A – Dictionary

A…

a Ring finger of the right hand See p,i,m,a  in Left & Right Hand Fingerings

A A grading system to differentiate the quality in wood. A is given for lack of stiffness, inconsistent ring spacing with visible cosmetic flaws. See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

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

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

A String The fifth string of the guitar. See How to Change Classical Guitar Strings

AA A grading system to differentiate the quality in wood. AA is given for slightly wider and/or inconsistent ring spacing or mild color variations. See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

AAA A grading system to differentiate the quality in wood. AAA is awarded for stiffness across the top, straight grain, quarter sawn, even color and consistent annular ring spacing. See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Ab…

Ab (German) off

A balata (Italian) in the style of a ballad

Abandonatamente (Italian) vehemently, violently

Abandonné (French) negligent, free-and-easy

Abbandono (Italian) negligent, free-and-easy, impassioned

Abanico (Spanish) a stylized roll played by the timbalero usually to signify a change in the music; a word used to describe the timbales figure (roll and accent) played to introduce or close sections and to setup various ensemble passages

A battuta (Italian) with the beat, in strict time

Abbassare (Italian) to lower, to tune a string down

Abbellimenti (Italian) embellishments, ornaments

Abbellimento (Italian) embellishment, ornament

Abbellire (Italian) to ornament

Abdämpfen (German) to dampen, to mute

Abend (German) evening

Abendlied (German) evening song

Abendmusik (German) originating in the seventeenth-century, evening music usually of a religious or contemplative nature

Aber (German) but

Abgestossen (German) to play notes detached, to play staccato

Ab initio (Latin) from the beginning

Abkurzung (German) abridgement, abbreviation

Ablösen (German) to play notes detached, to play staccato

Abnehmend (German) diminuendo, to soften gradually

Aboriginal music the music of the indigenous people’s of Australia

Abruzzese a song or dance from the Abruzzi district of eastern Rome

Absetzen (German) to play notes detached, to play staccato

Absolute music term used for music dependent on its structure alone for comprehension, the antithesis of program music

Absolute pitch perfect pitch, a strong conscious or unconscious memory of musical pitch

Abstossen (German) to play notes detached, to play staccato

Abwechseln (German) to change one’s instrument; changing parts in polyphony

Abzuwechseln (German) to change one’s instrument; changing parts in polyphony

Ac…

A cappella (Italian) music that is vocal or choral but without instrumental accompaniment

A capriccio (Italian) capriciously; as the player wishes

Accarezzevole (Italian) caressing

Accarezzevolmente (Italian) caressingly

Accel. (Italian) accelerating, getting steadily faster

Accelerando (Italian) accelerating, getting steadily faster

Accelerato (Italian) accelerated

Accent a stress or emphasis placed upon a note or a passage indicating an elevated importance See Accents in Elements of a Musical Score  See Accents in  Note Symbols See Elements of Standard Notation for Classical Guitar

Accent Fallend a note ornament see Accent Fallend in Note Ornamentation

Accent Steigend a note ornament see Accent Steigend in Note Ornamentation

Accent und Mordant a note ornament see Accent und Mordant in Note Ornamentation

Accent und Trillo a note ornament see Accent und Trillo in Note Ornamentation

Accentato (Italian) accented

Accento (Italian) accent

Accentué (French) accented

Accentuare (Italian) to mark with an accent; accessory notes, for example: the upper note in a trill, or the notes above and below the written note in a turn

Acciaccato (Italian) a spread chord, played from top to bottom; brusquely, forcibly

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

Accidental chord chord containing one or more notes foreign to its proper harmony

Accompagnato (Italian) accompanied, accompanying; where the accompanist must follow the singer allowing the singer to vary the tempo as he or she wishes

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

Accompany to perform with another but in a subordinate role

Accord (French) chord, tuning

Accordare (Italian) to tune

Accordata (Italian) tuned

Accordate (Italian) tuned

Accordati (Italian) tuned

Accordato (Italian) tuned

Accordatura (Italian) tuning

Accordé (French) tuned

Accorder (French) to tune

Accordo (Italian) chord

Accrescendo (Italian) getting louder

Accusé (French) emphasized

Acht (German) eight, care

Achtel (German) a note one eighth the time value of a whole note see Note Values

Achtelnote (German) a note one eighth the time value of a whole note see Note Values

