music dictionary : Wf - Wz

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Wf.after Hanssdieter Wohlforth, the cataloguer of music by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (1732-1795)
Whale songRoger Payne, founder and President of Ocean Alliance, is best-known for his co-discovery with Scott McVay, that the long, complex and apparently random sounds produced by male humpback whales are actually rhythmic, repeated sequences, and therefore, are properly called 'songs'
Whammoa sensation (bigger than boffo) (colloquial)
Whammy bar(English, Whammy-Bar German m.) see 'Floyd Rose', 'tremolo arm'
What-nota portable stand with four uprights enclosing shelves, in use after about 1800, for books, etc.
Wheathill Bruderhof
a farm, situated in Lower Bromden, nr. Ludlow, Shropshire, bought by the Bruderhof for their English members when the main German group went to Paraguay. Served as a refuge for pacifists and had grown to 200 members by 1950
Whelka large marine snail with a spiral shell
Whifflea fife used in English morris dancing
Whimsicallybizzaramente (Italian), capriccioso (Italian), bizarr (German), mit Humor (German), capricieusement (French)
Whip(percussion instrument) fouet (French), Peitsche or Holzklapper (German), frusta (Italian), fusta (Spanish)
or slapstick, a percussion instrument consisting of two pieces of wood hinged so that the player can snap the arms together to simulate the sound of a whip
in dance, see 'swingout'
Whippedextended playing of a string instrument by plucking rather than bowing
Whipping bowon the violin, where the bow strikes the strings sharply in order to mark single notes in a sequence played quickly
Whirlone of the two-couple figures danced in a circle of four people traditionally associated with square dancing
Whirling Dervishesritual dancers who belong to the Mevlevi order, a devotional Islamic brotherhood that uses liturgical dance
Whispersussurro (Italian m.), Flüstern (German n.), chuchotement (French n.), cuchicheo (Spanish m.), whispering speech or sound, the thing whispered
a rumour, diceria (Italian f.), Gerücht (German n.), rumeur (French f.), bruit (French m.), rumor (Spanish m.)
to speak very softly without vibration of the vocal cords, to talk or say in a barely audible tone or in a secret or confidential way, to rustle, to murmur, sussurrare (Italian - whisper), frusciare (Italian - rustle), flüster (German), chuchoter (French), cuchichear (Spanish), decir en voz baja (Spanish)
Whisperingsussurando (Italian), wispernd (German), murmurant (French)
Whistlethe term applies to any duct flute that is intended to produce only one pitch or overtones (or, rarely, only a few pitches) from its fundamental first partial. Generally, whistles have few or no fingerholes. An exception is the tabor pipe, which must be categorized as a vertical whistle flute on which one plays only in the high overtones, thus allowing an extended, fully diatonic and partly chromatic scale by means of a three-fingerhole system
Whistle flutealso known as duct flute or fipple flute, refers to any variety of instrument (such as the ocarina) that is played by blowing into a duct or windway conducting the airstream over an edge, which is also termed the 'fipple' or 'labium'. However, 'fipple' can also apply to the entire sound-generating structure, typically including, for example, the 'block', forming the "air channel" (or duct), and the 'edge' (or labium) of the head joint of a recorder or flageolet
Whistle registeralso called the flageolet register or whistle tone, the highest register of the human voice lying above the modal register and falsetto register. This register has a specific physiological production that is different from the other registers, and is so called because the timbre of the notes that are produced from this register are similar to that of a whistle
Whistle tonesthe effect produced by blowing a very small amount of air into a flute or recorder
Whistle vessela whistle flute with a large chamber of 'vessel' like an ocarina
Whistlingthe human whistle relies on the shape of the mouth, acting as a resonator, to pitch the sound produced; if two whistling notes are produced, the resonances are set-up in the back and front of the mouth
some whistlers can hum a note while whistling another
Whitebeam(European Species: Sorbus aria: Average Weight: 39 pounds per cubic foot) an ornamental species similar to Service Tree which was used for tool handles and the like
White canonspopular name for the Premonstratensians, an order derived from the Augustinians and founded in 1121
White Gospeloften called southern gospel or country gospel to distinguish it from black gospel, white gospel music has followed its own trajectory during the past eighty years. Some of its roots are found in the publishing work and "normal schools" of Aldine S. Kieffer and Ephraim Ruebush. It was promoted by traveling singing school teachers, southern gospel quartets, and shape note music publishing companies such as the A. J. Showalter Company (1879), the James D. Vaughan Publishing Company and the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Company
White Ladies
established at Coldash, near Newbury, Berkshire, the Religious Order of Silence , or the White Ladies, was set up by the redoubtable Miss Adela Curtis: Christian, vegetarian, tee-totaller, English patriot, pioneer of self sufficiency, healer, school teacher, economist and ecologist. organic farmer, vegetable gardener, fruit grower, bee-keeper, weaver, shoe-maker, clothing manufacturer, dietician, hygienist, sewage expert, publisher and book seller. In 1921 Miss Curtis, then aged 57 and in poor health relocated her little Christian commune to Burton Bradstock in Dorset
White Ladies
the Religious Order of Silence moved from Coldash, Berks. to St. Bride Farm, Burton Bradstock, Dorset. Whilst attempting to be self supporting in food, clothing and fuel the sisters built a little colony of wooden cottages each with a quarter of an acre of fruit and vegetable gardens They also built a large chapel that was finally completed in 1938. They were dubbed "the White Ladies" after the creamy veils and robes that they wore. After Mrs Curtis died in 1960 aged 96 the Farm & Land was given to the Othona Community and now functions as a retreat centre
White moneysilver coins
White noiseanalogous to white light containing equal amounts of all visible frequencies, white noise contains equal amounts of all audible frequencies (technically the bandwidth of noise is infinite, but for audio purposes it is limited to just the audio frequencies). From an energy standpoint white noise has constant power per hertz (also referred to as unit bandwidth), i.e., at every frequency there is the same amount of power (while pink noise, for instance, has constant power per octave band of frequency). A plot of white noise power vs. frequency is flat if the measuring device uses the same width filter for all measurements. This is known as a fixed bandwidth filter. For instance, a fixed bandwidth of 5 Hz is common, i.e., the test equipment measures the amplitude at each frequency using a filter that is 5 Hz wide. It is 5 Hz wide when measuring 50 Hz or 2 kHz or 9.4 kHz, etc. A plot of white noise power vs. frequency change is not flat if the measuring device uses a variable width filter. This is known as a fixed percentage bandwidth filter. A common example of which is 1/3-octave wide, which equals a bandwidth of 23%. This means that for every frequency measured the bandwidth of the measuring filter changes to 23% of that new center frequency. For example the measuring bandwidth at 100 Hz is 23 Hz wide, then changes to 230 Hz wide when measuring 1 kHz, and so on. Therefore the plot of noise power vs. frequency is not flat, but shows a 3 dB rise in amplitude per octave of frequency change. Due to this rising frequency characteristic, white noise sounds very bright and lacking in low frequencies
