Music Outfitters, Inc.

Music Outfitters, Inc.
134 N. 1st Ave E, Ely, MN 55731
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Online Music Dictionary - B

Click on a letter of the alphabet from the list below to go to the page of musical terms that begin with that letter.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


B: The key of B, or in the German musical system, B-flat.

Bagatelle: A short light or whimsical piece, usually written for piano,in no specific form first used by François Couperin.

Ballad: 1. A simple song. 2. A song that tells a story.

Ballet: A theatrical dance form with a story, sets, and music.

Band: An instrumental ensemble, usually consisting of percussion, woodwind, and brass instruments, and excluding strings.

Baritone: A low male singing voice between tenor and bass.

Baroque Period: The musical era from roughly 1600 to 1750 A.D., characterized by the establishment of major and minor tonality, rather than modes, and the introduction of opera.

Bass: "Low." 1. The lowest male singing voice, below baritone. 2. The lowest part in a piece of music. 3. The lowest instrument in a musical work. 4. In the violin family, the lowest instrument.

Bass Clef: The F clef indicating the fourth line of the staff. Used in combination with the treble clef to make the grand staff.

Basso Continuo: "Continuous Bass", sometimes referred to as "thoroughbass". Used in Baroque music, A continuo is a bass line that repeats throughout an entire work, or section of a work. Played by the lowest instrument, a continuo usually consisted of a bass line, and a series of figures.

Battaglia: "Battle". A composition that imitates the sounds and feel of battle, and martial music.

beat: 1. the basic time unit of a piece of music; for example, each tick sounded by a metronome would correspond to a beat 2. the rise or fall of a conductor's hand or baton when beating time. 3. when two notes both sustained and slightly out of tune with one another, create a throbbing sound.

becuadro: (Sp.) A natural sign.

Bequadro: (Fr.) A natural sign.

Berceuse: (Fr.) "Cradle song".A lullaby meant to soothe a child to sleep. 2. An instrumental lullaby usually for piano based on Frederick Chopin's Berceuse opus 57 and characterized by a rhythmic ostinato suggesting a gentle and steady rocking feel.

Binary Form: A two-part song form consisting of an initial section, which is then followed by a contrasting section. (AB), see song forms.

Bitonal: The use of two different keys, or tonic centers at the same time.

Borrowed Chord: Use of a chord in a key in which it is not diatonic, or the substitution of a chord from a different key into a work.

Bouts: In the violin and guitar families, the curves in the sides of the instrument, especially the C-shaped inward curves that form the waist.

Bow: The device used in the string instrument families, such as the violin family, consisting of a wooden stick, pointed at one end, and strung with horsehair. The bow is drawn across the strings to generate a tone.