Brainstorming music vocabulary

Updated August 2016

Brainstorm as many suitable words as you can into each category below.

Genres of music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive words to describe music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Negative words to describe music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ways of making music (instruments etc)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ways of listening to music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People related to music (including groups of people)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Places related to music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any other music vocabulary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare your ideas as a class. You get one point for each correct expression which isn’t on other groups’ sheets and/ or isn’t on the suggested answer sheet below.

 


Suggested vocabulary

Genres of music

(Christmas) carols

(Western) classical music

(traditional) court music

(traditional) folk music

12-tone music

70s music

80s music

AOR

African music

Brit pop

EDM

Gregorian chant

J-pop/ Japanese pop music

Japanese “idoru”

K-pop

Latin

Mersey beat

MoR

New Age music

R&B

Shibuya-kei

UK garage

acid jazz/ jazz funk

ambient/ chillout

avant garde music

background music/ elevator music/ muzak

barbershop/ acappella

bhangra

big band (jazz)

bluegrass

blues

bossa nova

boy bands

brass band

bubblegum pop

calypso

chamber music

chanson

choral music

classic rock

comic songs

country (and western)

crooners

dancehall

death metal/ speed metal

disco

drum and bass/ jungle

dubstep

easy listening

emo

flamenco

folk rock

funk

fusion

girl bands/ girl groups

gospel

grime

grunge

heavy rock/ heavy metal

house

indie/ alternative (rock)

love songs

marching band

military music

minimalist music

musicals

national anthems/ patriotic songs

new romantic

new wave/ post-punk

novelty songs

opera

operetta

post-rock

prog rock

protest music

psychedelic music

pub rock

punk

rap/ hip hop

reggae

reggaeton

religious music (hymns etc)

rock opera

rock’n’roll

salsa

samba

shoegaze

singer songwriters

ska

skiffle

soft rock

soul

synth pop

techno

top forty music/ chart music/ mainstream music

trance

visual kei

world music

NOT ethnic music X

NOT Japanese pops X

NOT idol X

NOT BGM X

NOT indies X

 

Positive words to describe music

a (cult) classic

an (undiscovered) masterpiece

angelic

catchy

danceable

deep

evocative

exotic

experimental

funky

heartfelt

hummable

iconic

influential

innovative

melodic

moving

original

relaxing

rhythmic

romantic

simple

soothing

timeless

toe tapping

underground

unique

upbeat

velvety

 

Negative words to describe music

(instantly) forgettable

a racket

amateurish

annoying/ irritating

bland

boring/ dull

caterwauling

cheesy

childish lyrics

difficult second album

distortion

flat

manufactured

melodramatic

mid-tempo

monotonous

notorious

off key

out of tune

over the top

overpriced

overrated

predictable

pretentious

repetitive

ridiculous lyrics/ silly lyrics

rude lyrics

screeching

self-indulgent

sentimental/ soppy

taboo lyrics

unbearable

uninspired

unoriginal

violent lyrics

weird

 

Ways of making music (instruments etc)

(double) bass

12-string guitar

Jewish harp

Melodica

accordion

acoustic guitar

amp(lifier)

bagpipes

banjo

bass (guitar)

bassoon

baton

bow

brass

bugle

castanets

clapping

clarinet

clicking your fingers

comb

cymbals

decks

drumsticks

electric guitar

electric piano

flute

harp

harpsichord

humming

keyboard

loudspeaker

maracas

mic(rophone)

mouth organ

oboe

organ

pedal

percussion

piano

piccolo

pick

recorder

reed instrument

remix

sampling

scat (singing)

scratching

snare (drum)

spoons

steel pans

strings

tambourine

trombone

trumpet

tuba

ukulele

viola

washboard

whistling

wine glass

woodwind

xylophone

 


Ways of listening to music

(greatest hits) compilations

(illegal) downloads

CD (player)

DAB/ digital radio

TV talent shows

album

car stereo

cassette

festival

gig/ concert

headphones

juke box

juke box musicals

live

mp3 (player)

music television

personal stereo/ walkman

pop videos

radio

radio cassette player/ ghetto blaster

record/ vinyl

reel to reel (tape recorder)

single

smartphone

stadium concerts

stereo/ hi-fi

streaming music

NOT radio case X

NOT rajio X

 

People related to music (including groups of people)

(concert) promoter

(recording) engineer

A&R man

DJ

MC

Svengali

VJ

arranger

backing singer

bell ringers

busker/ street musician

choirboy

choreographer

composer

conductor

diva

drummer

falsetto

guitarist

lead singer

lyricist

manager

music teacher

musician

one-man band

percussionist

quartet

quintet

rhythm guitarist

session musicians

soloist

soprano

studio engineer

trio

violinist

vocalist

NOT back singer X

 

Places related to music

ballroom

cabaret (club)

cathedral

church

club/ disco

concert hall

concert venue

music festivals

music shop

opera house

outdoor festival

pub

(secondhand) record shop

stadium

the street

warehouse

NOT live house X

NOT stajium X

 

Any other music vocabulary

(guitar) feedback

(guitar) solo

a note

a verse

acoustic/ unplugged

aria

chord

concept album

concerto

cover (version)

duet

echo

high

improvisation

jamming

jingle

karaoke

key

lip-synching

lyrics

metronome

mic stand

movement

movie soundtracks

music documentaries

music stand

overture

perfect pitch

retro

reverb

sharp

sheet music

stave

symphony

the chorus

the tune

tone deaf

tuning fork

vocals

NOT song words X

NOT O.S. X

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