French Musical Terms

Created by afeltis 

Upgrade to
remove ads

165-219 are English to French instead of French to English

à, au

to [the], in the manner of

assez

quite, rather, fairly

alte

high, higher

encore

again, repeat

extrèmement

extremely

enchaînez

["attach"] proceed without stopping

basse

low, lower

cadence

extended improvisatory section

debut

beginning

coda

section added to end

comme

as, as if, like

avec

with [the]

de, du

from [the], of [the]

divisés

divided

glissant

sliding from one pitch to another

le, la, les

the

lié

["tied"] smoothly, slurred

le même, la même

the same

martelé

["hammered"] sharp, forceful, with quick releases

moins

less

demi-, mi-

half

mode ordinaire

[return to] normal manner of execution

très

very

changez en

change to

non, pas

not

autrement

["or rather"] alternate passage

octave

octave

[un] peu

little

louré

["carried"] semi-detached, between legato and staccato

premier, première

first, at first

signe

sign

toujours

always, still

sans

without

de même

similarly

sourdine

mute

détaché

["separated"] detached [technically half the note value]

subitement

sudden[ly], immediate[ly]

sur

on [the], near [the], at [the]

se tait

["is silent"] does not play

trémolo

rapid repetition of a note or alternation of notes

trop

too, too much

un, une

a, one

unis

[in] unison

lent

slowly

large

broadly

un peu lent

somewhat faster than largo

à l'aise

["at ease"] easily, unhurried

un peu à l'aise

somewhat faster than adagio

allant

["walking"] flowing

un peu allant

somewhat close to andante (somewhat faster or slower)

modéré

moderately, neither slow nor fast

un peu animé

somewhat slower than allegro

animé

lively

très vite

very fast

au mouvement

[return to] regular tempo

accélérez, serrez

becoming faster

élargissant

broadening

mouvement redoublé

twice as fast

gravement

solemnly

mouvementé

["moved"] moving, agitated

mouvement

motion

ralentissez

becoming slower

cédez

["delaying"] gradually slowing

retenu

["kept back"] immediately slower

dérobé

["robbed"] flexible tempo

soutenu

sustained

pressez

["squeezing"] hastening, tightening

premier mouvement

original tempo

traînez

dragging

vif

briskly

très vif

very briskly

tout doucement

["extremely plainly"] as softly as possible

très doucement

["very plainly"] very softly

doucement

["plainly"] softly

mi-doux

["half plainly"] medium softly

mi-fort

["half strongly"] medium loudly

fort

["strongly"] loudly

très fort

["very strongly"] very loudly

tout fort

["extremely strongly"] as loudly as possible

s'éteignant

fading away

augmentez

growing [louder]

s'affaiblissant

becoming softer

diminuant

diminishing [in loudness]

expirant

dying away

renforçant

(rfz) ["reinforcing"] emphasized

accentué

(sfz) ["forcing"] sharply accented

affectueusement

with affection, tenderly

agité

excitedly, restlessly

à volonté

["at pleasure"] at performer's discretion

en style d'un air

in the manner of a [vocal] aria

verve

spirit

calme

calm, quieted

chantant

["singable"] song-like

commode

["convenient"] comfortably, without strain

chaleureusement

["with heat"] warmly, passionately

douce[ment]

sweet[ly]

expressif

expressively

feu

["fire"] intensity, ardor

jouant

playfully

juste

["exactly"] strict[ly], precise[ly], appropriate[ly]

gracieux

gracefully

goût

taste

légèrement

lightly

majestueux

majestically

marqué

["marked"] stressed

triste

sadly

lourde[ment]

heavily

décidé, résolument

resolutely, decisively

badinant

jokingly

simplement

simply

bruyant

boisterously

tenu

held [possibly beyond its normal value]

ouvert

open, uncovered

pavillon en l'air

bell raised

bouché

stopped, covered

lointain

distant

cuivré

brassy, blaring

trémolo avec la langue

flutter-tongue

baguettes en bois

hard sticks

baguettes d'éponge

soft sticks

timbré

with snares

couvert

covered [cloth on drum head]

laissez vibrer

let vibrate [ring]

sec

drily [without resonance]

au bord

at the edge [rim]

archet

bow, bowed, with the bow

bois, dos

wood [back of the bow]

pizzicato

["pinched"] plucked, without the bow

chevalet

bridge

pointe

point [tip of the bow]

jeté, ricochet

["jumping"] bouncing bow [several notes per stroke]

sautillé

["distinct"] bouncing bow [one note per stroke]

talon

frog [where bow is held]

touche

fingerboard

antienne, hymne

hymn of praise or loyalty, often sacred, originally antiphonal [compare chorale]

aubade

informal composition for dawn or morning music [compare serenade]

canon

composition or passage in which one voice precisely follows another [compare fugue]

choral

harmonized hymn tune [compare anthem]

concerto

composition for soloist(s) and orchestra

grand concerto

baroque composition for solo group [concertino] and orchestra [ripieno]

divertissement

set of light, informal movements for small group, one player per part

étude

composition intended for practice of a particular point of technique

See More

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set