Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Music > Forms

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

agitpop the use of pop music to promote political propaganda > AGITPOPS.
air ayre a melody or tune.
alaap alap alapa in Indian music, the introductory section of a RAGA.
albumblatt a short occasional instrumental composition, usually light in character > ALBUMBLATTS or ALBUMBLATTER.
anacreontic a drinking song or light lyric.
anthem a composition for a church choir, commonly with solo passages, usu set to a passage from the Bible; any song of praise or gladness; loosely, an officially recognized national hymn or song; (verb) to praise with an anthem.
anthemic like an anthem; of rock music, having a bold tune and rhythm.
aria an elaborate melody for a single voice.
arietta ariette a short ARIA.
aubade a song or poem greeting the dawn or about lovers parting at dawn.
ayaya a type of singing among the Inuit.
ayre see AIR.
azione a composition like an oratorio but performed as a drama > AZIONES.
bachata a type of Latin American music with guitar and percussion.
ballad a slow, sentimental song; a simple narrative poem in short stanzas; (verb) to compose or sing ballads.
balladic relating to a BALLAD.
ballant ballat a ballad; (verb) to compose ballads.
banda a style of Mexican dance music.
ballet to sing or compose ballads.
barbershop a type of music originating in the US, played, or esp sung, in close chromatic harmony.
barcarole barcarolle a gondolier's song.
beatboxing a form of hip-hop music in which the voice is used to simulate percussion instruments.
bebop a variety of jazz music; (verb) to play bebop.
benga a form of Kenyan popular music featuring guitars.
berceuse a lullaby.
bhajan a Hindu religious song.
bhangra a combination of traditional Punjabi and Western pop music.
bluebeat a type of West Indian pop music.
bluegrass a style of country music.
blues a slow sad song, orig an African-American folk song, characteristically with three four-bar lines and blue notes.
bluesy of or like BLUES music > BLUESIER, BLUESIEST.
bluette a spark, a flash; a short playful piece of music.
bop a variety of jazz music; (verb) to dance to this.
boppy suggestive of bebop > BOPPIER, BOPPIEST.
boppish suggestive of bebop.
bottleneck a style of guitar playing, used esp. for blues music.
bouffe a comic opera.
brindisi a toast; a drinking-song > BRINDISIS.
burletta a comic operetta; a music farce > BURLETTAS.
cabaletta a simple operatic song or melody in rondo form > CABALETTE or CABALETTAS.
cajun a lively syncopated music in the Cajun tradition.
calypso a West Indian ballad dealing with topical events > CALYPSOS or CALYPSOES.
cancrizans moving backwards; repeating a musical theme backwards. [L. cancrizare, to move like a crab].
canon a type of vocal or instrumental musical composition in which the melody is repeated by one part following another in imitation.
canso a love song > CANSOS.
cantata an extended composition for one or more voices with instrumental accompaniment.
canticle a song; a non-metrical hymn, esp one used in a church service.
cantion a song.
cantus a melody or chant, esp. in mediaeval ecclesiastical music > CANTUS.
canzona canzone a song resembling a madrigal but less strict > of CANZONE is CANZONES or CANZONI.
canzonet canzonetta a short CANZONE > of CANZONETTA is CANZONETTE.
capriccio a kind of free composition, not keeping to the rules of any particular form > CAPRICCI or CAPRICCIOS.
carol a song of joy and praise; (verb) to sing carols > CAROLED/CAROLLED.
cavatina a short operatic air > CAVATINE or CAVATINAS.
chamade a signal made for a parley by beat of a drum.
chanson a song.
chansonette a little song, a ditty.
chantey chantie chanty shantey shanty a song sung by sailors as they worked.
charivari chivaree chivari a cacophonous mock-serenade performed for a wedding; (verb) to perform such a serenade. CHIVARI gives CHIVARIES (not CHIVARIS*), CHIVARIED, CHIVARIING.
choral chorale a simple harmonized composition with slow rhythm; a psalm or hymn tune.
coda an end-piece.
codetta a short passage connecting two sections, but not forming part of either; a short coda.
concertante a composition alternating tutti passages and passages for a group of soloists > CONCERTANTI.
concertino a piece for one or more solo instruments with orchestra; -- more concise than the CONCERTO > CONCERTINOS or CONCERTINI.
concerto a composition (in the classical form usu. in three movements) for one, or sometimes more, solo instruments accompanied by orchestra > CONCERTOS or CONCERTI.
concertstuck a composition in concerto style but shorter than a full concerto > CONCERTSTUCKS.
conductus a style of metrical Latin song of the 12th and 13th century > CONDUCTI.
conjunto a kind of Mexican-American music that has been influenced by the music of German immigrants to Texas and that features the accordion in addition to Mexican elements > CONJUNTOS.
