Almost all of the definitions are very short and to the point as this online dictionary is supposed to be used to give you an idea to what the part is asking or what percussion instrument you are supposed to play.  If you would like a more elaborate definition, I would suggest going to or purchasing the books The Harvard Dictionary of Music by Don Michael Randel, Pocket Music Dictionary by Hal Leonard, The American Heritage Dictionary, or The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music by Don Michael Randel for great biographical information.  

NOTE:  If I have written down the wrong definition/translation or misspelled a word please contact me and I will fix it.  If you are looking for a definition and cannot find it I suggest looking in the materials provided above or contacting me and I will see if I can provide the correct definition.  Some of the definitions are jokes, they're very obvious so don't think too hard when you come across one ;)


Abdämpfen [Gr.]: dampen, mute 

Abgestossen [Gr.]: staccato 

Abnehmend [Gr.]: diminuendo 

Accelerando [It.]: gradually faster 

Accelerato [It.] faster 

Adagietto [It.]: slightly faster than adagio 

Adagio [It]: a slow tempo 

Adagissimo [It]: extremely slow  

Ad libitum [Lat.]: improvisation or ornamentation of written material 

Al fine [It.]: to the end 

Alla marcia [It.]: in the manner of a march 

Alle [Gr.]: all 

Allargando [It.]: gradually slower 

Allegretto [It.]: slightly faster than allegro  

Allegro [It.]: fast  

Alein [Gr.]: alone  

Al segno [It]: to the sign  

Amboss [Gr.]: anvil  

Andante [It.]: walking tempo  

Andante con moto [It.]: walking tempo with motion 

Andantino [It.]: a little slower than walking tempo 

Angklung [Jav.]: an instrument in Indonesia made of tuned bamboo 

Anvil: a percussion instrument struck with a hard wooden mallet or metal mallets.  Sometimes they are a specific pitch or they call for an actual blacksmiths anvil.  If you cannot get an anvil, brake drums can be used to substitute. 

Arará [Sp.]: Cuban cult drum carved out of a tree with one head. Played with hands or sticks. 

Atabque [Port.]: barrel shaped drum with one head and usually played in sets of three 

Atem [Gr.]: breath, slight pause 

A tempo [It.]:  to the previous tempo 

Auftakt [Gr.]: upbeat 

Aushalten [Gr.] sustain 


B [Gr.]: indicates the pitch B-flat 

Baguette [Fr.]: drumstick. Baguette de bois: wooden drumstick.  Baguette d' éponge: sponge headed drumstick (if not available use a yarn mallet) 

Bar: a single measure 

Batá [Sp.]: a set of three hourglass shaped drums that has two heads and is found in Afro-Cuban music in the Lucumí cult 

Battery: percussion section of the orchestra.  In the marching world, battery refers to the marching percussion section on the field. 

Becken [Gr.] cymbals 

Bells: in orchestra it can either mean glockenspiel or tubular bells 

Bes [Gr.]: indicates the pitch B-double-flat 

Bis [Lat.]: repeat the passage again 

Bloc de bois [Fr.]: Chinese block 

Blochetto [It.]: Chinese block 

Bologna: put between two slices of bread to create a sandwich...unless you're a vegan like I am. 

Bombo [Sp.]: Latin American bass drum played with two sticks 

Bonang [Jav.]: a set of Javanese gongs played with padded sticks 


Caesura: sudden cessation of sound marked by // 

Caisse [Fr.]: drum 

Caisse chinoise [Fr.]: Chinese block 

Caja china [Sp.]: Chinese block 

Campana [It.]: tubular bells 

Campanelli [It.]: glockenspiel

Canon shot: can be made by playing directly in the center of the bass drum very loudly, muffling with the other hand to shorten the sound may be necessary 

Carillon: a set of very large tuned bells usually hung in a tower and played using a keyboard 

