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Playing, performing and arranging music

accompany

verb

to play the supporting music while someone sings or plays the main tune

arrange

verb

to change a piece of music so that it is suitable for a particular type of voice or instrument

articulation

noun

the production of speech or music

atmospherics

noun

the special way a piece of music is written to give you a particular feeling or mood

back

verb

to play or sing the music that goes with the main singer or musician’s performance

bang out

to play a tune on the piano very loudly and not very well

baton

noun

a stick that the conductor of an orchestra uses

beat out

to make a pattern of sounds by hitting an instrument or other object

blast

verb

if music blasts, or if it is blasted, it plays very loudly

blast away

if music is blasting away, it is playing very loudly

busk

verb

to perform music in the streets and other public places for money

clap out

to hit your hands together at the same speed and beat as a piece of music or poetry

compose

verb

to write a piece of music

conduct

verb

to stand in front of an orchestra or group of singers and direct the way they play or sing

conductor

noun

someone who directs the musicians of an orchestra or other musical group

cut

verb

if a musician or band cuts a record, they record it

drum

verb

to play a drum

fiddle

verb

to play a tune on the violin

fingering

noun

the positions of your fingers and the way that you move them when you are playing a musical instrument

gig

verb

to perform music in public

hum

verb

to make musical sounds with your lips closed

instrumentation

noun

the way that a piece of music is arranged for a group of instruments

interpret

verb

to perform a piece of music, a part in a play etc in a way that shows how you understand it and feel about it

jam

verb

to play music in an informal way with a group of people

leader

noun

someone who conducts a band

lip-synch

verb

to pretend to sing or say something by moving your lips at the same time as a recording of music or speech is played

loop

verb

to electronically repeat a sample (=short piece of recorded music or sound) without a break

mime

verb

to pretend to sing or play an instrument while a piece of recorded music is being played

mix

verb

to play CDs continuously, so that one piece of music begins before another finishes

mix

verb

to remix a piece of music

modulate

verb

if a piece of music modulates, it changes to a different key

musical director

noun

someone who is in charge of an orchestra or other musical group and who decides what they will play

musicianship

noun

musical ability or skill

music stand

noun

a wooden or metal frame used for holding printed music for a player or singer to read while they are playing a musical instrument or singing

mute

verb

to make the sound of a musical instrument softer and less loud, especially by using a mute

orchestrate

verb

to arrange a piece of music

phrase

verb

to perform music in a way that clearly shows which musical notes belong together

pick

verb

to play a guitar or similar instrument by pulling the strings with your fingers

play

verb

to perform music, or to use an instrument to make music

plonk

verb

to plunk a musical instrument

pluck

verb

to pull the strings of a musical instrument with your fingers in order to produce a sound

plunk

verb

to plonk2 1

plunk

verb

to play a musical instrument without interest or enthusiasm, especially a piano or guitar

pound out

if you pound out a song, you play it loudly by hitting your instrument very hard

pulse

verb

to have a strong regular beat

rap

verb

to talk using rhythm and rhyme, usually over a strong musical beat

record

verb

to do a performance, especially of music, so that it can be copied electronically

remaster

verb

to make a new copy of an old film or musical recording using new technology in order to improve its quality

sample

verb

to copy a short piece of music from a record, and then use it again as part of a new piece of music. This activity is called sampling.

score

verb

to write a piece of music for a particular group of instruments or voices

sight-read

verb

to sing or play written music the first time you look at it, without practising it first

slur

verb

to play two or more musical notes with no pause between them

stick

noun

a baton used by a conductor to direct an orchestra

strike

verb

to press a key or to hit a musical instrument with a finger or a hand in order to produce a note or a series of notes

strike up

to start to play or sing a piece of music

strike up

if a piece of music strikes up, someone starts playing it

strum

verb

to play a guitar or other musical instrument by moving your fingers quickly across its strings

swing

verb

if music swings, it has a strong pleasant beat

synthesise

a British spelling of synthesize

synthesize

verb

to produce sounds using a synthesizer

throb

verb

used about loud music that has a regular beat

thump out

to play a tune very loudly, especially on the piano

tongue

verb

to produce a musical note on a wind instrument by using your tongue to prevent air from flowing through it for a short time

toot

verb

if you toot a musical instrument such as a horn, trumpet, or trombone, or if it toots, it makes a loud high sound

tootle

verb

to play a wind instrument such as a flute or horn without really thinking about what notes you are producing

transcribe

verb

to change music so that a different instrument can play it

transpose

verb

to change the key of a piece of music so that it can be performed using higher or lower notes

trill

verb

to sing or play a musical trill

tune

verb

to make small changes to a musical instrument so that it produces the correct notes

tune up

if a group of musicians tune up, they make small changes to their instruments so that they can play well together

whistle

verb

to make a tune or musical notes by forcing air through your mouth

orchestration

noun

remix

verb

beat time

to make regular movements or sounds to show how fast a piece of music should be sung or played

go with a swing

to have a strong pleasant musical beat

in concert

performing music or songs in a concert

in time

if musicians are in time with each other, they are all playing at the same speed

keep time

if you keep time for a musician, you show them what the correct speed and beat are for a piece of music

keep time

if a musician keeps time, they play a piece of music at the correct speed and beat

play (something) by ear

to perform a piece of music by remembering what it sounds like, without looking at the notes

play something by ear

to play music by hearing and remembering it, not by reading it

in/out of tune

producing the right/wrong note when you sing or play music

tickle the ivories

to play the piano

to the accompaniment of something

while a musical instrument plays a tune

Word of the Day

resurrection

the occasion on which Jesus Christ was brought back to life after his death, according to the Bible

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