D. Second degree of C scale.
Da (I). By, from, for, through.
Da Capo (I). From the top.
Dal (I) Da + il. From the, By the.
Dal segno (I). From the sign.
Damper. A device that stops (damps) the vibration of a string.
Damper pedal. Pedal of a piano that gets the dampers away from the string, producing sustained sound.
Danzón (S). Cuban dance in 2/4, classically in rondo form.
Dead Interval. Interval between the ending note of one phrase and the first note of the next.
Début (F). First appearance.
Dechors, en (F). Emphasized.
Decibel. Logarithmic unit for measuring the intensity of sound.
Deciso (I). decisive.
Decrescendo (I). Soften, decrease gradually in intensity.
Decuplet. Group of ten notes played in the time of eight.
Degree. The space between two notes.
Del, della (I). Of the.
Demi (F). Half.
Déploration (F). Composition written upon the death of a musician, usually by a student.
Demisemiquaver. Thirty-second note.
Derb (G). Robust.
Descant (L). The addition of a simultaneous part to a subject. Usually higher in pitch.
Détache (F). Detached bowing, staccato.
Detonieren (G). To wobble or sing not true to pitch.
Deutlich (G). Clear.
Development. The elaboration of a theme.
Dezime (F). The interval of the tenth.
Di (I). Of, from, to, by.
Diabolus in musica (L). The Devil in music. A name for the tritone.
Diacisma, diaschisma (L). A microtonic interval.
Dialogue (F). Vocal composition in the form of questions and answers.
Diapason (Gr). the octave and everything in between. The principal stop on an organ.
Diatesseron (Gr). The interval of the fourth.
Diatonic. Pertaining to a scale, it means a standard major or minor key without chromatics.
Dièse (F). Sharp sign.
Diesis (Gr). Diatonic semitone of the Pythagorean scale.
Digitone. A system of music notation wherein the 12 tones of the octave are indicated by numbers.
Diluendo (I). Growing softer, diluted.
Diminished interval. An interval which is one half-step smaller than a minor or perfect interval.
Diminished chords. Chords having as their highest and lowest notes a diminished interval.
Diminuendo (I). Growing gradually softer.
Diminution. A short imitation of a theme.
Di molto (I). Very.
Direct. A directional indicator at the end of a staff to show the position of the first note of the succeeding staff.
Dirge. Composition for performance at funerals or memorials for the dead.
Dirigent, dirigieren (G). Conductor, to conduct.
Discord. A dissonant combination of pitches.
Disinvolto (I). Easy.
Disjunct motion. Progression via skips.
Disposition. The arrangement of control devices on an organ console.
Dital. A key on a guitar or lute, that, when pressed, raises the pitch a semitone.
Dital harp. A guitar shaped lute of 12 to 18 strings, each equipped with a dital.
Dithyramb (Gr). Song in honor of Dionysus.
Ditonus (L). Major third.
Divertimento (I). Short entertaining composition.
Divertissement (F). An entertaining ballet included in an opera or play for comic relief or variation.
Divisi (I). Separated. Indicates that two lines written on one staff are to be subdivided into two.
Do, doh. The key note of a scale in movable do system.
Dodecaphonic. Pertaining to twelve tones.
Dodecuple scale. The chromatic scale as used in the twelve tone system.
Dodecuplet. A group of 12 notes performed in the time of 8.
Doigté (F). Fingering.
Dolce (I). Sweet.
Dolcian, dolciana. An early bassoon.
Dolendo, dolent, dolente (I). Sorrowful.
Dominant. The fifth of a Major or minor scale.
Dominant chord. The triad of the dominant.
Dominant seventh chord. The dominant triad plus a minor seventh. The dominant seventh resolves very satisfyingly to the tonic.
Domra. Russian lute, precursor to the balalaika.
Donnermachine (G). A thunder simulator.
Doppo (I). After.
Doppel (G). Double.
Dorian. the second mode, the scale having half steps between degrees 2 & 3, and 6 & 7.
Dot. Following a note, indicates the note is half again as long. Above or below a note, indicates staccato.
Double. To add another octave.
Double bar. Two bar lines close together. Indicates the end of a section.
Double bass. Largest and lowest pitched instrument of the violin group.
Double chorus. The use of two separate choruses.
Double concerto. Concerto for two soloists (and orchestra.)
Double corde (F). Double stop.
Double counterpoint. A passage in which the lines cross.
Double croche (F). Sixteenth note.
Double dot. A single dot adds half the original value; a double dot halves it again and adds that.
Double fugue. Fugue with two subjects
Double note. Breve.
Double octave. The interval of two octaves.
Double quartet. A composition for eight.
Double reed. Two pieces of cane that vibrate against eachother instead of the instrument.
Double sharp. Raises the pitch one whole step.
Double stem. seen when two voices written together in one staff come into unison.
Double stop. The playing of two or more strings on a violin type instrument.
Double theme. Fugue theme that goes on past the entrance of the answer, including also the counterpoint to the answer.
Double tonguing. A tongue fluttering technique used often by flautists to articulate fast passages.
Double trill. The simultaneous trill on two notes, usually a third apart. Very difficult to execute on piano or violin.
Doucement (F). Sweetly.
Douloureux (F). Sorrowful.
Downbeat. The primary beat; indicated by a downward hand gesture.
Downbow. the downward bow stroke in violin playing.
Dragma (Gr). Notation consisting of double-stemmed semibreves.
Drame lyrique (F). Opera.
Drängend (G). Pushing forward.
Dreifach (G). Triple.
Dreiklang (G). Triad.
Dreitaktig (G). In groups or phrases of three bars.
Droit (F). Right (opposite of Left).
Drone. A string or pipe that sounds a single pitch.
Drone bass. A bass line written as if for a drone.
Drum. Percussion instrument made of a skin diaphragm stretched over a frame.
D. S. See Dal Segno.
Dudelsack (G). Bagpipe.
Duet. Composition for two.
Dulciana. Organ stop.
Dulcimer. Instrument having two melody and two drone strings and plucked.
Dulcitone. Tuning fork celeste.
Dumka (Polish). Sad ballad.
Duo. Duet.
Duple. Two beats per measure.
Duplet. Group of two notes played in the same time as normally would take for three.
Duplex instruments. Instruments that are a combination of two instruments.
Duplum. In the organa and clausulae the part above the tenor.
Dur (G). Major.
Duramente (I). Roughly.
Durchbrochene Arbeit (G). Technique in which melody fragments alternate between different instruments.
Durchführung (G). In sonata form, the development, in the fugue, the exposition.
Durchgangsnote (G). Passing note.
Durchkomponiert (G). Through-composed.
Durezza (I). Hard, harsh.
Dux, comes (L). in fugue, canon, the statement and answer of the theme.
Dynamics. Variations in loudness.