Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Music > Notes and Ornaments

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

acciaccatura a grace-note performed quickly before an essential note of a melody > ACCIACCATURAS or ACCIACCATURE
agoge in Greek music, tempo; sequence in melody.
agogic accenting a musical note by slightly dwelling on it.
agogics the accentuation of a musical note by slightly dwelling on it > AGOGICS.
alt a high tone; a halt or rest.
amusis the inability to distinguish differences in musical pitch.
amusic suffering from amusia, the inability to distinguish differences in musical pitch.
anacrusis one or more unstressed notes immediately preceding the first bar line > ANACRUSES.
appoggiatura a short note placed before a longer one.
arpeggiate to perform or write in arpeggios.
arpeggio the sounding of the notes of a chord in (usu. rapid upward) succession, not simultaneously.
atonal not referring to any scale or tonic, NONTONAL.
atonality the state of being ATONAL.
atonally in an ATONAL manner.
backbeat one of the normally unstressed beats in a bar, used as a secondary syncopated beat.
bassline the lowest line in a piece of jazz or popular music, provided by a bass instrument or electronically.
battuta the measuring of time by beating.
beatless without a beat.
bebung a tremolo effect produced on the clavichord.
bitonal using two musical keys simultaneously.
bitonality the use of two musical keys simultaneously.
bravura spirit and dash in execution > BRAVURE or BRAVURAS.
breakbeat in house music, a short sample of drum beats taken from old soul or jazz records.
breve an obsolescent note, twice as long as the longest now generally used (the SEMIBREVE).
cadenza a (sometimes improvised) flourish or passage for a solo instrument or voice, usu. near the close or between the divisions of a movement.
chord a group of notes to be played together; (verb) to play a chord.
chordal of or pertaining to a chord.
chording the playing, singing, or arrangement of chords.
chromatic (noun) a chromatic note.
clef a character placed on the stave by which the absolute pitch of the following notes is fixed.
concertante exhibiting or needing great skill and brilliancy; alternating tutti passages and passages for a group of soloists.
continuo the bass part as written for a keyboard instrument.
contralto the part sung by the highest male or lowest female voices; the alto or counter tenor > CONTRALTI or CONTRALTOS.
crotchet a note in music, equal to half a MINIM.
demisemiquaver a 1/32 note in music.
descant discant a variation upon a melody, hence, metaphorically, a comment on a given theme; (verb) to comment on a theme.
diapente the interval of the fifth. [Gk. dia, through + pente, five].
diaphony a dissonance; also, two-part polyphony.
diastaltic of intervals, extended; of style, bold.
diastem in Greek music, an interval, esp. one forming a single degree of the scale.
diatonic using only the 8 tones of a major or minor scale without chromatic deviations.
diazeuctic relating to DIAZEUXIS, the separation of two tetrachords by a whole tone.
diazeuxis the separation of two tetrachords by a whole tone > DIAZEUXES.
ditone the Greek major third, which comprehend two major tones (the modern major third contains one major and one minor whole tone).
doh a musical note.
downbeat the first or most heavily accented beat of a measure (indicated by a conductor's downward beat).
ecbole a digression; (Mus.) the sharpening of a tone.
fa a musical note, as in sol-fa.
fah a musical note.
fermata a pause in music > FERMATAS or FERMATE.
finalis a type of tone in mediaeval music > FINALISES.
fioritura a florid embellishment introduced into a melody by a singer or player > FIORITURE.
gamme a musical scale.
gamut the complete range of something, e.g. the full range of notes which a voice or instrument can produce.
gorgia an improvised virtuoso passage in 16th and 17th century singing.
halftone a semitone.
harmonic a musical tone with a frequency that is a multiple of the fundamental frequency.
hemiola hemiolia in mediaeval music, a perfect fifth.
heptachord a system of seven sounds.
heptatonic of a musical scale, containing seven notes.
hexachord a series of six notes, with a semitone between the third and fourth, the other intervals being whole tones.
hypate in Greek music, the lowest string of the lyre, or its tone.
hypodorian relating to a mode in ancient Greek music.
hypolydian relating to a mode in ancient Greek music.
klang a complex tone, composed of fundamental and harmonics.
klangfarbe tone-colour; timbre.
la a musical note > LAS.
lah a musical note.
large an obsolete note in music.
lichanos in ancient Greek music, the string or the note struck by the forefinger > LICHANOSES.
longa a long note > LONGAS.
me a musical note > MES.
mediant the third tone of a scale, about midway between tonic and dominant.
