to about 1750

East Indian Rosewood Although East Indian Rosewood had been used for guitar backs and sides for many decades it became more common in the mid-1960s when the more well known Brazilian Rosewood became less available for guitar construction. Indian Rosewood was also found to be an excellent alternative to Brazilian Rosewood both visually and tonally with added stability. The color ranges from red to light brown with golden streaks.

Écossaise (French) a 2-in-a-bar contredanse, from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries

Eighth an interval of an octave

Eighth note one eighth the time value of a whole note
Eighth rest one eighth the time value of a whole rest

Ein  (German) a, one

Eine (German) a, one

Electro-acoustic music electronic music
Electronic Tuner Electronic device for tuning a guitar.

Elegia (Italian) elegy
Elegiaco (Italian) elegiac

Élégie (French) a lament
Elegy (English) a lament

Elements of a Musical Score  Elevato (Italian) elevated of spirit

Enharmonic the interval between notes notated for example A flat and G sharp, which on an equal tempered keyboard instrument are played with the same key

Ensemble a group of musicians

Entrada (Spanish) entrance

Entrata (Italian) beginning, entrance

Entrée (French) the commencing moment of any work

Episode a subsidiary part of a work

Eroica (German) heroic

Espagne (French) Spanish
Espagnol Spanish
Espagnole (French) Spanish
Espagnuolo Spanish
Espagnolo Spanish
Espagnola Spanish
Espagnuola (Italian) Spanish

Espressione (Italian) expression

Espressivo (Italian) expressively

Étouffer (French) dampen, mute, to dampen
Étouffez (French) dampen, mute, to dampen

Étude (French) a piece written for the purposes of practicing or displaying technique

Evocación (Spanish) evocation, invocation

Exercise a piece designed to develop technique

Exoteric music music meant to be easily comprehended and performed by anyone with little musical training

Exoticism music in which the rhythms, melodies, or instrumentation are intended to evoke the atmosphere of far-off lands or ancient times

Expressionism where the work expresses the artist or composer's state of mind

Expression marks indications in a musical score where the composer wish changes in the dynamics, tempo or mood

Extended tertian sonorities tall chords; 9th, 11th and 13th chords

Extension an horizontal line (or broken line) placed next to the right of a symbol to show that a symbol     must be maintained during the following note or notes

 

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F

 

f forte, loud

F clef a clef sign that shows the position of F on the staff

Falsetas the melody played on a flamenco guitar

Fan Bracing Generally made of spruce, braces add stiffness to the top of a classical guitar. The wood chosen is very straight grained running the length of the brace. The fan describes the pattern in which the braces lay.

Fantasia (Italian) a piece with an improvisatory feel to it
Fantasie (Italian) a piece with an improvisatory feel to it
Fantasy a piece with an improvisatory feel to it

Farruca a Spanish gypsy dance for men, in 2/4 time

F clef a clef sign that shows the position of F on the staff

Fermata (Italian) musical symbol placed over a note or rest to be extended beyond its normal duration
Fermate (German) musical symbol placed over a note or rest to be extended beyond its normal duration

Fest (German) festival

Festa (Italian) festive

ff (Italian) abbreviation for fortissimo
fff (Italian) abbreviation for fortississimo
ffff (Italian) abbreviation for fortissississimo
fffff  (Italian) abbreviation for fortississississimo

Fifth an interval of five diatonic degrees

Figure musical phrase that repeats in a musical composition

Figured melody melody that is highly ornamented

Fin (French) end

Fin (Italian) as far as

Final central pitch of a piece of music, often the note on which a musical work ends

Final Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is followed by the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, an authentic cadence would be the dominant G major chord (G B D) moving to the tonic C major chord (C E G). In a perfect authentic cadence, the dominant chord in root position is followed by the tonic in root position, and according to some, the cadence is not perfect unless the uppermost voice is the tonic in the final chord

Finale (Italian) the final section of an extended work with several movements or sections

Fine (Italian) end

Fingerboard A strip of wood holding frets on the neck of a guitar against which the strings are pressed in playing.

Fingering the arrangement of fingers required to play a particular note or sequences of notes on a musical instrument

First ending where a section is repeated, the composer may wish to vary the sectional ending, whether first ending or second ending, as a way of creating symmetry between antecedent and consequent phrases or simply in order to extend the composition

Flag line(s) extending from the right side of a stem of a note. Indicating an eighth note or smaller

Flamenco A style evolved over centuries, carried across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the European continent by nomad gypsies. At its purest it is a form of song accompanied with one or two guitars and rhythmic clapping.

Flat a sign which lowers the pitch of a note by one semitone

Flat to play under the general pitch

Focoso (Italian) fiery

Folia a folk-song associated with the Canary Islands, slow and lyrical in character and usually accompanied by a guitar or the timple

Folk elements introduction of folk melodies, rhythms or characteristic harmonic progressions into orchestral or chamber music

Folk music songs and dances transmitted orally through several generations before being recorded or notated

Forte (Italian) loud, abbreviated 'f',  powerful, strong

Fortemente (Italian) strongly powerfully,
Fortepiano (Italian) early name for the pianoforte
Fortissimo (Italian) louder than forte
Fortississimo (Italian) louder than Fortissimo
Fortissississimo (Italian) louder thanFortississimo Forza (Italian) force
Forzando (Italian) forcing
Forzato (Italian) forced
fp Fortepiano; loud, then immediately soft

French Polished Shellac French polishing is a method of applying finish to a guitar by hand with a cotton pad. Most of the fine classical guitars being hand made today are French Polished. It is a most highly-prized and desired finish for both its visual and tone enhancing characteristics.  The texture, luster and color of the wood are enhanced with a French polish finish. It is thin, flexible and produces the clearest and most natural sound. Multiple polishing sessions are required over many weeks to achieve the best results.  The finish dries to the touch almost immediately but can takes months to fully cure.  Even though it is thin and flexible it is not very protective against even minor physical abuse.