Cascabeles [Sp.]: sleigh bells 

Cassa [It.]: drum 

Cassettina [It.]: Chinese block 

Castrato [It.]: a very bad idea 

Cencerro [Sp.]: cowbell 

Ces [Gr.]: indicates the pitch C-flat 

Ceses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch C-double-flat 

Chinese block: a partially hollowed rectangular block of wood that can be played with softer wooden drumsticks and rubber or yarn mallets.  A substitute can be a woodblock 

Cinelli [It.] cymbals 

Cis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch C-sharp 

Cisis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch C-double-sharp 

Claquebois [Fr.]: xylophone 

Cloche [Fr.]: bell 

Cloches tubulaires [Fr.]: tubular bells 

Cog rattle: ratchet 

Colla sinistra [It.]: with the left hand, abbr. as C.s. 

Con fuoco [It.]: with fire 

Con garbo [It.]: with grace 

Con rabbia [It.]: with rage 

Con vaghezza [It.]: with longing 

Conga: single headed long drum played with the hands, usually played in sets of two to three often tuned to a perfect fourth 

Corista [It.]: tuning fork 

Corde [Fr.]: snare 

Crécelle [Fr.]: cog rattle, ratchet 

Crescendo [It.]: to grow in volume < 

Croche [Fr.]: eighth note 

Croma [It.]: eighth note 

Crotales: small and thick chromatically tuned cymbals, often mounted on a stand or suspended individually.  Place one on a timpani and strike it while moving the pedal to create a very unique sound effect. 

Cuíca [Port.]: friction drum from Brazil 

Cymbales [Fr.]: cymbals 

Cymbala [Lat.]: small cymbals 

Cymbales antiques [Fr.]: crotales 


Da capo [It.]: from the beginning; abbr. as D.C. 

Daff [Ar.]: Middle Eastern frame drum 

Dal segno [It.]: from the sign 

Davul [Turk.]: double head bass drum of Turkey, slung over the right shoulder and played with a stick in the right hand

Debole [It.]: weak 

Des [Gr.] indicates the pitch D-flat 

Deses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch D-boudle-flat

Destra [It.]: right hand (mano destra)

Dholak [Hin.]: barrel shaped drum from India that has two heads and is played with one stick and one hand

Diluendo [It.]: dying away

Diminuendo [It.]: gradually softer; abbbr. dim. or dimmin.

Di nuovo [It.]: again

Dis [Gr.[: indicates the pitch D-sharp

Disis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch D-double-sharp

Dolce [It.]: sweet

Dolcemente [It.]: sweetly

Dolcissimo [It.]: extremely sweet

Dolente [It.]: sad

Doloroso [It.]: sorrowful

Donnermaschine [Gr.]: thunder machine

Doppelt so schnell [Gr.]: twice as fast

Double croche [Fr.]: sixteenth note

Doucement [Fr.]: gently

Douloureux [Fr.]: sorrowful

Doux [Fr.]: sweet

Drum kit: drum set

Drum set: drum kit

Duff [Ar.]: Middle Eastern frame drum

Duramente [It.]: Harshly

Dynamic Markings and typical stick height for a drumline

ppp: (pianississimo)  very very soft - 1"

pp:   (pianissimo)      very soft - 2"

p:     (piano)              soft - 3"

mp:  (meso piano)    moderately soft - 4-5"

mf:   (meso forte)     moderately loud/heavy - 6-8"

f:      (forte)               loud/heavy - 8-10"

ff:     (fortissimo)       very loud/heavy - 10-13"

fff:    (fortississimo)   very very loud/heavy - 13+"

Sf:    (sforzando)       forcefully loud -  at least 12"

Sfz:  (sforzando)       forcefully loud -  at least 12"

Fp:   (forte piano)      loud immediately followed by soft - 9" to 3"


