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Glossary of Music Terms
beginning with letter M
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M Tweet Definition of M Like Definition of M on Facebook
noun (pl=Ms, pl2=M's)
  1. The thirteenth letter of the English alphabet; a vocal consonant, and from the manner of its formation, is called the labio-nasal consonant.
proper noun
  1. fictional character from the James Bond stories and films
abbreviation or M.
  1. Monsieur
  2. male
  3. Monday
  4. Mother
  5. (context, size) Medium
  6. (context, US, roadway) Michigan; Usage note: This designation is used within Michigan.
  7. mature
  8. (context, cricket, in batting figures) the number of minutes a player spent at the crease
  9. (context, cricket, in bowling figures) the number of maiden overs bowled
Macarena Tweet Definition of Macarena Like Definition of Macarena on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Macarena (song))
  1. A dance performed to a fast Latin rhythm
Madison Tweet Definition of Madison Like Definition of Madison on Facebook
proper noun
  1. The capital city of Wisconsin, USA.
  2. An English surname.
  3. (given name, female) popular since 1984 when it appeared as the name of a mermaid in the film Splash.
madrigalist Tweet Definition of madrigalist Like Definition of madrigalist on Facebook
noun
  1. A composer of madrigals.
maestoso Tweet Definition of maestoso Like Definition of maestoso on Facebook
adverb
  1. (music) majestically
maestro Tweet Definition of maestro Like Definition of maestro on Facebook
noun
  1. A master in some art, especially a composer or conductor.
Magnificat Tweet Definition of Magnificat Like Definition of Magnificat on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) The liturgical canticle of the Virgin Mary, sung in Christian churches; taken from her reported words at the Annunciation
mainstream Tweet Definition of mainstream Like Definition of mainstream on Facebook
adjective
  1. (mildly derogatory): very popular, as a fad; familiar to the masses; common, usual or conventional.
They often carry stories you won't find in the media.
major Tweet Definition of major Like Definition of major on Facebook
noun , or, when used as a title before a person's name, Major
  1. A military rank between captain and lieutenant-colonel.
    • He used to be a in the army.
    • This is Major Jones.
      1. A person of legal age.
      2. The main area of study of a student working toward a degree at a college or university.
    • Midway through his second year of college, he still hadn't chosen a .
      1. A student at a college or university concentrating on a given area of study.
    • She is a math .
verb
  1. To concentrate on a particular area of study as a student in a college or university.
    • I have decided to in mathematics.
adjective
  1. Of great significance or importance.
  2. (music) Being the larger of two intervals denoted by the same ordinal number.
  3. (music) Containing the note which is a major third (four half steps) above the tonic.
mambo Tweet Definition of mambo Like Definition of mambo on Facebook
noun
  1. A Latin American dance resemble, resembling the rumba.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To perform this dance,
mandolin Tweet Definition of mandolin Like Definition of mandolin on Facebook
noun
  1. (musici) A stringed instrument and a member of the lute family, having eight strings in four courses, frequently tuned as a violin. They have either a bowl back or a flat back.
  2. a kitchen tool used for slicing vegetables (usually spelled mandoline)
Manual Tweet Definition of Manual Like Definition of Manual on Facebook
proper noun
  1. given male name
marcato Tweet Definition of marcato Like Definition of marcato on Facebook
adverb
  1. (music) stressed; pronounced.
March Tweet Definition of March Like Definition of March on Facebook
proper noun (es, -)
  1. The third month of the Gregorian calendar, following February and preceding April. Abbreviation: Mar or Mar.
marimba Tweet Definition of marimba Like Definition of marimba on Facebook
noun
  1. a musical instrument similar to a xylophone but clearer in pitch.
martellato Tweet Definition of martellato Like Definition of martellato on Facebook
adverb
  1. (music) A musical notation to indicate that the note is strongly accented, or hammered out, as to bowed string instruments and the piano.
masque Tweet Definition of masque Like Definition of masque on Facebook
noun
  1. (archaic) (in 16th-17th Century England & Europe) A dramatic performance, often performed at court as a royal entertainment, consisting of dancing, dialogue, pantomime and song.
  2. (archaic) Words and music written for a masque.
  3. (archaic) A shortening of the word masquerade.
Mass Tweet Definition of Mass Like Definition of Mass on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, Roman Catholic Church) The principal liturgical service of the Church, including a scripture service and a eucharistic service, which includes the consecration and oblation (offering) of the host and wine. One of the seven sacraments.
