All Words Glossary

Glossary of Music Terms
beginning with letter S
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synthesizer Tweet Definition of synthesizer Like Definition of synthesizer on Facebook
  1. (music) An electronic instrument that creates its sounds with electronics and has a keyboard.
  2. (music) An electronic instrument module that creates its sounds with electronics and do not have any keyboard.
  3. (electronics) An electronic circuit that generates an electronic signal oscillation with accurate timing from a reference oscillator.
  4. (electronics) An electronic device that generates electronic signal patterns to test an electronic circuit.
S Tweet Definition of S Like Definition of S on Facebook
  1. The nineteenth letter of the Appendix:Roman script, English alphabet, preceded by R and followed by T.
sackbut Tweet Definition of sackbut Like Definition of sackbut on Facebook
  1. (music) A brass instrument from the Renaissance and Baroque Eras, and is an ancestor of the modern trombone. It was derived from the medieval slide trumpet.
Salome Tweet Definition of Salome Like Definition of Salome on Facebook
proper noun
  1. a feminine given name
samisen Tweet Definition of samisen Like Definition of samisen on Facebook
noun (samisen)
  1. a kind of three-stringed Japanese lute
  • 1982: He sees her chastened and cast-down eyes as she kneels and tinkles away on her " John Fowles, Mantissa
saxophone Tweet Definition of saxophone Like Definition of saxophone on Facebook
  1. (musici) A single reed instrument musical instrument of the woodwind family, usually made of brass and with a distinctive loop bringing the bell upwards
Scheherazade Tweet Definition of Scheherazade Like Definition of Scheherazade on Facebook
proper noun
  1. The virgin storyteller of the king in w:One Thousand and One Nights, One Thousand and One Nights
  2. A musical suite by w:Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakow, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakow inspired by this character
  3. Two pieces by w:Maurice Ravel, Maurice Ravel
scherzo Tweet Definition of scherzo Like Definition of scherzo on Facebook
noun (pl=scherzos, pl2=scherzi)
  1. (music) A piece of music or a movement from a larger piece such as a symphony; especially, a piece of music played in a playful manner.
    • 1980, Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers:
    • : At seven Val knocked " three shorts and one long, out of the of Beethoven"s Fifth " and I rushed to open.
scordatura Tweet Definition of scordatura Like Definition of scordatura on Facebook
  1. cross-tuning; a system of tuning a musical instrument to pitches other than the accepted standard, for example, tuning one or more strings of a violin to pitches other than the commonly accepted GDAE.
scroll Tweet Definition of scroll Like Definition of scroll on Facebook
  1. A roll of paper or parchment; a writing formed into a roll; a schedule; a list.
  2. (architecture) An ornament formed of undulations giving off spirals or sprays, usually suggestive of plant form. Roman architectural ornament is largely of some scroll pattern.
  3. A mark or flourish added to a person's signature, intended to represent a seal, and in some States allowed as a substitute for a seal. U.S. Burrill.
  4. (geometry) a skew surface.
  1. (context, Computing): to change one's view of data on a computer's display using a scroll bar or a scroll wheel.
second Tweet Definition of second Like Definition of second on Facebook
noun (rfc-level, Noun at L4+ not in L3 Ety section)
  1. The SI unit of time, defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of caesium-133 in a ground state at a temperature of absolute zero and at rest; one-sixtieth of a minute.
  2. A unit of angle equal to one-sixtieth of a minute of arc or one part in 3600 of a degree.
  3. A short, indeterminate amount of time.
I'll be there in a .
  1. (context, usually in the plural) A manufactured item that, though still usable, fails to meet quality control standards.
They were discounted because they contained blemishes, nicks or were otherwise factory seconds.
  1. The attendant of a contestant in a duel or box, boxing match, who must be ready to take over if the contestant drops out. In the case of a duel, the seconds may also fight each other at 90° to the other contestants.
  2. One who agrees in addition, or such a motion, as required in certain meetings to pass judgement etc.
If we want the motion to pass, we will need a .
  1. Another chance to achieve what should have been done the first time, usually indicating success this time around. (See second-guess.)
  2. The second gear of an engine.
  3. (baseball) second base, Second base.