coranach coronach a lamentation for the dead; a dirge.
cowpunk music combining country and western with punk rock.
crunk krunk a form of hip-hop music originating in the southern states of the US.
cumbia a Columbian style of music.
dancecore a type of Electronic/Techno music with rapid beats and often, extreme distortion.
dancehall a style of dance-oriented REGGAE, a form of popular music originating in Jamaica. No —S.
dancelike suitable for dancing to.
dancy dancey relating to dance music > DANCIER, DANCIEST.
dirge a funeral song or hymn; a slow and mournful piece of music.
dirgelike in the manner of a dirge.
divertimento a genre of 18th C. chamber music having several short movements > DIVERTIMENTI or DIVERTIMENTOS.
doowop a style of singing in harmony.
dubstep a genre of electronic music conveying a dark and brooding atmosphere through prominent bass lines.
duet a composition for two; (verb) to take part in playing a composition for two. Cf. DUETT, DUETTO.
duett a composition for two. Cf. DUET, DUETTO.
duettino a duet of short extent and concise form > DUETTINOS.
duettist one who takes part in a duet.
duetto a composition for two > DUETTI or DUETTOS. Cf. DUET, DUETT.
dumka a lament, a piece alternating between lively and sorrowful moods > DUMKY or DUMKAS.
ecossaise a dancing tune in the Scotch style.
electroclash a type of electronic music.
electropop a genre of pop music characterized by the use of synthesizers to replace guitars and drums.
emo a type of music combining traditional hard rock with personal and emotional lyrics > EMOS.
emocore a type of music combining hard rock with personal and emotional lyrics.
equali pieces for a group of instruments of the same kind e.g. Beethoven's Equali for four trombones. [Ital. old pl. of uguale, equal].
etude a composition in the fine arts which is intended, or may serve, for a study.
europop A form of simple pop music, performed by European artists.
extravaganza a literary, musical, or dramatic composition of an extravagant or fanciful character.
fantasia fantasie a musical or other composition not governed by the ordinary rules of form.
filk a type of music that parodies folk songs.
filmi a style of music associated with Indian films.
folksong a traditional song, or song in the traditional manner.
folktronica a genre of music comprising various elements of folk music and electronic music .
forebitter a nautical ballad sung at the FOREBITTS.
fugal pertaining to a FUGUE.
fugally (adv.) FUGAL, pertaining to a FUGUE.
fugato a piece in the manner of a fugue > FUGATOS.
fughetta a short FUGUE.
fugue a polyphonic musical form in which a number of voices are developed contrapuntally; (verb) to compose a fugue.
fuguelike like a FUGUE.
gabba a style of electronic dance music with a very fast heavy rhythm.
gagaku a type of Japanese classical music.
galant an 18th-century style of music characterized by homophony and elaborate ornamentation.
gangsta gangster rap music which is aggressive and misogynistic.
garage a type of unsophisticated rock music.
garagey of or like garage music > GARAGIER, GARAGIEST.
gat gath the second section of a RAGA.
goombay calypso music of the Bahamas.
gospelly like gospel music.
goth a morbid style of rock music and fashion characterized by black clothes and heavy make-up.
grunge a style of rock music featuring a discordant guitar sound and lyrics expressing social alienation.
grungy like GRUNGE.
hallali a bugle-call > HALLALIS.
hardcore a type of rock music > hardcores.
highlife a style of music combining West African elements with jazz forms.
horning a mock serenade, a SHIVAREE.
housey typical of house music used in discos edited from other recordings > HOUSIER, HOUSIEST.
humoresk humoresque a musical caprice.
hushaby a lullaby used to soothe babies to sleep; (verb) to sing a lullaby.
hymn a song of praise, esp to God, but also to a nation, etc.; (verb) to sing a hymn.
hymnlike like a HYMN.
hyphy a style of hip-hop music originating in the Bay Area of San Francisco.
indie a type of music produced by independent record labels, often catering ot non-mainstream taste.
intermezzo a short connecting instrumental movement in an opera or other musical work; a similar piece performed independently.
intrada an introductory piece, a prelude.
jass jazz.
jazz any of various styles of music with a strong rhythm, syncopation, improvisation, etc, originating in black American folk music; (verb) to play jazz music, to enliven.
jazzlike like JAZZ.
jazzy like JAZZ, noisy, garish > JAZZIER, JAZZIEST.
jhala in Hindu music, part of the second movement of a RAGA.
jiggy resembling a jig > JIGGIER, JIGGIEST.
jiglike like a JIG.
jor the second movement of a RAGA (Indian music).
jungle a style of rock music.
karaoke a kind of sing-along entertainment.
khayal a kind of Indian classical vocal music.
kinderspiel a children's CANTATA or play.
kirtan devotional singing, usually accompanied by musical instruments.