melisma a melody; a melodic ornamentation > MELISMAS or MELISMATA.
melismatic in florid style, especially of singing one syllable on a number of notes.
mese in Greek music, the middle string of the lyre; its note.
mi a musical note > MIS.
microtone an interval less than a semitone.
minim a note with the time value of half a semibreve or two crotchets.
mordent a rapidly alternating a tone with one half-tone lower; a reverse trill. [Ger. fr. Ital. mordente].
nete the highest note of a lyre. [Gk. nete or neate (chorde), literally, lowest (string)].
neum neume a succession of notes sung to one syllable.
neumatic neumic relating to a NEUME.
nontonal not tonal.
nonuplet a group of nine notes to be performed in the time of eight or six.
octaval relating to an OCTAVE.
octave a set of eight notes.
offbeat an unaccented beat; any of the normally unaccented beats in a bar, as the second or fourth beat in common time.
ostinato a short melody or phrase that is constantly repeated in the same pitch, a RIFF > OSTINATOS.
overtone a harmonic or upper partial.
paramese the string or tone above the MESE.
paranete the string or tone next below the NETE, the highest note of a lyre.
parhypate in Greek music, the lowest note but one in a TETRACHORD.
partitura a score in music > PARTITURAS.
pentatonic consisting of five tones or notes.
plagal of a Gregorian mode, having the final in the middle of the compass instead of at the bottom, as the last two chords of most hymns.
plinky Of a high pitched sound from a stringed instrument when plucked > PLINKIER, PLINKIEST.
polytonal of music, having many keys.
polytonality two or more tonalities in a composition.
pralltriller a musical ornament comprising a MORDENT plus an added upper note.
presa a musical symbol used in a canon etc. to mark the entry of a voice or instrument > PRESE.
pycnon a term in ancient Greek music; in mediaeval music, a semitone.
quaver a 1/8 note in music; (verb) to tremble, quiver.
re a musical note > RES.
ribattuta the slow beginning of a TRILL > RIBATTUTAS.
riff a short rhythmic phrase repeated constantly; (verb) to play such a phrase.
schisma in music, an interval equal to half the difference between twelve perfect fifths and seven octaves > SCHISMAS. [Gk. schisma a split, rent].
semibreve the longest generally used note, having twice length of minim and half that of breve.
semiquaver a 1/16 note in music, half a quaver.
semitonal semitonic of or pertaining to a SEMITONE.
semitone half a tone, one of the lesser intervals of the musical scale, as from B to C.
septimole a group of seven notes to be played in the time of four or six.
sextolet a group of six notes performed in the time of four.
sharp (verb) to raise in music by a semitone.
si an earlier form of TI, a musical note > SIS.
so in such a way; (noun) a musical note > SOS.
soh a musical note.
sol a musical note; an old French coin.
subchord part of a chord.
subdominant the fourth degree of the diatonic scale, e.g. F in the scale of C.
submediant the sixth degree of the diatonic scale, e.g. A in the scale of C major.
suboctave the octave below.
subtonic the seventh tone of a diatonic scale, immediately below the tonic.
superdominant the SUBMEDIANT or 6th tone of the diatonic scale.
supertonic the note next above the keynote; the second of the scale.
syncopation a shift of accent in a musical passage that occurs when a normally weak beat is stressed.
tablature an old notation for lute music etc.
tala a traditional rhythmic pattern in Indian music. [Skr. 'hand-clapping'].
talea a recurring rhythmic pattern in mediaeval motets > TALEAE.
te = TI, a musical note > TES.
tenuto sustained; a sustained note or chord > TENUTI.
tetrachord a scale series of four sounds, of which the extremes, or first and last, constituted a fourth. These extremes were immutable; the two middle sounds were changeable.
tonality the sum of relations between the tones or notes of a scale or key; a particular scale or key.
tremulate to sound with a tremolo effect.
trill a rapid alternation of two notes a tone or semitone apart, commonly ending with a turn; (verb) to perform a trill.
trillo a TRILL > TRILLOES.
triplex triple time > TRIPLEXES.
trite in Greek music, the third string of the lyre; (adj.) banal, commonplace > TRITER, TRITEST.
tritone a superfluous or augmented fourth.
undecimole a group of eleven notes, in the time of eight.
unison identity of pitch.
unisonal unisonant unisonous being in unison.
upbeat an unaccented beat in music.
ut a musical note > UTS.
zoppa zoppo having a syncopated or temporarily changing accent of a beat. [Ital. 'limping'].