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Music glossary - Letter V

Music Glossary



Vamp: Short passage with simple rhythm and harmony that introduces a soloist in a jazz performance.

Variations: An important musical form, the principal of which is to present a given melody, called the theme, in a number of modifications, each of which is a variation.

Verismo: A form of Italian opera beginning at the end of the 19th century. The setting is contemporary to the composer's own time, and the characters are modeled after every day life

Vibrato: Creating variation pitch in a note by quickly alternating between notes.

Vielle: Medieval bowed-string instrument; the ancestor of the violin.

Vivace: Direction to performer to play a composition in a brisk, lively, and spirited manner.

Virelai: Medieval and Renaissance fixed poetic form and chanson type with French courtly texts.

Vocable: Nonlexical syllables, lacking literal meaning.

Voice: One of 2 or more parts in polyphonic music. Voice refers to instrumental parts as well as the singing voice.

Volume: Degree of loudness or softness of a sound. See also dynamics.