klezmer a style of music > part Jewish, part big-band > KLEZMORIM.
krautrock a name applied to experimental German rock music of the late 1960s and 1970s, characterized by repetitive rhythms and the use of electronic instruments.
kwaito a type of S. African pop music > KWAITOS.
kwela a form of Zulu folk music. [Zulu khwela, climb, mount].
lied a song > LIEDER.
loungey relating to or reminiscent of a cocktail lounge or lounge music > LOUNGIER, LOUNGIEST.
lullaby a song used to get a child to sleep; (verb) to sing a lullaby.
madrigal a part-song for several voices, spec. one of a 16th- or 17th-cent. Italian style, arranged in elaborate counterpoint, and sung without instrumental accompaniment.
madrigalian of or like a MADRIGAL.
mallcore a form of music that incorporates rap and funk.
marabi a kind of music popular in townships in the 1930s > MARABIS.
marchlike like a (musical) march.
mariachi designating a form of Mexican dance music; (noun) any of a group of musician playing this > MARIACHIS.
mas music played for a Caribbean carnival.
mashup a piece of live or recorded music in which a producer blends together two or more tracks, often from contrasting genres.
mbaqanga a type of Black African urban music. [Orig. uncertain; perh. related to Zulu umbaqanga, maize, porridge].
mento a traditional Jamaican form of song or ballad > MENTOS.
monophony a composition for one voice. Cf. POLYPHONY.
motet motett a kind of unaccompanied part-song or anthem.
musicale a social gathering with music, or the programme of music for it.
muzak piped background music.
muzaky denoting a cheap sentimental kind of music > MUZAKIER, MUZAKIEST.
neosoul a style of popular music combining traditional soul music with elements from other genres.
nocturne a musical composition of a dreamy character; also a painting of a night scene.
noel a Christmas carol.
nonet nonette nonetto a composition for nine instruments, rarely for nine voices > of NONETTO is NONETTI or NONETTOS.
octet octett octette a composition for eight voices; a group of eight lines of verse.
octuor an OCTET.
opera a musical drama.
operatic relating to opera.
operatics the study of opera; histrionic behaviour.
operetta a short, light, musical drama.
opuscle opuscule a little work or composition.
oratorio a choral work usu. on a scriptural subject.
overture an instrumental prelude to an opera, oratorio; (verb) to put forward as an overture.
paean a song of thanksgiving. [L. from Gk. Paian, physician to the gods. The earliest musical paeans were hymns of thanksgiving and praise that were dedicated to Apollo; the word then became generalised].
palinode palinody an ode or song recanting or retracting something in an earlier poem.
partita a suite; a set of variations.
pastorale a composition in a soft, rural style, generally in 6-8 or 12-8 time > PASTORALI or PASTORALES.
pibroch variations on a dirge or martial theme for bagpipes.
plainchant plainsong unmeasured, unaccompanied music sung in unison in ecclesiastical modes from early times.
planxty an Irish or Welsh melody for the harp, sometimes of a mournful character.
popera music drawing on opera or classical music but aiming for popular appeal.
poptastic denoting a very good piece of pop music.
postpunk of pop music, belonging to a period following punk rock; (noun) a follower of this music > POSTPUNKS.
preludio a prelude > PRELUDI or PRELUDIOS.
prerock belonging to the fortunate era before the advent of rock music.
primo the first part of a duet, trio etc > PRIMI or PRIMOS.
prothalamion prothalamium a song in honour of a marriage > in both cases PROTHALAMIA.
psalm a hymn or religious song; (verb) to sing psalms.
psychobilly a genre of popular music blending rockabilly with punk rock.
qawwali a form of devotional Sufi music.
quartet quartett quartette quartetto a composition for four voices. The pl. of QUARTETTO is QUARTETTI.
queercore a type of gay-orientated pop music.
quintet quintett quintette quintetto a composition for five voices or instruments. The pl. of QUINTETTO is QUINTETTI.
raga an Indian musical form. [Skr. raga, colour, tone].
ragga raggamuffin a type of rap music.
ragini a modified RAGA.
ragtime a form of jazz music of black American origin, with highly syncopated melody.
rai a modern North African form of popular music.
ranchera a type of Mexican country music.
rebop a type of music.
recitative recitativo a style of musical declamation, between singing and ordinary speech, used esp. in the dialogue and narrative parts of an opera or oratorio.
reggae a form of popular music originating in Jamaica.
reggaeton a form of music blending West Indian music influences of reggae and dancehall with those of Latin America.
rhapsodic of or like a RHAPSODY, a free instrumental composition in one extended movement.
rhapsody a free instrumental composition in one extended movement, usu. emotional or exuberant in character.
ricercar ricercare ricercata any of various contrapuntal instrumental forms esp. of the 16th and 17th centuries. The pl. of RICERCARE is RICERCARES or RICERCARI
ripieno the body of instruments accompanying the concertino in baroque concerto music > RIPIENI or RIPIENOS.
