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Questions tagged [music]

Questions about the English terms related to music, and the proper usage of them.

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Why do artists make grammar mistakes in their songs? [closed]

I would be deeply grateful if you answer my question. I'm currently writing my thesis about standard and non-standard English grammar and the main problem of my work is why artists make grammar "...
Magda Šudák's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
140 views

Word for a song recording where the lyrics have been removed

I am looking for a word for a song recording where the lyrics have been removed, leaving only the instruments and backing vocals. "Instrumental" misses the nuance of this particular ...
Mike's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
2 answers
213 views

On the origins of the use of "key" or "clavis" to refer to the keys of an organ

I'm in the middle of some research on the origins of the word "keyboard" to refer to the thing we all type on to communicate online these days. There's a clear genealogy backwards from the ...
Walker's user avatar
  • 121
0 votes
0 answers
32 views

Is there a word for a person who makes wind instruments? [duplicate]

There's the word luthier for a string instrument maker, but with winds, the only option seem to be more like naming something in modern English, like "reedmaker" which would more apply to ...
jasper's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Phrase Request: Lyric Subversion [duplicate]

I've noticed this quite often from Disney sound tracks. Lyrics are in a certain rhyming scheme - one line happens and the next line approaches the end of the line, but the last word subverts the rhyme....
goodguy5's user avatar
  • 239
0 votes
1 answer
318 views

What does 'picket fence' mean here? [closed]

Today I was listening to a song from Fall Out boy called Miss missing you. At one point in the song, they sing the line: "Baby you were my picket fence". I know what a picket fence is, but I ...
JonathanCabral's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
67 views

How do you describe a song that was released after the artist's death? [closed]

There are some words for movies released starring actors/actresses who died before their release. There are also similar words for books. But what is the equivalent term for a song or album released ...
bcdastprhzyxwwxyzhrptsabcd's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
103 views

A word for a sudden shift in a song's complexity

Is there a noun associated with the part of a song where the instruments drop away very suddenly, with the purpose of creating suspense? To give you an example, I'm referring to moments like the one ...
Ashep's user avatar
  • 93
0 votes
0 answers
243 views

Notating timestamp in writing about music

I was wondering what is more commonly accepted in academic writing about music. I was using 1:00 to notate the minute and second mark something is happening in a track (for example, a new section ...
fourthirtythree's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
552 views

Why do some folk songs from 1930s Appalachia pronounce the word 'Jordan' as 'Jerdon'?

In two songs I've listened to recently, "River of Jordan" by The Carter Family (1929-1932) and "Wayfaring Stranger" by Doc Watson (1992, but was almost certainly first played much ...
user438383's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
621 views

Looking for a word about writing lyrics for the purpose of fitting the music

There is a word that I'm desperately trying to remember. I think it is used in the context of songwriting but it could be more general. It describes the act of writing words to fit music, or to rhyme, ...
Outside's user avatar
  • 33
1 vote
1 answer
115 views

Why is semibreve commonly pronounced as ˈsɛm iˌbriv?

I am seeing this on some dictionary sites: / ˈsɛm iˌbriv, -ˌbrɛv / But, I've only heard it (in Anglophone musical contexts) as ˈsɛm iˌbriv. I wasn't aware about a cafe breve until yesterday. This ...
ljs.dev's user avatar
  • 133
1 vote
2 answers
138 views

Generic word for a verse, chorus, or bridge of a hymn or song

I'm working on a project that involves breaking a set of lyrics into “sections,” by splitting on double line breaks. Later on in the process, each section will be categorized as a verse, chorus, or ...
Samuel Bradshaw's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
660 views

What’s the meaning behind the lyric from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy “and the ‘68 festival wallflowers are thinning? [closed]

Elton John/Bernie Taupin’s lyric line from Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy “and the ‘68 festival wallflowers are thinning” has continued to confuse me in its meaning. I understand “‘68 ...
Peggy Hayes's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
276 views

Is there a word for a style of art that is a great example of its own style? And a word that can be applied to its artist? [duplicate]

I was mainly thinking about musical artists whose songs have style that is very recognizable as an "artists name" song or as a specific genres song. Not a super pressing question but just ...
Nicholas's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
584 views

Term for describing auditory memory similar to 'eidetic' (for visual memory)

Is there a similar term for eidetic memory, but for sound? An eidetic memory is the ability to remember things in exact detail, as if you can see them in your mind: Cambridge The measure of eidetic ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
6k views

Origin of “ish kabibble” as an interjection i.e. 'What, me worry?'

