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Choose the letter which begins musical term that you would like to learn about:


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

D
Second note of the C major scale. An abbreviation for da, dal or destra.

Da capo, D. C.
Return to the beginning.

Dal
"From the," "by the."

Dal segno, D. S.
SegnoRepeat from the sign. Frequently followed by al Fine.

Dal segno al Fine
SegnoRepeat from the sign. Then end at the word Fine.

Damp
Damp Stop the sound.


Damper pedal
On pianos, the pedal on the right side. It lifts the dampers from the strings.

D dur
Key of D major.

Deceptive cadence
Chordal progression dominant (V) to a chord other than the expected tonic.

Decrescendo
Decrescendo Gradually softer. Synonymous with diminuendo.

Degree
One of the eight consecutive tones in a major or minor scale.

Delicato
Delicately.

Destra
Right, right hand.

Di
Of, with.

Diminished
The term for an interval which has been decreased from the major by two half steps and from the perfect by one half step, e.g. c-aDouble flat, diminished sixth, or c-gFlat, a diminished fifth. Also used for a triad which has a minor third and a diminished fifth, e.g. cFlat, c-eFlat, gFlat.

Diminuendo, dim
Gradually softer. Synonymous with decrescendo.

Diminution
The shortening of note values; the opposite of augmentation.

Dirge
A piece that is performed at a funeral or memorial service.

Disjunct
The term used to describe intervals larger than a second; the opposite of conjunct.

Dissonance
Sounds of unrest, e.g. intervals of seconds and sevenths; the opposite of consonance.

Divisi, div
An indication of divided musical parts.

D mol
Key of D minor.

Do
The first degree of the major scale.

Dolce
Sweetly.

Dolcissimo
Very sweetly.

Doloroso
Sadly; mournfully.

Dominant
The fifth degree of the major or minor scale. Also, the term for the triad built on the fifth degree, labelled V in harmonic analysis.

Dotted Notes
A dot (.) placed to the right of any note increases the value of that note by half the original value.

In 4/4 time:
Dotted eighth note is equal to 3 quarters of a beat orEighth noteplus a Sixteenth note and rest
Dotted quarter note is equal to one and a half beats orQuarter noteplus an Eighth note
Dotted half note is equal to three counts orHalf noteplus a Quarter note

Double bar
Double barTwo vertical lines placed on the staff to indicate the end of a section or a composition. Also, used with two dots to enclose repeated sections.
Double flat
Double flat A symbol for lowering pitch one step.

Double sharp
Double sharp A symbol for raising pitch one step.

Double tonguing
On flute and brass instruments, the technique of rapidly articulating notes by using the front and the back of the tongue in alternation (t-k-t-k-t-k).

Down beat
The first beat; given by the conductor with a downward stroke.

Down bow
DownbowIn the violin family, drawing the bow downward from its frog.

Du
"From the," "of the."

Duet
A piece for two performers.

Duplet
Duplet A group of two notes performed in the time of three of the same kind.

Dynamics
Varying degrees of loud and soft.


Welcome to the O'Connor Music Studio Web Page! Welcome to the O'Connor Music Studio Web Page!


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


Some definitions and terms excerpted from
Belwin Pocket Dictionary of Music: Music Theory Dictionary
By Dr. William Lee
Students may purchase a copy for home use at cost
A line of music

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