M – Dictionary

M…

m Middle finger of the right hand. see p,i,m,a  in Left & Right Hand Fingerings

Ma…

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. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Macchina (Italian) machine, mechanism

Machine head a system of worm gears used to control the tension of the strings on string instruments

Mächtig (German) mighty, powerful

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. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Maestà (Italian) majesty, dignity

Maestade (Italian) majesty, dignity

Maestoso (Italian) dignified, majestic, noble

Maestro (Italian) conductor, master, teacher

Maestro concertatore (Italian) conductor

Magadis harp with 20 strings in ancient Greece

Maggiolata (Italian) a May song, a Spring song

Maggiore (Italian) major

Maggot a fancy

Magna (Italian) great

Magno (Italian) great

Maidou Burl 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

Mains (French) hands

Mainstream twentieth-century music; music that is currently popular

Mais (French) but

Maître (French) master

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. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Majestätisch (German) majestic, majestically

Majestueuse (French) majestic

Majestueusement (French) majestically

Majestueux (French) majestic

Majeur (French) major

Major Scale see Table of Key Signatures see Table of Major & Melodic minor Scales see Musical Scales

Mal (German) occasion, time

Malagueña a flamenco style

Malinconia (Italian) melancholy

Malinconico (Italian) melancholy

Malizia (Italian) malice

Mambo up tempo Afro-Cuban musical style that evolved in the 1940s and 50s

Mancando (Italian) dying away

Mancante (Italian) dying away

Mancanza (Italian) lack

Mandobass a rare bass mandolin

Mandoloncello a large mandolin, tuned an octave below a mandolin, also known as an octave mandolin

Mandola a large mandolin, bearing six to eight courses of strings, in use during the Renaissance; a large mandolin a fifth below a standard mandolin

Mandore a large mandolin, bearing six to eight courses of strings, in use during the Renaissance; a large mandolin a fifth below a standard mandolin

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

Mandoliny homemade lutes from Madagascar

Mandora Swedish string instrument, similar to a mandolin

Mani (Italian) hands

Manica (Italian) shift on a fingerboard

Manico (Italian) fingerboard

Manieren (German) graces, ornaments

Männer (German) men

Mannerism aspects of Renaissance and Baroque music where the music mirrors textual detail

Mannheim crescendo great crescendos and diminuendos that ranged from pianissimo to fortissimo

Mannheim rocket rapid upward arpeggio over a large range, combined with a crescendo

Mannheim roll scale passages in measured tremolo, combined with a crescendo

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. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Marcando (Italian) marking

Marcato (Italian) accented, marked

March instrumental music with a repeated and regular rhythm such as might appropriately accompany a marching group

Marcha (Spanish) march

Marche (German) march

Märchen (German) tale

Marcia (Italian) march

Mariachi traditional Mexican ensemble consisting of, bass guitar, guitar trumpets, and violins

Markiert (German) accented, emphasized, marked

Markig (German) vigorous

Marqué (French) accented, emphasized, marked

Marovany a box-shaped zither from Madagascar with strings on both sides

Marrabenta popular roots-based urban rhythm from Mozambique

Marsch (German) march

Marteau (French) hammer

Martelé (French) hammered

Martellato (Italian) hammered, strongly marked

Marzas (Spanish) martial songs

Marziale (Italian) in march style

Mascarade (French) a masked ball

Masonic Music music used in connection with the functions of the freemasons

Master Grade A grading system to differentiate the quality in wood. Master grade is awarded to one in a hundred (or more) tops (very rare). Master grade is the best of the best. see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Masur Birch 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

Matteo Carcassi (1792 -1853) see Classical Guitarists and Composers

Mattinata (Italian) a morning song

Matuqin a bowed lute adorned with a horse head at the top of the instrument from China and Mongolia

Mauresco (Italian) Moorish

Mauresque (French) Moorish

Mauro Giuliani (1781- 1829) See Classical Guitarists and Composers

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

Me…

Measure bar

Medesimo (Italian) same

Mediant the third degree of the scale

Medieval pertaining to the Middle Ages

Medley potpourri of melodies taken from other compositions and strung together

Mehr (German) more, many

Mehrere (German) several

Melic (Greek) of or pertaining to song; lyric; tuneful

Melic composition a musical composition relating to song

Melodic minor Scales. see Table of Major & Melodic minor Scales see Musical Scales

Mélodie (French) melody

Melodious music with a pleasing melody

Melody the horizontal dimension in music, where the vertical dimension arises from the harmony

Même (French) same

Men (Italian) less

Meno (Italian) less

Meno mosso (Italian) less movement, slower

Menuett (German) minuet

Menuetto (Italian) minuet

Messing (German) brass

Mesto (Italian) mournful, sad

Mestoso (Italian) mournful, sad

Mestizia (Italian) sadness

Mesure (French) beat, measure, time

Metà (Italian) half

Meter the organization of music or verse into units of accented and unaccented beats

Metre the organization of music or verse into units of accented and unaccented beats

Metric modulation the method of changing tempos precisely by making some note value in the first tempo equal to a different note value in the second tempo

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.  see metronome mark in Phrasing Symbols

Mettere (Italian) to put

Mettre (French) to put

Mettez (French) put

Mezza (Italian) half

Mezzo (Italian) medium

Mezzo forte (Italian) halfway between loud and soft. see dynamic symbols in Phrasing Symbols

Mezzo piano (Italian) halfway between loud and soft. see dynamic symbols in Phrasing Symbols

