John Stainer.

A dictionary of musical terms online

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CJ'



A DICTIONARY



OF




USICAL ilERMS




EDITED BY



SIR JOHN STAINER,

M.A., MUS. DOC, MAGD. COLL., OXFORD; PROFESSOR OF MUSIC IN THE

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,

AND

W. A. BARRETT,

MUS. DOC, TRINITY COLLEGE, TORONTO.



v,*xr«fc5cr*m4<s*^



LONDON &-■ NEW YORK
NOVELLO, EWER AND CO.



n







PREFACE.



The Editors, owing to the rapid call for new issues
of this Dictionary, have had frequent opportunities of
removing any inaccuracies, and they trust it may now
be found a reliable work of reference. They cannot but
feel orratified at the manner in which it has been received
by musicians and the public generally, and they venture
to hope that students will always find it a useful storehouse
of facts associated with the art, science, and archaeology'
of music.

Oxford, November, i88g.



The following gentlemen contributed articles or otherwise rendered laiuablc assistance
to the Editors : —
R. H. M. Bosanquet, M.A., Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford, author of the article

" Temperament."
J. F. Bulley, M.A., of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law, author of the articles

■' Licensing ' and " Copyright."

F. Champneys, M.A., M.D. (Oxon.), F.R.C.P.. F.L.S.. Obstetric Physician to St.
George's Hospital, Examiner in Obstetric Medicine in the Universities of Oxford
and London, late Radcliffe Travelling Fellow of the University of Oxford, author of
the articles " Ear," " Larynx," and " Laryngoscope " ; and the explanation of the
formation of the hand given in the article " Fingering."

W. Chappell, F.S.A., author of the articles " Ballad ' (Old English). " Greek Music "
(Ancient Systems of), and " Notation " (Early Systems of).

A. E. Donkin, M.A., F.R.A.S., late Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, author of the
article " Acoustics."

A. J. Elhs, B.A., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.C.P.S., F.C.P., formerly Scholar of Trinity College,
Cambridge, author of the article " Duodene."

Henry Gadsby, author of the account of Sonata Form in the article " Form."

Rev. T. Helmore, M.A., author of the article " Plain Song."

John Hullah, LL.D., author of a paper read before the Musical Association on
" Nomenclature."

W. G. McNaught, A.R.A.M., author of the article " Tonic Sol-fa."

"W. H. Monk, Mus. Doc, author of the article " Hymn Tunes."

W. H. Husk, who contributed an important list of early printed music.

They also tender their thanks to —

Messrs. Broadwood, for permission to publish diagrams of their pianoforte action.

Messrs. Cassell, for permission to" quote from " The Music of the Bible."

Messrs. Chappell, for permission to quote from " Popular Music in the Olden Time."

Messrs. Erard, for permission to reproduce their diagrams of pianoforte action.

A. J. Hipkins, for valuable information on the subject of Tuning-Forks and Pitch.

Messrs. Murray, for permission to quote music from Lane's " Modern Egyptians."

Rev. J. Troutbeck, D.D., Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the Queen, for permission to reprint
diagrams from Troutbeck and Dale's " Music Primer."

Henry Willis, for diagrams and explanations of his Pneumatic Bellows.



DICTIONARY



OF



MUSICAL TERMS.



-A BATTUTA.



A. (i) The note called Proslambanotnenos
in the greater perfect system of the Greeks.
The letter-name of Mese, the highest note
of the middle tetrachord; and of Nete, the
highest note of the upper tetrachord. [Greek
Music]

— (2) The first note of (a) the Hypo-Dorian
mode, or church-scale, commencing four
notes below the Dorian ; (6) the Hyper-Phry-
gian mode, or church-scale, commencing four

^ notes above the Phrygian; (c)the Eolian mode.
^ [Greek Music]

— (3) The next note above Gamma Ut,
in the Grave Hexachord of the Guidonian
system, where it is A re. Also, the first note
of the acute and super-acute Hexachords, in
which it is a la tni re. [Notation.]

— (4) The normal minor scale of modern
music, so called because it is the relative
minor of C. It is sometimes also named the
natural minor scale, because no sharps or
flats are required in its signature.

— (5) The normal sound {Ger.Normalton),
because the instruments of an orchestra
tune to this note, as given by the Oboe or
Organ.

— (6) The key-note of the major scale
which has three sharps for its signature.

— (7) The name given to a string tuned
to the sound A. The A-string of a violin is
its second string ; of a viola, its first string ;
of a violoncello, its first string ; but on this
instrument it is one octave lower in pitch
than the A-string of a violin or viola ; of a
double-bass, its third string, which is two
octaves lower in pitch than the first string of
a violoncello ; of a guitar, its fifth string.
The string tuned highest in pitch is called
the first string of an instrument; the next
below it, the second ; and so on.

