B. the seventh degree of the C major scale.
Bagatelle (F). A short, simple piece.
Bagpipe. One or more reed pipes attached to a bag and or bellows. One or two pipes have sound holes used for melody, the remainder produce one tone and are used as drones.
Baguala. Argentine folk music.
Baguette (F). Stick, of conductor, drum, or of bow.
Bailecito (S). Small dance.
Baisser (F). to flatten a string.
Balalaika (R). Triangular instrument, popular in Russia, having three strings tuned in fourths.
Balg (G). Organ bellows
Ballabile (I). In dance style.
Ballad. A narrative set to song, usually folk-styled verses with or without a refrain.
Ballade (F). 19th 20th Century instrumental piece of romantic character.
Ballad opera. Opera consisting of spoken dialog interspersed with folk songs, ballads, or well-known music.
Ballet (F). Theatrical dance
Ballo (I). Dance.
Band. Group of instrumentalists playing in ensemble.
Bandola (S). Colombian guitarra with 15 strings.
Bandora. Seven pairs of metal strings.
Baudurria (S). Instrument of the guitar family.
Banjo. A long-necked stringed instrument, whose body resembles a drum head or tambourine, having four to nine strings and usually fretted.
Bar. Vertical line dividing staff into measures.
Barcarole, barcarolle. Song of Venetian gondoliers, usually in 6/8 or 12/8 meter.
Bard. Minstrel or poet of medieval times.
Bariolage (F). violin technique of quickly shifting between two or more strings.
Baritone. (1) male voice between bass and tenor. (2) Wind instrument in the baritone range.
Baroque music. music composed between 1600-1750.
Barré (F). Lute/guitar technique wherein the forfinger is flattened over all strings, sharping the entire instrument.
Barrel organ. a mechanical organ wherein the sound is produced within a cylindrical chamber.
Bass. (1) The lowest of the male voice types. (2) The lowest of any family of instruments.
Bassa, 8va. Play an octave lower than written.
Bass bar. A bar glued on the inside under the G string to aid in supporting the bridge, and to equalize vibrations.
Bass clef. F clef, 4th line.
Basset horn. Tenor clarinet.
Basso. Bass.
Bassoon. The deepest pitched double-reed instrument; member of the oboe family.
Baton (F). Conductor's stick.
Battaglia. Composition depicting battle.
Battement (F). any ornament of two adjacent notes.
Batterie (F). Percussion family. Drum roll. Playing the guitar by striking the strings.
Battuta (I). Beat. In strict time. Downbeat.
Be (G). the flat sign.
Beat. Unit of measurement indicated by the conductor's hand movements. A perceived fluctuation in intensity produced by simultaneously sounding two pitches with similar but not quite the same frequencies.
Bec (F). Mouthpiece of recorder or clarinet.
Becarre (F). The natural sign.
Bedachtig (G). Deliberate.
Begleitung (G). Accompaniment.
Behaglich (G). With ease, grace.
Behende (G). Quickly and gracefully.
Beisser(G). Mordent.
Bel. Logarithmic unit for measuring intensity of sound.
Bel Canto (I). The art of beautiful song.
Belebend, belebt (G). Brisk, animated.
Bell. Bell shaped opening of wind instrument. Percussion instrument sounded by moving a clapper inside or by being struck on the outside.
Bell-lyra. Glockenspiel.
Bells. Glockenspiel or chimes in the orchestra.
Belly. The top of the sound box of violins, lutes, etc.
Bemol (F) bemolle (I). the flat sign.
Ben, bene (I). Well.
Bequadro (I). Natural sign.
Berceuse (F). Lullaby.
Bergamasca (I). Rustic dance.
Bergerette (F). Rustic or pastoral song.
Beruhigt, beruhigend (G). Calm.
Beschleunigt (G). Accelerando.
Bestimmt (G). With decision.
Betont (G). Stressed.
Bewegt (G). Agitated.
Binary. two part form, two contrasting sections.
Bind. Tie.
Bis (L). Twice, repeated. Encore request.
Bisbigliando (I). Harp technique wherein a tremolo effect is produced by quick repeated finger action.
Biscroma. 32nd note.
Bisdiapason. Interval of two octaves.
Bitonality. Use of two different tonal centers at the same time.
Blockflote (G). Recorder.
Block harmony. Series of similar chords.
Blues. A type of popular music originating in the U.S.A. consisting of a standard 12 bar pattern.
Bluette. Spark.
Bocca (I). Mouthpiece of brass instrument.
Bocca chiusa (I). with closed mouth.
Body. Resonating box of stringed instrument. The major tube of a wind instrument.
Bogen (G). Bow, slur, or tie.
Bois (F). Woodwinds.
Boit à musique (F). Music box.
Bolero (S). Dance, usually in 3/4 meter accompanied by castanets.
Bombarda (I), Bombarde (F). Bass range oboe. Organ stop.
Boogie Woogie. Specific type of blues, usually upbeat and realized on piano.
Bop. Jazz with solo improvisations.
Bordun (G), bordone. (I). See bourdon.
Bouché (F). Mouth.
Bouche fermée (F). with closed mouth.
Bouffe (F). Comic.
Bourdon (F). Large organ pipes. Lowest drone on hurdy-gurdy.
Bourée (F). Dance in quick duple time.
Boutade (F). Capricious dance or instrumental piece in similar style.
Bow. Stick flexed by stretching hair from the two ends drawn across strings to produce sound.
Bowed harp. Crwth, or other harps from Northern Europe.
Bowing. The use of a bow.
Brace. Curly bracket connecting two or more staves.
Braille music notation. A system of indicating music with raised dots, such that it might be read by the blind.
Brass. Trumpet cornet, bugle, trombone, baritone, tuba, euponium, sousaphone.
Bratsche (G). Viola.
Brautlied (G). Wedding song.
Bravo (I). Excellent.
Bravura (I). Requiring great skill and coordination.
Breit (G). Largo.
Breve (L), brevis. Short. Now the longest note, equal to a tied whole note.
Bridge. the part on a stringed instrumnt that holds the strings off the sounding face.
Bridge passage. A secondary passage using to connect two themes. Modulation is common in bridge passages.
Brillante (I). Brilliant, showy.
Brindisi (I). Drinking song.
Brio, con (I). with vigor.
Brisé (F). turn. In violin, detached bowing.
Broderie (F). coloratura.
Broken chords. chords sounded by playing the notes in succession, rather than together.
Broken octaves. Octaves in which the components are sounded in succession.
Brumeux (F). Misty.
Brummeisen (G). Jew's harp.
Brummstimmen (I). with closed mouth.
Brunette (F). French popular song.
Bruscamente (I). Roughly, brusquely.
Bruststimme (G). Chest voice.
Buccina (L). Roman brass instrument.
Buchstabenschrift (G). Letter notation.
Buffet (F). Organ case.
Buffo, buffa (I). Comic.
Bugle. Instrument of copper or brass similar to cornet but with no valves.
Bühne (G). Stage.
Burden. Refrain. Drone of bagpipe.
Burla, burlesca (I). Jest, in jest.
Burletta (I). Comic opera.
Burrasca (I). Composition depicting a storm.
Buysine, buzine, busine (L). Medieval trumpet.