music dictionary : 1 - 9
 



If any detail is incorrect or incomplete please advise us, using our dictionary amendment form.

If you would like to support our work writing and maintaining the teaching resources on this site please click on the donate button and follow the online instructions - thank you for your contribution.

0, 1-4 in music written for the guitar or members of the violin family, fretting (for the guitar) or fingering (for the violin, etc.) finger numbers, placed beside the specific note head, are used to specify the desired choice of fingers for your left hand
number left hand fingerItalianGermanFrenchSpanish
0 or letter O open stringcorda vuotaleere Saitecorde à jour
corde à vide
cuerda abierta
1 index(dito) indiceZeigefinger(doigte) index(dedo) indice
2 middle(dito) medioMittelfinger(doigte) médius
(doigte) majeur
(dedo) corazón
(dedo) medio
3 ring(dito) anulareRingfinger(doigte) annulaire(dedo) anular
4 small
little
(dito) mignolokleine Finger(doigte) auriculaire(dedo) meñique
(dedo) pequeño
x, 1-4 English keyboard fingering notation, now obsolete but found in piano music published, particularly in England, many years ago
number finger to be usedItalianGermanFrench Spanish
x thumbpolliceDaumenpouce pulgar
1 index(dito) indiceZeigefinger(doigte) index (dedo) indice
2 middle(dito) medioMittelfinger(doigte) médius
(doigte) majeur
(dedo) corazón
(dedo) medio
3 ring(dito) anulareRingfinger(doigte) annulaire (dedo) anular
4 small(dito) mignolokleine Finger(doigte) auriculaire (dedo) meñique
(dedo) pequeño
1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 size string instruments smaller stringed instruments are designed that will be more suited to the younger physically player who find it difficult to hold or play a full sized (that is 4/4) instrument
the ratio is really just an arbitrary designation that appears to have no basis in an actual measurement on the instruments. According to Henry A. Strobel's Useful Measurements for Violin Makers, the average difference with violins between one size and the next in measured examples is approximately 8%. There is a fair amount of variation in relative dimensions among different makers and schools
3/4 and other fractions used on the stave to indicate the time signature of the bar or bars following
1-4
the convention for numbering the strings on a violin:
1st string E-string (highest)
2nd string A-string
3rd string D-string
4th string G-string (lowest)
1-5 called 'German' or 'International' fingering, and found in music written for the piano, the recommended fingerings appear as the numbers 1 to 5
number finger to be usedItalianGermanFrench Spanish
1 thumbpolliceDaumenpouce pulgar
2 index(dito) indiceZeigefinger(doigte) index (dedo) indice
3 middle(dito) medioMittelfinger(doigte) médius
(doigte) majeur
(dedo) corazón
(dedo) medio
4 ring(dito) anulareRingfinger(doigte) annulaire (dedo) anular
5 small(dito) mignolokleine Finger(doigte) auriculaire (dedo) meñique
(dedo) pequeño
1-6 in music written for the guitar, when notes are not played in their open or lowest position, string numbers, generally shown inside a circle and above the note, are sometimes supplied, 1=highest pitched string to 6=lowest pitched string
1-8, I-VIII, i-viii numbers used to denote the degrees of the scale, thus 1 (I or i) denotes the first degree of the scale, 2 (II or ii) the second degree, and so on. The large or small Roman numerals (I-VIII, i-viii) serve the same purpose
degree name definition
1, i, I tonic the key note
2, ii, II supertonic the note above the tonic
3, iii, III mediant the note between the tonic and dominant (the middle of a 5th counting up from the tonic)
4, iv, IV subdominant the note a perfect fifth below the tonic
5, v, V dominant the note a perfect fifth above tonic
6, vi, VI submediant
superdominant
the note between the tonic and subdominant (the middle of a 5th counting down from the tonic) which is also the note immediately above the dominant
7, vii, VII subtonic the note a tone (whole step) below the tonic (flattened leading note)
7, vii, VII leading note the note a semitone (half step) below the tonic, leads to the tonic
8, viii, VIII tonic the key note
1, 2, 3, etc.
1, 2, 3, etc. placed above groups of notes to indicate rhythmic divisions called duplets, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, etc.
to indicate the pitch of notes following the method invented by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1788) and developed by Pierre Galin [Exposition d'une Nouvelle méthode (1818)] together with Émile-Joseph Chevé (1804-1864), his wife Nanine Paris and her brother Aimé Paris (1798-1866) [E. Chevé (Mme Nanine Paris) Méthode élémentaire de musique vocale (1864); E. Chevé (M. & Mme) Méthode élémentaire d'harmonie (1846); E. Chevé (M. & Mme) Exercices élémentaires de lecture musicale à l'usage des écoles primaires (1860)]
a system called the 'Nashville number system' for notating chords
1C, 2C, 3Cfound in some piano music written for a larger concert instrument, these three markings indicate the use of the left hand pedal, where 1C indicates that the pedal should be fully depressed (to give an una corda effect, i.e. the hammers strike only one of the three strings per note), 2C indicates that the pedal should be half-depressed (to give a due corde effect, i.e. the hammers strike only two of the three strings per note) and 3C indicates that the pedal not used at all (tre corde, i.e. the hammers strike all three strings per note)
[we thank Sian Dudley for raising this topic]
Ima abbreviation of prima
Imo abbreviation of primo
Io abbreviation of primera (Spanish: first) - as in primera planta (Spanish: first floor)
IIda abbreviation of seconda
IIdo abbreviation of secondo
II, III in music written for the guitar, Roman numerals are used to show the hand position required to play a note or a passage. If preceded by a large C then the numeral indicates where the index finger is to be placed for a bar chord
1 1/3 ft. on the organ, a mutation stop that sounds two octaves and a fifth above the written pitch, usually called Larigot
 