  1. (transitive) To agree as a second person to (a proposal), usually to reach a necessary quorum of two.
I the motion.
section Tweet Definition of section Like Definition of section on Facebook
  1. A cutting; a part cut out from the rest of something.
  2. A part, piece, division.
  3. A part of a document.
  1. To cut, divide or separate into pieces.
  2. To commit, as for mental health reasons
segue Tweet Definition of segue Like Definition of segue on Facebook
  1. An instance of segueing, a transition.
verb (segues, segueing, segued, segued)
  1. To move smoothly from one state or subject to another.
I can tell she's going to from our conversation about school to the topic of marriage.
  1. (music) To make a smooth transition from one theme to another.
Beethoven's symphonies effortlessly from one theme to the next.
  1. (context, of a disk jockey) To play a sequence of records with no talk between them.
semibreve Tweet Definition of semibreve Like Definition of semibreve on Facebook
noun , plural semibreves
  1. (music) half note
semiquaver Tweet Definition of semiquaver Like Definition of semiquaver on Facebook
noun (plural:semiquavers)
  1. (music) a sixteenth note, drawn as a crotchet with two tails.
semitone Tweet Definition of semitone Like Definition of semitone on Facebook
  1. (music) The interval between adjacent keys on a keyboard instrument; a half tone in the standard diatonic scale
sempre Tweet Definition of sempre Like Definition of sempre on Facebook
  1. (context, music, as a qualifier) always, still
sentence Tweet Definition of sentence Like Definition of sentence on Facebook
  1. (grammar) A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop.
The children were made to construct sentences consisting of nouns and verbs from the list on the chalkboard.
  1. The decision of a jury; a verdict.
The jury returned a of guilt in the first charge, but innocence in the second.
  1. An unfavorable sentence(2): a conviction.
The prisoner was scheduled for execution as all appeals of his had been denied.
  1. The punishment imposed on a person convicted of a crime.
The judge declared a of death by hanging for the infamous cattle rustler.
verb (sentences, sentencing, sentenced)
  1. To declare a sentence on a convicted person.
The judge sentenced the embezzler to ten years in prison, along with a hefty fine.
septet Tweet Definition of septet Like Definition of septet on Facebook
  1. A group of seven; often applied to a musical group of seven performers.
The Lindsey Septet performs at Carnegie Hall this evening.
septuplet Tweet Definition of septuplet Like Definition of septuplet on Facebook
  1. One of a group of seven baby, babies born at the same birth, i.e. one of seven "twins".
sequence Tweet Definition of sequence Like Definition of sequence on Facebook
  1. A set of things next to each other in a set order; a series
  2. A series of musical phrases where a theme or melody is repeated, with some change each time, such as in pitch or length (example: opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony).
  3. A musical composition used in some Catholic Masses between the readings. The most famous sequence is the Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) formerly used in funeral services.
  4. (mathematics) An ordered list of objects.
verb (sequences, sequencing, sequenced)
  1. (transitive) to arrange in an order
  2. (transitive) to determine the order of things, especially of amino acids in a protein, or of bases in a nucleic acid
serenade Tweet Definition of serenade Like Definition of serenade on Facebook
  1. a love song, especially one performed below the window of a loved one in the evening
  2. (music) an instrumental composition in several movements
verb (serenades, serenading, serenaded)
  1. to sing or play a serenade (for someone)
(trans-top, serenade)
  • French: sérénader(fr)
  • Romanian: a cí¢nta o serenadă
serpent Tweet Definition of serpent Like Definition of serpent on Facebook
  1. A snake.
  2. (musici) A musical instrument in the brass family, whose shape is suggestive of a snake (w:Serpent (instrument), Wikipedia article).
service Tweet Definition of service Like Definition of service on Facebook
  1. (economics) That which is produced, then traded, bought or sold, then finally consumed and consists of an action or work.
Hair care is a industry.
  1. (computing) A function that is provided by one program or machine for another.
This machine provides the name for the LAN.
  1. The military.
I did three years in the before coming here.
  1. A set of dishes or utensils.
She brought out the silver tea .
  1. The act of initially starting, or serving, the ball in play in tennis, volleyball, and other games.
The player had four faults in the set.