In New York in the mid-70s, my ethnic German bride-to-be introduced me to an expression : “ish kabibble” At the moment, I thought it kind of catchy, and have used it ever since in milder WTF ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
38 views

Using "Sequence" in music context

As a part of my academic paper, I wish to use the "Sequence" word. Here is the problem: As you can see in the picture, the "Start Time" of each note is mentioned on the time axis. ...
Mironline's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
222 views

Is there a word for when a song leaves out a word or phrase despite it perfectly fitting? [duplicate]

I'm gonna be honest, I've been hearing my fair share of Steven Universe music from devices I'm not in control of from across the room. In a few songs I've noticed they will leave out a word but I ...
Mister_Gaming3's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
91 views

That noise in old vinyls or rather shellac plates

How would you call the typical background noise in old phonograph records? How would you call a record that sounds like that? For an example from YouTube: Billie Holiday, You better go now, 1947
XavierStuvw's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
128 views

What would be the adjectival form of the word "sonata"?

Richard Wagner, it is said, looked down on "sonata form" as being too constraining. Roughly speaking, he objected to the long music passages with unchanging rhythm, with repeating cadences, ...
Ricky's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
110 views

Is there a general word for performing music? [duplicate]

If someone is performing music with an instrument, I'd say that they're playing the instrument. If someone is performing music with their voice, I'd say that they're singing. Is there a word that ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 210
6 votes
7 answers
4k views

What term is used for the type of music that evokes a strong picture?

Some songs, such as Rodeo by Aaron Copland and Symphony No. 1 by Daniel Bukvich can evoke strong images in listener's ears. Rodeo has listeners imagining a wild west setting while Symphony No. 1 ...
Village's user avatar
  • 2,091
1 vote
0 answers
88 views

Why are reverb effects referred to as "wet" or "drippy"? [closed]

Reverb is a type of natural effect you can get playing in wide open spaces, giving a sort of echo/reverberation as the name implies. But I'm referring more to emulated reverb through use of a guitar ...
gator's user avatar
  • 314
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

What does "autolyco-sentimental" mean?

Wagner is said to have described Mayerbeer's operas as follows: (translated into English and originally written in German, probably.) "Meyerbeer ... wanted a monstrous, piebald, historico-romantic, ...
kimweonill's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
291 views

What does "snappy number" mean in Jazz?

First, I am not sure whether it would be ok to ask a question like this in this category. If it is inappropriate, I'll erase it. I bumped into Aaron Copland's saying, "... all American music could ...
kimweonill's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
2k views

Word for the opposite of electronic music

I'm looking for a word to distinguish electronic music from non-electronic music. I'd like to categorize into these two terms and I am aware that acoustic music or maybe even analog music might be the ...
UserSoUndSo's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
4k views

When and where did "clam" come to mean a missed note in a musical performance?

Someone just asked me in chat what a missed note in music is called. Without hesitation, I replied, "A clam." It's what I've always heard in academic and professional settings since forever. Only now,...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
48 votes
5 answers
19k views

Why is a song's radio edit called a ‘7" version’?

For some reason, I used to think that a 7" version of a song was a 7-minute long version. Then, I started noticing that most 7" versions I came across were in fact around 3:30 long. Upon further ...
RichouHunter's user avatar
  • 1,394
-1 votes
2 answers
260 views

"Let me tell you how the odds gonna stack up." [closed]

There's a linkin park song that uses this expression, what is the meaninig?
João Nobre's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Rendition or Rendering?

What is a better choice between the words {1} Rendition and {2} Rendering? For a reviewer of a piece of drama or music, which word is appropriate? If we want to consider parts of speech: Rendition ...
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
786 views

What did 'rap' mean in 1970?

I found these folders (think pee chees) among a pile of school supplies. They reference "rap" in sort of a hippie look (and... is that John Wayne??), dated 1970. Presumably wrap is referring to folder,...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is a band referred to by "Who" or "What"?

If someone were to ask what your favorite band was, which of the following would be correct? Who is your favorite band? What is your favorite band? I feel like this is obfuscated by groups named ...
LWhitson2's user avatar
  • 736
1 vote
2 answers
170 views

What is the correct past-tense of flat & sharp in music?

