The fourth degree of the C scale.
Fa. The fourth degree of any scale.
Fabordón. Spanish corruption of French fauxbourdon.
Faburden. A method of improvised sixth-chord harmonization.
Fackeltanz (G). Prussian ceremonial court dance.
Fado, fadinho (Port). Popular music of urban Portugal. Consists of song, dance and guitar accompaniment.
Fagott (G). Bassoon.
Fagotto (I). Bassoon.
Fake. To improvise from a melody line.
Falsa (S). Dissonance.
False. False cadence.
Falsetto. In the male voice, the head register.
Familiar style. In four part writing, music in which the voices move uniformly with regard to rhythm and syllables, as in a church hymn.
Fancy. See Fantasia.
Fandango (S). Dance in triple time.
Fanfare. Very short melody for trumpets, horn or organ, used to herald some event.
Fantasia, fantasie, phantasie. Music written in a free, unconstrained form.
Farandole. Provençal dance performed by a chain of dancers.
Fasola. A system of solmization in which only four of the syllables are used, the syllables fa sol la being applied to c-d-e as well as f g a, and mi being used for the seventh.
Fastoso (I). Pompous.
F clef. Bass clef.
Feldmusik (G). Brass music for outdoor performance.
Feminine cadence. Cadence terminating on an unstressed beat.
Feria, ferial. Non feast weekday in the church calendar.
Fermata (I). Hold, pause.
Ferne (G). As from a distance.
Fernwerk (G). Echo organ.
Festival. A group of performances together.
Festoso (I). Festive.
F-holes. The vaguely F-shaped sound holes in an instrument in the violin family.
Fiato (I). Breath.
Fiddle (from Irish fideil). violin.
Fidicen (L). String player.
Fiero (I). Fiery, spirited.
Fife. Small keyless flute.
Fifth. Interval of five degrees.
Figuration. Repetition of the same melodic or harmonic figure.
Figure. A musical motif.
Figured bass. Bass line annotated with numerals to indicate harmony.
Figured chorale. A chorale in which a certain figure is repeated.
Figured melody. Embellished melody.
Filar il tuono (I), filer le son (F). properly synonymous with messa di voce, however usually interpreted to mean sustained but not changing in volume.
Film music. Originally music played live by a pianist to accompany silent films and mask the projector noise. As technology evolved, so did this musical form.
Finale (I). The last piece in a sonata, symphony, or act.
Fin' al segno (I). As far as the sign, repeat from beginning to sign.
Fine (I). The end.
Fingerboard. A strip of hard wood affixed to the neck of a stringed instrument. The strings are placed over it and the fingers come down on it to change the pitch of the strings.
Fingerfertigkeit (G). Agility of fingers.
Fingering. Direction for how to use the fingers in music.
Fioritura (I). Embellishment.
Fipple flute. Whistle flute.
Fistelstimme (G). Falsetto.
Fistula (L). Medieval name for flute or organ pipe.
Fixed Do. A system wherein Do is equivalent to C and does not move depending on the tonal center.
Fixed syllables. All the musical syllables in a fixed do system are likewise fixed.
Flageolet. Fipple flute.
Flamenco (S). A Spanish gypsy style of dance.
Flat. A sign which indicates that the pitch be lowered one half step.
Flatterzunge (G). Fluttertonguing.
Flautato (I). A violin technique in which the sound of a flute is imitated by bowing near the end of the fingerboard.
Flautino (I). Small flute.
Flauto (I). Flute or recorder.
Flaviol. Small Spanish flute.
Flebile (I). Mournful.
Flicorno (I). Italial variation of the Flügelhorn.
Fliessend (G). Flowing.
Florid. Heavily embellished.
Flos (L). Embellishments, as trill, mordent, or vibtaro.
Flöte (G). Flute.
Flott (G). Briskly.
Flourish. Fanfare or very brilliant (often improvised) passage.
Flügel (G). Grand piano.
Flügelhorn (G). A brass instrument similar to a cornet, only larger.
Flüssig (G). Flowing.
Flute. Wind instrument of wood or metal, held in a transverse direction and sounded by blowing across a mouth hole in the side.
Folia, follia, folies d'Espagne. Dance, presumably originating in Portugal.
Folk. Music which emanates from a community, usually composed and freely edited by non-musicians. Tends to be simple in form and easily remembered.
Foot. Unit of measure of organ pipes.
Form. The shape and structure around which a piece is built.
Formant. An amplified harmonic that gives a vocal continuant a characteristic vowel sound, and by its amplitude relative to the fundamental, also more subtle tone color.
Forte (I). Loud.
Fortepiano (I). Loud followed immediately by soft.
Fortissimo (I). Very loud.
Fortspinnung (G). The process of development in a piece, as opposed to mere repetition.
Forzando (I). With force, loud.
Foundation stops. Unison and octave sounding ranks of the organ.
Fourth. Interval of four degrees.
Fourth chord. used in jazz, chords built on fourths rather than triads.
Frauenchor (G). Female chorus.
Frei (G). Freely.
Freistimmigkeit (G). Free voice leading, a style where lines sometimes merge or disappear. Used primarily for keyboard music.
French harp. Mouth organ.
French horn. Orchestral brass instrument in which the main tube is spiral and having a comparatively large bell.
Frequency. The number of wave crests per second, Hertz.
Fret. Narrow strip embedded or affixed to the fingerboard of a stringed instrument, having the effect of breaking it up into discrete pitches, as opposed to a fretless instrument which can produce a continuum of pitches.
Frettoloso. Hurried, worried.
Fricasée (F). French for quodlibet.
Freudig (G). Joyous.
Frog. The lower part of a violin bow, the nut.
Fröhlich (G). Joyful.
Fuga (I). Fugue.
Fugato (I). Fugal passage.
Fughetta (I). Short fugue.
Fugue. A piece of more than one line, wherein a subject is introduced in one line and copied answered, and elaborated in the other(s).
Füllstimme (G). Filling part with no independence.
Fundamental. The first harmonic. The root of a chord.
Fuoco (I). Fire.
Furiant. Bohemian dance in 3.
Furioso (I). Furious.
Fz. Forzando, SForzando.