Mf…

mf (Italian) mezzo forte – halfway between soft and loud

Mi…

mi contra fa (Italian) tritone

Microtones intervals smaller than a half step

Microtonal music music which makes use of intervals smaller than a half step

Middle ages period from about 500 AD until about 1430 AD

Middle C See clef in Staff, Barline, & Clef

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

Mi gaung Burmese three stringed instrument in the shape of a crocodile

Miguel Llobet (1878-1938) see Classical Guitarists and Composers

Milieu (French)  middle

Militaire (French) military

Militär military

Militare (Italian) military

Military band a regimental band made up of woodwind, brass and percussion

Milk jug percussion instrument used by Hungarian Gypsy musicians

Milonga Argentine country dance

Minaccevole (Italian) menacing

Minaccevolmente (Italian) menacingly

Minacciando (Italian) in a menacing manner

Minder (German) less

Mineur (French) minor

Minim half note see Note Values

Minim rest a half rest

Minima bianca (Italian) half note see Note Values

Minne (German) love

Minor Melodic Scale (Ascending) see Musical Scales

Minor Melodic Scale (Descending) see Musical Scales

Minor Scale having the interval of a minor third between the first and third degrees of the scale. see Table of Key Signatures see Table of Major & Melodic minor Scales

Minor Scale (Harmonic) see Musical Scales

Minor Scale (Natural) see Musical Scales

Minore (Italian) minor

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

Mirror term used to describe a part appearing upside down, which if set directly below the original part it would appear like the other reflected in a mirror lying between the two lines

Mise (French) putting

Mistero (Italian) mystery

Misterio (Italian) mystery

Misterioso (Italian) mysteriously

Mistico (Italian) mystic

Misura (Italian) measure, bar; also strict time

Misurato (Italian) measured; in strict time

Mit (German) with

Mitleidig (German) pitiful

Mitte (German) middle

Mo…

Mobile (Italian) changeable

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

Möglich (German) possible

Moins (French) less

Moitié (French) half

Moll (German) minor

Molle (Italian) gentle

Mollemente (Italian) gently

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

Monothematic a composition based on a single theme

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

Monter (French) to raise

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. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Montez (French) raise

Moqueur (French) mocking, waggish

Morbidezza (Italian) gentleness or softness

Morbido (Italian) gentle or soft

Morceau (French) piece

Mordant a note ornament see mordant in Note Ornamentation

Morendo (Italian) dying away

Morgenlied morning song

Mormorando (Italian) murmuring

Mormorante (Italian) murmuring

Mormorevole (Italian) murmuring

Mormoroso (Italian) murmuring

Mosso (Italian) animated, moving

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

Motion the progress of a melody

Motiv (German) the smallest identifiable self-existent element of melody or rhythm

Motive the smallest identifiable self-existent element of melody or rhythm

Motivo (Italian) the smallest identifiable self-existent element of melody or rhythm

Moto (Italian) motion

Moto perpetuo (Italian) continuous movement

Moto precedente (Italian) the same speed as before

Motteggiando (Italian) bantering

Motto theme music that recurs and develops in the form of a quotation

Mouvement (French) movement

Mouvementé (French) animated, bustling

Movable clef clefs, such as the ‘C’ and ‘G’ clefs, which, to facilitate writing the notes on the staff rather than having to resort to ledger lines

Movement a self-contained section from a symphony, suite, sonata, concerto……….

Movente (Italian) moving

Movimento (Italian) motion, impulse

Mozambique an Afro-Cuban rhythm

Mp…

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

Mu…

Müde (German) tired

Muffle to reduce the sound of an instrument

Mühelos (German) effortless

Multimedia work contemporary works of art that employ several distinct art forms, such as sculpture and music or painting and light art

Multimetric music in which there are changing time signatures

Multiphonics performing two or more tones simultaneously

Multiple stopping performing two or more notes simultaneously on a violin, etc.

Mun Ebony 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

Munter (German) lively

Murky playing style where the bass consists of quick alternating octaves rather than slower, longer notes, in either case, the progression would have been the same

Murmelnd (German) murmuring

Murmurando (Italian) murmuring

Music (Greek) organized sound

Music ficta the sharpening or flattening of notes prescribed or permitted in modal music for the purpose of avoiding certain intervals, harmonies or whatever

Music of the spheres an ancient doctrine originating with the Greeks that implies that the universe and everything in it is in harmony

Music therapy the use of music to cure or to bring physical or psychological relief

Musica falsa the sharpening or flattening of notes prescribed or permitted in modal music for the purpose of avoiding certain intervals, harmonies or whatever

Música jibara Puerto Rican music

Música norteña northern Mexican popular music

Musica parlante (Italian) recitative

Musica reservata serious music

Musical a popular successor to musical comedy

Musical comedy a play with songs and music, catchy, comic and romantic

Musical periods periods when Western music was written

Musical Scales see Musical Scales

Musical Switch a medley of popular tunes

Musico a castrato

Musicology the study of music

Musikwissenschaft (German) musicology

Musique concrete (French) electrically combined sounds derived from natural sources rather than musical instruments

Mutano (Italian) change

Mutate to shift from one hexachord to another, relaying on a pivot pitch

Mutation to shift from one hexachord to another, relaying on a pivot pitch

Mut (German) boldness, courage

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

Mutig (German) bold

Muth (German) boldness, courage

Muthig (German) bold

My…

Mysteriös (German) mysterious

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