Which is correct: A flatted B note was added ..., or A flattened B note was added ...? Likewise, would "A sharpened [or sharped] C introduces chromatic passing note ..." Thanks.
Udon Joe's user avatar
22 votes
9 answers
6k views

Precise word to differentiate "major" and "minor" in music

In a similar manner to the way that we use "sex" to differentiate male and female, I want to find the best word to differentiate major and minor. The Wikipedia page on the subject did not use any ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
305 views

Is there a word or phrase for a concert where one composer's works are played?

Latvian has the word autorkoncerts, translated in the Latvian-English dictionary as one composer's concert. Russian has the phrase авторский концерт, which literally means 'author's concert'. Is ...
Veo's user avatar
  • 449
0 votes
2 answers
963 views

What is the word for music that is both a capella and instrumental?

Now, I know the terms "a capella" and "instrumental" are pretty incompatible, and to tell the truth, something like "Lyric-less" would fit better than "instrumental" in this case. Basically, I'm ...
NH.'s user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does “you dropped them keys” mean? [duplicate]

I was listening a song called To The Left from Beyonce. There is a part that she sings: “Because you was untrue Rolling her around in the car that I bought you Baby you dropped them keys Hurry up ...
Sávio Brilhante's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the origin of the music term 'grace note'?

A grace note (Wikipedia link) is a generally short-lived musical note, which serves to 'decorate' a melody, while not adding any time to it, or affecting the melody's structure in any significant way. ...
Coemgenus's user avatar
  • 231
3 votes
3 answers
5k views

In solfège, can you pronounce "sol" like "so"?

From the dictionaries, it seems like at least in American English, "sol" (as in "do, re, mi, fa, sol") is always pronounced "sole," but there's a spelling variation "so" is pronounced "so". Oxford (...
mic's user avatar
  • 596
2 votes
2 answers
132 views

A music term for "an entire bar devoid of notes"

Is there an easier way to say "an entire bar devoid of notes" in English? I'm referring to music notation, when a bar has no notes and a whole rest must be used as a result. I want to know ...
The Beast's user avatar
  • 175
7 votes
5 answers
6k views

How can I describe "people beat with their feet according to music rhythm" in English?

Seek for help: Now I'm doing a translation work. How can I describe "people beat with their feet according to music rhythm" in English? Maybe one word or a few words.
Jiang Joanna's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is a piece of electronic music a song or a track?

I've seen a song defined as: A short poem or other set of words set to music or meant to be sung. And a track as A recording of one song or piece of music A song clearly has connotations of ...
Sebastian Smolorz's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
766 views

Word for: I can feel music inside me [closed]

I’ve heard a lot of musicians and music lovers say: ‘I can feel the music inside of me.’ Is there a word for that?
Kane's user avatar
  • 9
4 votes
4 answers
559 views

Word similar to well-read but in the context of songs

He is well-read in romantic literature and his brother is ....... in blues songs. Is there a word that can be used to convey the same idea as "well-read" but in the context of songs? In ...
Mr K's user avatar
  • 152
4 votes
7 answers
4k views

Term that describes the technique in which an artist repeat lyrics from their previous work

I just want to preface this by stating I'm not sure if this would be better suited for the music stackexchange site, though I feel it's probably still appropriate here because my question mainly ...
Aleksandr Hovhannisyan's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
1k views

What word describes a musical instrument's native character?

(I asked this question in the music stack exchange at https://music.stackexchange.com/questions/54865/what-word-describes-an-instrument-s-native-character but since I am looking for a word I'll ask ...
Eric O's user avatar
  • 179
1 vote
1 answer
157 views

What is the name of the speaking style used when one wants to communicate a passage of music?

When someone wants to communicate a piece of music to someone else they will try to speak the music literally using nonsensical words. For example the start of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony could be ...
Craig Curtis's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a verb for singing nonsense syllables to substitute for unknown lyrics?

Someone who doesn't know all the lyrics to a song might sing "la la la" or "dum dum dum" in place of the verses they don't know. Is there a verb for this? Similar to "humming" the tune, but with ...
Amanda S's user avatar
  • 300
0 votes
2 answers
153 views

Post-song Terminology

Sometimes, after the actual song is finished, musicians add an extra something to it, not necessarily part of the lyrics. Sometimes they recite a poem or sing lyrics from another song without ...
user218183's user avatar