Échelette [Fr.]: xylophone

Échele [Fr.]: scale

Eis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch E-sharp

Eisis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch E-double-sharp

Ému [Fr.]: with emotion

Enchaînez [Fr.]: continue without a break/pause

Enclume [Fr.]: anvil

Entschieden [Gr.]: resolute

Entschlossen [Gr.]: determined

Éoliphone [Fr.]: wind machine

Erlöschend [Gr.]: dying out

Ermattend [Gr.]: weakening

Ersterbend [Gr.]: dying away

Es [Gr.]: indicates the pitch E-flat

Esercizio [It.]: exercise or etude

Eses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch E-double-flat

Espressivo [It.]: with expression

Etinguendo [It.]: dying away

Estinto [It.]: barely audible, as soft as possible

Étouffé [Fr.]: muted or dampened


Feirlich [Gr.]: solemn

Fermata []: hold/sustain

Fes [Gr.]: indicates the pitch F-flat

Feses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch F-double-flat

Fine [It.]: the end

Fis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch F-sharp

Fisis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch F-double-sharp

Flexatone: the greatest percussion instrument ever to annoy people. It is a flexible sheet of metal that is connected to a handle and held in the hand and rotated.  When rotated there is one to two rubber (or wooden) ball(s) that strikes the metal and creates the sound.  Use your thumb to change the pitch by applying pressure to the tip of the metal, more pressure creates a high pitch and less pressure creates a lower pitch. 

Flott [Gr.]: fast or lively 

Flüssig [Gr.]: flowing 

Focoso [It.]: fiery 

Forte [It.]: loud or heavy (f) 

Fortepiano [It.]: loud or heavy followed immediately by soft (fp) 

Fortissimo [It.]: very loud or very heavy (ff) 

Forza [It.]: force 

Fra poco [It.]: shortly 

Frame drum: a single drum head that is attached to a small (sometimes large) circular frame that is held with one hand and primarily played with the other.  The hand that holds the drum is used for muting and pitch bending while the free hand is used to provide the prominent rhythms and sounds.  Sometimes the frame drum has jingles, or a handle, or is played with a stick.   

Frei [Gr.[: freely 

Friction drum: a type of drum that is played by rubbing the head and causing friction rather than striking the head.  There is usually a stick or string in the middle of the membrane that is pulled on, often with a wet cloth, to create the friction.  An excellent example of this would be a "lions roar" 

Fuoco, con [It.]: with fire 

Furioso [It.]: furious 

Fz [It.]: abbr. for forzando 


Gai [fr.]: allegro

Gaiment [Fr.]: allegro 

Gambang [Jv.]: a Javanese xylophone that covers three to four pentatonic octaves.  Can be found in slendro or pelog tuning. 

Ganze note [Gr.]: whole note 

Ganze pause [Gr.]: whole rest 

Ganzton [Gr.]: whole tone 

Ganztonleiter [Gr.]: whole tone scale 

Garbo, con [It.]: with grace  

Gedämpft [Gr.]: muted 

Gehalten [Gr.]: sustained 

Gehaucht [Gr.]: whispered 

Gehend [Gr.]: andante 

Generalpause [Gr.]: a rest for the entire ensemble; abbr. as G.P. 

Ges [Gr.]: indicates the pitch G-flat 

Geses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch G-double-flat 

Gesang [Gr.]: song like 

Geschwind [Gr.]: fast 

Gigelira [It.]: xylophone 

Giocoso [It.]: humorous

Gioioso [It.]: merry

Gis [Gr.]: indicates the G-sharp

Gisis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch G-double-sharp

Glocke [Gr.]: bell

G.P. [Gr.]: abbr. for general pause

Gradatamente [It.]: gradually

Gran cassa [It.]: bass drum

Gran tamburo [It.]: bass drum

Grazioso [It.]: graceful

Grosse caisse [Fr.]: bass drum

Grosse Trommel [Gr.]: bass drum; abbr. as Gr. Tr.

Gr. Tr. [Gr.]: abbr. for bass drum

Gsp: abbr. for glockenspiel 

Güiro [Sp.]: a hollowed out gourd with cut in notches that are scrapped by a stick.  Originated from Latin America, many new variations include plastic or metallic version of the Güiro.