Achtelpause (German) a rest one eighth the time value of a whole rest

Achtstimmung (German) in eight parts

Acid rock a genre of American rock, often associated with psychedelic drugs, that emerged in the late 1960’s

Acoustic a term used to distinguish a non-electric instrument from its electric version

Acrylic Lacquer Originally used on cars, it is a guitar finish similar to nitrocellulose lacquer, but dries quicker and harder, but with age, does not producing the vintage look. See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar 

Action Notation a musical notation which gives mechanical directions to a musical performer but without giving any indication of the resulting sound

Ad…

Adagietto (Italian) slow

Adagio (Italian) slow

Adagissimo (Italian) slow

Additive meter patterns of beats that subdivide into smaller, irregular groups, for example, 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 10; a meter common in certain types of Eastern European music

Additive time signature patterns of beats that subdivide into smaller, irregular groups, for example, 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 10; a meter common in certain types of Eastern European music

Addolcendo (Italian) becoming sweet or soft

Addolorato (Italian) in a mournful manner

Adel (German) nobility

À demi-jeu (French) with half the power or strength

À demi-voix (French) with half the power of the voice

À deux (French) for two performers or two instruments

À deux cordes (French) playing on two strings

Adirato (Italian) angered, irate

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

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

A due (Italian) for two performers or two instruments

A due corde (Italian) playing on two strings

Adungu a seven to ten stringed harp of the Alur people from Uganda

Advent Christian religious observance which takes place in the four weeks immediately preceding Christmas

Ae…

Aehnlich (German) anxious

Aeolian Harp a box across which lie strings of various thicknesses, stretched and tuned in unison, which when placed in a window and the strings are excited by the wind, emits chords of harmonics

Aeusserst (German) extremely

Af…

Affabile (Italian) in a gentle pleasant manner; in an affable manner

Affabilissant (French) diminuendo, a steady softening

Affannato (Italian) in a distressful or anxious manner

Affannosamente (Italian) distressingly or anxiously

Affannoso (Italian) distressed or anxious

Affection a persistent emotional state of mind, such as wonder, fear, joy, rage

Affections, doctrine of a theory that arose during the Baroque period that associated certain musical methods and figures to arouse or portray particular emotions, for example, faster notes and major sonorities with happiness, minor keys and slower movement with sadness, loudness and harsh discordant harmonies with anger

Affekt (German) fervor

Affektvoll (German) full of fervor

Affetto (Italian) affection

Affettuosa (Italian) tenderly

Affettuosamente (Italian) affectionately

Affettuoso (Italian) with tenderness

Affezione (Italian) affection

Afflitto (Italian) afflicted, sad, melancholy

Afflizione (Italian) affliction

Affrettare (Italian) to hurry

Affrettando (Italian) hurrying, in a quickening tempo

Affrettato (Italian) hurried

Affrettoso (Italian) hurried

Affrettuoso (Italian) hurried

Affrettatamente (Italian) in a hurrying manner

African Blackwood A very responsive, excellent tone wood. It is very fine grained, and stable when dry. Because of its rarity, African Blackwood is expensive. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

African Mahogany A Mahogany 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. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

African Padauk An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Afro a rhythmic style combining adaptations of sacred Batá drum rhythms popularized in Cuba in the 1940s, and often used to interpret lullabies

Afrobeat the fusion of West African and black American music

Afroxê a rhythm from Bahia, Brazil used in street parades

Afterbeat an accent placed on any beat in a measure other than the first

Afzelia Burl An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Afzelia Xy-Lay An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Ag…

Agevole (Italian) lightly and easily, unlabored

Agevolezza (Italian) ease

Aggiustamente (Italian) rhythmically exact

Aggiustatamente (Italian) rhythmically exact

Aggradevole (Italian) agreeable

Agiatamente (Italian) free or comfortable tempo

Agilement (French) lively

Agilmente (Italian) in an agile and nimble fashion

Agilità (Italian) in an agile and nimble fashion

Agilité (French) in an agile and nimble fashion

Agitamento (Italian) agitation

Agitanado (Spanish) the gypsy feeling of a Spanish dance

Agiatatamente (Italian) agitatedly

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

Agitazione (Italian) agitation

Agité (French) agitated, agitatedly

Agitiert  (German) agitatedly

Agitirt (German) agitated

Agogic the slight variations of rhythmic strength, tempo, accent and volume derived from the nature of a particular musical phrase in contrast to the regular pulse set by the time signature, for example, by accentuating a note by holding it for longer, rather than by playing it more forcefully