Frequency the number of vibrations per second of a musical pitch, usually measured in Hertz (Hz)

Fresco (Italian) fresh or cool

Frets Horizontal strips fixed in or tied around the fingerboard of some stringed instruments to act as guides to where the fingers should be placed to stop for different notes. Strips of metal on the neck of a guitar against which the strings are pressed in playing.

Fuga (Latin)
Fugato a passage in a fugal style
Fugue (Italian) a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century canon
Fuge (German) fugue
Fughetta a short fugue

Fugue form in which a subject theme is introduced and then extended and developed through some number of successive imitations

Full Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is followed by the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, an authentic cadence would be the dominant G major chord (G B D) moving to the tonic C major chord (C E G). In a perfect authentic cadence, the dominant chord in root position is followed by the tonic in root position, and according to some, the cadence is not perfect unless the uppermost voice is the tonic in the final chord. 

Full Close Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is followed by the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, an authentic cadence would be the dominant G major chord (G B D) moving to the tonic C major chord (C E G). In a perfect authentic cadence, the dominant chord in root position is followed by the tonic in root position, and according to some, the cadence is not perfect unless the uppermost voice is the tonic in the final chord. 

Full Orchestra an orchestra with all of its four sections; brass, percussion strings, and woodwind

Fundamental the lowest note in the harmonic series

Fuoco (Italian) force and speed

Für  (German) for

fz (Italian)  forzando or forzato; forcing



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G


G clef a clef sign that shows the position of G on the staff

G String The third string of the guitar.

Gaillard a simple triple time dance usually popular in the 16th and 17th centuries

Galliard (English) lively dance originating from the fifteenth-century, generally in triple time
Galliarde (French) lively dance originating from the fifteenth-century, generally in triple time

Galop a lively nineteenth-century round dance in simple duple time
Galopade a lively nineteenth-century round dance in simple duple time

Gauche (French) left

G clef a clef sign that shows the position of G on the staff

Gentilemente (Italian) delicately, gently

Giacoso (Italian) lighthearted manner, play in a merry

Gig jig, a quick dance with the beats grouped in 3's
Giga jig, a quick dance with the beats grouped in 3's
Gigg jig, a quick dance with the beats grouped in 3's
Gigge jig, a quick dance with the beats grouped in 3's

Gitana (Italian) gipsy
Gitano (Italian) gipsy

Gittern an early form of guitar with four pairs of gut strings

Glissando (Italian) A rapid scale produced by sliding the finger from one note to another
Glissant (French) A rapid scale produced by sliding the finger from one note to another
Glisser (French) A rapid scale produced by sliding the finger from one note to another
Gitarr (Swedish) guitar

Grace note ornamental note played quickly before the beat

Graciozo (Italian) play gracefully

Granadillo A wood common in South America. It is non-porous, straight grained and very dense. It has a medium to fine texture. The reddish brown color darkens to a brick color over time much like Honduran rosewood.

Granadina a type of fandango from southern Spain

Grand staff the combination of a staff line notated in treble clef with one notated in bass clef

Grazia (Italian) grace
Grazioso (Italian) graceful
Graziosamente (Italian) gracefully
Graziös (German) gracious, graceful

Great staff A combination of the bass clef and treble clef staves with the common line between them

Gros (French) great, big
Grosse (French) great, big
Gross (German) great, large
Grosse (German) great, large
Grosso (Italian) full, great

G-Schlussel (German) G or treble clef

Guitar Polish Product designed specifically for shining a guitar.

Guitar Top Resonator consisting of a thin board whose vibrations reinforce the sound of the instrument. TheSoundboard.

Guitarra de golpe a Mexican 3/4 sized guitar used as a rhythmic instrument in mariachi music

Guitarra de son a small 4-string Mexican guitar from the Jarocho region

Guitarra mariachera a Mexican 3/4 sized guitar used as a rhythmic instrument in mariachi music

Guitarrico very small Spanish guitar related to the timple

Guitarrillo a small guitar with 12 metal strings used in Spanish-speaking countries

Guitarro a small Spanish five string guitar

Guitarrón a large bass guitar from Chile and Mexico. with a short neck, six strings, no frets on the fingerboard and a belly in the back

Gut (German) the intestines of animals used for strings of musical instruments

Gut (German) good, well

Gypsy scale resembling the harmonic minor scale, but with an augmented fourth (C, D, E flat, F sharp, G, A flat, B, C').

Gyterne a short-necked lute

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H


Half Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is the final chord of the cadence and is preceded by the tonic chord in second inversion. This pattern produces two chords with the same bass note. In the tonality of C major, a half cadence would be the tonic chord in second inversion C major chord (G C E) moving to the dominant G major chord (G B D).
Half Close Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is the final chord of the cadence and is preceded by the tonic chord in second inversion. This pattern produces two chords with the same bass note. In the tonality of C major, a half cadence would be the tonic chord in second inversion C major chord (G C E) moving to the dominant G major chord (G B D).

Half note a note half the value of a semibreve
Half rest a rest half the value of a semibreve

Half step a semitone

Hallelujah (Hebrew) a song in praise of God

Harmonic Minor Scale

Harmonic progression the movement from one chord to another

Harmonic rhythm the rate of harmonic change

Harmonic series elements of the aural spectrum
Harmonics elements of the aural spectrum

Harmonique (French) harmonic
Harmonische Töne (German) harmonics

Harmony the relationship between notes when heard together

Hawaiian guitar a slide guitar

Hejjuj Arabic word for lute

Hidden fifths Approaching fifths or octaves by similar motion can produce the same effect as approaching fifths or octaves by parallel motion. Adding a passing tone to a hidden fifth produces a parallel fifth, for example. Since the parallel fifth is implied by a missing note, approaching fifths or octaves by similar motion is called hidden fifths or octaves
Hidden octaves Approaching fifths or octaves by similar motion can produce the same effect as approaching fifths or octaves by parallel motion. Adding a passing tone to a hidden fifth produces a parallel fifth, for example. Since the parallel fifth is implied by a missing note, approaching fifths or octaves by similar motion is called hidden fifths or octaves

Hondo sad Andalusian song employing microtones

Honduran Mahogany A wood that used to be exported mainly from Honduras, but now comes more often from Brazil. African Mahogany is a little heavier and finer textured than Honduran Mahogany. Mahogany is fine for guitars due to its relative low cost, ease of working, and stability. Colors range from light pink to medium brown to reddish brown.

