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Music glossary - Letter F

Music Glossary



Falsetto: A style of male singing where by partial use of the vocal chords, the voice is able to reach the pitch of a female

Fermata: A pause, stop, or interruption as that before the cadenza of a concerto.

Fiddle: Colloquial term for violin; often used in traditional music.

Figured bass: Another term for basso continuo; see above.

Fine: The end of a musical piece

Flat sign: Musical symbol (b) that indicates lowering a pitch by a semitone.

Forte: A symbol indicating to play loud.

French horn: The solo instrument featured here is the French horn, a mellow brass instrument that descended from the ancient hunting horn. Also horn.

Fretboard: On the front side of the neck is the fretboard, or fingerboard. On it will be a number of metal frets, usually 20 to 24. Strings are held down behind a fret to change the note a string will produce.

Fugato: A fugal passage in a nonfugal piece, such as in the development section of a sonata-allegro form.

Fuging tone: Polyphonic, imitative setting of a hymn or psalm, popular in Great Britain and the USA from the 18th century.

Fugue: A composition written for three to six voices. Beginning with the exposition, each voice enters at different times, creating counterpoint with one another.

Fusion: Style that combines jazz improvisation with amplified instruments of rock.