  1. A religious rite or ritual.
The funeral was touching.
  1. The serving, or delivery, of a summons or writ.
The happened yesterday.
  1. (public service) that which is provided by the Government or its agents
The Job Centre provides a to the unemployed.
  1. (religion) Doing something for someone else without thought of reward or payment.
verb (servic, ing)
  1. to serve
They the customer base.
  1. to perform maintenance
He is going to the car.
sestet Tweet Definition of sestet Like Definition of sestet on Facebook
  1. The last six lines of a poem.
sextuplet Tweet Definition of sextuplet Like Definition of sextuplet on Facebook
  1. One of a group of six babies born from the same mother during the same birth.
SF Tweet Definition of SF Like Definition of SF on Facebook
  1. San Francisco
  2. science fiction or speculative fiction, often used to avoid having to choose between the two.
  3. square feet
  4. Sinn Fein , an Irish political party
sforzando Tweet Definition of sforzando Like Definition of sforzando on Facebook
  1. (music) A tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played with a strong initial attack
  2. (music) A passage having this mark
  1. (music) describing a passage having this mark
  1. (music) played in this style
shake Tweet Definition of shake Like Definition of shake on Facebook
  1. The act of shaking something.
The cat gave the mouse a .
  1. A milkshake.
  2. Ground-up marijuana.
verb (shakes, shaking, shook, shaken)
  1. (transitive) (ergative) To cause (something) to move rapidly from side to side.
The earthquake shook the building.
  1. (transitive) To disturb emotionally; to shock.
Her father's death shook her terribly.
  1. (transitive) To lose, evade, or get rid of (something)
I can't the feeling that I forgot something.
  1. (intransitive) To move from side to side.
She shook with grief.
  1. (intransitive) To shake hands.
OK, let's on it.
shank Tweet Definition of shank Like Definition of shank on Facebook
  1. The lower part of the leg; shin.
  2. meat, Meat from that part of an animal.
  3. A straight, narrow part of an object; shaft; stem
  4. A protruding part of an object, by which it is or can be attached.
  5. The metal part on a curb bit that falls below the mouthpiece of the bit, which length controls the severity of the leverage action of the bit, and to which the reins of the bridle are attached
  6. (sports) A poorly played golf shot in which the ball is struck by the part of the club head that connects to the shaft. See thin,fat,toe
  7. (slang) An improvised stabbing weapon
  8. (slang) Bad.
  1. (archaic) To travel on foot
  2. (slang) To stab
  1. bad, Bad.
shanty Tweet Definition of shanty Like Definition of shanty on Facebook
noun (shanties)
  1. An old run-down house or shack.
  2. Sailors' work song.
adjective(used with 'Irish')
  1. Pejorative term used on early (mid 1800's), poor, Irish immigrants to USA
That neighborhood is full of Irishmen.
shawm Tweet Definition of shawm Like Definition of shawm on Facebook
  1. a mediaeval wind instrument with a double reed
  • 1985: There are four flutes, a harp of twenty strings, a mournful , and a number of drums of oxhide, some to be struck, others spanked. " Anthony Burgess, Kingdom of the Wicked
sheet music Tweet Definition of sheet music Like Definition of sheet music on Facebook
  1. hand-written, Hand-written or printed form of musical notation.
shift Tweet Definition of shift Like Definition of shift on Facebook
  1. (historical) a type of women's undergarment, a slip
Just last week she bought a new at the market.
  1. a change of workers, now specifically a set group of workers or period of working time
We'll work three shifts a day till the job's done.
  1. an act of shifting; a slight movement or change
There was a in the political atmosphere.
  1. the gear mechanism in a motor vehicle
Does it come with a stick-?
  1. a button on a keyboard, chiefly for switching between upper and lower case
If you press -P, the preview display will change.
  1. (transitive) To change, swap
His political stance shifted daily.
  1. (transitive) to move from one place to another; to redistribute
We'll have to these boxes to the downtown office.
  1. (intransitive) to change position
She shifted slightly in her seat.
  1. (intransitive) To change gears (in a car).
I crested the hill and shifted into fifth.
