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Music Terms and Definitions


When you’re 16 bars into a piece and realize you started at too fast a tempo

Angus Dei

To play with a divinely beefy tone

A Patella

Accompanied by knee-slapping


A composition that you regret playing


A series of notes not intended by the composer, yet played with an “I meant to do that” attitude


A musical entrance that is somewhere in the vicinity of the correct pitch


A composition incorporating many people with chest colds

Coral Symphony

A large, multi-movement work from Beethoven’s Caribbean Period

Dill Piccolini

An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes


A note held over and over and over and over and…


A note of dubious value held for indefinite length

Fiddler Crabs

Grumpy string players

Flute Flies

Those tiny mosquitoes that bother musicians on outdoor gigs


A sensible and inexpensive brass instrument

Gaul Blatter

A French horn player

Gregorian Champ

The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest

Ground Hog

Someone who takes control of the repeated bass line and won’t let anyone else play it

Placebo Domingo

A faux tenor


A sudden burst of music from the Guy Lombardo band

The Right Of Strings

Manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Violists


An indication to string instruments to produce a bright and bubbly sound

Tempo Tantrum

What an elementary school orchestra is having when it doesn’t follow the conductor

Trouble Clef

Any clef one can’t read, e.g., alto clef for pianists


An indication to build up to a fiery conclusion


Child prodigy son of the concertmaster


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From You've Got Laughs! The Big Book of Internet Humor by Al Lowe,
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© 1998 - 2009 by Al Lowe • All Rights Reserved • Last Update: March 17, 2012