— {?>) The actual sound W^^ is in some
systems represented by A (capital letter), while
AA represents the note one octave below that
sound, and AAA the note two octaves below



it. Proceeding upwards, the note one octave
above A is represented by a (italic); that two
octaves above it by a (once underlined); that
three octaves above it, by ^ (twice underlined),
and so on. [Pitch.]

A (7^.) At, by, in, for, to, with, towards,
&c ; a prima vista, at first sight; a battuta,
lit. by the beat, in strict time ; a tempo, in
time, &c. &c.; q.v. sub vocibus.

A (Fr.) For, by, on; a deux mains, for
two hands, &c ; q.v. sub vocibus.

Abacus {Lat.) afta^ (Gk.) Any square
tablet ; hence, a board on which calculations
were made ; hence, in music, a diagram of
the notes with their names.

A ballata (7^.) (i) In the ballad style.
Applied to any song, duet, or chorus, con-
structed in the ballad or narrative form.
Also to a song with a refrain in chorus, as
is found in many old and modern English
songs ; for example, the song of which a
portion runs :

" Ich have house and land in Kent,

And if you love me, love me now;
Two pence halfpenny is my rent,

Ich cannot come everich day to woo."

Chorus.

" Two pence half penny is his rent,
He cannot come everich day to woo "

— is a song, a ballata.

(2) The term is also used to describe a
vocal piece, that may be danced to. [Ballad.]

Abbandonamente (7^.) With self-aban-
donment, despondingly.

Abbandonarsi (It.) To abandon one-
self (to the influence of the music).

Abbandono, con (7^.) With self-aban-
donment, passionately.

Abbassamento (7^) A lowering. Ab-
bassamento di tnano, a lowering of the hand ;
abbassamento di voce, a lowering of the
voice.

A battuta (7^.) In strict time. This term is
usually employed when a break in the time of



ABBELLIRE ABBREVIATION.



a movement has occurred, an.-j it is desirable
to resume the original pace " by the beat."

Weber.
Recit. tempo a battuta.



m



±MZ



^



i*=i^



-dieangstdie je - de Hoffnung raubt.




Abbellire (7^.) To overload a plain melody
with ornaments.

Abbellitura(/;^.)Ornament, embellishment.

Abblasen [Ger.) To sound a trumpet call.

Abbreviare (It.) To shorten.

Abbreviation. A system frequently em-
ployed in music, by which a portion of a
technical term is made to stand for the whole.
The following is a list of the abbreviations in
most common use; the explanation of each
term may be found on reference to the word
itself in its proper place :



Ir:}



Accel.
Accel'
Ace
Accom... ^
Accomp. 3

Accres

Adg^orado

Adl ■)

Ad lib ... J
Affett" ...
Affrett" ...

Ag" \

Agit" .../

All"

Allgtt" ...
AU'ott... )
All' 8™.../

Al seg

And""

And'e

Anim"

Arc I



Accelerando

Accompani-
ment

Accresciamento
.Adagio

Ad libitum

Affettuoso
Affrettando



Arp"

Ard"

At

A tern ...
A temp ..

Aug



Agitato

.Allegro
.Allegretto

Air ottava

.Al segno
.Andantino
.Andante
.Animate

Coir Arco, or

Arcato
•Arpeggio
.Ardito

-A tempo

By augmenta-
tion.



{Bass (voice)
Bassoon
Contra basso

B.C Basso continuo

Brill Brillante

C.B Col Basso

CD Colla destra

C.S Colla sinistra

Cad Cadence

Cal Calando

Can Cantoris

Cant Canto



Cantab ...Cantabile

Cello Violoncello

Cemb Cembalo

Ch Choir organ

Chal Chalameau

Clar Clarinet

Clar"" ...Clarinetto

Clar Clarino

Co. So. ...Come sopra
Col C. ...Col canto
Col otta ...Coir ottava
Col Vo. ...Colla voce

' Con espres-
sione



Con. esp.



Crescendo



Cres., Cres" ) ,

Cresc J

C.S Colla sinistra

C. 8"* Coir ottava

C° 1"'° Canto primo

Co. l"'" ...Come primo
C'o Concerto



D.



f Destra, droite,
•■■•{ right

D.C Da capo

Dec Decani

Decres ...Decrescendo

Delic Delicamente

Dest Destra

Diap Diapasons

Dim By diminution

Dim Diminuendo.