here are the technical details: noise power is actually its power density spectrum - a measure of how the noise power contributed by individual frequency components is distributed over the frequency spectrum. It should be measured in watts/Hz; however it isn't. The accepted practice in noise theory is to use amplitude-squared as the unit of power (purists justify this by assuming a one-ohm resistor load). For electrical signals this gives units of volts-squared/Hz, or more commonly expressed as volts/root-Hertz. Note that the denominator gets bigger by the square root of the increase in frequency. Therefore, for an octave increase (doubling) of frequency, the denominator increases by the square root of two, which equals 1.414, or 3 dB. In order for the energy to remain constant (as it must if it is to remain white noise) there has to be an offsetting increase in amplitude (the numerator term) of 3 dB to exactly cancel the 3 dB increase in the denominator term. Thus the upward 3 dB/octave sloping characteristic of white noise amplitude when measured in constant percentage increments like 1/3-octave
White notationthe variety of musical notation that became common during the period 1450-1600, possibly promoted over the earlier black notation of the Ars Nova because it required less time to write and used less ink. This system of notation is marked by sharp corners and wide and thin pen strokes which derive from cut reed or quill pens of the time, which was carried faithfully into the printed music of the latter two-thirds of that period
White notesnotes with an open notehead, for example a breve (double whole note), a semibreve (whole note), a minim (half note)
the notes produced by the white keys on the piano
Whiting(in gilding) marble dust or powdered gypsum, which in water-gilding is mixed with specific amounts of rabbit skin glue to make gesso
Whitman, Walt (1819-1892)American poet and music critic who taught himself to appreciate European art music after denouncing it in his famous 1854 essay Art-Singing and Heart-Singing. Many of his poems have been set to music
Whithorn(English) primitive oboe-like instrument made from the bark and wood of the willow, named for its association with the Whit-Monday hunt
Whodunita mystery film (or show)
Whole bar rest
traditionally marked with a semibreve rest (whole rest), whatever the time signature (see exception below)
semibreve or whole rest
there is one particular exception to this usage: when the time signature is 4/2 the whole bar rest is the breve (double whole rest)
breve or double whole rest
where several full bar rests occur one after the other they may be collected together and marked with a single semibreve rest (whole rest) over which is written a number indicating the total number of bars for which this period of silence persists, i.e. 2 for two full bars rest, 5 for five full bars rest, and so on
multiple bar rest
Whole consorta term used for an ensemble formed entirely of instruments of one family, for example, a consort of viols
Whole fallsee 'conjunct double appoggiatura'
Whole note
semibrevea semibreve, ganze Note (German), ronde (French)
Whole rest
semibreve resta semibreve rest
Whole shiftsee 'shift'
Whole step(American) a whole tone
Whole tonethe interval of a major second, an interval of two semitones
'Whole-tone, Half-tone, Whole-tone' scalesee 'octatonic scale'
Whole tone scalewhole tone scale
six note scale where the interval between successive notes is a tone (whole step), that lacks a dominant, and either major or minor triads, and was used by Debussy and suggestive of 'impressionism'. In jazz, the scale is associated particularly with Thelonious Monk
wichtigste Frage(German f.) parmount question
Widdershinsin a contrary or counterclockwise direction, as opposed to deasil
Widerhall(German m.) an echo
widerhallen(German) to echo with, to resound with, to reverberate
widerhallend(German) or zurückstrahlend (German), reverberative
widerhallen von(German) to echo, to resound
Widerschein(German m.) reverberation
Widowin printing, a widow is a single short line ending a paragraph but separated from the earlier lines in that paragraph by a page break, thus appearing by itself at the top of the next page or column
wie(German) as, like, as if, in the style of
wie anfänglich(German) as at the beginning
wie auf Kohlen sitzen(German) to be on tenterhooks
wie aus der Ferne(German) as if (heard) from a distance
wie ausgestorben(German) deserted (street)
wie betäubt(German) dazed
wieder(German) again
wieder anfangen(German) to begin again, to recommence
wieder auffüllen(German) to replenish
wieder aufnehmend(German) picking up speed again
wiederbelebend(German) reviving
wieder bewegter(German) again more motion
wieder breit(er)(German) again broad(er)
wieder dasein(German) be back
wieder erweckend(German) risvegliato (Italian), risvegliando (Italian), re-awakening, re-animated, lively, with increased animation, en réveillant (French), réveillé (French)
wieder etwas gehaltener(German) again somewhat more sustained
wieder etwas zurückhaltend(German) again somewhat holding back (tempo)
Wiedergabe(German f.) reproduction, reproduction, rendition, rendering, description, playback
wieder gehalten(German) again sustained
Wiederholung(German f.) repetition (as, for example, in music or poetry), repeat, encore
(German f.) repeat performance
Wiederholungszeichen(German n.) repeat sign; the symbol made up of a pair of vertical lines (one thin and other thicker) across a stave, preceded by or followed by a pair of dots in the second and third space (see Repeat end sign and Repeat start sign)
Wiederklang(German) echo, resounding
wieder langsam(German) again slowly
wieder lebhafter(German) reanimating
Wiederschall(German) echo, resounding
wieder schnell(German) again quick
wieder sehr breit(German) again very broad
wieder starker(German) again stronger
wieder unmerklich bewegter(German) again imperceptibly more motion
wieder unmerklich zurüdkhaltend(German) again imperceptibly holding back
Wiedervorstellung(German f.) re-introduction
wieder zurückhaltend(German) again holding back (tempo)
wie eine Vogelstimme(German) like a bird song
wie ein Marsch(German) in the style of a march, like a march, alla marcia (Italian), dans le caractère d'une marche (French)
wie früher(German) as previously
wie gebannt(German) spellbound
Wiegelied(Dutch) lullaby
wiegend(German) rocking, swaying
Wiegendruck (s.), Wiegendrücke (pl.)(German m., literally cradle-print) a book printed before 1500, an incunable
Wiegenlied (s.), Wiegenlieder (pl.)(German n.) a lullaby, a berceuse, a cradle-song
wie geschrieben(German) as written
wie im Taumel(German) in a daze
wie möglich(German) as possible, le plus possible
Wiener atonale Schule(German f.) second Viennese school
Wienerflageolettthe csakan was associated in Germany with the schulflöte and the Wienerflageolett, corresponding to an instrument in D with only 6 fingering holes and with anything from one to eight keys but no thumb-hole
wienerisch(German) Viennese
Wiener Klassik(German f.) Viennese classicism
Wienerkreuz(German n.) also called the 'cross polka', this simple polka, probably of Austrian origin, was well-known throughout Europe
Wiener Schule(German f.) Viennese school