Agrément (French) ornament, grace note

Agréments (French) ornaments, grace notes

Agreste (French) rural

Aguado, Dionisio (1784-1849) See Classical Guitarists and Composers

Aguinaldo Christmas songs from Spain and Spanish America

Agustin Barrios Mangore (1885-1944) See Classical Guitarists and Composers

Ah…

Ähnlich (German) similar, like

Ai…

Ai (Italian) at the, to the

Aigu (French) shrill, high pitch

Aiguë (French) shrill, high pitch

Air tune, tuneful song, art song accompanied by the lute or viola da gamba

Air de cour (French) monodic song or chanson often with a simple lute accompaniment

Aise (French) ease

Aita a stringed instrument from the Baka forest people of southeast Cameroon

Ait atta a Moroccan harvest dance performed by men and women

Ait bodar a Moroccan warrior dance performed only by men. They link arms as if welded to each other and chant their song during a continuous backwards and forward movement

Ait bugemaz a Moroccan dance

Aj…

Ajaeng Korean seven-string zither

Ajouter (French) to add

Ajsino oro Albanian dance for men and women, in separate circles

Ak…

Akkord (German) chord

Akkordieren (German) to tune

Al…

Al (Italian) at the, to the, in the

À l’ (French) to the, at the, on the, with the, in the manner of

À la (French) to the, at the, on the, with the, in the manner of

Alabanzas religious praise songs in Spain and Spanish America

Á la corde (French) playing legato

Alalás (Spanish) traditional Galician folk-song

Alba troubadour or trouvère song about a lover’s morning departure from his beloved after an illicit tryst

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

Alboreá (Spanish) gypsy wedding song; a flamenco style

Albumblatt (German) a page or leaf from a book, or a short, easy piece

Alcatraza Flirtatious and erotic dance from Peru. It’s a couple’s dance. Traditionally, the woman has a piece of tissue between her legs while the man dances with a lit candle trying to light the tissue. If the man can light the woman’s fire, that means that she is his

Alcun’ (Italian) some

Alcuna (Italian) some

Alcuno (Italian) some

Aleatoric (Latin) a compositional technique where the choice of pitch, rhythmic value and order of events is left to chance

Aleatory (Latin) a compositional technique where the choice of pitch, rhythmic value and order of events is left to chance

Alegrías a joyful flamenco dance, with twelve beats, from the province of Cádiz

Al fine (Italian) to the end

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

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

Alla caccia (Italian) in the style of a hunting piece

Allant (French) going on, continuing to get

Allarg. (Italian) getting slower and slower, with a fuller tone

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

Alla turca (Italian) in the Turkish style

Alla zingarese (Italian) in a gypsy style

Alle (German) all

Alle (Italian) to the

Allegramente (Italian) brightly, gaily

Allègrement (French) brightly, gaily

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

Allein (German) alone, single

Alleluia a highly melismatic responsoral chant from the mass; the third element in the Proper of the Roman Catholic Mass

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

Allentamento (Italian) slowing

Allentando (Italian) slowing down

Allmählich (German) gradually, little by little

Allmählig (German) gradually, little by little

Allmälig (German) gradually, little by little

Allonger (French) to lengthen the notes, to slow the tempo

Allora (Italian) then

Allure (French) manner

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

Als (German) as, like, when, than

Al segno (Italian) go back to the sign or go on to the sign

Also (German) thus

Alt (Italian) high

Alta (Italian) high

Al Tedesca in the German style

Alteration the raising or lowering of a note by means of an accidental- a double sharp, sharp, double flat, flat or natural sign

Altered chord a chord in which a note has been changed from its normal position, usually chromatically

Alternative fingering substitute fingering, often used to provide tonal contrast; also used to make the playing of passage work easier