[Gr.]: indicates the pitch B-natural

Hallbe note [Gr.]: half note

Halbe pause [Gr.]: half-note rest

Hastig [Gr.]: hurried

Hes [Gr.]: indicates the pitch b-flat

Heses [Gr.]: indicates the pitch b-double-flat

Hinsterbend [Gr.]: dying away

His [Gr.]: indicates the pitch B-sharp

Hisis [Gr.]: indicates the pitch B-double-sharp

Holzblock [Gr.]: Chinese block or wood block

Holzblocktrommel [Gr.]: Chinese block or wood block

Holzharmonika [Gr.]: xylophone, literally wooden harmonica

Holzshlegel [Gr.]: wooden drumstick

Holzstabspiel [Gr.]: xylophone

Hurtig [Gr.]: quick


Impetuoso [It.]: impetuous

Incalzando [It.]: pressing on

Insieme [It.]: together


Jagdhorn [Gr.]: hunting horn

Jared: my first name

Jeu de timbres [Fr.]: glockenspiel


Kadenz [Gr.]: Cadenza

Kanon [Gr.]: canon

Kettledrum: timpani

Kleine trommel [Gr.]: snare drum; abbr. as Kl. Tr.

Kl. Tr. [Gr.]: abbr. for snare drum

Knarre [Gr.]: rattle


Lacrimoso [It.]: tearful

Lagrimoso [It.]: mournful

Laisser vibrer [Fr.]: allow to sound, do not dampen, let ring

Lamellaphone: sound is created by plucking flexible tongues that hang over a gourd.  An example is a mbira and a music box.

Lamentabile [It.]: sadly

Lamentoso [It.]: plaintively

Langsam [Gr.]: slow

Langsamer [Gr.]: slower

Largamente [It.]: broadly

Largando [It.]: allargando

Larghetto [It.]: a little faster than largo

Largo [It.[: very slow

Laut [Gr.[: loud

Lebendig [Gr.]: lively

Legato [It.]: smooth with no separation, the opposite of staccato 

Leggiero [It.]: light and quick

Leicht [Gr.]: light and nimble

Leidenschaftlich [Gr.]: passionately

Leise [Gr.]: soft

Lento [It.]: slow

Lentissimo [It.]: extremely slow

Libero [It.]: freely

Libre [Fr.]: freely

Lié [Fr.]: legato

Lieve [It.]: light and easy

Linguaphone: lamellphone

Linke hand [Gr.]: left hand

Liscio [It.]: smooth and even

Lithophone: either one stone or a set of stones that produce different pitches when struck.  You can adjust the pitch by carving the stone.  

Lourd [Fr.]: heavy

Luftpause [Gr.]: breath

Lugubre [Fr.]: mournful

Lungo [It.]: long

Lustig [Gr.]: merry


Ma non troppo [It.]: but not too much

Maestoso [It.]: majestic

Main droite [Fr.]: right hand; abbr. as M.d.

Main gauche [Fr.]: left hand; abbr. as M.g.

Mancando [It.]: dying away

Mano destra [It.]: left hand; abbr. as M.d.

Mano sinistra [It.]: right hand; abbr. as M.s.

Marcato [It.]: an emphasized or stressed phrase or melody

Marche [Fr.]: march

Marcia [It.]: march

Marcia funebre [It.]: funeral march

Marimbaphone: a smaller version of the marimba usually used in music therapy.  Sometimes keyed in pentatonic or whole tone based scales, they are also sometimes made of metal or wood.

Markiert [Gr.]: marcato

Markig [Gr.]: vigorous

Marqué [Fr.]: marcato

Marsch [Gr.]: march

Mässing [Gr.]: moderately

Mbiramore info coming soon

M.d.: abbr. for right hand

Membranophonemore info coming soon

Meno [It.]: less

Meno mosso [It].: slower, literally less motion

Mesto [It.]: sad

Metronome: the greatest invention for keeping time that a percussionist can ever use other than an i-pod with playlists configured to every song's bpm.  Advanced metronomes can not only provide a steady beat usually from quarter note = 35 through 250; they can provide 8th, 12th, and 16th note subdivisions; they can be programmed to accompany meter or tempo changes; some can provide pitches for timpani tuning and more. 

