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Musical Definitions

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Derek's Diabolical Definitions - a Gargantuan Glossary of Groans

Thought you understood Guitar terminology? Groan away at these!

Over 145 truly awful definitions.

Apologies for those that only make the British laugh - all real UK and guitar musical terms.
All with a bizarre viewpoint....


Recent arrivals
Albinoni Possessed of an unusually white region of leg
Clapton Welcomed to the stage with warm applause
Crossing parts The arms, or, more with men than women, the legs
Cor Anglais The cry of a Frenchman seeing the White Cliffs of Dover
Descant An insect that lives on a shared music stand
Hornpipe The raw material for brass instruments
Plain song UK tourists' entertainment, flying home from Spain.
Up beat Unusually confident about starting the music
Refrain Don't do it (except in music, when it means do it again)
Triangle Menage a trois. Not to be confused with phallic cymbal
Contra Instrument of choice for the counter-revolutionary
Overwound Fitting instructions for bandage

On the Rudiments of Music
Chromatic Very shiny room in the roof
Doh Current American Paper Money
Fah A versatile singer. "That singer will go 'Fah'"
Italian Sixth Small part of a town. Smaller than the Chinese quarter....
Major Compulsion. As in "That major look, didn't it"
Minor Small and insignificant. As in "Minor smaller than yours are"
Pulse Essential ingredient in Vegetarian music
Quarter Note Obsolete American Paper Money
Soh Lah Powered by the sun
Suspension A bouncy A-Frame
Shake An Arabian trill
Unison A male child with no siblings

On Music Notation
Cresc Childcare provision
Crescendo Cessation of childcare provision
Forte Where life begins
Accent Integral part of foreign music
Pause Marks Cats' footprints
Espressivo Served with Coffee
Con Brio Served with French Cheese
Con Spirito Served with Brandy
Slurred Triplets Three brothers after an evening Con Spirito
Perfect Pitch Throwing the ball straight
Double flat Two punctures at once
C flat Good boating weather
D Scale Remove chalky deposits from the kettle (no, not a kettle drum!)
Repeat To add more compost
March Time Early Spring (joke not suitable for those in Southern Hemisphere)
Full Score The end-of-play football result
Page Turn The part of the wedding when the small boy tells jokes
From the top Instruction to hairdresser on where to trim the most hair....
piu Church Choirstalls
rit Committed to paper

On Music Theory
Equitempered Having the patience of a horse
Two Time Music for the double-crossing lover
Three-in-a-bar Particularly hackneyed opening to a Scotsman, Englishman and Irishman joke
Sub Dominant Under the wife's thumb (from someone who knows....)
Interrupted Cadence Primitive and rather unsatisfactory family planning
Relative Major An uncle in the Army
Minor Interval About ten minutes
Transposition Preferring clothes of the opposite sex
Harmonic Minor Member of a Welsh Male Voice Choir
Notate The next thing after note seven
Syncopated Irregular. A High-Fibre diet is recommended
Laissez Play the 5th string more quietly
Andante Daughter of Mr & Mrs Inferno
Diatonic A slimming mixer for the serious Gin drinker
Passing Notes Exchanging information in the back row of an orchestra
Ascending Scales Elevator Music
Descending Scales Successful dieting

On Orchestral and Other Music
Conduct (Italian) - literally "With the large pipe" - ie accompanied by a tuba
Recordings of this style are rare, apart from the famous Duct Tape
Divisions upon a ground Walls. A musical term, since walls have ears...
Serial Music Music played at breakfast time
Concertize Opera Glasses
Suite Boiled confectionery eaten noisily at a Concert
Rehearse To take to a funeral a second time
Binary Form Music stored digitally
Motet Small waterway round a castle
Sightread Espy the top part of a clarinet
Romantic Practical joke played only in Italy
Bass Line A device for catching sea-going fish
Bass Viol Sea-going fish that's gone off
Early Music Practising before going to work
Violin Entry point for the Tenor Viol
Opera Popular audience-based entertainment. Featuring Ms Winfrey
Tenor Parts of a deck of cards - the tenor spades, the tenor hearts...
Oboe Player 'Omeless Actor
Wind band Flatulence prohibited
Playing A Round Sleeping with the orchestra. See also "Triangle"
Pachelbel's Canon Sound effects in Pachelbel's little-known and forward-looking "1812 Overture"