Honduran Rosewood A wood becoming difficult to obtain. Denser than Indian rosewood, it compares well to Brazilian rosewood, and some claim it is superior, producing a well-balanced sounding guitar with great projection and strong lows and highs. A good substitute to Brazilian Rosewood. The color ranges from a rich mauve to a brownish brick red with tight growth rings and occasional dark brown to black ink lines.

Honduran Redheart An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Hornpipe a lively dance resembling a jig in triple time in the early sixteenth century, and in 4/4 time from the mid-eighteenth century, associated with sailors

Humoreske (German) piano music of a capricious character
Humoresque (French) piano music of a capricious character

Hymn a song of praise

 

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I


Index finger of the right hand

I (Italian) the

I, II, III, IV, V, VI…… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time.Symbol used in standard notation for guitar. Roman numeral indicates which fret. Example: B7 (C7, CVII, VII)

Il (Italian) the

Il faut (French) there is needed, there are needed

Illustrative music music that evokes a idea, mood or experience

Il pin (Italian) the most

Imitando (Italian) imitating

Imitation the repetition of a phrase, usually at a different pitch
Imitative the repetition of a phrase, usually at a different pitch

Imperfect Cadence Half Cadence. A chord progression where the dominant chord is the final chord of the cadence and is preceded by the tonic chord in second inversion. This pattern produces two chords with the same bass note. In the tonality of C major, a half cadence would be the tonic chord in second inversion C major chord (G C E) moving to the dominant G major chord (G B D).

Impressionism gives an impression of an experience

Impromptu instrumental piece giving the impression of having been improvised

Improvisation compose or perform

Inconsolato (Italian) in a mournful style

Indebolendo (Italian) becoming weaker

Indeciso (Italian) capricious, undecided

Instrumental describes music written for instruments but not for the voice

Instrumentation the disposition of instruments in a musical work, which instruments plays what lines in the score

Instruments devices used to create music

Interlude a short piece played between two larger ones

Intermezzo (Italian) a smaller piece placed between others

Interrupted Cadence Deceptive Cadence. A chord progression where the dominant chord is followed by a chord other than the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, a deceptive cadence could be the dominant G major chord (G B D) moving to the subdominant A minor chord (A C E).

Interval the distance between two pitches

Intrada (Italian) entrée

Intro opening bars of a piece of music played before the main theme

Introduction the opening part of a piece of music

Introduzione (Italian) introduction

Inversion where the notes in a chord or triad do not follow their standard order

Invertible counterpoint counterpoint in which two or more voices can be interchanged

 

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J

 

Jácara (Spanish) old song-dance

Jam session informal performance

Jazz music that originated in New Orleans, characterised by syncopations and reiterated rhythms

Jondo a more serious flamenco style

Jondura a more serious flamenco style

Joropo national music and dance form of Venezuela. The dancers are accompanied by harp, cuatro, maracas and guitar

Jota quick dance with hopping steps in triple time from Spain performed by a couple accompanied by a singer who plays the guitar

Joyeuse (French) joyous
Joyeux (French) joyous

 

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K



Kanon (German) canon

Key specific scale or series of notes defining a particular tonality

Key note the first note of the scale upon which a piece of music is based

Key signature an arrangement of sharps or flats placed on the far left hand side of each line of the staff, indicating scale of the piece

Kithara ancient Greek lyre-like instrument, a square or rounded resonator box (body) and as many as eleven gut strings supported by a yoke attached to two arms attached to and rising from the body

Klein (German) small, minor
Kleine (German) small, minor

Kontrapunkt (German) counterpoint

Kontretanz a country dance

Konzert (German) concert, concerto

Konzertstück informal concert piece, usually in one movement, for solo instruments and orchestra

Koto a 13 string Japanese zither of Chinese origin. about 6 feet long. laid horizontally with waxed silken strings stretched tightly over movable bridges along the length of the instrument. plucked using ivory picks

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L


L' (French) the

Lacey She Oak An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Lacewood Lacewood is from South America. It is dense wood with a loud, sustaining tap tone. Its color is a warm cinnamon brown.

Lacquer Acrylic Originally used on cars, it is a guitar finish similar to nitrocellulose lacquer, but dries quicker and harder. With age, does not produce the vintage look.

Lacquer Nitrocellulose Used since the 1920’s, a quick-drying solvent-based lacquer that contains nitrocellulose. A very hard yet flexible, durable finish that can be polished to a high sheen on a guitar. It yellows with age, producing a desired vintage look.

Lacquer Water-Based With personal health and environmental concerns the long-term trend is moving away from solvent-based finishes on guitars.  In response, many manufacturers set a goal to create a lacquer with all of the positive characteristics of current solvent-based lacquers but without the hazardous, toxic solvent base. Water-Based Lacquer is environmentally friendly and produces "acceptable" results.

Lamento (Italian) lament

Lamento bass term from the eighteenth-century to describe a bass line that falls successively by a half-step to denote grief or sadness

Lamentoso (Italian) lamenting, mourning

Larghetto not as slow as largo

Largo(Italian) broad

Laut (German) loud

Laute (German) lute

Leading note the seventh degree of a major scale
Leading tone the seventh degree of a major scale

Ledger line short lines drawn through, above or below the heads of notes that are written above or below the staff

Left hand fingerings In music, the assignment of fingers of the left hand.

Legato (Italian) smooth playing style in which the notes seem bound together

Lento (Italian) slow

Lied (German) song
Lieder (German) songs

Linke hand (German) left hand

Liuto (Italian) lute

Lullaby a cradle song

Luta(Swedish) lute

Lute a plucked stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and fretted fingerboard

Luth (French) a plucked stringed instrument with a pear-shaped body and fretted fingerboard

Luthier a maker of stringed instruments

Lyre guitar six-string lyre-guitars were popular on the Continent early in the 19th century

 

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M


m Middle finger of the right hand

Ma (Italian) but

Macassar Ebony A wood with alternating bands of black and light tan. From East Indonesia, its stability and low damping make it a good tonewood.