Mettere [It.]: to put on, an example would be to put on a mute

Mettre [Fr.]: to put on, an example would be to put on a mute

Mezzo/a [It.]: medium

M.g. [Fr.]: abbr. for left hand

Moderato [It.]: moderate; example: allegro moderato = not as fast as allegro

Modéré [It.]: moderate, has been related to tempo marking adagio

Möglich [Gr.]: possible

Moins [Fr.]: less

Molto [It.]: very

Monotone: a passage or text recited on a single pitch, one note

Morceau [Fr.]: composition

Morendo [It.]: dying or fading away

Mormorando [It.]: murmuring

Mosso [It.]: moved

Moto [It.]: motion

Moto perpetuo [It.]: perpetual motion

M.s. [It.]: abbr. for left hand

Munter [Gr.]: lively


Nachere [It.]: castanets

Nachdrücklich [Gr.]: energetic

Nachlassend [Gr.]: slackening or slowing

Nachtstück [Gr.]: nocturne

Naker: a kettle drum from the Middle East

Neck: the part of the body that connects the torso to your head 

Nocturne [Fr.]: of the night

Node: the point on a vibrating object that is stationary

Noire [Fr.]: quarter note

Nola [Lat.]: a small bell

Nose flute: yes the nose flute is a real instrument.  It's a flute that is blown using only one nostril, the other is plugged by your finger.  In Melanesia and Polynesia nose flutes have magical and ritual significance.

Noturno [It.]: nocturne


Ocarina: instrument used by Link to swoon Zelda

Ohne [Gr.]: without

O'Leary: my last name

Oratio [Lat.]: prayer

Ordinario [It.]: ordinary, to return to the original style of playing after having applied a special technique


Pacato [It.]: calm

Pandereta [Sp.]: tambourine

Pandero [Sp.]: tambourine

Parlando [It.]: speechlike

Passer [Fr.]: pass, for timpani it means to re-tune from one note to another

Patetico [It.]: pathetic

Pathetisch [Gr.]: pathetic

Pauke [Gr.]: timpani

Pauroso [It.]: timid

Pedal drum: timpani

Pedalpauke [Gr.]: timpani

Percusión [Sp.]: percussion instruments

Percussione [It.]: percussion instruments

Perdendosi [It.]: dying away

Pesante [It.]: with emphasis/weight

Peu [Fr.]: little

Peu á peu [Fr.]: little by little

Pezzo [It.]: composition

Piacevole [It.]: pleasing

Piangendo [It.]: crying

Piatti [It.]: cymbals

Pieno [It.]: full

Piú [It.]: more; piú moso = more motion

Piuttosto [It.]: rather; piuttosto adagio = rather slow

Placido [It.]: placid

Platillos [Sp.]: cymbals

Plötzlich [Gr.]: suddenly

Plus [Fr.]: more

Poco [It.]: little

Poco a poco [It.]: little by little

Pochettino/pochetto [It.]: very little

Pochissimo [It.]: very very little

Point d'orgue [Fr.]: fermata

Pomposo [It.]: pompous

Precipitato [It.]: rushed

Prendere [It.]: take up

Prendre [Fr.]: prepare to play

Pressante [It.]: hurrying

Presto {It.]: very fast

Prestissimo [It.]: as fast as possible

Prima vista [It.]: sight reading

Pronto [It.]: quick

Prontomente [It.]: quickly

Puy: yup backwards


Quadruple-croche [Fr.]: 64th note

Quasi [It.]: almost or as if

Quijada [Sp.]: jawbone, often substituted with a vibra slap


Rabbia [It.]: fury

Raddolcendo [It.]: becoming softer

Raffrenando [It.]: slowing down

Ralentir [Fr.]: to slow down

Rallentando [It.]: gradually slowing down; abbr. as rall.

