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Classical musical terms

 

F


f the fourth degree of the c scale
fabordon Spanish corruption of French fauxbourdon
faburden a method of improvised sixth-chord harmonization
facile fluent
fackeltanz Prussian ceremonial court dance
fado popular music of urban Portugal. consists of song, dance and guitar accompaniment
fagott is the bassoon, the bass of the woodwind section in the orchestra
fake to improvise from a melody line
falsa dissonance
false cadence a deceptive cadence
falsetto a singing voice that is in a "false"-higher than normal-register, such as the countertenor
falsetto a high, light, artificial voice used to sing notes that are above the normal register
familiar style in four part writing, music in which the voices move uniformly with regard to rhythm and syllables, as in a church hymn
family term used to describe a set of musical instruments with common characteristics, such as the violin family or the saxophone family
fancy see fantasia
fandango a rhythmic Spanish dance in triple time, accompanied by castanets and guitar. used by late 19th-and early 20th-century composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov and de falla.
fanfare a fanfare is a flourish of trumpets or other similar instruments, used for military or ceremonial purposes, or music that conveys this impression
fantasia music written in a free, unconstrained form
fantasy a piece in freestyle and form
farandole a dance from Provence, France in 6/8 time, accompanied by pipe and tabor
farce absurdity
farruca a lively dance from Andalusia, in southern Spain, with gypsy associations
fasola a system of solemnization in which only four of the syllables are used, the syllables fa sol la being applied to c-d-e as well as f g a, and mi being used for the seventh
fastoso pompous
feierlich festive
feldmusik brass music for outdoor performance
feminine cadence cadence terminating on an unstressed beat
feria non feast weekday in the church calendar
fermata a symbol that means to hold the note or rest until the conductor directs you to stop
ferne as from a distance
fernwerk echo organ
festival a group of performances together
festoso festive
f-holes the vaguely f-shaped sound holes in an instrument in the violin family
fiato breath
fibbonacci series a mathematical sequence in which the next number in the series is the sum of the previous two numbers. used by many 20th century composers to determine various elements of composition, especially Bela Bartok
fiddle an early form of bowed string instrument, which later developed into the violin. a term still used in orchestral playing
fidicen string player
fiero fiery, spirited
fife small keyless flute
fifth the interval of five diatonic degrees
figuration repetition of the same melodic or harmonic figure
figure a musical motif
figured bass bass line annotated with numerals to indicate harmony
figured chorale a chorale in which a certain figure is repeated
figured melody a highly ornamented melody
filar il tuono properly synonymous with messa di voce, however usually interpreted to mean sustained but not changing in volume
film music originally music played live by a pianist to accompany silent films and mask the projector noise. as technology evolved, so did this musical form
fin' al segno as far as the sign, repeat from beginning to sign
fin French, meaning 'end'
finale the last movement of a sonata or symphony, or the last section of an opera
fine the end; the conclusion
fingerboard a strip of hard wood affixed to the neck of a stringed instrument. the strings are placed over it and the fingers come down on it to change the pitch of the strings
fingerfertigkeit  agility of fingers
fingering the use of fingers to play an instrument. their term also is used to identify specifically which fingers should play which notes and chords
fioritura embellishment
fipple the block of wood which directs the flow of air, by plugging the mouthpiece, in a woodwind instrument of the recorder family, known as fipple flute (or whistle flute). examples of fipple flutes include the recorder, flageolet, and tin or penny whistle
fipple flute whistle flute
fistelstimme falsetto
fistula medieval name for flute or organ pipe
fixed do a system wherein do is equivalent to c and does not move depending on the tonal center
fixed syllables all the musical syllables in a fixed do system are likewise fixed
flageolet type of fipple flute particularly popular in the 17th-century
flam two strokes on the side drum, with the first beat consisting of a short note and the second being a long one.
flamenco a Spanish gypsy style of dance
