F: The key of F.
F Clef: A clef that indicates which line represents F on a staff, as opposed to a C
clef, or an G clef.
False Cadence: A deceptive cadence.
Falsetto: A high, light, artificial voice used to sing notes that are above the normal register.
Fantasy, Fantasia, Fantaisie: A piece in free style and form.
Cadence: A cadence ending on a weak beat.
Fibbonacci Series: A mathematical sequence in which the next number in the series is the sum of the previous two numbers. Used by many 20th century composers to determine various elements of composition, espeically Bela Bartok.
Fifth: The interval of five diatonic degrees.
Figured Bass: The bass part of a piece written by giving a single bass note, with numbers beside it to indicate the inversion of the chord to be played.
Figured Melody: A highly ornamented melody.
Finale: The last movement of a sonata or symphony, or the last section of an opera.
Finger cymbals: Zills.
Fingerboard: On string instruments, the top surface of the neck, where the fingers press down on the strings.
Flats: An accidental that lowers a given pitch by one half-step. See also key signature.
Fortissimo: A directive that a passage is to be played very loudly.
Fourth: The interval of four diatonic degrees.
French Sixth Chord: An augmented sixth chord,
which contains a second from the tonic.
Fret: On certain string instruments, a thin, raised bar placed across the fingerboard to indicate a specific position of a note, and aid in tuning that note.
Fugue: "Flight." A contrapuntal piece, in which two or more parts are built or "layered" on a recurring subject that is intriduced alone, and followed by an answer, which is the subject (or theme) at a different pitch, usually the fifth.
Function: The way in which chords, and individual tones within the chord, tend to imply movement toward another chord.
Fundamental: Any note that produces overtones in the harmonic series.