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Music glossary - Letter D

Music Glossary



Da capo: An indication to return to the beginning of a piece.

Deceptive cadence: A chord progression that seems to lead to resolving itself on the final chord; but does not.

Decrescendo: The dynamic effect of gradually growing softer, indicated in the musical score by the marking ">".

Development: Where the musical themes and melodies are developed, written in sonata form.

Diminuendo: Gradually growing softer.

Disco: A kind of popular dance music with a strong beat, elements of the blues and Latin American rythms, and simple repetitous lyrics, usually accompanied by pulsating lights etc.

Dissonance: Combination of tones that sounds discordant and unstable, in need of resolution.

Dolce: Sweetly, softly

Dominant: The fifth scale step, sol.

Doubles: Variations of a dance in a French keyboard suite.

Double bass: Also known as the contrabass or bass viol.

Drone: ull, monotonous tone such as a humming or buzzing sound. Also a bass note held under a melody.

Duple meter: Basic metrical pattern of two beats to a measure.

Duplum: Second voice of a polyphonic work, especially the medieval motet.

Dynamics: Pertaining to the loudness or softness of a musical composition. Also the symbols in sheet music indicating volume.