Alternativo (Italian) alternating one movement with another

Altissimo (Italian) very high

Alto Clef See clef in Staff, Barline, & Clef

Altra (Italian) another

Altra volta (Italian) encore, play it again

Altre (Italian) another

Altri (Italian) others

Altro (Italian) another

Alzata (Italian) raised, lifted off, unmated

Alzate (Italian) raised, lifted off, unmated

Alzati (Italian) raised, lifted off, unmated

Alzato (Italian) raised, lifted off, unmated

Am…

Am (German) at the, on the, to the, by the, near the

Amabile (Italian) lovable, sweet

Amabilità (Italian) lovableness

Amarevole (Italian) bitterly

Amarezza (Italian) bitterness

Amazigh music performed by the Berbers of Northwestern Africa

Amazon Rosewood A straight grained wood, compares tonally to Brazilian Rosewood though a little heavier and brittle. Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Ambiance sounds in the background arising from the environment

Ambience sounds in the background arising from the environment

Ambient noise sounds in the background arising from the environment

Amboyna Burl A alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Ambrosian chant purely diatonic series of sacred melodies or chants collected and introduced into the Catholic Church by St. Ambrose (c. 339-397)

Âme (French) the sound post of a stringed instrument, the soul

Amen (Hebrew) so be it

Amen 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). see Musical Cadences

American Cherry Tonally American Cherry is compared to other medium-density woods like Walnut and Maple, though some compare it with Mahogany. It has an open quality with nice separation and clear trebles and good presence in the mid-range. It varies from orange  to reddish tan in color with a light, open figure that adds depth under finish. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Ametric without a time signature or meter as in Gregorian chant

Anima (Italian) the sound post of a stringed instrument, the soul

Amore (Italian) love, tenderness, affection

Amorevole (Italian) loving

Amorevolmente (Italian) lovingly

Amorosamente (Italian) lovingly

Amoroso (Italian) loving

Amour (French) love

Amplitude the amount of a signal

An…

An (German) on, by, to, at phrase

Anacruses up-beats or pickup notes, unstressed syllables at the beginning of a phrase

Anacrusis up-beat or pickup note, unstressed syllable at the beginning of a

Anacrustic a phrase that starts and ends in the middle of a bar

Añada a Spanish lullaby

Analysis the study of the form and structure of music

Anapest musical foot comprising two short notes or syllables, followed by one long

Ancient minor scale the natural minor scale

Ancora (Italian) still, yet

Ancora meno mosso (Italian) still more slowly

Andacht (German) devotion

Andächtig (German) devotional

Andalouse (French) various dances of Spanish origin

Andaluz (Spanish) various dances of Spanish origin

Andaluza (Spanish) various dances of Spanish origin

Andamento (Italian) going, of a running character

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

Andare (Italian) go on

Andauernd (German) lasting, continuing

Ander (German) other

Andere (German) other

An dro Breton circle dance

Anfang (German) beginning

Anfangs (German) at the beginning

Angemessen (German) suitable to

Angenehm (German) agreeable

Anglais (French) English; an English country dance, sometimes part of the suite, in quick duple time, always starting on a strong beat

Anglaise (French) English; an English country dance, sometimes part of the suite, in quick duple time, always starting on a strong beat

Angore (Italian) pain, anxious wish

Angoscia (Italian) anguish

Angosciosamente (Italian) with anguished feeling

Angoscioso (Italian) with anguished feeling

Angriefen (German) to seize, to attack

Angst (German) anguish, anxiety

Ängstlich (German) anxious, uneasy

Anhalten (German) to hold on

Anhang (German) a supplement, coda

A niente to nothing, for example, to pppp

Animando (Italian) animating

Animandosi (Italian) become animated

Animato (Italian) animated

Animé (French) animated

Animo (Italian) spirit

Animosamente (Italian) spirited

Animoso (Italian) spirit

Anlaufen (German) to swell or grow in volume

Anmut (German) grace

Anmuth (German) grace

Anmutig (German) graceful

Annular Rings (Growth Rings) can be seen in a horizontal cross section cut through the trunk of a tree. Visible rings result from the change in growth speed through the seasons of the year, thus one ring usually marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree. 