Wiener Werkstätte-Stil(German) an artists cooperative founded by Joseph Hoffmann and Kolman Moser in Vienna in 1903. It was heavily influenced by the English Arts & Crafts Movement and had close ties to the Vienna Sezession of the Art Nouveau Movement. Their philosophy geared them toward the production of art for the masses, while in actuality most of their products were high priced and found their way into the hands of the wealthy. They are best known for their innovative, pre-cubist, style that utilized beautiful hard geometries. Because of the many artists who worked here their products were not consistent but only related in style. This style was used on a wide range of objects, and had much influence on Art Deco and the Bauhaus in the 1920s and 30s, and in later years on Scandinavian and Italian design. But as their work grew more organic over the years its popularity lessened in the face of newer geometric styles. Before it closed in 1932, the cooperative produced a vast array of finely crafted objects
wie oben(German) as before, as above
wieviel Uhr ist es?(German) what's the time?
wie vorher(German) as before, as first
wie zu Beginn(German) come prima, as at the beginning, as before
wie zum Anfang(German) as at the beginning
wijs houden(Dutch) to keep tune
wijzigen(Dutch) to alter
Wild, Wildlyfierce, feroce (Italian), wild (German), féroce (French)
Wild Goose Chaseone of the figures unique to, or traditionally associated with, square dancing
Wilenotched flute from Ghana
Wilhelmusthe theme song of the 'Beggars' resistance movement which became the Dutch national anthem in 1932. It is one of the oldest anthems in existence, the melody was known from before 1572 as a French Hugenot melody titled 'Charles', and the song first appeared in 1626 in a collection of songs assembled by Adriaan Valerius. Philips van Marnix van Sint Aldegonde is widely credited as the author, but as this is very much in dispute, the author is at this point basically unknown. The resitance movement gained its unusual name after the Regent Margaret of Parma was advised in 1566 that she need not fear a group of petitioning Netherlands nobles since they were 'beggars' (French gueux), the movement eagerly adopted this name (Dutch/Flemish geus), which stuck. In its diverse guises, ranging from a five-voice instrumental arrangement to a satiric dialogue about Spanish prostitutes and soldiers to an elegant vocal setting by Melchior Franck, this song indeed provides a unifying theme both for the music and for its political context. The song's style resembles that of the work of the Rederijkers (rhetoricians), 16th-century companies of poets. For example, the first letters of the 15 verses spell the name Willem van Nassov. The text is also thematically symmetrical, in that verses one and 15 resemble on another in meaning, as do verses two and 14, three and 13, etc., until they converge in the eighth verse, the heart of the song: "Oh David, thou soughtest shelter/From King Saul's tyranny". The words of the song closely resemble the poems in the biblical book of Psalms
Will call carda type of business postcard mailed from a company to potential clients stating that a salesman will soon be calling on them. Originally these cards just contained text but they were eventually illustrated. Will call cards were mostly used in the pioneer era
Wille(German m.) will
Willing suspension of disbelieftemporarily and willingly setting aside our beliefs about reality in order to enjoy the make-believe of a play, a poem, film, or a story
willkürlich(German) arbitrary, despotic, discretionary, gratuitous, highhanded, unethical
Willow(German Weide, French Saule, Dutch Wilg, European Species: Salix alba (and several others) : Average Weight: 30 pounds per cubic foot) Willow is not weather proof. The wood is soft and splits easily, but is tough and fibrous. The wood was used for wooden shoes and baking troughs while the poles and twigs were used for baskets and hurdles
Willow flutelong whistle without finger holes used in the folk music of Sweden and Norway; called seljefløyte in Norwegian and sälgflöjt in Swedish [corrected by Lars Hellvig]
Wilwil'telhuku'pNorth-American duct flute
Wimmin's musicsee 'women's music'
Wind(German m.) wind
Wind bandor 'wind orchestra', an orchestra with no string section apart from the double-bass
the members of the orchestra who play in the 'wind orchestra'
a band formed only of wind instruments
Wind-bellor fuurin, a Japanese bell which is sounded as the wind blows passed it
see 'wind chimes'
Windchestor wind chest, organ pipes sit atop a plain wooden box called the wind chest. When a stop is on, air flows from the reservoir into the box. When notes are played, it uses the air from this box to make the pipes speak
Wind chimes
or wind-bells, a percussion instrument made of hollow wood, bamboo or metal tubes, suspended on a frame, and struck or blown by the wind
wind chimeclochette éolienneWindspiel, Windglockenbacchette di sospesecarillón de viento
metal wind chimebaguette de métal suspendueMetalltubebacchette di metallo sospesecarillón de viento de metal
glass wind chimebaguette de verre suspendueGlasstubebacchette di vetro sospesecarillón de viento de vidrio
bamboo wind chimebambou suspenduBambusrohre
bacchette di bambu sospesocarillón de viento de bambú
shell wind chimebaguette de coquille suspendueMuschel-Windglockenbacchette di conchiglia sospesecarillón de viento de concha
Wind controllersometimes referred to as a "wind synth", or "wind synthesizer"; a wind instrument capable of controlling one or more music synthesizers or other devices. Wind controllers are most commonly played and fingered like a woodwind instrument, usually the saxophone, with the next most common being brass fingering, particularly the trumpet. Models have been produced that play and finger like other acoustic instruments such as the recorder or the tin whistle
Wind couplera valve in the wind trunk of an organ, to shut off, or on, the wind
Wind ensembleknown generically as a 'mixed wind band', this emsemble has gained variety of names including 'wind band', 'wind symphony', 'chamber winds', 'symphonic band', 'symphonic winds', 'wind orchestra' and 'concert band'. There is little standardization in the usage of these names, save that wind ensembles and chamber winds nearly always refer to an ensemble with one player per part (around 45 players), while a symphonic band or wind symphony will often be larger
Windglocken(German f. pl.) wind chimes
Wind-gaugean instrument for testing the wind-pressure in an organ
Windharfe(German f.) wind harp
Wind harpwhen the wind plays a string, it does not play the fundamental tone, but only the series of overtones. That is why the sounds are so high-pitched and fairy-like. On the giant wind harps, the sounds are lower and sound more mysterious than fairy-like because the strings are so long, but the tones are still harmonics of the fundamental pitch of the string
Wind instrumentinstumento da fiato (Italian), Blasinsturment (German), instrument à vent (French), a musical instrument that produces a sound by being blown into, usually made of metal (including brass), plastic or wood although other materials used include ivory, bone, clay and glass
an instrument that produces sound by means of bellows (organ, harmonium, etc.) although the term is more commonly associated with the instruments in the first category described above
Windkapsel(German f.) capsula (Italian f.), copri-ancia (Italian m.), windcap (musical instrument), bocal (French m.), capsule (French f.), cápsula (Spanish f.)