Rasch [Gr.]: quick

Ratsche [Gr.]: ratchet

Rattenando [It.]: holding back

Rattenuto [It.]: holding back

Ravvivando [It.]: quickening

Recueilli [Fr.]: contemplative

Replica [It.]: repeat

Restringendo [It.]: becoming faster

Retard: to slow down

Retenu [Fr.]: held back

R.H.: abbr. for right hand

Rigoroso [It.]: rigorous

Rilasciando [It.]: slowing down

Riforzando [It.]: becoming stronger; abbr. as r., rf., rinf., rfz.

Riposato [It]: with repose

Riprendere [It.]: to resume, for instance to resume an original tempo

Ripresa [It.]: repeat

Risoluto [It.]: resolute

Ritmico [It.]: rhythmic

Röhrenglock [Gr.]: tubular bells

Rolltrommel [Gr.]: tenor drum

Ruhig [Gr.]: calm

Rute [Gr.]: a birch brush used to play the drums; a decent substitute can be playing with the back end of a rattan mallet


Saccadé [Fr.]: abrupt

Saltbox: a makeshift percussion instrument that is a wooden box with a lid and sometimes played with a rolling pin.  Seriously.

Sanft [Gr.]: soft

Schallbecher [Gr.]: bell

Schallbecken [Gr.]: cymbals

Schallstück [Gr.]: bell

Schlaginstrument [Gr.]: percussion instruments

Schlagzeug [Gr.]: percussion instruments

Schlegel [Gr.]: drumstick

Schlummerlied [Gr.]: lullaby

Schmerzlich [Gr.]: sad

Schnarre [Gr.]: rattle

Schnarrsaite [Gr.]: snare

Schnell [Gr.]: fast

Schütteln [Gr.]: to shake

Schwach [Gr.]: weak

Schweigen [Gr.]: to be silent

Schwer [Gr.]: heavy

Schwindend [Gr.]: dying away

Schwungvoll [Gr.]: spirited

Sciolto [It.]: free

Scorrendo [It.]: flowing

Scorrevole [It.]: flowing

Scucito [It.]: detached

Sec [Fr.]: dry/staccato

Seelevol [Gr.]: soulful

Sehr [Gr.]: very

Sehr langsam [Gr.]: very slow

Seite [Gr.]: side of the instrument

Sempre [It]: continuously or always 

Sentito [It.]: expressive

Senza [It.]: without

Senza sordini [It.]: without mute

Serrant [Fr.]: becoming faster

Seul [Fr.]: solo

Sfogato [It.]: unrestrained

Side drum: snare drum

Sin ' al fine [It.]: until the end

Singend [Gr.]: song like

Singhiozzando [It.]: sobbing

Sinstra [It.]: left, as in left hand

Sizzle cymbal: can be substituted by tapping coins onto a cymbal if an actual sizzle cymbal cannot be obtained.   

Slargando [It.]: broadening

Slentando [It.]: becoming slower

Smorzando [It.]: dying away

Snello [It.]: nimble

Soave [It.]: gentle

Sofort [Gr.]: immediately

Slenne [It.]: solemn

Solennel [Fr.]: solemn

Sopra [It.]: above

Sordino [It.]: mute

Sospirando [It.]: sighing

Sostenuto [It.]: sustained; abbr. as sost.

