A Musical Lexicon

I don’t ordinarily pass on jokes, but anyone who is a musician will appreciate these!

p piano (soft) – the neighbors have complained
f forte (loud) – the neighbors are out
crescendo – testing the neighbors’ tolerance level
ff – to hell with the neighbors
pp – the neighbors are at the door

dim – thick
obbligato – being forced to practice
rit (or rall) – coming up to the bit you didn’t practice

con moto – I’ve got a car
allegro – a little car
maestro – a bigger car
metronome – someone small enough to fit comfortably into a mini

lento – the days before Easto (eggos, choccos, etc.)
largo – German beer (“Handel’s Largo reaches parts other beers can not reach”)
piu animato – if you don’t clean that rabbit’s hutch out, it will have to go

interval – meet the rest of the orchestra in the bar
perfect interval – drinks on the house
cantabile – singing, i.e. drunk.
con spirito – cantabile as a skunk

cantata – a tin of fizzy drink
tutti – ice cream
coda – served with chips
codetta – child’s portion

chords – things keyboard players do with one finger
dischords – things keyboard players do with two fingers
suspended chord – rope for lynching the soloist

rubato – ointment for musicians’ backs.
subdominant – “I can’t play until I’ve asked the wife.”
tonic – a pick-me-up
syncopation – a bowel condition brought on by listening to jazz

crochet – knitting
quaver – the feeling as you get past a rall (see above)
key signature – things to frighten everyone except drummers. Ignore them.
time signatures – things to frighten drummers, who ignore them anyway.
colla voce – this shirt is so tight I can’t talk

professional – any musician who can’t hold down a steady job
flats – apartments
a tempo – speed up or slow down, take your pick.
tempo di cafe – coffee break
improvisation – what you do when your music falls down

fugue – clever stuff
prelude – boring exercise to warm up before the clever stuff

acciaccaturas/appoggiaturas – insects found in the Amazon rain forests
opus – exclamation made when the cat’s done poos on the carpet
scales – fishy stuff
trill – bird seed

virtuoso – someone who can work wonders with easy-play music books
antiphony – crossed lines
melody – an ancient and now extinct musical form

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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