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Terms Relating To Vocal Music
Tempo (_continued_)
Scales (_continued_)
Terms Relating To Forms And Styles
Symbols Of Music Defined
Musical Instruments
Chords Cadences Etc

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Terms Relating To Forms And Styles (_continued_)
Some Principles Of Correct Notation
Miscellaneous Terms
Auxiliary Words And Endings
Terminology Reform
Symbols Of Music Defined Part Two
The History Of Music Notation
Terminology Adoptions 1907-1910
Abbreviations Signs Etc

Random Music Terms

Abbreviations Signs Etc
Symbols Of Music Defined Part Two
Tempo (_continued_)
Terminology Reform
Terms Relating To Vocal Music
Miscellaneous Terms (_continued_)
Terms Relating To Forms And Styles
Chords Cadences Etc

Miscellaneous Terms (_continued_)

Lyric--a short, song-like poem of simple character. Also applied to
instrumental pieces of like character.


Marcato il canto--the melody well marked; i.e., subdue the
accompaniment so that the melody may stand out strongly.

Melos--melody. This word melos is also applied to the peculiar style
of vocal solo found in Wagner's music dramas. See recitative (p. 75,
Sec. 170).

Mellifluous--pleasing; pleasant sounding.

Menuetto, menuet--same as minuet. (See p. 68, Sec. 151.)

Mezzo soprano--a woman's voice of soprano quality, but of somewhat
lower compass than the soprano voice. Range approximately b to g''.


Nocturne (sometimes spelled nocturn, notturna, nokturne,
etc.)--a night piece; a quiet, melodious, somewhat sentimental
composition, usually for piano solo.

Nuance--delicate shading; subtle variations in tempo and dynamics
which make the rendition of music more expressive.

Obbligato (sometimes incorrectly spelled obligato)--an accessory
melody accompanying harmonized music, (usually vocal music).

The word obbligato (It. bound, or obliged) refers to the
fact that this is usually a melody of independent value, so
important that it cannot be omitted in a complete performance.

Offertory (sometimes spelled offertoire, or offertorium)--a piece
of music played or sung during the taking up of the offering in the
church service. The word is often applied by composers to any short,
simple piece of music (usually for organ) that is suitable for the above

Opus--work; used by composers to designate the order in which their
compositions were written, as e.g., Beethoven, Op. 2, No. 1.

Orchestration--the art of writing for the orchestra, this implying an
intimate knowledge of the range, quality, and possibilities of all the
orchestral instruments.

Ossia--or else; used most often to call the attention of the performer
to a simpler passage that may be substituted for the original one by a
player whose skill is not equal to the task he is attempting to perform.

Overture--(from overt--open)--an instrumental prelude to an opera or
oratorio. The older overtures were independent compositions and bore
no particular relation to the work which was to follow, but in modern
music (cf. Wagner, Strauss, etc.), the overture introduces the
principal themes that are to occur in the work itself, and the
introduction thus becomes an integral part of the work as a whole. The
word overture is sometimes applied to independent orchestral
compositions that have no connection with vocal works, as the Hebrides
Overture by Mendelssohn.

Pizzicato--plucked. A term found in music for stringed instruments,
and indicating that for the moment the bow is not to be used, the tone
being secured by plucking the string.

Polacca--a Polish dance in three-quarter measure.

Polonaise--same as polacca.

Postlude--(lit. after-play)--an organ composition to be played at the
close of a church service.

Prelude--(lit. before-play)--an instrumental composition to be played
at the beginning of a church service, or before some larger work (opera,
etc.). The term is also applied to independent piano compositions of
somewhat indefinite form. (Cf. preludes by Chopin, Rachmaninoff, etc.)

Priere--a prayer; a term often applied (especially by French
composers) to a quiet, devotional composition for organ.

Quintole, quintuplet--a group of five notes to be performed in the
time ordinarily given to four notes of the same value. There is only one
accent in the group, this occurring of course on the first of the five

Religioso, religiosamente--in a devotional style.

Requiem--the mass for the dead in the Roman Catholic service. It is so
called from its first word requiem which means rest. (See p. 77,
Sec. 165.)

Rhapsody--an irregular instrumental composition of the nature of an
improvisation. A term first applied by Liszt to a series of piano pieces
based on gypsy themes.

Ribattuta--a device in instrumental music whereby a two-note phrase is
gradually accelerated, even to the extent of becoming a trill. (See
Appendix E, p. 150, for an example.) [Transcriber's Note: Corrected
misspelling Ribbatua in original.]

Ritornello, ritornelle--a short instrumental prelude, interlude, or
postlude, in a vocal composition, as e.g., in an operatic aria or

Schottische--a dance in two-quarter measure, something like the

Sec, secco--dry, unornamented: applied to a style of opera recitative
(see p. 75, Sec. 170), and also to some particular chord in an
instrumental composition which is to be sounded and almost instantly

Score--a term used in two senses:

1. To designate some particular point to which teacher or
conductor wishes to call attention; as e.g., Begin with the
lower score, third measure. The word brace is also
frequently used in this sense.

2. To refer to all the parts of a composition that are to be
performed simultaneously, when they have been assembled on a
single page for use by a chorus or orchestral conductor. The
term vocal score usually means all chorus parts together
with an accompaniment arranged for piano or organ, while the
terms full score and orchestral score refer to a complete
assemblage of all parts, each being printed on a separate
staff, but all staffs being braced and barred together.

Senza replica, senza repetizione--without repetition; a term used in
connection with such indications as D.C., D.S., etc., which often
call for the repetition of some large division of a composition, the
term senza replica indicating that the smaller repeats included within
the larger division are not to be observed the second time.
[Transcriber's Note: Corrected misspelling senza repetitione in

Serenade, serenata--an evening song.

Sextet--a composition for six voices or instruments.

Sextuplet--a group of six notes to be performed in the time ordinarily
given to four of the same value. The sextuplet differs from a pair of
triplets in having but one accent.

Simile, similiter--the same; indicating that the same general effect
is to be continued.

Solfeggio, solfege--a vocal exercise sung either on simple vowels or
on arbitrary syllables containing these simple vowel sounds. Its purpose
is to develop tone quality and flexibility. These terms are also often
applied to classes in sight-singing which use the sol-fa syllables.


Soprano--the highest female voice. Range approximately b--c'''.

Sostenuto--sustained or connected; the opposite of staccato.

Sotto--under. E.g., sotto voce--under the voice, i.e., with
subdued tone.

Solmization--sight-singing by syllable.

Staccato--detached; the opposite of legato.


Tenor--the highest male voice. Range approximately d--c''.

Tenuto--(from teneo, to hold)--a direction signifying that the tones
are to be prolonged to the full value indicated by the notes.

Toccata--a brilliant composition for piano or organ, usually
characterized by much rapid staccato playing.

Triplet--a group of three tones, to be performed in the time
ordinarily given to two of the same value. The first tone of the triplet
is always slightly accented.

Tutti--(derived from totus, toti, Latin--all)--a direction
signifying that all performers are to take part. Also used occasionally
to refer to a passage where all performers do take part.

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