  2. (music) A musical composition set to portions of the Mass.
mazurka Tweet Definition of mazurka Like Definition of mazurka on Facebook
nounmarurka
  1. A Polish folk dance in triple time with a usually moderate tempo, containing a heavy accent on the third beat.
measure Tweet Definition of measure Like Definition of measure on Facebook
noun
  1. The quantity, size, weight, distance or capacity of a substance compared to a designated standard.
  2. An (unspecified) quantity or capacity :
a of salt
(rfdate) The unwise man never knows the of his stomach. " from the w:Hí¡vamí¡l, Hí¡vamí¡l
  1. The precise designated distance between two objects or points.
  2. The act of measuring.
  3. A musical designation consisting of all notes and or rests delineated by two vertical bars; an equal and regular division of the whole of a composition.
  4. A rule, ruler or measuring stick.
  5. A tactic, strategy or piece of legislation.
He took drastic measures to halt inflation.
  1. (mathematics) A function that assigns a non-negative number to a given set following the mathematical nature that is common among length, volume, probability and the like.
  2. An indicator; Something used to assess some property.
The average price of basic household goods is a for inflation.
Honesty is the true of a man. (rfex)
verb (measur, ing)
  1. To ascertain the quantity of a unit of material via calculated comparison with respect to a standard.
  2. To estimate the unit size of something.
  3. To obtain or set apart; to mark in even increments.
(rfex)      
medley Tweet Definition of medley Like Definition of medley on Facebook
noun
  1. a collection or mixture of complementary things
a fruit
  1. (music) a collection of related songs played or mixed together as a single piece
They played a of favorite folk songs as an encore.
melisma Tweet Definition of melisma Like Definition of melisma on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) A passage of several notes sung to one syllable of text, as in Gregorian chant.
    • 1985: A choir sang one of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The mournful accompanied the slow procession to the palace built by Herod the Great, at present untenanted. " Anthony Burgess, Kingdom of the Wicked
melodic Tweet Definition of melodic Like Definition of melodic on Facebook
adjective
  1. of, relating to, or having melody
  2. melodious, tuneful
melodious Tweet Definition of melodious Like Definition of melodious on Facebook
adjective
  1. having a pleasant melody or sound; tuneful
Melody Tweet Definition of Melody Like Definition of Melody on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (given name, female, , ).
meringue Tweet Definition of meringue Like Definition of meringue on Facebook
noun
  1. A mixture consisting of beaten eggwhites and sugar which is added to the tops of pies then browned.
The key to a good Baked Alaska is the topping.
  1. A shell of beaten egg whites with sugar which serves as the receptacle for fruit, icecream or sherbert.
Shirley particularly likes to have strawberry with her .
Messiah Tweet Definition of Messiah Like Definition of Messiah on Facebook
proper noun
  1. (Christianity) Jesus
mezzo forte Tweet Definition of mezzo forte Like Definition of mezzo forte on Facebook
adjective
  1. (music) Louder then mezzo piano, but softer than forte.
adverb
  1. (music) Louder then mezzo piano, but softer than forte.
mezzo piano Tweet Definition of mezzo piano Like Definition of mezzo piano on Facebook
adjective
  1. (musical direction) moderately soft
adverb
  1. (musical direction) moderately soft
mezzo-soprano Tweet Definition of mezzo-soprano Like Definition of mezzo-soprano on Facebook
noun (pluralmezzo-sopranos)
  1. a voice or voice part intermediate in compass between soprano and contralto
  2. a person having such a voice
adjective (no comparative or superlative)
  1. of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or suitable to a mezzo-soprano
mezzo-soprano range
MI Tweet Definition of MI Like Definition of MI on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. Michigan, a state of the United States of America.
  2. military, Military intelligence.
  3. myocardial, Myocardial infarction.
microtone Tweet Definition of microtone Like Definition of microtone on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) Any interval smaller than a semitone
mikado Tweet Definition of mikado Like Definition of mikado on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, literary) an emperor of Japan.
The mikados of Japan are its emperors.
  1. a game in which wooden sticks have to be removed from a pile without disturbing the remaining sticks
minim Tweet Definition of minim Like Definition of minim on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) a half note, drawn as a semibreve with a stem.
minor Tweet Definition of minor Like Definition of minor on Facebook
noun
  1. A person who is below the legal age of responsibility or accountability.
  2. A subject area of secondary concentration of a student at a college or university, or the student who has chosen such a secondary concentration.
    • I had so many credit hours of English, it became my .