Anon. unknown, particular unknown composer

Anonymous unknown, particular unknown composer

Anreissen (German) very strong pizzicato

Anschlag (German) touch, attack, appoggiatura before a principal note

Anschmiegend (German) compliant, yielding

Anschwellend (German) crescendo, gradually getting louder

Ansia (Italian) anxiety

Anstatt (German) instead of

Anstimmen (German) to tune

Answer a musical phrase that responds to another

Antecedent the subject of a fugue or canon; the first phrase of a musical period; the first of a pair of musical statements, termed antecedent and consequent, that complement each another in rhythmic symmetry and harmonic balance

Anthem national patriotic song

Antica (Italian) ancient, antique

Antiche (Italian) ancient, antique

Antichi (Italian) ancient, antique

Anticipated Barre Anticipated or Expected Barre See Anticipated or Expected Barre in Barre

Anticipation a note played before a chord with which it is a concord, where it is discordant with the preceding chord

Antico (Italian) ancient, antique

Antiphonal a musical form where one section of performers answers another

Antithesis in a fugue, the answer

Anwachsend (German) swelling in tone

Ap…

Apaisé (French) more peacefully

À peine (French) hardly, barely

Aperto (Italian) clear, distinct, broad style

A piacere (Italian) as you want, as you wish, ad lib

A poco (Italian) by degrees, gradually

A poco a poco (Italian) little by little

Apotheosis a person or an ideal that has been glorified or deified

Appassionata (Italian) impassioned

Appassionato (Italian) impassioned

Appassionatamente (Italian) passionately

Appassionamento (Italian) passion

Appena (Italian) hardly, barely

Appenato (Italian) as if distressed

Apple An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Appoggiando  (Italian) portamento, legato, playing smoothly, stressed, drawn out, leaning on

Appoggiato (Italian) portamento, legato, playing smoothly, stressed, drawn out, leaning on

Appoggiatura (Italian) a note preparatory to another or to a chord acting as an unprepared suspension See appoggiatura in Note Symbols

Appuyé (French) emphasized

Appuyée (French) emphasized

Aprés (French) after

Aq…

Aquarelle (French) delicately textured

Ar…

Arabesk popular Turkish music of Arabic rather than Turkish origin

Aragonaise (French) a dance associated with Aragon in Spain

Aragonesa (Spanish) a dance associated with Aragon in Spain

Archet (French) bow, string as in a single stringed instrument; used to mark a section to

Arco (Italian) be played with the bow rather than plucked with the finger

Arch a term applied to describe a melodic line that first rises before falling to a cadence

Architectural acoustics a term used to describe how the flow of sound is influenced by a building’s structure; the study and design of acoustically balanced halls

Archlute a large lute popular both in Italy and England during the Renaissance with an elongated neck, fitted with two peg boxes, one to accommodate unstopped strings necessary to produce bass notes, the other to take the remainder of the 13 or 14 single or double courses of strings

Arco (Italian) play a stringed instrument with a bow as opposed to plucked or pizzicato; the bow of a stringed instrument

Ardemment (French) ardently

Ardente (Italian) ardent, with fire, vehemently

Arditamente  (Italian) boldly

Ardito (Italian) bold

Ardore (Italian) with warmth

Areato (Italian) played with the bow

Argomento (Italian) argument

Aria music written for a solo voice with accompaniment, forming part of a larger work

Arietta (Italian) a short simple aria

Ariñ ariñ ancient circle dance from Bilbao, in Spain’s Basque Country

Armonia (Italian) harmony

Armonica (Italian) harmony

Armonici (Italian) Play using Harmonics

Armonici loco (Italian) read the notes as written using Harmonics

Armoniosamente (Italian) harmoniously

Armonioso (Italian) harmonious

Arpa (Italian) harp

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

Arpeggi (Italian) (Italian) a spread chords played from the top down or from the bottom up

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

Arpeggiando arpeggiate successive chords

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

Arpeggiato (Italian) to arpeggiate successive chords

Arpeggiare arpeggiate successive chords

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). See arpeggio in Note Symbols

arr. abbreviated form of arranged

Arraché (French) strong pizzicato, strongly plucked

Arrange to set a work originally written for one instrument (or set of instruments) for another instrument or set of instruments

Arrangement a work that has been arranged

Arrolo a Spanish lullaby

Arrorro a Spanish lullaby

Articolato (Italian) well articulated

Articolazione  (Italian) articulation

Articulé (French) well articulated

Artikuliert (German) well articulated

Artig (German) well behaved, agreeable

 Articulate slight separations made between notes

Articulation staccato, legato, tenuto,…..