Div Divisi

Dol Dolce

Dolcis Dolcissimo

Dopp. ped..Doppio pedale
D.S Dal segno



Energ Energicamente

EsP^ -JEspr
Espres ... j ^



Dressivo



F. or for ...Forte



Fag Fagotto

Falset Falsetto

Ff. or Fff... Fortissimo
Fl Flauto

R Org.".". } F"" '^'■S^"

Forz;":::}F°^^^"'^o

G Gauche

G. O. ...]

G. Org... V Great Organ

Gt J

Grand" ...Grandioso

Graz" Grazioso

Gr Grand

Hauptw. ")

Hptw. ... > Hauptwerk

H'= J

Haut Hautboy

H.C Haute Contre

Intro Introduction

Inv Inversion

L Left

Leg Legato

Legg° Leggiero

L.H Left hand

Lo Loco

Luo Luogo

Lusing. ...Lusingando

M ]

Main. ... I Manual

Mano. ... J

Maest° ...Maestoso

Magg Maggiore

Man Manuals

Mane ... 1 ,,r J

Manoo... 1^^"^^"'^°

Marc Marcato

fMano diritta
Main droite
Manu dextrS

M.G Main gauche

f Maelzel's Me-
■" I tronome

The beat of a
crotchet is e-
qual to the
pulse of the
pendulum of
the Metro-
nome said to
be Maelzel's,
with the
weight set at
■ 92.

..Mezzo piano
' Manuscript
Mano sinistra
of



M.M.



M.M.

J = 92



M.P.
MS.



Mus.Bac



Bachelor
Music

Men ..Meno

Mez Mezzo

M.V Mezzo voce

Mf. or Mff .Mezzo forte
Mod'° ...Moderato
Mus. Doc. Doctor of Music

^, f Oboe, or Haut-

"■^ \ bois



Obb Obbligato

Oberst. ...Oberstimme

Obw.'^'..'.'}^^^^^^''
Oh. Ped....Ohne Pedal
Org Organ

gi, " > Ottava

8"alta ...Ottava alta
8'» bas. ...Ottava bassa

P Piano

Ped Pedal

Perd Perdendosi

P.F Piu forte

Piang Piangendo

Pianiss. ...Pianissimo
Pizz Pizzicato

p •■••(. Pianissimo

Pnn'n I Pi'^nississimo

Prin Principal

1™* Prima

1°»° Primo

4«e Quartet

5"e Quintet

Rail Rallentando

Raddol. ...Raddolcendo
Recit. .......Recitative

■' ■ c [ Rinforzando
or nnf. J

R.H Right hand

Ritar Ritardando

Riten Ritenuto

S.or Sen...Senza •

K Segno

Scherz. ...Scherzando

2'^^ Seconda

2>'o Secondo

Seg Segue

Sem. ••• 1 o
Semp....jS^"^P'"«

7" Septet

6" Sestet

Sfz. or Sf. Sforzando
Smorz. ...Smorzando

Sinf. Sinfonia

o T .. f Senza interru-

S. Int i

I zione

llord". } S^"^^ S°'^'^'"'

sos;.;::::}sostenuto

Spir Spiritoso

S.T Senza tempo

Stacc Staccato

St.Diap.|S'°PP^'^°'^P^-
^ (^ son

String Stringendo

Sw Swell organ

Sym Symphony

„ f Tenor, tutti,

I tempo, tendie

T.C Tre corde

Tern Tempo

Tern. 1° ...Tempo primo

Ten Tenuto

Timb Timballes

Timp. Timpani

Tr Trillo



I



(2 )



ABBREVIATURE A CAPPELLA.



Trem Tremolando

3" Trio

Tromb. ...Trombi
Tromb. ...Tromboni
T.S Tasto solo

U Una

U.C Una corda

Unis Unisoni

V Voce



V Vohi

Va Viola

Var ..Variation

Velio Violoncello

Viv Vivace

Vo. ... -,

Vno. ... [^Violino

Viol" ... •'

V.S Volti subito



Vi "I

V.V. ... J



Violini



There are other abbreviations employed in
manuscript or printed music, the chief of which
are as follow :

In time, a dash with a figure above signifies
the length of the pause in bars, e.g. :

24



In notes, the trouble of writing a passage in
full is saved by the use of abbreviations, e.g. :



Written.




Played



P



dh=A



£



^



^



i



Repetition phrases are thus shortened:



Abbreviations, by signs, of musical graces :

The Turn. ^

Written ^ Sung

The back Turn, / or t



Written ^E

Passing shake, ^

Written z



Beat, -±-

Written m



Sung



Suns'



Su}tg



-J—^



Shake,



^^"^^^^i^^^



Written
Written



Played



w=



Played J,. J m



Abbreviature {It.) Abbreviations.
Abbreviazione {It.) An abbreviation.



Abcidiren {Ger.) (i) To use a system of
solmisation. A series of exercises in which
the names of the notes are used instead of
words. (2) A method of instruction for sight
singing.