Windkasten(German m.) wind chest
Windlade(German f.) the wind chest, the box underneath the organ that contains the air supply apparatus. Through this and depending on stop selection, the air stream is diverted to the appropriate pipes
Windladenraum(German m.) groove, channel
Wind machinemachine à vent or eoliphone (French), Windmaschine or Aeolophon (German), macchina del vento or eolifono (Italian), máquina de viento (Spanish)
a device that simulates the sound of the wind
Windmaschine(German f.) wind machine
Windmesser(German) anemometer, wind-gauge, a device that shows the air pressure in the wind chest of an organ
Wind MIDI controllerYamaha manufacture their WX5 Wind MIDI Controller that has precise, responsive wind and lip sensors, a choice of single-reed or recorder type mouthpieces, and a range of fingering modes, the WX5 makes expressive wind control more accessible than ever before. The WX5 gives experienced wind players a new medium and vastly expanded sonic possibilities in a familiar format, playable enough for beginners
Wind orchestrasee 'wind band'
Wind quintetmusic for five wind-instruments, usually consisting of one each of flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn
Wind saginstability in an organ pipe due to unsteady wind supply, Schwankung (German f.), Windschwankung (German f.), Windstößigkeit (German f.), houppement (French m.)
Windsaversthe valves in a chromatic harmonica
Windschwankung(German f.) also Schwankung (German f.), Windstößigkeit (German f.), wind sag (instability in an organ pipe due to unsteady wind supply), houppement (French m.)
Windstößigkeit(German f.) also Schwankung (German f.), Windschwankung (German f.), wind sag (instability in an organ pipe due to unsteady wind supply), houppement (French m.)
Wind-trunkin an organ, the means of taking air from the bellows to the wind-chest
Windwayair-passage (in a musical instrument particularly a duct flute), camera d'aria (Italian f.), Kernspalt (German m.), canal pour l'air (French m.), canal de viento (Spanish m.)
Windwerk(German) or Balgwerk, that part of the organ that provides the wind
Wingsthe sides of a theatre stage
wint.abbreviation of 'winter'
Winter Revelsparticularly in the late-medieval and early modern England, festivities in association with Holy Innocents', New Year and Twelfth Night
Wipfel(German m.) stop, treetop
Wipfelrauschen(German n.) sound of the wind in the tree tops
Wirbel(German m.) drum roll
(German m.) tuning peg (on a stringed instrument), tuning pin (on a keyboard instrument), pirolo (Italian m.), pirolo caviglia (Italian m.), bischero (Italian m.), cheville (French f.), clavija (Spanish f.)
(German m.) drumstick
(German m.) the stopper in a closed organ pipe
Wirbel aus Einzelschlägen(German m.) single beat roll (on a drum)
Wirbelkasten(German m.) pegbox, that part of the neck of a stringed instrument which contains the pegs, cavigliera (Italian f.), cassetta dei piroli (Italian f.), cassa dei bischeri (Italian f.), chevillier (French m.), clavijero (Spanish m.)
Wirbel mit dem Daumen(German m.) thumb roll
wirbelnd(German) rolling
wirbeln die Trommel(German) beat the drum
Wirbeltrommel(German f.) tenor drum
Wire brusha type of drum stick with a fan of stiff wires
Wiri(Bonaire) metal scraper
(Maori) the wiri ('quivering of the hands') is a fundamental part of Maori movement. Displayed in haka, it makes the movements deceptive, which is essential to the art of combat
Wirtschaftswunder, das(German n.) the economic miracle (the rapid economic recovery of West Germany after the Second World War)
Wisch(German m.) piece of paper
wischen(German) to wipe, to wash, to slip, to scurry
Wischlappen(German m.) cloth, floor-cloth
Wish fulfillmentin psychoanalytic criticism, wish fulfillment refers to something in literature that satisfies the conscious or subconscious desires of either the creator or the reader of a work
wispern(German) to whisper
wispernd(German) whispering
Wisselnoot(Dutch) changing note
Wisseltoon(Dutch) neighbouring note
Wissen(German n.) knowledge
wissen(German) known
Wissenschaft(German m.) science, knowledge
Wissenschaftler(German m.) adademic, scientist
wissenschaftlich(German) academic, scientific, academically, scientifically
wissenschaftliches Buch(German n.) scientific book
wissenswert(German) worth knowing
wissentlich(German) deliberate, knowingly
Wisset Lodge
a fruit farming scheme that took concientious objectors in WW1, including Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant and Vannesa Bell
Witin modern vernacular, the word wit refers to elements in a literary work designed to make the audience laugh or feel amused, i.e., the term is used synonymously with humor. In seventeenth-century usage, the term wit much more broadly denotes originality, ingenuity, and mental acuity - especially in the sense of using paradoxes, making clever verbal expressions, and coining concise or deft phrases
Witch's familiarin the eyes of medieval and Renaissance churchmen, and in much of medieval and Renaissance literature, it was a common belief that witches kept familiars. These familiars were thought to be demonic spirits masquerading as small animals - perhaps a black cat, goat, dog, or toad
Withcon (Italian), mit (German), avec (French)
With agilityin a quick-moving, nimble or active manner, con agilità (Italian), mit Leichtigkeit (German), avec agilité (French)
With emotionwith a strong instinctive feeling such as love or fear, con affetto (Italian), affettuoso (Italian), mit Empfindung (German), avec émotion (French)
With emphasiswith vigour or intensity of expression, feeling, etc. (for example, with a stress laid on a word, syllable or, in music, a note or group of notes, to make clear or show importance of a particular feature of the text or music), con enfasi (Italian), mit Nachdruck (German), avec emphase (French)
With energywith vigour, con energia (Italian), energico (Italian), energisch (German), avec énergie (French)
With expressionexpressively, con espressione (Italian), affettuoso (Italian), mit Gefühl (German), expressif (French m.), expressive (French f.)