    • I became an English .
verb
  1. To choose or have an area of secondary concentration as a student in a college or university.
    • I had so many credit hours of English, I decided to in it.
adjective
  1. of little significance or importance.
  2. (music): Of a musical scale in which some notes are sounded flat.
minor scale Tweet Definition of minor scale Like Definition of minor scale on Facebook
noun
  1. A diatonic scale based upon a relative major scale by changing its tonic note by three semitones.
minstrel Tweet Definition of minstrel Like Definition of minstrel on Facebook
noun
  1. A medieval traveling entertainer who would sing and recite poetry, often to his own musical accompaniment.
  2. One of a troupe of entertainers who wore black makeup (blackface) to present a variety show of song, dance and banjo music; now considered racist.
minstrelsy Tweet Definition of minstrelsy Like Definition of minstrelsy on Facebook
noun (minstrels, ies)
  1. The art and craft of being a minstrel.
  2. A group of minstrels.
  3. A collection of minstrel ballads.
minuet Tweet Definition of minuet Like Definition of minuet on Facebook
noun
  1. A slow graceful dance consisting of a coupé, a high step, and a balance.
  2. (music) A tune or air to regulate the movements of the dance so called; a movement in suites, sonatas, symphony, symphonies, etc., having the dance form, and commonly in 3/4, sometimes 3/8, measure.
mirror Tweet Definition of mirror Like Definition of mirror on Facebook
noun
  1. A smooth surface, usually made of glass with reflective material painted on the underside, that reflects light so as to give an image of what is in front of it.
  2. (figurative) an object, person, or event that reflects or gives a picture of another.
  3. (computing) An exact copy of a data set, especially a website.
verb
  1. (transitive) Of an event, activity, behaviour, etc, to be identical to, to be a copy of.
Miserere Tweet Definition of Miserere Like Definition of Miserere on Facebook
noun
  1. The 51st Psalm, sometimes set to music.
mode Tweet Definition of mode Like Definition of mode on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) One of several ancient scales, one of which corresponds to the modern major scale and one to the harmonic minor scale
  2. A particular means of accomplishing something.
What was the mode of entry?
  1. (statistics) A value occurring most frequently in a distribution
  2. (context, mathematics, physics) A state of a system that is represented by an eigenfunction of that system.
  3. (computing) One of various related sets of rules for processing data.
In insert mode, characters typed are directly inserted into the buffer
moderato Tweet Definition of moderato Like Definition of moderato on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) A tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played at a moderate tempo
  2. (music) A passage having this mark
adjective
  1. (music) describing a passage having this mark
adverb
  1. (music) played in this style
modulate Tweet Definition of modulate Like Definition of modulate on Facebook
verb (modulat, ing)
  1. (transitive) To regulate, adjust or adapt
  2. (transitive) To change the pitch, intensity or tone of one's voice or of a musical instrument
  3. (transitive) (electronics) to vary the amplitude, frequency or phase of a carrier wave in proportion to the amplitude etc of a source wave (such as speech or music)
  4. (context, intransitive, music) to move from one key or tonality to another, especially by using a chord progression
modulation Tweet Definition of modulation Like Definition of modulation on Facebook
noun (Plural:modulations)
  1. The process of applying a signal to a carrier, modulate, modulating.
  2. Methods of modulate, modulating.
monkey Tweet Definition of monkey Like Definition of monkey on Facebook
noun
  1. Any of several members of the infra-order Simiiformes of primates, generally smaller than the apes, and distinguished from them by having a tail and cheek pouches.
  2. (context, informal) A mischievous child.
Stop misbehaving, you little !
  1. (context, UK, slang) Five-hundred pounds sterling.
  2. (slang) A person or the role of the person on the sidecar platform of a motorcycle involved in sidecar racing.
verb (monkeys, monkeying, mokeyed or monkied, mokeyed or monkied)
  1. (informal) To meddle; to mess with; to interfere; to fiddle.