On Luthiery
French Polish Having dual nationality
Fingerboard Tired of left hand exercises
Bridge End A town in Wales
Nut An obsessive Guitar owner
Hard case A particularly obsessive Guitar owner
Cedar To be aware of, as in "I didn't cedar repeat mark"
Fan strutting To walk about with an air-cooler
Tuning Peg A two-pronged wooden device for tuning guitars. Now replaced by the all-metal Tuning Fork and relegated to holding up laundry
Major Scale 660mm
Lateral Braces A Trouser Belt
Polished top Bald (or follically disadvantaged, as I believe it's called now...)
Mahogany The mother of the Hogany kids
D'Addario The father of the Dario kids

On Musicians
Bach The part of the tree which is discarded when making a guitar
Borodin On long-term loan. Often seen in Programmes - Borodin 1833
Bream The sound of an arpeggiated chord
Byrd See Cage
Cage Larger models use Heavy Metal
Handel Part of a clockwork guitar - unnecessary on the newer, electric, guitar.
Howells Awful singer who gave rise to the expression Howells of Derision
Kreisler Musician born into a family of car mechanics
Mahler The elderly mother of Mr Ler
Russell A noisy Page Turn (qv) - "Have you heard David Russell?"
Sor The fingers after excessive practising
Telemann A newsreader or weather forecaster
Weiss A deadly sin

On The Guitar, Crime and Punishment
Axe Murderer Particularly poor Guitarist
Compound Time Serving jail sentences concurrently
Gavotte Pizzicato - (That is, to choke with a string)
Rubato "Robbed Time" - to steal a Rolex
Steel Guitar Acquire an instrument without paying for it

On Other Instruments
Baton Directive to the English Cricket Team. Again...
Bow tie The special knot which holds the horses' hair onto a violin bow
Organ stop Sermon about to start
Keyboard Sick of playing in two sharps
Piano Large shipping line
Sackbut Insult directed at someone with bulbous hips
Banjo Anyone called Joseph is not allowed
Trumpet Win a hand of whist by not following suit.
Soloist Game of cards for one
Tambourine Tasty small orange fruit
Cymbals Suggestive ornaments - as in phallic cymbals
Sax Large bags full of music
Concertina Origami Bagpipes
Concertino Female Bagpipes - caution, keep away from Male Bagpipes!
Piccolo Suitable for an Alto, as in "I'll piccolo key for the singer"
Clavichord Instrument made out of old collar bones

On Guitar Repertoire
Baroque Music Music for badgers
Guitarist Carpal Tunnel Syndrome following excessive practice
Whole Tone Music Tunes which are unrefined (cf WholeMeal flour)
Flamenco A large pink bird found in Spain
Courante With power. An electric guitar requires an electric courante
Top part Clothing worn above the waist
Chorale Famous Ranch. OK?
Partita Diner who never clears their plate
Free stroke Golfing penalty
Chord A thick string
Major Chord A seriously thick string
Index finger The digit with which you scan the contents page of a book
Ring Finger The digit that dials the phone
Solo Very deep - "That Bass Line (qv) is Solo"
Harmonica First overtone on the fifth string
Electronic Tuner Tamagotchi Pet Fish
Footstool A chair exactly 12 inches off the ground
Full Bar Popular Drinking Haunt
Plucked Devoid of feathers. (Electric Guitarists may notice some residual fuzz)
Fingernails See Thumbtacks
Higher Positions Vacancies fulfilled by rented personnel

Hope you enjoy!

Use these freely to win admiring looks at parties and increase your social standing among your peers, but please also be kind enough to mention that you stole them in a heartless fashion from an impoverished guitar teacher who is now broken by your cavalier attitude in taking only the free bits...

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