Monday, November 13, 2006

Almost Musical Terms

You should look carefully at the capitalized terms. Some are not what they seem at first!

ALLREGRETTO: When you're 16 measures into the piece and realize you took too fast a tempo

ANGUS DEI: To play with a divinely beefy tone

A PATELLA: Accompanied by knee-slapping

APPOLOGGIATURA: A composition that you regret playing

APPROXIMATURA: A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an "I meant to do that" attitude

APPROXIMENTO: A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch

CACOUGHANY: A composition incorporating many people with chest colds

CORAL SYMPHONY: A large, multi-movement work from Beethoven's Caribbean Period

DILL PICCOLINI: An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes

FERMANTRA: A note held over and over and over and over and . . .

FERMOOTA: A note of dubious value held for indefinite length

FIDDLER CRABS: Grumpy string players

FLUTE FLIES: Those tiny mosquitoes that bother musicians on outdoor gigs

FRUGALHORN: A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument

GAUL BLATTER: A French horn player

GREGORIAN CHAMP: The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest

GROUND HOG: Someone who takes control of the repeated bassline and won't let anyone else play it


SCHMALZANDO: A sudden burst of music from the Guy Lombardo band

THE RIGHT OF STRINGS: Manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Violists

SPRITZICATO: An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound

TEMPO TANTRUM: What an elementary school orchestra is having when it's not following the conductor (also common in municipal bands and community orchestras)

TROUBLE CLEF: Any clef one can't read: e.g., alto clef for pianists

VESUVIOSO: An indication to build up to a fiery conclusion

VIBRATTO: Child prodigy son of the concertmaster

AN-DANTE: A tempo that's infernally slow

ANTIPHONAL: Referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall

BAR LINE: What musicians form after the concert

BASSO CONTINUO: When musicians are still fishing long after the legal season has ended

BEN SOSTENUTO: First cousin of the second trombonist

CADENZA: Something that happens when you forget what the composer wrote

CANTABILE: To achieve a complaining sound, as if you have a sour stomach

COL LEGNO: An indication to cellists to hold on tight with their lower extremities

CON SORDINO: An indication to string players to bow in a slashing, rapier motion

ESPRESSIVO: Used to indicate permission to take a coffee break

L'ISTESSO TEMPO: An indication to play listlessly; e.g., as if youdon't care

MAESTRO: A person who, standing in front of the orchestra and/orchorus, is able to follow them precisely

OPERA BUFFA: A musical stage production performed by nudists

PASTORALE: The beverage to drink in the country when listening to Beethoven with a member of the clergy

PESANTE: An effect distinctly non-upper-class

PISSICATO: Too much coffee -- time to take a break

RUBATO: A cross between a rhubarb and a tomato

STRINGENDO: An unpleasant effect produced by the violin section when it doesn't use vibrato

VIBRATO: A device to assist female performers who have trouble when the music is marked "con espressivo"

Stolen from ChristusVincit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And I wondered where I was going to find my cultural fix for the day.