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Music glossary - Letter L

Music Glossary



Lamellophone: Plucked idiophone with thin metal strips; common throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Largo: Large, broad, slow and stately.

Latin rock: Subgenre of rock featuring Latin and African percussion instruments (timbales, conga drums, maracas).

Leading note: The seventh note of the scale where there is a strong desire to resolve on the tonic.

Legato: Smooth and connected; opposite of staccato.

Leitmotif: A musical theme given to a particular idea or main character of an opera.

Lied: German for "song"; most commonly associated with the solo art song of the 19th century, usually accompanied by piano.

Ligature: Curved line connecting notes to be sung or played as a phrase.

Listera: A Romantic languid style of modern Cuban popular music.

Lyre: Ancient plucked-string instrument of the harp family, used to accompany singing and poetry.

Lyric opera: Hybrid form combining elements of opéra comique and grand opera and featuring appealing melodies and romantic drama.