Sotto [It.]: under

Soupirant [Fr.]: sighing

Sourd [Fr.]: muffled

Sourinde [Fr.]: mute

Soutenu [Fr.]: sustained

Sperdendosi [It.]: fading away

Spezzato [It.]: divided

Spianato [It.]: smooth

Spiegando [It.]: spreading out

Stabspiel [Gr.]: xylophone

Stahlspiel [Gr.]: glockenspiel

Stark [Gr.]: strong

Stärker werdend [Gr.]: becoming louder

Stegeifausführung [Gr.]: improvisation

Steigern [Gr.]: increase

Stendendo [It.]: stretching out

Stentato [It.]: halting

Sterbend [Gr.]: dying away

Stesso [It]: same, as in same tempo

Stierhorn [Gr.]: cow horn

Stimmgabel [Gr.]: tuning fork

Stinguendo [It.]: fading away

Straw fiddle: xylophone bars that are lain out on ropes of straw

Strisciando [It.]: glissando

Strohfiedl [Gr.[: straw fiddle

Subito [It.]: suddenly

Sussurando [It.]: whispering

Svelto [It.]: quick

Sweet potato: ocarina


Tabl [Ar.]: drum

Tabor, taborel, tabour, tabourin, tabret: a small drum of Europe, sometimes with a snare

Tacet [Lat.]: silent, tacet movement means you don't play during that movement.  If a drum instructor asks you to go to a music store and buy a tacet just smile and nod your head.  If you're a drum instructor or a section leader and want to play a little joke, this is a classic.

Tambor [Sp.]: drum

Tambora [Sp.]: two headed drum that is played with a stick in the right hand a the palm of the left hand

Tambour [Fr.]: drum, drummer

Tambour de basque [Fr.]: tambourine

Tambour militaire [Fr.]: snare drum

Tamburello [It.]: tambourine

Tamburin [Gr.]: tambourine

Tamburino [It.]: tenor drum

Tamburo [It.]: drum

Tamburo grande/grosso [It.]: bass drum

Tamburo rullante [It.]: tenor drum

Tamburo militare [It.]: snare drum

Tampon: a drumstick with a mallet head on each side, used on bass drums to execute one handed rolls.  

Tanto [It.]: so much

Tardo [It.]: slow

Tardamente [It.]: slowly

Tarando [It.]: slowying

Tempestoso [It.]: stormy

Tendre [Fr.]: tender

Teneramente [It.]: tenderly

Terzina [It.]: triplet

Timbal [Sp.]: timpani

Timbale [Fr.]: timpani

Timballo [It.]: timpani

Timbrel: tambourine without jingles, frame drum

Tirando [It.]: dragging

Tranquillo [It.]: tranquil

Traps: drumset, usually referred to as a trapset in pit productions (theatre)

Tratto [It.]: drawn out

Trauernd [Gr.]: mourning

Träumerisch [Gr.]: dreamy

Tutti [It.]: all, meaning everyone in the ensemble


Unbetont [Gr.]: unaccented

Ungebunden [Gr.]: free

Ungeduldig [Gr.]: impatient

Ungerader takt [Gr.]: triple beat/meter

Ungestüm [Gr.]: violent

Ungezwungen [Gr.]: free

Unheimlich [Gr.]: sinister

Uniti [It.]: together

Un peu [Fr.]: a little

Un poco [It.]: a little

Unruhig [Gr.]: restless

Unter [Gr.]: under

Ut supra [lat.]: as above/before


Vaghezza, con [It.]: with longing

Veloce [It.]: fast

Velocemente [It.]: very fast

Verhallend [Gr.]: fading away

Verkürzung [Gr.]: shortening of the note value

Verlöschend [Gr.]: dying away

Vermindert [Gr.]: diminished

Verstärken [Gr.]: reinforce another part/to amplify

Vif [Fr.]: lively


Wachsend [Gr.]: growing

Weich [Gr.]: soft

Wenig [Gr[: little

Whip: slapstick

Wie möglich [Gr.]: as possible; example as fast as possible or as soft as possible

Wirbel [Gr.]: drum roll

Wirbeltrommel [Gr.]: tenor drum

Wuchtig [Gr.]: weighty

Wütend [Gr.]: furious


Zahlzeit [Gr.]: beat

Zambomba [Sp.]: a friction drum of Latin America and Spain, lately it has been substituted with tin cans rather than a drum

Zeitmesser [Gr.]: metronome

Ziehharmonika [Gr.]: accordion.

Zimbel [Gr.]: crotales

Zu [Gr.]: toward