''Please don't with the controls if you don't know what you're doing.
monophonic Tweet Definition of monophonic Like Definition of monophonic on Facebook
adjective
  1. (context, of sound reproduction) having a single channel; monaural (compare stereophonic)
  2. (music) having a single melodic line and no harmony (compare polyphonic)
mordant Tweet Definition of mordant Like Definition of mordant on Facebook
noun
  1. Any substance used to facilitate the fixing of a dye to a fibre; usually a metallic compound which reacts with the dye using chelation.
verb
  1. (pos_vt) To subject to the action of, or imbue with, a mordant.
mordant goods for dyeing
adjective
  1. Biting; caustic; sarcastic; keen; severe.
  2. Serving to fix colors when dyeing.
    • 1964, In dyeing two mediums are required, the colouring matter and the which fixes the dye in the wool. — L.F. Salzman, English Industries of the Middle Ages, p. 208.
mordent Tweet Definition of mordent Like Definition of mordent on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) An ornament consisting of a single alternation between a given pitch, and the one immediately below it
  2. An elongated bar above a letter, used e.g. in transliterating Japanese in the Hepburn system. For example, ā
motet Tweet Definition of motet Like Definition of motet on Facebook
noun
  1. A composition adapted to sacred words in the elaborate polyphonic church style; an anthem.
motion Tweet Definition of motion Like Definition of motion on Facebook
noun
  1. (uncountable) A state of progression from one place to another.
  2. (countable) A change of position with respect to time.
  3. (physics) A change from one place to another.
John kept making motions under the table to Elise.
  1. (countable) A parliamentary action to propose something.
The motion to amend is now open for discussion.
verb
  1. To gesture indicating a desired movement.
He motioned for me to come closer.
mouth Tweet Definition of mouth Like Definition of mouth on Facebook
noun
  1. (anatomy) The opening of a creature through which food is ingested.
"Open your and say 'aah'," directed the doctor.
  1. The end of a river out of which water flows.
  2. An outlet, aperture or orifice.
The of a cave
  1. (slang) A loud or overly talkative person.
My kid sister is a real ; she never shuts up.
verb
  1. (transitive) To speak about something.
He mouthed his opinions on the subject at the meeting.
  1. (transitive) To make the actions of speech, without producing sound.
The prompter mouthed the words to the actor, who had forgotten them.
  1. (transitive) To pick up or handle with the lips or mouth, but not chew or swallow.
The fish mouthed the lure, but didn't bite.
mouth organ Tweet Definition of mouth organ Like Definition of mouth organ on Facebook
noun
  1. The harmonica
  2. The panpipes
  3. The Jew's harp
musette Tweet Definition of musette Like Definition of musette on Facebook
noun
  1. A small bagpipe with a bellows, having a soft sound, and once popular in France.
  2. A dance tune or pastoral air that imitates this instrument.
  3. A small bag or knapsack, with a shoulder strap, used by soldiers.
  4. A small instrument similar to an oboe or shawm.
music Tweet Definition of music Like Definition of music on Facebook
noun (i, mass noun)
  1. A sound, or the study of such sounds, organized in time in a melodious way.
  2. (figurative) Any pleasing or interesting sounds
  3. Something wonderful.
That's to my ears!
  1. A guide to playing or singing a particular tune; sheet music.
musica ficta Tweet Definition of musica ficta Like Definition of musica ficta on Facebook
noun
  1. (music) the use of chromatically altered tones in the contrapuntal music of the 10th to the 16th centuries.
musical Tweet Definition of musical Like Definition of musical on Facebook
noun
  1. a stage performance, show or film which involves singing, dancing and musical numbers performed by the cast as well as acting.
adjective
  1. Of or relating to music.
  2. gifted, Gifted or skilled in music.
  3. Pleasing to the ear. (Her voice had a musical tone.)
musician Tweet Definition of musician Like Definition of musician on Facebook
noun
  1. A person who plays or sings music.
musicology Tweet Definition of musicology Like Definition of musicology on Facebook
noun
  1. (music)the scholarly or scientific study of music, as in historical research, musical theory, or the physical nature of sound.
mute Tweet Definition of mute Like Definition of mute on Facebook
noun (wikipedia, Mute (music))
  1. A person who does not have the power of speech.
  2. An acting part where no speaking (and in opera, no singing) is required.
  3. (music) An object for dulling the sound of an instrument, especially a brass instrument, or damper for pianoforte; a sordine.
  4. One refusing to speak.
  5. An undertaker's assistant.
  6. The deadening of an appliance's or musical instrument's volume.
  7. In falconry, a is a hawk's or falcon's droppings.
  8. In wine making, , from the French, is the grape juice from pressed grapes kept aside in chilled stainless steel tanks and used at later stages of wine making by adding to the dry wine base to achieve the desired residual sugar level in the final product. (Usually spelled "muté " in this case and pronounced "mju:te".)
verb (mut, ing)
  1. (transitive) To silence, to make quiet.
  2. (transitive) To turn off the sound of.
Please the music while I make a call.
adjective
  1. silent, Silent; not making a sound.
  2. (of a person) Not having the power of speech.

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