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Glossary of Singing Terms: 100 Singing Terms Explained

Do you want to know the Glossary of Singing Terms? If your answer is yes, then this blog provides you all information regarding this.

00 Terms Frequently Used in Singing

Be sure to internalize this essential vocabulary for singing as you progress in your musical career.

A cappella 1. The only instrument used in a cappella performance is the singer’s voice. A cappella is the term for this style of music.

Pitch absolute Absolute pitch is the capacity to identify a note purely by listening to it being played, without any reference to relative pitch. Relative pitch, on the other hand, contrasts the sounds of several notes.

3. Accelerando: The Italian word “accelerando” denotes the need for a guitarist or singer to quicken the tempo of their performance.

Accidental: A marker for a flat, a sharp, a double-flat, or a double-sharp is placed next to a note on a piece of music. 4. 4. Accidental: A marker that appears next to a note on a sheet of music staff and designates a double-flat is known as an accidental. Another option is a “natural” accidental, which eliminates an earlier accidental.

5. Adagio: The Italian word “Adagio” designates a slow tempo or a relaxing section within a larger work. Italian dessert with the name “Adagio” is also available.

6. Airflow: The air that passes through a person’s trachea and larynx to produce vocal sounds is referred to as their airflow.

7. Allegro: The Italian word “Allegro” designates a quick tempo or a quick section within a larger work. The word “allegro,” which means “quickly” in Italian, is also where the name originates.

8. For most female voices, the lower end of the vocal range is alto, which is often referred to as “contralto.”

The Italian word andante describes a tempo or section of a larger composition played at a “walking pace.” Andante: 9.

10. An aria is a solo vocal piece that can be performed as a song on its own or as a prominent moment within an opera.

11. Atonal: Compositions that deviate from a specific diatonic key are called “atonal music.”

12. A slow song or a song that recounts a story is a ballad. An example of one of them is a ballad.

13. Back phrasing is a vocal technique in which singers consciously sing after the beat. Back phrasing is another name for the practice.

14. Baritone: The baritone range falls between the bass register and the tenor register for male voices. It is situated below the tenor register and above the bass register.

15. Bass: The lowest note that can be sung by a male singer, the bass is the lowest range.

16. Bel canto is an Italian expression that means “beautiful song” or “excellent singing,” respectively. It’s a technique that opera singers regularly employ.

17. Belting is a vocal projection style that emphasizes vocal folds that are short and thick and a combination of chest and head voice. Ancient singers used a style of singing called belting.

18. In choral music, mixing various voices into a single, unified sound is referred to as blending.

19. Cadence: A cadence is a musical effect that appears after a musical phrase, a musical movement, or the conclusion of the entire composition.

20. Cadenza: A cadenza is an extended section of an aria or vocal solo that highlights a soloist’s technical prowess.

21. Cantata: A cantata is a piece of music created for voice and orchestra that is often played in religious music.

22. Capo: The Italian term “capo” designates the “head” or the beginning of a work.

23. Chants are accomplished by chanting together to an arbitrary rhythm.

Chest voice 24. The “main” range of a person’s singing voice is generally regarded as the chest voice. 24. 24. Lower pitch, more resonance, and a profusion of vocal overtones are the defining characteristics of the chest register.

The term “chiaroscuro” refers to the range of human voice timbres, which can range from Chiaro (bright) to scuro (dark), and means “light-dark” (dark).

A chorale is a piece of choral music composed of instruments and human voices. 26. 26. Chorale:

Chords are collections of notes played simultaneously or as a fundamental part of a single musical phrase.

The final section of a song or work is known as the coda. 28. 28. Coda The conclusion of a song or musical movement is called the coda.

29. Coloratura: A musical passage with vocal flourishes and trills is known as a coloratura. The Coloratura 29.

A concerto is a classical composition in which a solo instrumentalist interacts and trades sections with an ensemble.

A crescendo is a musical cue that tells the performer or player to turn up the loudness. Thirty-one. Crescendo

Decrescendo: Also referred to as a diminuendo, a decrescendo tells the musician or singer to soften their voice.