  1. (context, transitive, computing) to remove the first value from an array.
  2. (transitive) to dispose of
How can I a grass stain?
  1. (intransitive) to hurry
If you , you might make the 2:19.
  1. (Ireland, crude slang) to engage in sexual petting.
shimmy Tweet Definition of shimmy Like Definition of shimmy on Facebook
noun (shimmies)
  1. An abnormal vibration, especially in the wheels of a vehicle.
  2. (archaic) A dance that was popular in the 1920s.
  3. (rare) A sleeveless chemise.
verb (shimmies, shimmying, shimmied, )
  1. To climb sometime (e.g. a pole) gradually (e.g. using alternately one's arms then one's legs.)
He shimmied up the flagpole.
The static made her dress up her leg.
  1. (intransitive) To vibrate abnormally, as a broken wheel.
  2. (context, intransitive, rare) To shake the body as if dancing the shimmy.
shuffle Tweet Definition of shuffle Like Definition of shuffle on Facebook
  1. the act of shuffling cards
He made a real mess of the last shuffle
  1. a rhythm commonly used in blues music. Consists of a series of triplet notes with the middle note missing, so that it sounds like a long note followed by a short note. Sounds like a walker dragging one foot.
  2. (idiom) to get lost in the shuffle: to lack attention when you deserve it.
verb (shuffl, es)
  1. (transitive) to mix up (cards) in a random order before a card game
  2. (intransitive) to walk without picking up one's feet
SI Tweet Definition of SI Like Definition of SI on Facebook
  1. Smithsonian Institution
signature Tweet Definition of signature Like Definition of signature on Facebook
  1. A person"s autograph name.
  2. The act of signing one's name.
  3. (medicine) That part of a doctor"s prescription containing directions for the patient.
  4. (music) Signs on the stave indicating key and tempo
  5. (printing) A group of four (or a multiple of four) pages printed such that, when folded, become a section of a book
  6. (computing) A pattern used for matching the identity of a virus, or of types of behaviour.
  7. (cryptography) Data attached to a message that guarantees that the message originated from its claimed source.
(wikipedia, Signature) adjective
  1. distinctive, characteristic indicative of identity
simple Tweet Definition of simple Like Definition of simple on Facebook
  1. (context, jargon, medicine) A preparation made from one plant, as opposed to something made from more than one plant.
adjective (simpler, simplest)
  1. having few parts or features; having no special features
  2. (colloquial) feeble-minded.
sinfonia Tweet Definition of sinfonia Like Definition of sinfonia on Facebook
noun (pluralsinfoniasorsinfonie)
  1. A symphony.
  2. A piece or music serving as an overture, interlude or ritornello.
  3. A small symphony orchestra.
sing Tweet Definition of sing Like Definition of sing on Facebook
  1. A gathering for the purpose of singing songs.
verb (sings, singing, sang, sung)
  1. To produce harmonious sounds with one"s voice.
I tenor in my school choir.
  1. (slang) To confess under interrogation.
sistrum Tweet Definition of sistrum Like Definition of sistrum on Facebook
noun (pl=sistrums, pl2=sistra)
  1. an ancient Egyptian musical instrument, to be shaken, consisting of a metal frame holding percussive metal beads
    • 1983, Norman Mailer, Ancient Evenings:
    • : She moved with slow undulations of her body as lascivious as the curve of Hathfertiti"s hair, and the with its singing wires was played by a dwarf wearing nothing but a gold purse and a few bracelets on his stunted biceps.
sitar Tweet Definition of sitar Like Definition of sitar on Facebook
  1. (musical instrument) A Hindustani/Indian stringed classical musical instrument, typically having a gourd as its resonating chamber.
skiffle Tweet Definition of skiffle Like Definition of skiffle on Facebook
  1. A type of folk music, with jazz and blues influences, using home made or improvised instruments.
skip Tweet Definition of skip Like Definition of skip on Facebook
  1. A leaping, jumping or skipping movement.
  2. An open-topped rubbish bin, ranging in size from perhaps 1.5x1.5 metres up to 6x3 metres, designed to be lifted onto the back of a truck to take away both bin and contents. See also skep.
