About this Dictionary

This dictionary holds at present circa 3500 entries. Its goal is to provide an accurate and dependable reference of musical terms for speakers of both German and English. As with any bilingual dictionary, the final judgment of the appropriateness of a translation lies in the hands of the user. A dictionary can never be thorough enough to include every possible shade of meaning and every translation. The job of compiling such a dictionary is complicated by the fact that different terms take on different or slightly different meanings in different parts of the world. I've based this dictionary on my own experience with these terms (I have studied composition in the USA and in Germany), and on a variety of different references.

The entries are in alphabetical order. Umlauts (ä, ö and ü) are treated respectively as (a, o, and u), and ß is treated as ss.

The new German spelling has been used.

Differences between British and American English are indicated by (Br.) and (Am.). When a term is used in both Great Britain and in America, but is more specific to one or the other, this is indicated by (esp. Br.) and (esp. Am.).

Different meanings of the same word are divided by Arabic numeral, as are differences in part of speech. The order of the words, when there is more than one translation, is given first according to accuracy of translation and second according to frequency of use. Some older words rarely found in modern German or English, but which can be found in older texts, have been included in this dictionary as well.


Casey Mongoven, June 17th 2003 / updated September 6th 2008

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