Musical Terms Beginning With B

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Bagatelle

A short, lively piece of music, usually for piano.

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Bagpipe

An instrument that makes sound by the player pushing air from a bag into pipes on the bag. The bag is held under the players arm, and is filled with air by blowing into a pipe. The air comes out of different pipes and the player can cover holes on the pipes to make different notes.

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Ballad

A slow song that tells a story.

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ballet

A theatrical performance that tells a story using music, costumes, sets, and dance.

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Balofon

A gourd-resonated xylophone, originally from West Africa.

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Banjo

A string instrument that is like a guitar, but smaller and round. A banjo has five strings, and they make different notes when plucked.

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Bar

A measure.

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Barcarole

A boating song from Venice that sounds like the rhythm of rowing a boat.

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Baritone

A deep male voice, lower than tenor and higher than bass.

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Baroque

The period of music from around 1600 to 1750. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel were famous Baroque composers.

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Bass

The lowest male voice. The word bass is also used to describe the lowest instruments.

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Bass Clef

The bass clef is the bottom five lines in a piece of music, which make the lowest notes. The sign for the bass clef is a backward C followed by two dots.

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Bass Drum

The largest drum. It stands upright and is hit on the side. It is used in both orchestras and marching bands.

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Bassoon

A long, narrow woodwind instrument with a double reed. Blowing in it makes the reed move quickly and makes sound. The sound can be changed by opening and closing small holes on the sides.

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Baton

A stick used by conductors to guide the musicians or singers.

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Beat

The regular rhythmic pattern of music. Time is counted in music by using beats.

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Bells

A collection of bells that are worn, often around the ankle of a traditional dancer

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Binary Form

A piece of music in two different sections.

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Biwa

A Japanese short-necked lute, often used in narrative storytelling.

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Bourrée

A quick French dance.

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Bow

A stick with horsehair stretched along it, that is used to play instruments like the violin.

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Brass

Family of wind instruments made of metal with a cup-shaped mouthpiece (the part you blow in). Examples of brass instruments are the trumpet, trombone and tuba.

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