Madagascar Rosewood It can resemble the best figured Brazilian Rosewood in appearance and sound. It has brilliant, deep colors (red & orange, red & brown, brown & brown, purple & brown) with intense black line patterning

Maestoso (Italian) dignified, majestic, noble

Maestro (Italian) conductor, master, teacher

Maestro concertatore (Italian) conductor

Maggiore (Italian) major

Main (French) hand

Mains (French) hands

Mahogany –African & Honduran A wood that used to be exported mainly from Honduras, but now comes more often from Brazil. African Mahogany is a little heavier and finer textured than Honduran Mahogany. Mahogany is fine for guitars due to its relative low cost, ease of working, and stability. Colors range from light pink to medium brown to reddish brown.

Majeur (French) major

Malagueña a flamenco style

Malinconia (Italian) melancholy
Malinconico (Italian) melancholy

Mancando (Italian) dying away
Mancante (Italian) dying away

Mandolin (Italian) a lute-shaped instrument with four to six pairs of strings, a fretted fingerboard, played with a plectrum
Mandoline (Italian) a lute-shaped instrument with four to six pairs of strings, a fretted fingerboard, played with a plectrum

Mani (Italian) hands

Mano (Italian) hand Mani (Italian) hands

Manuscript a document bearing the notation of a composition, normally with the composer's handwritten notation of a composition

Maple Maple is known for its figured grain, particularly “curly” or “flamed” wood exhibiting the tight even curls of “fiddleback” figure, as well as “birds-eye” and “quilted” or “blister” figure. European Maple is between Rock Maple and Bigleaf in hardness, and is fine and even-textured. Bigleaf Maple is a bit coarser and harder to work. It can range in color from ivory, to pink, to tan. Quilted Maple is the hardest to obtain.

March instrumental music with a repeated and regular rhythm such as might appropriately accompany a marching group
Marcha (Spanish) march
Marche(German) march
Marcia (Italian) march

Mazurka a moderately fast, triple-time, traditional dance from Poland originally

Medieval pertaining to the Middle Ages

Mélodie (French) melody

Meno (Italian) less

Meno mosso (Italian) less movement, slower

Menuett (German) minuet
Menuetto (Italian) minuet

Metronome electronic or mechanical device for establishing the tempo of a piece of music
Metronome mark An indication of the speed at which a piece is to be played.  

Mezza (Italian) half

Mezzo (Italian) medium

Mezzo forte (Italian) halfway between loud and soft
Mezzo piano (Italian) halfway between loud and soft
mf (Italian) mezzo forte - halfway between soft and loud

Middle ages period from about 500 AD until about 1430 AD

MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI is a specification for the types of control signals that can be sent from one electronic music device to another

Milonga Argentine country dance

Mineur (French) minor

Minim half note

Minim rest a half rest

Minima bianca (Italian) half note

Minstrel entertainer who covered a wide range of activities from light farce to the performance of serious song

Minuet a graceful French dance in simple triple time often appearing as a section of extended works

Minuet and trio minuet - trio - minuet form in a moderate triple meter that is often the third movement of the Classical sonata cycle

Minuetto (Italian) minuet

Moderato (Italian) moderate speed
Modéré (French) moderate speed

Modern music music contemporized with the present generations

Modo (Italian) manner, mode

Modulate change of key
Modulation change of key

Moll (German) minor

Molto (Italian) much

Monody a musical composition with only a single melody line
Monophonic a musical composition that has only a single melody line
Monophony a musical composition that has only a single melody line

Monotone a single sustained, unvarying tone, or a succession of notes of the same tone

Monterey Cypress A wood that is a cousin to Spanish Cypress. The hues have a pinkish tone, but the overall appearance is one of a creamy luster. It is a stronger and a more reasonably priced alternative to Spanish Cypress. It is indistinguishable from Spanish Cypress in terms of sound production.

Mordant a note ornament

Mosso (Italian) animated, moving

Motif (French) the smallest identifiable self-existent element of melody or rhythm

Moto (Italian) motion

mp (Italian) mezzo piano, halfway between soft and loud

Mute a device to reduce or eliminate the sound coming from an instrument



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N

 

Natural a note neither sharpened nor flattened, the sign placed before a note that is neither sharpened or flattened.

Naturale (Italian) in a or normal manner, without using the mute

Natural keys keys whose signature contains neither sharps nor flats, C major and A minor

Natural minor Scale

Natural Sign

Neck Tension Jig A devise used to hold neck in proper tension position when dressing the frets on a guitar.

Neo (Greek) a prefix indicating a revived interest in something old

New Age music a compositional style conducive to meditation

Ninth compound interval consisting of an octave plus a second

Nocturne (English) a moderately slow piece, usually for piano, of dreamy, reflective, contemplative character and song-like melody
Nocturne (French) a moderately slow piece, usually for piano, of dreamy, reflective, contemplative character and song-like melody
Notturno (Italian) a moderately slow piece, usually for piano, of dreamy, reflective, contemplative character and song-like melody

Non (French) not, no
Non (Italian) not, no

Non-harmonic note a note that does not belong to the chord with which it sounds, for example, a passing note


Nontraditional time signatures time signatures using values other than 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12 for the top number

Non troppo (Italian) not too much

Notation the method used to write down music

Note a single sound of a particular pitch and length which is notated with a symbol made up of a note head, a stem (in some cases) and a flag (in some cases)

Note head the head, or round part of the note symbol as distinguished from the stem or any other part of the note

Nut a slightly raised bar at the top of a guitar neck

 

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O

 

O (Italian) or

Off-beat a pulse that accentuates any part of the measure other than the first beat

Oil Finish Most oil finishes available are either a linseed oil or a tung oil. These oil finishes are actually varnishes and have an appealing natural luster. They are easy to use and produce a hard, thin and flexible finish, although not as protective and durable as a lacquer finish.