1 3/5 ft. on the organ, a mutation stop that sounds two octaves and a third above the written pitch, usually called Tierce
 
12-EDOthe division of the interval of an octave into 12 equal divisions, one of the names given to the 12 note equal temperament scale in common use today
12-inch single also marketted under the names such as Giant 45 or Giant Single, the 12-inch single was named for the diameter of the record — which it shares with the LP. It was described as a 'single' because of the number of tracks on each side, just as on the 45 rpm single. Whereas 45s and LPs were popular from the late 1950s and 1960s, respectively, the first 12-inch dance single was not issued until mid-1975 and specifically for the disk-jockeys, also known as DJs, for whom it was thought this format would be attractive
12-string guitar see 'twelve-string guitar'
15, 15ma abbreviations of quindicesima meaning 'at the fifteenth', found above notes on a staff that should be played two octaves higher than written. If 15ma is applied to a passage, the term loco, meaning 'at place', will show where the player reverts to playing at the written pitch
15mb abbreviation of quindicesima meaning 'at the fifteenth below', found below notes on a staff that should be played two octaves lower than written. If 15mb is applied to a passage, the term loco, meaning 'at place', will show where the player reverts to playing at the written pitch
16th note see 'sixteenth note'
16th rest see 'sixteenth rest'
16va, 16ma sometimes mistakenly used to mean a two-octave interval. However, the two octave interval is the fifteenth, which is abbreviated 15ma
2o abbreviation of segunda (Spanish: second) - as in segunda planta (Spanish: second floor)
2 chord  
an alternative name for the third inversion of a seventh chord, also called a 42 chord
 
2-foot, 4-foot, 8-foot, 16-foot, 32-foot
2ft., 4ft., 8ft., 16ft., 32ft.
see 'foot'
2nda or 2ndo abbreviation of seconda, secondo (Italian: second)
2-Step a quintessentially London sound, 2-Step (otherwise known as U.K. garage) fuses the urban attitude of hardcore and jungle with the soul and pace of garage and house
2 or 3 placed on the stave to indicate the time signature, where 2 means 2/2 and 3 means 3/4
2 2/3 ft. on the organ, a mutation stop that sounds an octave and a fifth above the written pitch, usually called Nazard or 'Twelfth'
 
24 Violons When Lully's les Vingt-quatre violins du Roi performed in their orchestral formation in five parts, they employed violins on the top part, three different sizes of viola on the three middle parts, and basses de violon on the bass line. Varying sizes of viola were common in the seventeenth century, as were varying sizes of string bass instruments of the 'cello family. The basse de violon was a largish 'cello, customarily tuned in B-flat, and was known throughout Europe. Nearly all seventeenth century 'cellos were large (and were subsequently reduced in size), and bass players were accustomed to transposing instruments, varied tunings and octave doublings. Though there were no bowed stringed instruments specifically constructed to play at sixteen foot (contrabass) pitch in the Versailles orchestra, it was nevertheless heard in octave doublings from the basses de violon, theorboes and harpsichords
25x25 see garmon
3-finger style see 'Scruggs style'
3 ft. on the organ, another name for a 2 2/3 ft. stop
 