  3. (slang) An Australian person of Anglo-Celtic descent. Used by people of southern European descent (those who the "skips" in turn call "wogs"), not used by Anglo Australians themselves. Usually taken to be from w:Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and not of itself insulting (though might be used as such).
2001: Effie: How did you find the second, the defacto, and what nationality is she? <br> Barber: She is Australian.<br> Effie: Is she? Gone for a skip. You little radical you. <br> &mdash; w:Mary Coustas, Mary Coustas as her character w:Effie, Effie, TV series Effie: Just Quietly, 2001, episode Nearest and Dearest
  1. (curling)The player who call the shots, calls the shots and traditionally throws the last two rocks
  2. Short for skipper, the master or captain of a ship.
verb (skip, p, ed)
  1. To move by hopping on alternate feet.
  2. To leap about lightly.
  3. To skim, ricochet or bounce over a surface.
  4. To omit or disregard intermediate items or stages.
my heart just skipped a beat.
  1. To place an item in a skip.
skirl Tweet Definition of skirl Like Definition of skirl on Facebook
  1. To make a shrill sound, as of bagpipes.
  • 1985: Drums began to thump in a variety of rhythms. The flautists were not sure what to play. The shawm began to . " Anthony Burgess, Kingdom of the Wicked
Sleeping Beauty Tweet Definition of Sleeping Beauty Like Definition of Sleeping Beauty on Facebook
proper nounsleeping, Sleeping beauty, Beauty
  1. A fairy tale originally titled La Belle au Bois dormant by w:Charles Perrault, Charles Perrault.
  2. The main character in this story, who is in unbroken slumber under a magical spell, awaiting the kiss of a prince.
snare Tweet Definition of snare Like Definition of snare on Facebook
  1. A trap made from a loop of wire, string, or leather.
  2. (rare) A mental or psychological trap; usually in the phrase a snare and a delusion.
  3. (context, veterinary) A loop of cord used in obstetric cases, to hold or to pull a fetus from the mother animal.
  4. (music) A set of chains strung across the bottom of a drum to create a rattling sound.
  5. (music) A snare drum.
verb (snar, ing)
  1. to catch or hold, especially with a loop
snare drum Tweet Definition of snare drum Like Definition of snare drum on Facebook
  1. A tubular drum with skins stretched over the top and bottom, and having a set of chains that can be applied to the bottom skin to create a rattling sound.
SOL Tweet Definition of SOL Like Definition of SOL on Facebook
  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Speed of Light
  3. Standards of Learning
  4. (vulgar) Shit Outta Luck
  5. Sorry, Outta Luck
  6. So Outta Luck
  7. Sleep Onset Latency
sol-fa Tweet Definition of sol-fa Like Definition of sol-fa on Facebook
  1. a method of sight singing music that uses the syllables do (originally ut), re, mi, fa, sol (or so), la, and si (or ti) to represent the pitches of the scale, most commonly the major scale. The fixed-do system uses do for C, and the moveable-do system uses do for whatever key the melody uses (thus B is do if the piece is in the key of B).
solo Tweet Definition of solo Like Definition of solo on Facebook
  1. A piece of music for one performer.
  2. A job or performance (e.g., an airplane flight) done by one person alone.
  3. A card game similar to Whist in which each player plays against the others in turn without a partner.
  1. Without a companion or instructor
  2. Of, for, or played as a musical solo.
soloist Tweet Definition of soloist Like Definition of soloist on Facebook
noun (Pluralsoloists)
  1. a person who performs a solo
sonata Tweet Definition of sonata Like Definition of sonata on Facebook
  1. (music) A musical composition for one or two instruments, one of which is frequently a piano, in three or four movements that vary in key and tempo
song Tweet Definition of song Like Definition of song on Facebook
  1. A musical piece with lyrics (or "words to sing"); prose that one can sing.
He wrote a beautiful about her.
  1. A musical sound by a bird.
  2. A musical sound by insect, whale or some other animal which sounds melodious to humans.
I love hearing the of canary birds.
  1. Something that cost only a little.
He bought that car for a .
  1. Faeces.
The gorilla liked to fling at the patrons at the zoo.
songster Tweet Definition of songster Like Definition of songster on Facebook