Oil Varnish Most oil finishes available are either a linseed oil or a tung oil. These oil finishes are actually varnishes and have an appealing natural luster. They are easy to use and produces a hard, thin and flexible finish, although not as protective and durable as a lacquer finish

Ole a Gypsy dance

Olivewood An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Open String A nonfretted note.

Op. (Latin) Opus; a number assigned by the composer or publisher to identify the chronology of the composition or publication of a musical work

Open-fifth chord a triad without a third

Opera (Italian) an abbreviation of operain musica; a drama sung to the accompaniment of instruments, which may involve one or more singers

Operetta (Italian) a short opera
Opérette (French) a short opera

Opus (Latin) a number assigned by the composer or publisher to identify the chronology of the composition or publication of a musical work

Orchestra an ensemble of players of musical instruments arranged in sections - the strings, the woodwind and brass and the percussion, plus occasionally a harp or, for some twentieth century repertoire, a piano

Organology science of musical instruments including their classification and development throughout history and cultures as well as the technical study of how they produce sound

Organ point a low, sustained tone that remains steady in the bass of a composition while other voices move about above it

Ornamentation additional elaboration added to a written melody
Ornaments additional elaboration added to a written melody

Ottava (Italian) octave

Ottava alta (Italian) octave higherhigher

Ottava basso (Italian) octave lower

Ottava sopra (Italian) octave

Ottava sotto (Italian) octave lower

Ottetto (Italian) a work written for eight players, the group playing such a piece of music

Otto (Italian) eight

Overtone any note from the harmonic series except the fundamental

Overture a piece that acts as an introduction to an oratorio, opera, play or ballet; a concerted work similar to a suite, having a number of movements

Ouverture (French) overture

 

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P

 

p Thumb of the right hand

p (Italian) soft

pp (Italian) softer than p

ppp (Italian) softer than pp

pppp (Italian) softer than ppp

Passacaglia an instrumental dance form similar to the chaconne in which there is continuing repetition of a theme

Passecaille (French) passacaglia

Passemezzo (Italian) a old dance in 2 beats in a bar

Passing note a note that is not part of the prevailing harmony but which, as the harmony changes, arrives at another note consonant with the new harmony

Pastoral an instrumental piece with rural connotations

Pastorale (French) pastoral; an instrumental piece, often written over long drone-like bass notes, with rustic overtones

Pausa (Italian) rest

Pause (English) the fermata sign

Pause (French) rest

Pause (German) rest

Pavan (English) a stately court dance of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries

Pavana (Italian) a stately court dance of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries

Pavane (French) pavan

Paven pavan

Perfect intervals of a unison, octave, fourth, and fifth when they are exactly in tune and neither augmented nor diminished

Perfect interval intervals of an octave, a fifth and a fourth

Period a complete musical thought, concluded by a cadence, having two phrases, each usually two to eight bars (measures) in length

Petit (French) small, little

Peu (French) little

Peu à peu (French) little by little

Phantasie (German) imagination, fancy, reverie

Phantasy (German) fantasia

Philharmonic a symphony orchestra

Phrase a short musical idea similar to a sentence in spoken language

Phrasing a style of performance that gives shape to the musical phrases

Phrygian cadence A chord progression where the subdominant chord (in first inversion) is followed by the dominant chord. The root of the final chord is approached from a half step  above. In the tonality of A minor, a phrygian cadence would be the subdominant A minor chord (F A D) moving to the dominant E major chord (E G# B). The Phrygian cadence is a special type of half cadence.  

Piano (Italian) soft

Pianissimo (Italian) softer than Piano

Pianississimo (Italian) softer than Pianissimo

Pianissississimo (Italian) softer than Pianississimo

Pianississississimo (Italian) softer than Pianissississimo

Pick-up a single or group of notes that come before the first strong metrical beat, usually the first beat of the measure; device which, when attached to an acoustic musical instrument, converts sound vibrations into an electrical signal

Piece any composition that is a complete in itself

Pitch The relative position of a tone within a range of musical sounds.

Pivot a chord that is placed in a transition between two keys, serving a different function in each key

Pivot chord a chord that is placed in a transition between two keys, serving a different function in each key

Pizz. (Italian) plucked

Pizzicato (Italian) plucked

Plagal Cadence A chord progression where the subdominant chord is followed by the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, an plagal cadence would be the subdominant f major chord (F A C) moving to the tonic C major chord (C E G).

Poco (Italian) a little, rather

Poco a poco (Italian) little by little, gradually

Polka a round dance, of Bohemian peasant origin, in quick duple time

Polacca (Italian) a stately simple triple time Polish dance from the sixteenth-century

Polonaise (French) a stately simple triple time Polish dance from the sixteenth-century

Polonäse (German) a stately simple triple time Polish dance from the sixteenth-century

Polyphonic contrapuntal writing

Polyphony contrapuntal writing

Portamento (Italian) very legato, carrying a instrumental line without gaps

Position on a stringed instrument, where the left hand is placed to play particular notes

Pot-pourri a musical work made up of popular tunes

Praeludium (Latin) prelude

Präludium (German) prelude

Pre-classical music music predating the classical period

Prelude a piece that is played before another piece or group of pieces

Préluder to prelude, to tune up

Preludio (Italian) prelude

Premier first

Première first

Presto (Italian) quick

Primavera An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Principal leader of the section of an orchestra

Programme music music that interprets an object of contemplation or an emotional experience

Pulgar a technique for playing the guitar using the thumb, most often a feature of flamenco

 

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Q

 

Quadruple a prefix indicating four elements

Quadruple-croche (French) sixty-fourth note

Quadruplet
a group of four notes to be played in the time of three

Quarter note a note one quarter the time value of a whole note

Quarter rest a rest one quarter the time value of a whole rest

Quarter-tone a microtonal interval half that of a semitone

Quaver a eighth note

Quaver rest a eighth rest

Quintet (English) a work for five independent parts, a body of players who would perform such a work

Quintett (German) a work for five independent parts, a body of players who would perform such a work

Quintette (French) a work for five independent parts, a body of players who would perform such a work

Quintetto (Italian) a work for five independent parts, a body of players who would perform such a work

 

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R

 

