Describing music

Landmark Advanced Unit 11


Use the adverbs below to describe particular music and try to find opinions which are the same as your partner

slightly                                                                       quite

really                                                                                        particularly

very                                                                                           too

fairly                                                                                         rather

absolutely                                                                                completely


Do the same by combining the adverbs above with the adjectives below

relaxing/ soothing/ calming/ chilled out               uplifting

moving                                                                                    catchy


atonal                                                                        dark

poppy                                                                                       acoustic


elegant                                                                       unique

deep                                                                                        classic/ timeless


distinctive                                                                               hummable

cathartic                                                                                   sophisticated


commercial                                                                              cheesy

clichéd                                                                       repetitive

dated                                                                                        out of tune

over the top                                                                             long-winded     

mellow                                                                       jazzy

trendy                                                                        up-tempo

sugary                                                                        bland

irritating                                                                                    monotonous



modern                                                                                    contemporary

melancholy                                                                            rhythmic

Label the sections above as positive, negative or mixed/neutral


Share your opinions about the things below

strong beats                                                                                          jazz standards 

acapella                                                                                                 (long) guitar solos

catchy tunes                                                                                         deep lyrics

backing vocals                                                        

orchestral arrangements                                                     

characteristics of a lead singer

one hit wonders                                                                    

(film) soundtracks

(greatest hits) compilation

first tracks


number ones

chart music                                                

classical music


music that comes to a crescendo (= swells up)

music that fades out

boy bands

background music (= elevator music/ supermarket music)

manufactured pop


bass line

second albums

hyped debuts

guitar riffs

catchy choruses

long verses

world music

choral music

soul music, e.g. Motown

music you can sing along to

trip hop

short bursts of pop music in a film

instrumental pop music

controversial artists

new genres

live recordings/ concert recordings

famous conductors

famous orchestras

long symphonies

(extended/ dance) remixes

concept album

double album

bonus track

remaster/ reissue

pub band

tribute band/ cover band

concept albums


PDF version for easy printing: DescribingMusic

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