With feelingcon sentimento (Italian), mit Gefühl (German), avec sentiment (French)
With forcecon forza (Italian), mit Kraft (German), avec force (French)
With griefcon dolore (Italian), con duolo (Italian), mit Schmerz (German), avec douleur (French)
With humourcon umore (Italian), mit Humor (German), capricieux (French m.), capricieuse (French f.), fantastique (French)
"Within"in the stage directions for Shakespeare's plays, a "noise within" indicates offstage sound effects such as shouts, drums, and trumpets. These noises were produced typically in the tiring-house
With one voiceunanimously
Withoutsenza (Italian), ohne (German), sans (French)
Without draggingwithout delaying the beat, senza rallentare (Italian), nicht schleppend (German), sans traîner (French)
Without mouthpieceextended technique possible on some wind-instruments, where the mouthpiece is removed and the player blows into barrel. A more effective technique, again only on certain woodwind instruments, is to 'buzz' the lips and produce notes as if it were a trumpet - in this way it is possible to play tunes over a range of about an octave
Without mutessenza sordine (Italian), ohne Dämpfer (German), ôtez les sourdines (French)
With soulcon anima (Italian), mit Gefühl (German), avec âme (French)
With the left handcolla sinistra (Italian), mit der linken Hand (German), avec la main gauche (French)
With the right handcolla destra (Italian), mit der rechten Hand (German), avec la main droîte (French)
With the solo partcolla parte (Italian), mit dem solo Part (German)
With the solo voicecolla voce (Italian), mit der Singstimme (German), avec la voix (French)
With weightpesante (Italian), ponderoso (Italian), gewichtig (German), avec poids (French), pesant (French)
founded by Irene Champernowne, 'The Jungian Community for the Healing Arts', a pioneer therapeutic community, treated 240 adults between 1942 and 1954 in a residential Devon setting supported by the Elmhurst's of Dartington Hall
Wivernsee 'wyvern'
WKOalso K or Kn, reference to the catalogue of music by Karl Friedrich Abel (1723-1787) prepared by Walter Knape (b.1906)
WMAdeveloped by Microsoft, 'Windows Media Audio' (WMA) is a sound-file format that is even smaller than MP3. WMA offers near-CD-quality sound at an encoding rate of only 64kbps (as opposed to MP3's 128kbps), cutting the file size in half. Optional copyright protection is included in the WMA code, allowing the owner to restrict the use of protected material
WNOabbreviation of 'Welsh National Opera'
Wobbleexcessive vibrato
Wobble boardan instrument popularized by the Australian musician and artist Rolf Harris and featured in his best-known song Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. A wobble board, like some other musical instruments, can be ornately decorated as its large surface area can act as a canvas without detracting from its musical capability
Woche(German f.) week
Woche über, die(German) during the week
heute über eine Woche (German: a week today)
Wode(Northern Issan, Thailand) pan flute that comes both in linear and circular forms
wogend(German) undulating, ondeggiando (Italian) undulating (vibrato), wavering, ondoyant (French)
wohlgefällig(German) pleasant, pleasantly
Wohlklang(German m.) music, musicality
wohlklingend(German) musical, harmonious
wohltemperiert, wohltemperierte(German, Dutch) well-tempered
Wohltemperierte Klavier, Dasthe best known of Bach's clavier works is the famous set of preludes and fugues called The Well-Tempered Clavier. Part I was completed at Cöthen in 1722, and Part II was completed at Leipzig around 1740. Each part consists of twenty-four preludes and fugues, one prelude and one fugue in each of the twelve major and minor keys. Part I is more unified in style and purpose than Part II, which includes compositions from many different periods of Bach's life. In addition to demonstrating the possibility, with the then novel tempered tuning, of using all the keys, Bach had particular intentions to teach in Part I. In most of the preludes a single specific technical task is given the player; thus they might be called, in the terminology of a later age, études, for which some of Bach's little preludes (BWV 933-943) as well as all the two-part inventions and the three-part sinfonias may be regarded as preliminary studies. The teaching aims of The Well-Tempered Clavier go beyond mere technique, however, for the preludes exemplify different types of keyboard composition of the late Baroque. The fugues, wonderfully varied in subjects, texture, form, and treatment, constitute a compendium of all the possibilities of concentrated, monothematic fugal writing. The ancient ricercare is represented (Book I, No. 4 in C sharp minor), as well as the use of inversion, canon, and augmentation (No. 8, E flat minor), virtuosity in a fugue with a da capo ending (No. 3, C sharp major), and many other styles. In Part II, the Fugue in D major (No. 5) may be mentioned as a superlative example of concentrated abstract musical structure using the simplest materials, while the Prelude and Fugue in F sharp minor (No. 14) is outstanding for beauty of themes and proportions. As in the organ fugues, each subject in Bach's clavier figures is a clearly defined musical personality, of which the entire fugue is to be a logical development and projection.
Woka round bottomed type frying pan used extensively in Chinese cuisine
Wölbung(German f.) arching, bombatura (Italian f.), voûte (French f.)