R & B abbreviation for rhythm and blues

Ragtime a musical syle of 1890s America, a forerunner of jazz

Rall. abbreviation of rallentando

Rallentamento (Italian) slow

Rallentando  (Italian) slowing

Rallentato (Italian) slowed

Rallentare (Italian) to slow

Range from the lowest note to the highest note whether in a piece of music, or an instrument

Rapido (Italian) rapid

Rasgueado (Spanish) a style of guitar playing in which the strings are strummed

Rasguedo (Spanish) a style of guitar playing in which the strings are strummed

Recital a musical performance usually involving a small number of performers

Redwood Lace Burl An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Reggae a slow tempo rhythmic style that originated in Jamaica

Registro (Italian) register

Related keys musical keys that because of their similarity are easy to move between

Relative keys keys that share a common key signature, for example, C major and A minor

Relative pitch an ability to identify one pitch with reference to another given pitch

Religioso (Italian) religious

Renaissance (Italian) an era of music between the fifteenth- and sixteenth-centuries

Repeat a sign indicating that a section of a piece of music is to be played a second time. 

Repeat sign a sign indicating that a section of a piece of music is to be played a second time. 

Repeated notes reiteration of a tone at the same pitch level

Répertoire compositions prepared for performance

Repeticiôn (Spanish) repeat

Requiem musical composition honoring the dead

Requinto small guitar used in Spain, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico

Requinto jarocho small 4-string Mexican guitar from the Jarocho region

Resonator those parts of instruments which resonate or vibrate, thus enhancing the sound of the instrument, particularly the body of a guitar (an example of a resonator box)

Retardando (Italian) to hold back, holding back, held back (gradual change of tempo)

Retardation suspension in a harmony that resolves upwards rather than downwards; a slowing down of the tempo

Revenir (French) to return

Reverse motion imitation in contrary motion, that is, the ascending intervals are changed to descending intervals and the descending intervals changed to ascending

Rhapsody similar to fantasia applied to pieces from the nineteenth-century inspired by extroverted romantic notions

Rhythm the disposition of strong and weak beats in a piece of music

Rhythm and blues American pop music style popular between the 1940's and 1960's

Rhythm section the performers using percussion instruments; when applied to a jazz band, the rhythm section includes piano, double bass (or electric bass), guitar and drum kit

Ricercare (Italian) an elaborate contrapuntal piece of music

Riff a short music phrase, often repeated, particularly in jazz or blues

Rigadoon (Old English) a dance in simple duple or quadruple time

Rigaudon (French) a dance in simple duple or quadruple time

Rit. (Italian) Ritardando; to hold back, holding back, held back (gradual change of tempo)

Ritard. (Italian) Ritardando; to hold back, holding back, held back (gradual change of tempo)

Ritardando (Italian) to hold back, holding back, held back (gradual change of tempo)

Rock and Roll American popular music of the 1950's

Romance a short instrumental piece with the lyrical character of a vocal romance

Romantic era an era of music following the Classical era and ending around 1900

Romantic music nineteenth-century music that is lyrical, harmonically chromatic, emotionally charged and nationalistic

Romanza (Italian) romance

Rondeña a flamenco fandango from Ronda

Rondo an instrumental form in which the first or main section is repeated between subsidiary sections and to conclude the piece; usually in lively tempo

Rubato (Italian) a limited freedom of rhythm and tempo when performing a piece of music; the time extension applied to one note is taken from an adjoining note or notes

Rumba flamenca a rumba style from southern Spain


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S

 

Saddle Typically made of bone ivory or plastic, the saddle transfers the vibrating energy of the string to the top of the guitar. The bridge saddle is not glued to the bridge, but rather held in place by the tension of the strings. The height of the saddle is determined by the guitar's angle of the neck, therefore it is not measured upon itself but rather measured for an optimal string height at the twelfth fret. Traditionally the bass strings are higher than the trebles, but crossover players are setting their heights more equal.

Samba a dance and type of music from Brazil of African slave origin. in double time and highly syncopated

Sans (French) without

Saraband a dignified, steady dance usually in triple time

Sarabande a dignified, steady dance usually in triple time

Satinwood Ceylon An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Saudades (Portuguese) sadness associated with a longing for times past

Scherzando (Italian) jokingly, playfully

Scherzino (Italian) a little scherzo

Score a representation on the page of a whole musical work

Seconda  (Italian) second

Secondary dominant the dominant of the dominant

Secular music compositions that have no connection with religion

Seguidilla old Spanish dance in simple triple time

Semibiscroma (Italian) a sixty-fourth rest

Semibreve a whole note

Semibreve rest a whole rest

Semicroma (Italian) a sixteenth note

Semidemisemiquaver sixty-fourth note

Semifusa (Latin) sixteenth note

Semiminima (Italian) quarter note

Semiquaver a sixteenth note

Semiquaver rest a sixteenth rest

Semitone half the interval of a tone

Sempre (Italian) always

Septet (English) a group of seven instrumentalists, a work written for a group such as this to perform

Sequencer device or program that records and plays back user-determined sets of music performance commands, usually in the form of MIDI data

Serenade a light and/or intimate piece of no specific form to be played in an open-air evening setting, music properly played in the evening under a lady's window

Serenata a dramatic cantata

Seventh a major seventh is a semitone smaller than an octave; a minor seventh is a whole tone smaller than an octave

Seventh chord a chord consisting of a root note, the third above the root, the fifth above the root and the seventh above the root

Sevillanas very popular colorful and festive Spanish folk dance from Seville

Sextet (English) a group of six instrumentalists, a piece of music written for such a group to play

sf. abbreviation for sforzando

Sfogato (Italian) light and easy style

Sfoggiando (Italian) flauntingly, ostentatiously

Sforzando (Italian) strongly accented

Sforzato (Italian) strongly accented

Shape the direction of a melody; the abstract quality of the motion and figure of a composition, achieved through dynamics, pitch direction and tempo

Sharp a term applied to a note slightly above its expected pitch, a sign to show that a note should be raised one semitone in pitch

Sight reading to perform a piece of music never seen before

Signs symbols placed on or near a staff indicating performance specifications for pitch, dynamics, time duration, accidentals, phrasing, manner of attack, timing, tempo, repeats, fingering, ornamentation…..

