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Italian Musical Terms and the Definitions in Their English Equivalents

bagetelle - (french) literally a trifle, a short whimsical music composition, generally written for piano

bar - a bar-line, | , used to separate the measures or metered patterns.
Most North American and European modern music uses this measured system .
Dividing music into metered patterns offers an ordered approach for composers and musicians alike.

barcarolle - a Venetian boatman's song, also a vocal and or instrumental composition
Always in a very laid back or leisurely 6/8 or 12/8 time with an undulating accompaniment.

barocco - eccentric, bizarre

baroque - In Architecture , an elaborate and grandiose style of decoration.
In music, an artistic period during the 17th to 18th century, sometimes referred to as the early music period.
Early in the Baroque Music period some of the noted composers were, Monteverdi, Lully, Couperin and Corelli.
Near the end of this period noted composers were, Bach, Handel Purcell, Rameau and Vivaldi.
All are considered to be some of the fathers of the early music period and are associated with the Baroque period.
It was an artistic period for music, with a great flowering of instrumental music.
Some of the styles of music written in this period are the gavotte, minuet, and the sarabande
Suites were composed by Bach or rather a form of.
The French name Suite (Suivre) meaning to follow were a succession of pieces based upon dance forms.

bassa - low, deep

basso - the bass part, the lowest male voice

basso continuo - a bass that is figured to indicate the harmony

battery - no this is not a battery for your car, but rather it is the percussive
section of a orchestra or a band.

baton - the light tapered slender rod ( has been made from various materials; plastic
wood, metal,) used by conductors of orchestras to enable players a visual aid during rehearsals or performances.

ben, bene -- well, good

bene placito -- at will, at pleasure

ben mareato -- well marked or accented

berceuse - French for lullaby, instrumental compositions of a subdued, quiet quality

binary -- two-fold; binary form - a form of two divisions or sections

bis - twice, (the passage is to be repeated); most commonly indicated as follows as well with the sign or symbol:||

DC or Da Capo repeat form the head or beginning of composition

blues - ( Just a note here, bluette is French for a short brillant piece, Word literally means to spark or flash, is it possible the French influence in the Deep South contributed to the "Blues" name?)
An early and rudimentry Jazz Style, more like a type of song divided into sections of twelve bars. (or 16,24 32)
The blues have a set harmony with riffs or improvisation added on top of the basic progression.

boogie woogie - a blues style of music which evolved from the Deep South, Mississippi Basin area
Could be used in a 12, 16 or 32 bar progression in a I-IV-I-V-I format.
The Bass Line is the dominant character, where variations of a sequence of the I-IV-I-V-I format.
Rhythmic variations are also used to enhance and augment the progression. In piano the Boogie Woogie had a Ostinato (continous, unceasing or specific melodic figure) Left hand part

bourdon - a bass tone which is held for a lenghty time. It is generally a droning quality. This is an instrumental string or perhaps a flute like pipe instrument to play this type of tone.

broken chord - an arpegiatted chord, where the notes are played one after another. ie C E G C

burden - a refrain based upon nonsensical syllables, such as fa la la la la or fee fie foe fum.

bravura - spirit, skill

breve - a double whole note equal to two semi-breves or whole notes

brillante - bright,, sparkling

brio - vigor, spirit

buffa, buffo - comic, humorous

burlando - in a playful manner

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Music Glossary added to and updated Sept 21 2008
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