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Musical Terms Beginning With F

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

Fanfare

A flourish of trumpets, or other instruments imitating a group of trumpets making an announcement.

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Fantasia

An instrumental composition whose form and invention spring ‘solely from the fantasy and skill of the author who created it’ (Luis de Milán, 1535–6).

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Fiddle

Another word for violin.

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Finale

Italian for “end.” The final part of a piece of music.

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Flat

A symbol put in front of a written note in a piece of music to lower it by one half step.

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Flute

A thin woodwind instrument held sideways to the mouth. It is played by blowing across the mouthpiece. The notes are played by pressing small keys.

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Flutist

A person who plays the flute.

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Form

The pattern of a piece of music.

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Forte

Italian for “loud.”

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Fortepiano

The ancestor of today’s piano. The name comes from the fact that a player could play both loud (forte) and soft (piano).

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Fortissimo

Italian for “very loud.”

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French Horn

A brass wind instrument with a conical bore (tube) that’s bent into a circle, a funnel-shaped mouthpiece, and a wide bell. The modern French horn has valves that allow it to play a complete chromatic scale.

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Fugue

A composition with two or more voices or parts, in which the melody (called the subject), is played by one voice/part and then replayed and modified by the other voices/parts. There are usually from two to five voices or parts.

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