Some More Musical Definitions - Part 2

+3 votes
May 20, 2017 in Fun & Humor ☻ by Marianne (18,487 points)

• chromatic scale: an instrument for weighing that indicates half-pounds.

• bar line: a gathering of people, usually among which may be found a musician or two.

• ad libitum: a premiere.

• beat: what music students do to each other with their instruments. The down beat is performed on top of the head, while the up beat is struck under the chin.

• cadence: when everybody hopes you're going to stop, but you don't.

• diatonic: low-calorie Schweppes.

• lamentoso: with handkerchiefs.

• virtuoso: a musician with very high morals. (I know one)

• music: a complex organization of sounds that is set down by the composer, incorrectly interpreted by the conductor, who is ignored by the musicians, the result of which is ignored by the audience.

• oboe: an ill wind that nobody blows good.

• tenor: two hours before a nooner.

• diminished fifth: an empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

• perfect fifth: a full bottle of Jack Daniels.

• ritard: there's one in every family.



2 Answers

Virginia May 21, 2017

Okay Marianne, here is my contribution to your musical glossary, it's my favourite kind of TREBLE CLEF:


Marianne Virginia May 22, 2017

Lol, Virginia - the cool mint chocolate reminds me of the noble British "After Eight":


So, you use "clef" (two spellings in French: "clé" and "clef") in English; I had to check "treble", as "sol" (in music) refers to "G".


By the way, are you still using the ancient term "ut" (do) for your C? It is one of our most popular crossword questions - lol.

Virginia Virginia May 22, 2017

Ha ha Marianne, I was making a kinda bad pun...the use of treble to mean "consisting of three parts; threefold." And then, instead of clef, the name of the candy bar Clif! In other words, three of these candy bars...

And no, I had not even heard of this use of 'ut' I have learned something new!

TheOtherTink May 21, 2017

Subito piano:  when you and your husband hear that the kids have awakened from the noise you are making. :O :) :D

Marianne TheOtherTink May 22, 2017

Lol, T(h)ink - "ottimo"!


But the musical "piano" comes frome "pianoforte":


'Chi va piano,

va sano e va lontano.

Chi va forte

va incontro alla morte.'

(Slow and steady wins the race;

going 'strong' gains death's embrace.)

So, the wise say in the town:

"before piano's breaking down,

give 'pianissimo' the crown."


TheOtherTink TheOtherTink May 22, 2017

@ Marianne,

Lol, but I thought pianoforte came from the pre-existing piano and forte, to describe a keyboard instrument that could be played loudly and softly, unlike the earlier harpsichord.  :)

Marianne TheOtherTink May 23, 2017

Well, there was a Latin adjective "planus" which stood for flat, even or level - but the Italians say often piatto for flat, or for a plate (dish), which reminds me of certain comedies about piedi piatti (flat feet):

or another 1991 movie (Piedipiatti)

And it also reminds of flat tires - lol.

But yes, you're right, "piano" (the adjective for even, etc.) existed before the music instrument, which was first called pianoforte and then abbreviated - lol.

A confusing story!


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