flat a sign which indicates that the pitch be lowered one half step
flats an accidental that lowers a given pitch by one half-step. see also key signature
flatterzunge fluttertonguing
flautando instruction to a player of a stringed instrument to bow over the fingerboard so as to produce a flute-like tone
flautato a violin technique in which the sound of a flute is imitated by bowing near the end of the fingerboard
flautino small flute
flautist a flautist is a player of the flute
flauto flute or recorder
flaviol small Spanish flute
flebile mournful
flicorno Italian variation of the flugelhorn.
fliessend flowing
florid used to describe a melody, or style, that is embellished with ornaments
flos embellishments, as trill, mordent, or vibrato
flöte flute
flott briskly
flourish fanfare or very brilliant (often improvised) passage
flute the word flute may indicate a variety of wind instruments without reeds. The modern orchestra makes use of transverse flutes, augmented as necessary by a smaller transverse flute known as a piccolo and very occasionally by a larger instrument, the alto or bass flute, pitched a fourth lower
flugel grand piano
flugelhorn originating in Germany as a military instrument, it is a type of brass instrument, related to the trumpet, played mainly in brass bands.
flussig flowing
folia a Portuguese dance, performed at fast speed with castanets
folk music which emanates from a community, usually composed and freely edited by non-musicians. tends to be simple in form and easily remembered
folk music generally taken to mean music (also song and dance) that has been transmitted orally within a community for many years before being written down or recorded
folk song national song
follia is a well known dance tune popular from the 16th century or earlier and found in the work of composers such as Corelli, who used the theme for a set of variations forming a violin sonata, or later by Rachmaninov in his incorrectly named variations on a theme of Corelli.
foot unit of measure of organ pipes
form the structure of a piece of music. basic forms include the fugue, rondo, and sonata. a piece may be "free" in form-that is, unrelated to any conventional structure
formant an amplified harmonic that gives a vocal continuant a characteristic vowel sound, and by its amplitude relative to the fundamental, also more subtle tone color
forte instruction to play an instrument or sing loudly. abbreviated as f
fortepiano loud followed immediately by soft
fortissimo very loud but under control
fortspinnung the process of development in a piece, as opposed to mere repetition
forza force
forzando with force, loud
foundation stops unison and octave sounding ranks of the organ
fourth the interval of four diatonic degrees
fourth chord used in jazz, chords built on fourths rather than triads
frauenchor female chorus
frei freely
freistimmigkeit free voice leading, a style where lines sometimes merge or disappear. used primarily for keyboard music
French harp mouth organ
French horn a coiled brass instrument with valves, developed-particularly in France, hence the name-from the earlier hunting horn. often used in the orchestra, also in brass, military, and concert bands
French sixth chord an augmented sixth chord, which contains a second from the tonic
frequency the number of wave crests per second, hertz.
fret narrow strip embedded or affixed to the fingerboard of a stringed instrument, having the effect of breaking it up into discrete pitches, as opposed to a fretless instrument which can produce a continuum of pitches
fretta an instruction to play an instrument in a hurried manner
frettoloso hurried, worried
freudig joyous
fricasee French for quodlibet
frog the lower part of a violin bow, the nut
frottola a lighthearted Italian song for several voices, popular in the 16th century
fröhlich joyful
fuga fugue
fugato in the style of a fugue.
fughetta short fugue
fugue "flight." a contrapuntal piece, in which two or more parts are built or "layered" on a recurring subject that is introduced alone, and followed by an answer, which is the subject (or theme) at a different pitch, usually the fifth
fuguetta a little fugue
fulle orchestra an orchestra with all the usual 4 sections-strings, woodwind, brass and percussion
function the way in which chords, and individual tones within the chord, tend to imply movement toward another chord
fundamental the first harmonic. the root of a chord
fuoco instruction to play in a fiery manner
furiant dance with rapid changes of rhythm.
furioso furious
fullstimme filling part with no independence
fz forzando, sforzando

 

 

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