Artificial harmonics high notes produced on a stringed instrument where the strings is stopped lightly halfway along its sounding length

Art song designed to stand alone and written for the concert hall, rather than a traditional or folk song

As…

Ascending a term applied in music to describe a rising melodic line, that is one rising in pitch

Asian Striped Ebony A alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Asian Striped Padauk An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. See Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides See Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Aspiratamente (Italian) aspiring

Aspra (Italian) rough, harsh

Aspro (Italian) rough, harsh

Assai (Italian) very, extremely

Assai piu (Italian) much more

Assez (French) enough, fairly

Assieme (Italian) together

A suo benplacimento (Italian) as you please, at will, ad lib

A suo beneplacito (Italian) as you please, at will, ad lib

Asymmetrical meter usually, time signatures with 5 or 7 as the top number

Asymmetrical time signature usually, time signatures with 5 or 7 as the top number

At…

A tempause (German) a small pause on a weak beat used to strengthen the following strong beat

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

Atonal music that avoids a key centre but is not constructed on serial principles

Atonality music that avoids a key centre but is not constructed on serial principles

Ator-ator  Christmas songs in the Spanish Basque Country

Attacca (Italian) at once, attack, immediately; used at the end of a section, the term means go on immediately to the next section without a pause

Attacco short motif used in imitation or as a fugal subject

Attack the beginning or manner of beginning a piece, a passage, or a musical note

Attaque (French) attack

Au…

Au (French) to the, at the

Aubade early morning music, music for dawn

Auch (German) also, but

Audace (French) audacity

Audace (Italian) audacious

Au dessous (French) beneath, less than

Audible range the range of frequencies that the human ear can hear

Audition the try-out that a musician must go through before he or she is accepted into an ensemble; also the try-outs for a solo role or performance

Auf (German) on

Aufführen (German) to perform

Aufführung (German) performance

Aufführungsrecht (German) performing right

Aufgeregt (German) excited

Aufgeweckt (German) lively

Aufhalten (German) to retard

Auflage (German) edition

Auflösen (German) to resolve a discord, to reset the tuning of a string that has been tuned sharp, to loosen, to release

Auflösung (German) natural sign

Auflösungszeichen (German) natural sign

Aufschlag (German) up-beat

Aufschnitt (German) an omitted portion, a cut

Aufschwung (German) uplifted

Aufstrich (German) up-stroke

Auftakt (German) up-beat

Aufzug (German) act of an opera of play

Augmentation 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 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

Augmented sixth chord a chord which contains an augmented sixth above the bass, in addition to various other tones

Aurresku Basque folk dance

Aus (German) out of, from

Ausdruck (German) expression

Ausdrucksvoll (German) expressively

Ausfüllgeiger (German) a ripieno violinist who fills out the tone of the string line

Ausgabe (German) edition

Ausgehalten (German) sustained, held on

Aushalten (German) to sustain, to hold on

Ausschlagen (German) to beat time

Ausser (German) in addition to, out of, outer

Äusserst (German) extremely

Aussi (French) also, as, therefore

Auszug (German) extract, arrangement

Authenticity a term originally used to describe an approach to the performance and understanding of music that relied on evidence from the past, especially that contemporaneous to the work’s creation or to its earliest performance, about how it might have originally sounded and particularly in the matter of style

Authentic 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. see Musical Cadences

Authentic mode a melody is written in an authentic mode when all, or almost all the notes lie above the final

Autoharp a type of zither played with fingers or a plectrum, with keys to produce chords

Autre (French) other

Autres (French) others

Auxiliary Note a variety of passing note that returns back to the note immediately before it

Av…

Avant (French) before

Avante (Italian) forward

Avant-garde (French) an intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts especially in the arts

Avanti (Italian) preceding

Avaz Iranian modal system, made up of twelve modes, divided into seven principal modes and five secondary modes

Avec (French) with

Ave Maria a prayer, in Latin, to The Virgin Mary; used in Roman Catholic liturgy; set to music by a number of composers

Aw…

Awalim female Egyptian performers who danced, sung, played musical instruments and recited poetry

Ay…

Ayre tune, tuneful song, art song accompanied by the lute or viola da gamba

Az…

Azione (Italian) action, drama

 

 

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