The diaphragm is a muscle below the lungs and helps humans breathe through their vocal cords. It is referred to as the “powerhouse” muscle as well.

Thirty-four. Diction refers to the accurate word pronunciation in both singing and speaking.

Diminuendo is a musical instruction instructing a musician to gradually weaken the tone. It serves as a synonym for “decrescendo.”

When two distinct vowel sounds are used within a single syllable, this is referred to as a “diphthong.” The terms “cloud,” “coin,” and “law” are a few instances of this.

Dolce is an Italian word that means “sweet” in its direct translation. When discussing music as a subject, it means to perform delicately or lightly.

The downbeat is the first beat of a musical phrase or musical measure.

39. A piece of music called a “duet” is one that was composed especially for two musicians or two singers to perform together.

The deliberate articulation of words is renunciation, a type of diction. Enunciation and diction are synonymous terms.

41. The Italian word “espressivo,” which means “expressive,” gets translated to “expressive” in English. It is a command for the musician to play with a heavy emphasis on physically expressing oneself through their performance in the context of music.

Étude: The word “étude” is a translation of the French word for “study.” 42. Even though etudes are created to be practice pieces, many have lovely tones and might even be performed in public.

43. When someone uses the term “falsesetto,” they refer to “false singing.” It is a term used to denote notes sung above a person’s typical chest voice range. Although head voices and chest voices can occasionally blend together, some people mistakenly use the term “head voice,” and to mean slightly different things. For someone with a true falsetto, this is impossible.

Fermata: A fermata is a musical notation that urges a performer to hold a note until they are prepared to continue or until the director gives the go-ahead. A fermata is a musical notation that tells a singer or a musician to hold a note.

The Italian word “forte” advises musicians or singers to play or sing loudly and forcefully.

Fortissimo 46 “Fortissimo” is an Italian word that means “extremely loud.”

“glissando,” which refers to a sliding musical technique that joins two notes, is derived from the Italian word for “glide.”

The highest range in a singer’s range is referred to as the head voice. 48. 48. Head voice: Although employing the head voice is a need for singing in a falsetto, not all head voice performances are falsetto. In some circumstances, a person’s head voice and their deep chest voice may converge.

A hymn is a religious song sung in adoration and adoration of a higher power. 49. 49. Hymn

Intermezzo: 50. A short musical interlude that joins two separate sections of a work is known as an intermezzo.

51. Larynx: Also referred to as the voice box, the larynx is the portion of your vocal tract that contains your vocal cords.

Legato is a method used in a musical performance that involves a seamless transition between notes. In contrast to staccato notes, played very quickly, legato notes are held for the entire time indicated in the sheet music notation.

53. Libretto: The “book” or collection of lyrics used in an opera or other piece of musical theatre is known as the libretto.

Melisma is a vocal technique in which a single phrase is spread across several notes. Melisma ranks 54th overall.

Mezzo-soprano: The middle vocal range for female vocalists is the mezzo-soprano. This voice range sits between an alto and a soprano and is placed above both.

“modulation” refers to changing from one musical key to another.

Motif: A motif is a musical phrase that establishes a recurring theme across a work.

A movement is a section that is part of a larger musical composition. This term is widely used in classical music, but when used in rock or pop music, it is seen as pompous; in these genres, the term “part” is typically used.

59. Nasal: Singing is typically referred to be having a “nasal” quality if it produces a constricted sound with little overtones. The nasal cavity is the only location where this kind of singing may be heard.

Nodule: Due to incorrect singing style, a nodule, a specific type of polyp, develops on the vocal cords. 60. 60. Nodule:

Obbligato: An aria is accompanied by an instrumental solo known as an obbligato. 61. Obligatorio:

Oratorio: Composed of vocal and instrumental accompaniment, oratorios are a type of lengthy cantata.

An ostinato is a musical phrase that is repeated repeatedly throughout the composition.

A musical overtone is a tone that resonates in addition to the fundamental pitch. Overtones tend to be more abundant in sonorous, rich voices.

The Italian word “passaggio” describes the region where two vocal ranges meet. The word “passaggio” derives from the verb “passare,” which means to go.

