Saturday, March 8, 2008

Music (Part I: Basics)


For those musicians learning Spanish, I've prepared an English/Spanish list of basic musical terms. I hope you find this useful.

NOTE NAMES (nombres de las notas):

First, the names of the notes can be written as in English (i.e. with the letters of the alphabet A, B, C, D, E, F and G), especially when writing chords for guitar or piano. However, they're not pronounced as letter, but as they're proper name as follows:

  • C: Do
  • D: Re
  • E: Mi
  • F: Fa
  • G: Sol
  • A: La
  • B: Si

NOTES (figuras) & RESTS (silencios):
  • Whole note (American) / Semibreve (British): La redonda
  • Half-note (American) / Minim (British): La blanca
  • Quarter-note (American) / Crochet (British): La negra
  • Eighth-note (American) / Quaver (British): La corchea
  • Sixteenth-note (American) / Semiquaver (British): La semicorchea
  • Thirty-second-note (American) / Demisemiquaver (British): La fusa
  • Sixty-fourth-note (American) / Hemidemisemiquaver or Quasihemidemisemiquaver (British): La semifusa
  • Triplets: El tresillo
Dotted notes are called by the name of the note + the words "con puntillo", i.e. dotted quarter-note = la negra con puntillo.

Rests are called "silencios". Rests corresponding to the above notes are called by saying "Silencio de" + the name of the note. i.e. whole (note) rest = silencio de redonda.

ACCIDENTALS (Alteraciones):
The name of the accidental is placed after the name of the note. i.e. B-flat = Si bemol. Now, the name of the natural symbol (becuadro) is used to refer to the symbol itself, but substituted for the word "natural" when using it after a note. i.e. B-natural = Si natural.
  • Sharp: Sostenido
  • Flat: Bemol
  • Natural: Becuadro
  • Double-sharp: Doble sostenido
  • Double-flat: Doble bemol
CLEFS (claves)
  • Treble clef or G-clef: La clave de Sol
  • Bass clef or F-clef: La clave de Fa
  • Tenor clef or C-clef (on the fourthline): La clave de Do (en cuarta línea)
  • Alto clef or C-clef (on the third line): La clave de Do (en tercera línea)
STAVES (pentagramas) & More
  • Score: La partitura
  • Staff: El pentagrama
  • Ledger Lines: Las líneas adicionales
  • Measure: El compás
  • Bar lines: Las líneas divisorias
  • Double bar (line): La doble barra
  • Repeat sign (a type of double bar): La repetición
  • First ending: La primera casilla
  • Second ending: La segunda casilla
  • Pick-up note(s) or anacrusis: La anacrusa
  • Tempo: La velocidad
  • Time signature: El compás (también métrica, signatura o marca de tiempo)
  • Key signature: La tonalidad, La armadura ("La armadura" refers especifically to the set of sharps and flats at the begining of the staff, whereas "tonalidad" refers also to the key itself).
  • Key, Tonality: La tonalidad
  • Major: Mayor
  • Minor: Menor
  • Chord: Acorde
  • Dot: El puntillo
  • Double dot: El doble puntillo
  • Triplets: El tresillo
  • Grace note: La apoyatura
  • Trill: El trino
  • Slur: La ligadura de fraseo, de articulación o de expresión
  • Tie: La ligadura de prolongación, de valor
  • Step: El grado, el tono
  • Half step: El medio grado, el medio tono, el semitono
We'll continue with more musical terms in the following weeks.

27 comments:

Martín V. said...

Gracias por la ayuda, tenía una traducción musical pendiente y esto me ahorró bastante trabajo. ¡Saludos!

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Anonymous said...

Me ha ayudado bastante

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Very helpful, thanks for sharing!

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