Wolfor 'wolf note', a false note on a stringed instrument, the result of an unintentional resonant response
a harsh, howling sound of some chords on an organ or piano tuned to one of the unequal temperaments
in tuning theory, an interval too false to be musically useful. The point at which this happens depends on what the hearers are used to and what they are prepared to tolerate. For thirds, we usually take the deviation of the Pythagorean third as the limit (i.e. about 22 cents) whole for fifths, half a syntonic comma, (i.e. 11 cents) is about the limit. These numbers are 'guessed' from what we know of old temperaments, i.e. what appears to have been accepted at some time in the past. However, this is not to say that such limits are acceptable to modern ears
the term, "Wolf" (in all Germanic languages?) referred to the "howling" sound produced by an out-of-tune, untempered interval (I believe originally on the organ), as David explains. This is a relatively straightforward problem of tuning. Another useage of the term (at least in English) - as in "a wolf", "wolf-note", "wolf-tone" - also the verb gerund, "wolfing", etc. - refers to a single note which produces inherently dissonant partials. This is rather common with harpsichords, particularly antique ones with thin soundboards, but it does occur with lutes and, I think, clavichords, manifesting, however, in a rather different manner. I am more experienced with lutes, so I'll speak of them. Harpsichords, virginals, etc. amplify the vibration of thin wire strings; they sustain well and produce prominent upper partials, so if the latter are out of tune with each other, the effect is very noticeable, and "sticks out" ("howls") disturbingly in playing. (I know of instances in which an otherwise excellent instrument has been sold at a loss because of a wolf on a prominent note or notes; one which stubbornly resisted correction.) On lutes the same problem can occur, but as a lute sustains rather less well and produces fewer prominent high partials, the effect is less striking immediately. Nonetheless, it still can be sufficiently bothersome to cause customer dissatisfaction and eventual rejection, sale, partial loss of reputation for the maker, depression, compulsive fantasies of career change, etc. Lutes don't "howl", per se, but they can produce, alternatively, "dead" notes, or "hot" or "poppy" notes, especially on the all-important highest string, and this can be a nasty and elusive problem to remedy
comment made by Joel van Lennep writing to the Yahoo clavichord group
Wolf fifthwhen the twelve notes within the octave are tuned using meantone temperament, one of the fifths will be much sharper than the rest. The notes that meantone temperament was normally based around meant that the interval G# to Eb will be this anomalous interval. This interval is known as a diminished sixth, which is meant to be the enharmonic equivalent to a fifth, however the interval did not sound the same as the other fifths: it was severely augmented and dissonant, and seemed to 'howl' like a wolf. This anomalous interval thus came to be called the 'wolf fifth'. By extension, any interval which in like manner is regarded as 'howling' may be called a wolf
Wolf muteon the cello, a wolf mute is often attached to the G-string between the bridge and the tailpiece. This does not change the timbre of the instrument on the whole, but helps to eliminate the wolf note which is found on many cellos around a sixth or seventh above the open G-string
Wolf notesee 'wolf'
Wolfton(German m.) wolf, wolf note (in music)
Wolgeuma Korean moon shaped mandolin
Wolno(Polish) loose, slowly
found as a directive in The Elephant from The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns
Women's musicalso 'womyn's music' or 'wimmin's music', the music by women, for women, and about women
Womyn's musicsee 'women's music'
Wonky technoa relatively new term for a style of techno music that is based around breaking from a formulaic 4-4 beat structure and experimenting with new sounds and rhythms. The sound is often distorted, stuttering, broken and warped, with a lot of influence from breakbeat and electro. At one end of the scale wonky techno can be very funky music well-suited to the dancefloor; at the other end it can be very experimental and abstract
WoOacronym for Werk ohne Opuszahl (German n. - oeuvre sans numéro d'opus (French)), meaning 'work without opus number (applied to a work that has not been published during the composer's lifetime)
Wooda naturally occuring product of trees and large shrubs
when discussing the expansion and contraction of wood, the three axes of movement are defined:
tangential directionwhich is along the curve of the tree rings
radial directionwhich is across the rings, or through the diameter of the tree
axial directionwhich is along the length of the trunk
as wood is generally handled in the form of boards this means that:
for a plainsawn boardthe tangential direction is across the width of the face and the radial direction is through the thickness
for a quartersawn boardthe tangential direction is through the thickness and the radial direction is across the width of the board
Wood, acoustics ofthe behaviour of wood as characterised by its mechanical and acoustical properties (for example, its behaviour as a medium for the transmission or reflection of mechanical waves), including any anisotropy, which would consider wood in all its states from the natural timber in a tree to when it has been sawn and dried prior to its use in musical instrument manufacture
Wood bloc(French m.) or bloc de bois, temple block, Chinese block
Wood blocktemple block, Chinese block, bloc de bois (French), Holzblock (German), blocco di legno (Italian), bloque de madera (Spanish)
usually a rectangular block of wood with a deep narrow slit in it, the centre and edges above the surface immediately above the slit providing the best beating spots
Woodburytypean early method of reproducing photographs patented by Walter Bentley Woodbury in 1864, an attempt to solve the problem of fading by creating a printed image almost identical to that of a photograph. It was a very expensive reproductive method and woodburytypes were only used in high quality books as paste-ins
Woodcocka small migratory game bird related to the snipe and sandpiper
Wood engravinga relief printing method in which the polished end grains of hardwoods are engraved to create an image. Specially crafted burins are used to gouge wood out of its block in a manner more reminiscent of metal engraving than of woodcut. Only here it is the surface areas that will print while the incised lines remain white. Because of the hardness of the block, and its lack of directional grain, wood engraving could reproduce pictures with very fine details, but only in solid tones. All gradations were created optically, usually by engraving a series of parallel lines. Because these wood blocks could be surfaced rolled and were durable, it allowed them to be used in the letterpress process. When used together it is known as xylogrophy
Woodwind (instrument)instrumento da fiato (Italian), Holzblasinstrument (German), wind instrument usually made of wood, or formerly made of wood even if now made of metal, plastic or some other material