66. Patter: Lyrics repeated often and quickly throughout a song are referred to as patter.

Perfect pitch: 67. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify a note when given a reference pitch to compare it to. Contrarily, the absolute pitch does not require a reference note; this is not the same as that.

Phrasing is how a musician or singer performs a passage, including the lengths of the notes and any brief breaks incorporated into the performance.

69. 69. Piano Although most people only know the word “piano” to refer to the musical instrument, it also means “soft” in Italian.

The word “pianissimo,” which means “very soft” in Italian, comes in at 70.

71. Portamento: A portamento is a more subdued glissando that gently moves from one note to another.

72. “presto” means “very quick” in Italian.

A sustained tone that is played or sung without the addition of any vibration is known as a pure note.

A singing technique known as “recitative” refers to words sung steadily and conversationally. In the moments between formal singing pieces like arias, the libretto of an opera often follows this pattern.

The term “register” can refer to a singer’s vocal range or how they sing.

76. Reprise: A reprise is a repeated section of a piece. In pop music, the word “chorus” is frequently used to describe it.

A requiem is a musical composition played to honor a deceased loved one.

Resonance is a succession of vibrations that results in a low-pitched, harmonically complex sound. Deep vibrations in the trachea and soft palate may cause the resonance that a vocalist creates.

79. Ritardando: A musician is instructed to slow down by using the Italian word “Ritardando,” which means “slow down.”

Ritenuto is an Italian expression that advises artists to hold back, move more slowly, and perhaps sustain sounds.

81. Rubato: The Italian term “rubato” tells musicians to deviate from a set tempo and play either a little quicker or a little slower, depending on the inspiration they are experiencing. 81.

Scoop is a style of singing or playing in which a note is approached from a lower pitch before being raised to the proper pitch. Scoop can be applied to many different musical genres.

83. Sforzando: The Italian adverb “sforzando” denotes bold, strong, and emphasised behavior.

A slur is a symbol used in musical notation to denote that two notes should flow into one another legato. 84. 84. Slur: In musical notation, a slur denotes that one note should glide into the next.

The solar plexus, a region of your lower rib cage, is where the diaphragm is located. The Solar Plexus. Your lower rib cage contains the solar plexus.

86. Soprano: The highest vocal range available to female vocalists is the soprano.

Staccato is a musical performance technique in which notes are abruptly cut off, leaving brief gaps of silence in between each note striking. Another name for staccato is staccato.

88. Strophic: A musical section is referred to as “strophic” if the same instrumental accompaniment is utilized repeatedly, but the melody changes due to the words or phrasing employed.

The highest male vocal range is called tenor, and the word “tenor” is whence it gets its name. It is lower than the alto range for female vocalists and higher than the baritone range. This voice component has sometimes been referred to as a “countertenor.”

Tessitura: The term “tessitura,” which originates from Italian, describes the broad range of notes incorporated in work. The tenor vocalist will likely play mostly at the lower end of his range if a piece is created for tenor vocals but has a low tessitura, for instance.

91. A tie is a symbol used in musical notation to connect two notes and designate that they should be played continuously without breaks.

92. The term “timbre” refers to the tonal characteristics of a musical instrument, including the human voice. Timbre is frequently determined by the relationship between a fundamental pitch and its harmonic overtones.

93. Transpose: To transpose a music composition is to change the key in which it is written.

94. A trill, which has the number 94, is a rapid switch between two notes. A trill’s pitch normally rises and falls by a whole step or a half step also referred to as a semitone (two semitones).

A single note is rapidly repeated in a tremolo. Tremolo ranks at position 95. Tremolo

Tutti is an Italian idiom that indicates that an instrumental group should perform without a vocalist by playing together as a unit.

In music, the phrase “unison” refers to a circumstance in which two or more vocalists simultaneously produce the same note. 98. Vibrato: This vocal and instrumental technique allows a performer to flit between two pitches rather than holding a single sustained note. Both singers and instrumentalists can employ vibrato. This gives the sense that movement is constantly taking place.

98. Vivace: The Italian word “vivace” means to play quickly and energetically, and it is a musical instruction.

99. Voce The Italian word for “voice” is voce (pronounced “voice”).

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