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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
Bow. Stick flexed by stretching hair from the two ends
drawn across strings to produce sound.
Bowed harp. Crwth, or other harps from Northern
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,
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.