Sinfonia concertante a concerto with several soloists

Sixteenth note a note one sixteenth the time value of a whole note

Sixteenth rest a rest one sixteenth the time value of a whole note rest

Slide guitar bottleneck guitar

Slur notes move smoothly one to the other with no perceptible break.

Snake Wood An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Sociology of music an area of study that examines the effects, now and in the past, that music has upon society and similarly the effect that society has upon music

Soleares a flamenco singing style in triple time

Solo a part for one player with or without accompanying instruments

Soloist the player who performs the solo part

Solo part a part for one player with or without accompanying instruments

Son (French) sound

Sons (French) sounds

Sonata an extended piece in several movements for a number of instrumental soloists, most commonly one, with instrumental accompaniment

Sonata-rondo a musical work that combines sonata and rondo forms

Song without words a piece for solo piano

Sostenendo (Italian) sustaining
Sostenente (Italian) sustained

Sound board a wooden board in a stringed instrument that enhances its resonance

Sound Hole A hole in the soundboard of a stringed instrument that enhances its volume and tone. A vibrating guitar top creates sound. The air displacement, through the Sound Hole, is what amplifies the sound. Making the hole too small reduces the displacement and lowers volume. A too large of a hole reduces velocity and in turn also loses volume. The ideal size of Sound Hole can vary with the size of the sound chamber

Soundboard Resonator consisting of a thin board whose vibrations reinforce the sound of the instrument. The guitar top.

Spanish Cypress Also known as Mediterranean Cypress, it was originally introduced into Spain from Asia Minor centuries ago. Most flamenco makers prefer this traditional wood, but it’s becoming scarce and expensive. It has a creamy-yellowish color with occasional strong growth lines.

Square dance a form of American dance, from folk genres and played on a fiddle, piano, guitar or banjo, usually performed by four couples facing each other, arranged in a square

Staccatissimo (Italian) an extreme form of staccato, often taken to indicate that one should shorten the note thus marked to one quarter of its written length, the remaining three-quarters replaced with silence

Staccato (Italian) a dot above the note indicating that the note thus marked should be shortened to half its written length, the second half replaced with silence

Staff a framework of five lines on which musical notation is written.

String(s) A strand of gut, wire, silk or nylon that, when bowed, plucked or struck, produces a sound determined by its tension, length and density.

String music Music especially composed for string instruments

String orchestra a moderately large ensemble form only of first and second violins, cellos and double basses

String quartet a quartet formed of one first violinist, one second violinist, one violist and one cellist

Stringed instruments any musical instrument that produces sound by means of strings under appropriate tension that are set into vibration by being plucked   strummed, struck or bowed  

Style the way musical elements (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, form, etc.) are presented; what distinguishes one performance from another

Subdivision breaking up a larger metrical pattern into smaller parts

Sub-dominant the fourth degree of the scale

Subito (Italian) suddenly

Sub-mediant the sixth degree of the scale

Sub-mediant chord the chord which uses as its root the submediant note of a key

Sub-mediant triad triad built on the sixth degree of the scale

Subwoofer Speaker dedicated to reproducing very low frequencies. often placed on the floor

Suite a set of unrelated and usually short instrumental pieces

Suite de dances (French) a set of dances

Sulla (Italian) on, near, up, above, upon

Suspension a note that is held over, that is approached by itself, and resolved to the chord note by a tone or semitone after the chord is played

Swing American style of jazz music characterized by big band instrumentation

Symphonia (Greek) symphony

Symphonie symphony

Symphonie concertante (French) featuring a few solo instruments and orchestra

Symphonique (French) symphonic

Symphonisch (German) symphonic

Symphony an extended piece for full orchestra, usually serious in nature and in several movements

Symphony orchestra an ensemble of instruments which may have in excess of 100 members

Syncopation where a silence or weak beat replaces the expected strong beat

Synthesizer an instrument that uses electronics to generate a large range of sounds, some meant to mimic real instruments and others that are completely new

System notation of a line of music including all the parts and voices involved, presented in a group of two or more staves which are joined together on the left hand side by a vertical bar and a brace

 

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T

 

Tablature a notational system that uses letters, figures and other symbols to indicate how a piece might be performed, for instance by showing the position of a player's fingers on a representation of the strings of a guitar or lute

Table the belly of a stringed instrument

Tacet (Latin) silent

Tambura Accompanying drone instrument from India, a large lute with 4-6 strings; five-string Egyptian lyre, long-necked fretted lute from Bulgaria, Croatia and other European countries

Tango the Argentinean samba, a passionate musical style, originating in the streets and brothels of Buenos Aires, Argentina, marked by strong syncopation and dotted rhythmic figures, in simple duple (2/4) time and, when danced, performed by a couple

Tango flamenco the only non-dramatic variety of the older flamenco genres, festive in style, with a faster rhythm

Tanz (German) dance

Tänze (German) dances

Tarantas flamenco style from Almería

Tarantella (Italian) a dance in 6/8 time from Southern Italy, which gets faster and faster and is supposed to cure the result of a poisonous bite from the tarantula spider

Tarantelle (French) a dance in 6/8 time from Southern Italy, which gets faster and faster and is supposed to cure the result of a poisonous bite from the tarantula spider

Tarantos an eastern Andalusian flamenco style

Technique the mechanical aspects of performance

Tempo (Italian) speed

Ternary form a three section form in which the first section A is repeated, often with some changes, after a middle section B, thus the form is called A B A

Thai Rosewood An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar.

Theme a group of notes, also called a melody, that will form the basis for a work that includes the theme's repetition and/or development

Theme and variations an extended work, sometimes in separated movements or sections, where the opening musical statement (theme) is subjected to development (variations)

Thirty-second note a note one thirty-second the time value of a whole note
Thirty-second rest one thirty-second the time value of a whole rest
Tie a sign that shows that the note being played or sustained, unbroken, throughout the total time value of the notes under the sign

Tiento a Spanish Renaissance composition  

Tientos flamenco style derived from tangos, although with a slower beat

Time Signature A symbol placed at the left side of the staff indicating the meter of the composition.