in an orchestra, the players of the instruments that make up the woodwind section
in America, a woodwind quintet or woodwind choir may include the French horn, but the French horn is actually a member of the family of brass instruments
Woodwind doublesprofessional saxophone players are expected to double on a number of other woodwind instruments. A woodwind specialist, besides playing all the saxophones, flutes, and clarinets, may also play oboe, English horn, bassoon, alto flute, or recorder
Woodwind quinteta standard configuration consists of one player each on flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn
Wooferpart of a speaker system designed to handle the low frequency parts of the signal
Woolf, Virgina (1882-1941)experimental writer and leading member of the Bloomsbury Group (or Circle) of writers and artists. She had a brief affair with the composer Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) also a member of the Group
"Novels," she repeated. "Why do you write novels? You ought to write music." Rachel Vinrace's advice to Terence Hewet shows that the relationship between music and text was an important concern for Virginia Woolf beginning with her very first novel. Her active interest in music influenced her writings in significant ways throughout her career. In 1940, she was writing to Elizabeth Trevelyan: "Its [sic] odd, for I'm not regularly musical, but I always think of my books as music before I write them" (Letters, VI, 425)
Woolhouse unit1/730 part of an octave, proposed by Wesley S.B. Woolhouse in his 1835 Essay on musical intervals. This measure was chosen because in 730-tone equal temperament, the basic intervals of pure fifth of 3/2 and major third of 5/4 (and any combinations) are very accurate, 427.023 and 235.008 Woolhouse units respectively
Woordenboek(Dutch) dictionary
Woord vooraf(Dutch) preface
woord vervolgd(Dutch) to be continued
Wordless functional analysisan analytical method associated with Hans Keller (1919-1985) in which a large musical work is shown, purely be listening to extracts from it, to be built up from a number of cell-like motifs or ideas
Wordless hummingsee 'hum', 'humming'
Wordless singinga term that covers various song forms from a wide range of cultures. The simplest form of 'wordless singing' is that associated with those who sing a song but don't know the words. Where the singer's mouth is closed and the tone is small, it is called 'humming'. The effect is used in the Humming Chorus from Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly. Forms where the mouth is open, and that use various syllables, vowels or consonants, include 'vocalise' (or 'vocalize'), vocable, niggun (Hasidic chant), vuelie (Sami story-telling songs that can include passages of wordless singing), and similar wordless-chanting of the North American Indian and certain African cultures, often associated with shamanism. Finally there is a long tradition of singing that uses 'nonsense' words, among which 'scat singing' is the best known. In the jazz idiom the London-based Polish-born composer, vocalist and pianist, Jarmila Xymena Gorna has developed a very unusual wordless singing technique for her album, Hashgachah (2004) which combines techniques drawn from Balkan, Jewish and Middle-Eastern traditions
Word musicthe science or art of combining notes (tones) into a composition having structure and continuity
Word paintingalso called 'tone painting' or 'text painting', the musical depiction of words in text, so that the music tries to imitate the emotion, action, or adjectival description in the text, a device used often in madrigals and other works of the Renaissance
Word playa literary technique in which the nature of the words used themselves become part of the subject of the work. Puns, phonetic mixups such as spoonerisms, obscure words and meanings, clever rhetorical excursions, oddly formed sentences, and telling character names are common examples of word play
  • Word play from which this extract has been taken
Word settingsee 'syllabic' and 'melismatic'
Words of institutionthe words of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament used in some forms of Christian liturgy to consecrate the Eucharist
Workopus (Italian/Latin), Werk (German), oeuvre (French)
Work callsin the US, calls or songs that were chanted by peddlers in Northern and Southern cities
Worked upincalzando (Italian), risvegliato (Italian), zunehmend (German), en animant (French)
Working lega term used by dancers and teachers to denote the leg that is executing a given movement while the weight of the body is on the supporting leg
Working-outsee 'development'
Work numbersimilar to opus numbers, work numbers are numbers assigned to a composer's works to place them in chronological order. Unlike opus numbers, work numbers are usually assigned by a scholar engaged in the cataloguing of a composer's works rather than by the composers themselves, and often vary considerably in format depending upon the system used by the scholar (for example, work numbers assigned to the works of Telemann are in the format TWV 41:a15, those for Haydn in the format H. VIId, 15, etc.)
Work song(English, Worksong (German m.)) a song performed by individuals or, more often, groups involved in certain types of manual work where the rhythmic nature of the music improves the efficiency of the effort. Many such songs employ the 'call-and-response' format
WORLDCATan immense database of bibliographic records collectively created by library cataloguers for the past three decades via the nonprofit agency OCLC
World EnglishEnglish as used worldwide or internationally and the common features of this international English
World musicmusic where influences from more that one cultural tradition intermingle, first made popular in the 1980s. Originally, the term 'world music' was applied to one of varieties of African light music, that combined elements from the indigenous culture with non-traditional types of instrumentation, melodic forms and rhythms. Later on, the notion of world music was extended to music from any non-Western culture that possessed strong ethnic elements
World musicologysee 'ethnomusicology'
World soulin philosophy, term denoting a universal spirit or soul that functions as an organizing principle. While many early Greek philosophers saw the world as of one principle, Plato was the first to state that this concept held the same relation to the world as the human soul did to the body. Friedrich Wilhelm Josef von Schelling used the term as a unifying principle, coordinating the organic and the inorganic in life. World soul is prominent in Asian philosophy. Hinduism is a religion whose theoretical basis is a world soul, called Brahman
World Soundscape Projectmotivated by a concern for the quality of the sonic environment, the WSP was formed in the late 1960s by R. Murray Shafer, Barry Truax, and others at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Truax described the goals as "to document and archive soundscapes, to describe and analyze them, and to promote increased public awareness through listening and critical thinking".