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
numbers used in figured bass notation:
5
3
or no numbers at all
root position chord: 3rd and 5th to the written note as bass
6
3
or 6
first inversion chord: 3rd and 6th to the written note as bass
a first inversion chord has the third in the bass - the fifth is then a third above the third and the root is then a sixth above the third
6
4
second inversion chord: 4th and 6th to the written note as bass
a second inversion chord has the fifth in the bass - the root is then a fourth above the fifth and the third is a sixth above the fifth
accidental under note 5 3 root position
accidental applied to the 3rd
line through a number raise the note in that position one chromatic semitone
accidental under number apply accidental to 3rd and add note given by number to written note as bass
accidental beside single 6
may be placed before or after
6 means 6
3
; apply accidental to 3rd
accidental beside number
may be placed before or after
apply accidental to the note given by the number
horizontal line ( - ) after a number note represented by the preceding figure is to be held
7 or 8 or 9 7th or 8th or 9th added to root position chord
short for 7 5 3 or 8 5 3 or 9 5 3
6
5
7th chord, first inversion
short for 6 5 3 : third is understood
4
3
7th chord, second inversion
short for 6 4 3 : sixth is understood
4
2
7th chord, third inversion
short for 6 4 2 : sixth is understood
chord is also called a 2 chord
'3rd-4th tuning' a tuning system, used on viols and some guitars, which tune the interval between successive strings in a combination of 3rds and 4ths, unlike, for example, the violin which is usually tuned in 5ths
32e noot
demisemiquaver symbols (Dutch) a demisemiquaver or thirty-second note, a note one thirty-second the time value of a semibreve or whole note
32e rust
demisemiquaver rest (Dutch) a demisemiquaver rest or thirty-second rest, a rest one thirty-second the time value of a semibreve rest or whole rest
32nd note see 'thirty-second note'
32nd rest see 'thirty-second rest'
35mm filma photographic film originally manufactured by George Eastman in 1892 to be used for Thomas Edison's motion pictures. By 1909 the 35mm film width, and a length of 16 frames per foot was accepted as the international standard for movies. It differed from other film not just by its small format, but also from the sprocket holes running down its sides allowing it to move through a motion picture camera at high speed. Starting in 1908, a number of still cameras were developed to make use of this film
4-beat a breakbeat style of music circa 1993, that evolved from breakbeat hardcore emanating from the United Kingdom rave scene. Due to the sheer scale of the United Kingdom rave scene, this particular music was largelly self contained in England where it was almost entirely produced and played
  • 4-beat from which this extract has been taken
48, The see 'Well Tempered Clavier'
440 see 'modern pitch'
5 1/3 ft. on the organ, a stop that sounds a fifth above the written pitch
 
5-fach-Liniatur (German m.) pentagram, five-lined staff
55-EDO
the division of the interval of an octave into 55 equal parts
 ratiosemitonescents
1 55-EDO degree2(1/55)12/5521 9/11
smaller (chromatic) semitone2(4/55)48/5587 3/11
larger (diatonic) semitone2(5/55)1 1/11109 1/11
whole tone2(9/55)1 53/55196 4/11
64th note see 'sixty-fourth note'
64th rest see 'sixty-fourth rest'
6/8 time
7-string guitar see 'seven-string guitar'
77 punk alternative name for 'punk rock'
8-string guitar see 'eight-string guitar'
8, 8va, 8va alta abbreviations of all' ottava meaning 'at the octave', found above notes on a staff that should be played one octave higher than written. If 8va is applied to a passage, the term loco, meaning 'at place', will show where the player reverts to playing at the written pitch. 8 on its own, placed above or below a clef sign, indicates that the instrument playing the part will sound one octave higher (if the 8 is above) or lower (if the 8 is below) than the pitch would be with an unadorned clef sign
8, 8va b., 8va bassa, 8vb abbreviations of ottava bassa meaning 'at the octave below', found below notes on a staff that should be played one octave lower than written. If 8vb is applied to a passage, the term loco, meaning 'at place', will show where the player reverts to playing at the written pitch 8 on its own, placed above or below a clef sign, indicates that the instrument playing the part will sound one octave higher (if the 8 is above) or lower (if the 8 is below) than the pitch would be with an unadorned clef sign
8ve abbreviation of 'octave'
8-füssig see achtfüssig

top