Abbellare {It.) To decorate, ornament, or
embellish.

Abbellimento {It.) A decoration, orna-
ment, or embellishment.

Abendglocke {Ger.) The Curfew, evening
bell.

A bene placito {It.) At pleasure. The
singer or performer may alter the time, intro-
duce ornaments, cadenzas, &c., according to
fancy, or may use certain instruments speci-
fied, or not, without detriment to the effect
required. [Chamber Music]

Abenteuerlich {Ger.) Strange and uncouth.
The music of the new German school is so
called by the unthinking.

Abgestossen {Ger.) Struck off. Staccato.
AbgeleiteterAkkord {Ger.) An inversion
of a chord.

Ab initio {Lat.) From the beginning. [Da
capo. J

Abkiirzungen {Ger.) Abbreviations.
Abnehmend {Ger.) Lit. taking away, decres.
Abrege {Fr.) Shortened.
Abreger {Fr.) To shorten, curtail, abridge.
Abreissung {Ger.) A sudden pause.
Abrupt cadence. An interrupted cadence.
Abrupt modulation. A sudden change
of key for which no preparation has been
made. [Modulation.]

Absatz {Ger.) Cadence. [Cadence.]
Abschnitt {Ger.) Section. [Form.]
Absetzen (Ger.) \ To render music 'stac-
Abstossen(Ger.) J cato.'
Abub. [Ambubajse.]

Abwechselnd (Ger.) Alternating, mit ab-
wechselnden Manualen, alternately from one
manual to another.

Academie de Musique {Fr.) An aca-
demy of music.

Academie Royale de Musique {Fr.) The
opera house in Paris.

Academie Spirituelle {Fr.) A concert
or performance of sacred music.

Academy of Music. A name given to
an organised society of perforrners and
teachers of music; originally applied to the
Royal Academy of Music, founded 1824 in

London.

A cappella,o;',Allacappella(/^) (i) In the
church style ; vocal pieces unaccompanied,
especially those of the Italian school, because
the music sung in the Sistine Chapel was never
accompanied by instruments.

(2) Church music in a duple time (two or
in each bar), this being for a



four mmims

long period considered

than triple measure.



more ecclesiastical



(3 )



A CAPRICCIO ACCENT.



A capriccio {It.) At will, according to
individual fancy.

Acathistus. A hymn of praise, sung in
the Greek Church in honour of the Blessed
Virgin, upon the Saturday in the fifth week
in Lent, by the whole congregation stand-
ing.

Accarezzevole (7^.) (Lit. flatteringly.)
Agreeable, pleasing; used occasionally to de-
scribe the anticipation of notes.

Accarezzevolmente {li.) In a caress-
ing style.

Accelerando or Accelerato (7^.) Gra-
dually increasing the pace.

Accent (Fr.) A sign used in old French
music for the Harpsichord :



Written



$



Played



I



W



~gr-



The custom of employing a variety of orna-
ments in harpsichord music, arose from the
fact that the instrument was not capable of
sustaining tone without the use of repeated
touches.

Accent. — In its ancient and widest sense,
a sign placed over a syllable to indicate the
elevation of the voice when pronouncing it.
Hence, the term came to imply a raising up-
wards of the voice in the scale series from the
monotone or note of recitation, to a sound of
higher pitch. By using various forms of
accents, different elevations of the voice were
obtained, until a rude sort of chant resulted.
The most ancient known accents, those of the
Hebrews as found in the Pentateuch, Psalms,
and Book of Job, were interpreted only by tra-
dition, not according to definite rule. Unfor-
tunately therefore in comparing the musical
rendering of them as taken down in modern
notation by authors in various parts of Europe,
it will be found that their original force is
now quite unknown, and that the various
" foliations " which are supposed to repre-
sent their meaning, are the growth of many
surrounding musical or other indirect in-
fluences.

2. In early Greek Church music, the accents
had to a great extent, a plain and definite
intention, and as they were fixed and adapted
to various poems by John of Damascus in
the 8th century, and their use has been kept
up in its purity to this day in Byzantine
music, a very good insight into early forms
and principles of notation can be obtained
by their study.

3. In medieval music the term accent was
also applied to musical notation, the first two
and most common of the signs being the
accentus actitus, and accentus gravis. After-
wards the term came to signify the system
generally, and so became synonymous with
neutna, under which head information as to



mediaeval notation will be found. [Neuma.]
[Old systems of notation.~\

4. In plain song, the term accent, or accen-
tus ecclesiasticns, was used to designate that
system of movement of the voice, by learning



Online LibraryJohn StainerA dictionary of musical terms → online text (page 1 of 81)