Worldviewabstract cultural aspects that give value, meaning, and order to the experiences of a folk group, often embodied in folklife
Wormwooda strong-smelling plant with white or yellow flowers used in the Middle Ages as an aid to healthful digestion; the expression "as bitter as wormwood" attests to the extreme bitterness of all parts of the plant
Worshipful Company of Musiciansone of the Livery Companies of the City of London. In 1500, the Fellowship of Minstrels was granted incorporation as the Musicians' Company by the Lord Mayor of the City of London; the Company was given the right to regulate all musicians within the City. Thereafter, the Company received a Royal Charter in 1604. However, the Charter was revoked in 1634, at the behest of the Musicians' rivals, the King's Minstrels. Another Charter was granted centuries later in 1950
[entry prompted by Michael Zapf]
Wort(German n.) word
Wortauslassung(German f.) the omission of words, in poetry to improve sentence rhythm or to avoid repetition, thus creating fragmentary sentences
Worte(German n. pl.) words, lyrics
Wörterbuch(German n.) dictionary
see Lexikon
Wortgestalt(German f.) word form
Wortstellung(German f.) word order
Wortverwechslung(German f.) a malapropism
Wortwahl(German f.) word choice
Wotquennesee Wq
Wound-rainalso called blood-rain, this is a supernatural motif common in Old Norse sagas in which a rain of blood - sometimes boiling - falls on a ship or field, or, alternatively, an unattended and clean weapon spontaneously begins to drip blood
Wove papera writing paper with a uniform surface, not ribbed or watermarked. The papermaking mould's wires run parallel to each other to produce laid paper, but they are woven together into a fine wire mesh for wove paper
WoW(German, abbreviation of Werk ohne Opuszahl meaning 'a work without an opus number') indicating works that were either unpublished or were not assigned an opus number by the composer
WPAacronym for the 'Works Progress Administration', a key part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, providing economic relief to American citizens during the Great Depression. Approved in 1935, the WPA created jobs in construction and skilled labour, in addition to its cultural programs to support visual and performing arts
Wqafter Alfred Wotquenne (1867-1939) who, in 1905, catalogued the works of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788), and also catalogued the music of Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)
Wrap(in the film business) phrase used by the director in the early days of the film industry to signal the end of filming. Nowadays, the call is more commonly "that's a wrap!"
a cloak that is folded or wrapped around a person
arrange or fold as a cover or protection
Wrapping tissuea translucent, thin tissue paper used for wrapping and cushioning items
Wrenched accentnormally, a word like body typically has a strong stress on the first syllable and a weaker stress on the second syllable. However, the overwhelming pattern of surrounding meter can come into conflict with this natural stress pattern and even overwhelm it
Wrestan old name for a tuning hammer
Wrest pin or tuning pin, pirolo caviglia (Italian m.), Stimmnagel (German m.), cheville (French f.), clavija (Spanish f.)
a threaded pin with square or oblong head upon which the end of a harpsichord or piano string is wound. It is driven into the wrestplank and is turned in tuning the string
Wrest plankthe heavy hardwood block set across a harpsichord or piano (behind the name board) into which the wrestpins are driven
Wrest plank blocksthe blocks glued to the side of the case on which the wrest planks of some harpsichords are mounted
Wrijftrommel(Dutch) friction drum
Wrist clonusrhythmic contractions and relaxations of the muscles of the forearm excited by a forcible passive extension of the hand
Wrist-guidea part of the 'chiroplast', invented by Logier, to assit young pianists in keeping the wrist in a proper position
Wrist vibratosee 'vibrato'
Writing papera type of paper of which is used to write hand-written letters, and is also called notepaper. One of the most expensive types of writing paper is laid paper. Writing paper is uncoated, sized paper, white or coloured, suitable for writing by both liquid and dry ink pens, must neither bleed nor strike through
Written keycertain musical instruments do not play the notes that are notated on the parts written for them. These instruments are called 'transposing instruments'. To sound in a certain 'concert key', their parts have to be notated in a different 'written key'
Written rootthe lowest tone of a chord when arranged in thirds, as opposed to the 'sounding root' in Italian and German sixth chords
Wusee wên and wu
WuaAfrican end-blown flute
WuankaraChinese bamboo pipe
Wubalahighest-pitched of Ghanaian Wile flutes
Wu-ch'angtraditional percussion used in Chinese opera
wuchtig(German) weighty, ponderous, emphasised
Wulst(German m.) barrel socket (in a wind instrument), barilotto (Italian m.), Birne (German f.), barillet (French m.), baril (French f.), barrilete (Spanish m.)
wunderbar(German) wonderful, marvellous
Wunderkind (s.), Wunderkinder (pl.)(German n.) an infant prodigy
Wunsch (nach)(German m.) wish, desire (for), request
Wunschbild(German n.) an ideal
Wunschdenken(German n.) wishful thinking
Wunschgedanke(German m.) a wishful thought
wunschgemäß(German) as desired, as requested
Wunschkonzert(German n.) a musical request programme
wunschlos glücklich(German) perfectly happy
Wunschpartnerin(German f.) ideal partner
Wunschprogramm(German n.) a requests programme
Wunschtraum(German m.) a daydream, a pipedream
Wunsch war Vater des Gedankens, der(German) the wish is father to the thought
Wunschzettel(German m.) a wish-list
Wunschzustand(German m.) ideal situation, perfect equilibrium
Würde(German f.) dignity
würdig(German) dignified, stately
würdevoll(German) dignified, stately
Wurstfagott(German n.) rankett (Italian m.), racket, rocchetta (Italian f.), Rankett (German n.), Stockfagott (German n.), racket (French m.), cervelas (French m.)
Wurzel(German) root
Wut(German f.) rage, fury
wütend(German) raging, furious, frantic
Wuth(German f.) rage, fury
wüthend(German) raging, furious, frantic
wüthig(German) raging, furious, frantic, furiously, frantically
wütig(German) raging, furious, frantic, furiously, frantically
Wuyin paigusee paigu
WVWagenseil-Verzeichnis catalogue of the orchestral works of Georg Christoph Wagenseil (1715-1777) prepared by Helga Schölz-Michelitsch
catalogue of music by Heinrich Scheidemann (c.1595-1663) prepared by Werner Breig
[entry corrected by Eberhard Sengpiel]
wwabbreviation of 'woodwind'
WWVWagner-Werke-Verzeichnis catalogue of the works of Richard Wagner (1813-1883) by John Deathridge, Martin Geck and Egon Voss (b.1937)
referring to the catalogue prepared by Günther Gründsteudel of music by Erna Woll (b.1917)
Wynnor wyn, a letter shape used in writing Middle English, which represented the "w" sound in words like wonder or way
Wyrdoften translated as fate, wyrd is an Anglo-Saxon term that embodies the concept of inevitability in Old English poetry. Unlike destiny, in which one imagines looking forward into the future to see the outcome of one's life, wyrd appears to be linked to the past
Wyvernor wivern, a fire-breathing dragon used in medieval heraldry that had the head of a dragon and the tail of a snake and a body with wings and two legs