rispetto a type of Italian folk-song with 8-line stanzas > RISPETTI.
ritornel ritornell ritornelle ritornello ritournelle a short return or repetition; a concluding symphony to an air, often consisting of the burden of the song.
rockabilly a form of rock-and-roll music with elements of hillbilly.
rockaby rockabye a song used to lull a child to sleep.
romanza a short instrumental piece of songlike character.
rondino a short RONDO > RONDINOS.
rondo a piece of music with a recurring leading theme, often as the final movement of a concerto, sonata, etc > RONDOS.
rondoletto a short RONDO.
rosalia a series of repetitions of the same passage, each a tone higher. [Said to be from an Italian folksong, Rosalia cara mia].
round a CANON sung in unison.
roundelay a song with a refrain.
scherzo in music, a lively busy movement in triple time > SCHERZOS or SCHERZI.
scolion skolion a short drinking song of ancient Greece, taken up by the guests in irregular succession > SCOLIA, SKOLIA.
screamo A form of emo music typically featuring screaming vocals.
secondo the second part in a concerted piece > SECONDI.
sennet a trumpet call used for formal stage entrance or exit.
serenade a piece of vocal music, especially one on an amorous subject; (verb) to address a serenade to.
serenata serenate a serenade.
sestet sestett sestette sestetto sextet sextett sextette sextuor a piece of music composed for six voices or six instruments > of SESTETTO is SESTETTOS.
shantey see CHANTEY.
shanty see CHANTEY.
sinfonia a symphony; a symphony orchestra > SINFONIE or SINFONIAS.
sinfonietta a short or simple symphony.
ska a form of Jamaican music similar to REGGAE.
skiffle a strongly accented form of music played on guitars, drums, and often unconventional instruments, etc, popular in the late 1950s (not with me it wasn't); (verb) to play skiffle.
skolion see SCOLION.
skronk music that is grating, dissonant, and frequently avante garde.
soca sokah a variety of Caribbean calypso music. [From soul plus calypso].
sonata a musical composition for one or two instruments (one usu. being the piano), usu. in several movements with one (esp. the first) or more in sonata form > SONATAS.
sonatina a short and simple sonata > SONATINAS or SONATINE.
song that which is sung; a short poem or ballad suitable for singing or set to music.
soukous a form of Central African dance music. [Fr. secouer, to shake].
stasimon in Greek tragedy, a song of the chorus, continued without the interruption of dialogue or anapaestics > STASIMA.
swingbeat a type of dance music.
symphonic relating to a SYMPHONY.
symphony an orchestral composition on a great scale in SONATA form.
synthpop pop music using synthesisers.
tantara tantarara a trumpet fanfare; a hunting cry.
tarantara taratantara the sound of a trumpet or trumpet fanfare; (verb) to make this sound.
techno technomusic a type of fast, repetitive electronic dance music.
technopop pop music featuring synthesisers and other technological equipment.
tersanctus the hymn beginning Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, which forms the conclusion of the Eucharistic preface > TERSANCTUSES.
terzetto a composition in three voice parts; a vocal (rarely an instrumental) trio > TERZETTI or TERZETTOS.
thrashy denoting a style of fast loud punk rock music > THRASHIER, THRASHIEST.
threne a dirge; a THRENODY.
threnetic threnetical relating to a THRENODY, an ode of lamentation.
threnode threnody a dirge; a funeral song.
threnodial of or like a THRENODY.
threnodic like a THRENODY, mournful.
threnody a funeral song, a THRENODY.
threnos a dirge; a funeral song > THRENOSES.
toccata a brilliant, quick, fantasia-like musical composition > TOCCATAS or TOCCATE.
toccatella toccatina a short TOCCATA.
torchy like a torch song, a melancholy love song > TORCHIER, TORCHIEST.
trad traditional jazz.
trio a set of three; a composition for three instruments.
trisagion an ancient anthem, -- usually known by its Latin name TERSANCTUS.
tucket a fanfare on a trumpet.
vaudeville a kind of song of a lively character, frequently embodying a satire on some person or event, sung to a familiar air in couplets with a refrain; a street song; a topical song.
vocalese a type of singing in which the singer improvises words to familiar instrumental solos.
volkslied a popular song, or national air > VOLKSLIEDER.
voluntary music added to a piece at the will of the performer.
waiata a Maori song > WAIATAS.
woodshedding spontaneous or improvised barbershop singing.
worksong a song sung while doing physical work.
worldbeat popular music from outside the western mainstream.
zouk a style of Caribbean dance music.
zydeco a type of dance music > ZYDECOS. [Supposedly from the Creole pronunciation of les haricots, or, in French, "the beans"].