Tipico (Spanish)  typical or traditional

Toccata a rapid piece of music for keyboard intended as a display for virtuosity; a toccata is often the prelude to a fugue

Tombeau (French) a piece written in someone's memory

Tonality the sense of a particular key

Tone a sound of definite pitch; the quality of a sound; the American word for note.

Tonic chord the chord based on the tonic of a key or scale

Tonic triad triad built on the first degree of the scale

Tono (Italian) tone, key, mode

Top The soundboard of the guitar.A resonator consisting of a thin board whose vibrations reinforce the sound of the instrument. The guitar soundboard.

Transcribe to rearrange music for instruments other than those for which the work was originally written

Transcription music for instruments other than those for which the work was originally written

Transpose to move; to play a piece in a different key or one or more octaves higher or lower than it was originally written, the better to suit the instrument

Transposing instruments instruments that do not play the notes they read

Transposition the changing of the pitch of a piece without changing anything else

Treble the highest part

Tremolo rapidly-recurring slight raising and lowering of pitch, vibrato; the rapid reiteration of a single note

Très (French) very

Trill An additional elaboration added to a written melody.

Trio a piece played by three players; a piece of music to be play such a group; a contrasted section between two performances of a minuet

Trio sonata a chamber music form for two featured instruments and continuo accompaniment

Triple meter a time signature in which each measure has three beats

Triplet A group of three notes of equal time value performed in the time of two. One or two of the notes may be rests of equal value.

Triple time a time signature in which each measure has three beats

Troppo (Italian) too much; also non troppo, not too much

Tune air, melody; the process of adjusting the pitch of an instrument to itself

Tuners A set of devices located on the headstock of the guitar to attach and tune the strings.

Tuning temperament; the pitch to which various strings on a stringed instrument are to be set

Tuning fork a U-shaped steel device with a handle at its base, which when struck produces a relatively pure tone of definite pitch

Turns The note above, the note itself, the note below, then the note itself again. The turn may be inverted as in the preparation of an ascending trill when the note sequence becomes the note below, the note itself, the note above, then the note itself again.

Two-beat music in which the first and third beats of each four-beat bar (measure) are accentuated, for example, in marches

 

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U


U (German) abbreviation of und, and

Ultimo (Italian) last

Un (French) a, an, one

Und (German) and

Une (French) a, an, one

Unison the interval between two identical notes

Unmeasured music music where the performer is free to determine the rhythm, free rhythm

Un peu (French) a little, rather

Up-beat a weak beat

Urtext (German) original text

Utility music music to be played by anyone utilizing idioms in everydayuse


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V

 

V, VI, VII, VIII, …… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time.Symbol used in standard notation for guitar. Roman numeral indicates which fret. Example: B7 (C7, CVII, VII)

Valse (French) a simple triple time dance

Variations composition form in which variously modified re-statements of an initially introduced theme are presented in sequence, one after another

Variato (Italian) varied

Variazione (Italian) variation

Variazioni (Italian) variations

Varnish Most oil finishes available are either a linseed oil or a tung oil. These oil finishes are actually varnishes and have an appealing natural luster. They are easy to use and produces a hard, thin and flexible finish, although not as protective and durable as a lacquer finish.

Via (Italian) away, remove

Vihuela plucked instrument of the Renaissance with a guitar-shaped body, strings tuned like those on the lute, that was confined almost exclusively to Spain, where it was generally associated with the aristocracy; plucked instrument of the guitar family popular in parts of Spanish America, similar to the Spanish Renaissance vihuela, that includes a belly for added resonance and five single courses of strings

Villanelle (French) sixteenth-century pastoral songs

Viola (Argentina) guitar

Viola amarantina Portuguese guitar with 5 pairs of metal strings and a sound hole shaped in the form of two hearts

Viola beiroa a highly ornamented Portuguese guitar

Viola braguesa Portuguese guitar with 5 pairs of metal strings

Viola campaniça a Portuguese guitar that has nearly disappeared although, long ago, it was popular throughout the low Alentejo region. Its characteristic sound is made by five groups of double strings, made of steel and brass

Viola d'arame like the Portuguese guitar, it has five strings which are plucked with the fingers, but its shape, longer and narrower, is more like the Spanish guitar that the Portuguese instrument of the same name, although traditionally the sound holes are cut in the shape of two small hearts

Violâo Brazilian term for guitar

Virtuoso a performer possessing total mastery of his or her instrument

Vite (French) quick

Vivace (Italian) vivacious, liveliness, lively

Vivo (Italian) vivacious, liveliness, lively

Volksleid (German) folk song

Voltaa quick dance in triple time in which the lady is lifted into the air during a quarter-circle turn

Volta (Italian) time


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Walking bass a bass line that moves steadily in a rhythm contrasting to that of the upper parts; in jazz, a walking bass usually moves by steps played on bass or piano, with each note usually having the duration of a quarter note

 

Walnut A wood of rich brown color with occasional black streaks. It produces a striking instrument with a crisp, dry tone, a strong fundamental and with age is very stable. Black Walnut is gray in color, often with contrasting tan center strips. Peruvian Walnut is dark chocolate brown color and often with interesting, broad, dark lines. Mayan Walnut is very even colored and straight grained and is very easy to work. The color is a light-mocha with contrasting dark gray grain lines.

Walzer (German) waltz

Walzertempo (German) waltz-time

Water-Based Lacquer With personal health and environmental concerns the long-term trend is moving away from solvent-based finishes on guitars.  In response, many manufacturers set a goal to create a lacquer with all of the positive characteristics of current solvent-based lacquers but without the hazardous, toxic solvent base. Water-Based Lacquer is environmentally friendly and produces "acceptable" results

Wiegenlied (German) lullaby, berceuse, cradle-song

Whole Step (American) a whole tone

Whole Tone the interval of a major second

Whole Tone Scale six note scale where the interval between successive notes is a whole step

World music music where influences from more that one cultural tradition intermingle, first made popular in the 1980s


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