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Music Dictionary
-- L --

La. (1) The sixth of the Guidonian, or Aretinian, syllables, used in solmisation. (2) The name given by the Italians, French, and some other nations to the note A. (3) In Italian and French the feminine gender of the definite article.
La bémol (Fr. ). The note A flat.
La bemol majeur (Fr.). A flat major. La bemol mineur (Fr. ). A flat minor. La bemolle (It.). The note A flat. La bemolle maggiore (It.). A flat major. La bemolle minore (It.). A flat minor.
Labialpfeife (Ger.). A flue-pipe in the organ.
Labialstimme (Ger.). A flue-stop in the organ.
Labium (Lat. ). The lip of an organ pipe.
Lacrimoso (It.). Tearful, woeful.
La dièse (Fr.). The note A sharp.
La dièse mineur (Fr. ). A sharp minor.
La diesis (It. ). The note A sharp.
La diesis minore (It.). A sharp minor.
Lage (Ger.). Position (1) of a chord (v. Introduction, f VIII.,
p. 15), (2) of the hand in playing on stringed instruments. Lagrimando (It.). Weeping, wailing, lamenting. Lagrimoso (It.). Tearful, woeful.
La maggiore (It.). A major. La majeur (Fr.). A majur.
Lamentabile (It.). Mournful, doleful. Lamentando (It.). Lamenting, mourning.
Lamentevole, Lamentoso (It.). Doleful, mournful.
Lampons (Fr.). A kind of drinking songs.
Landler (Ger.). A kind of slow waltz in \ or £ time, peculiar to South Germany, more especially to the Austrian provinces.
Langsam (Ger.). Slow.—Langsamer, slower.
Languente (It.). (1) Languishing, faint. (2) Amorous.
Languette (Fr.). (1) The tongue of a harpsichord jack. (2) The tongue of a reed-pipe in the organ. (3) The stem of tfce keys of wind instruments.

LangTlidamente (Fr.). Languidly, faintly. LangTlido (It.). Languid, faint. Largamente (It.). Broadly, largely.
Large. A maxima, the longest note of the old mensurable music. Larghetto (It.). The diminutive of largo. It indicates a quicker
movement than the latter term. Larghissimo (It.). Vr.ry broad, very large. This word is the
superlative of largo [q.v.). Largo (It.). Broad, large. Largo indicates a broad, stately, and
very slow movement—indeed, it is the slowest musical movement. Largo assai (It.). Very slow, broad, and stately, (v. Largo.) Largo di ruolto (It.). Very slow, broad, and stately indeed.
[v. Largo.)
Largo ma non troppo (It.). Slow, broad, and stately, but not
too much so (v. Largo.) Larigot (Fr.). (I) A shepherd's pipe or small flageolet. (2) An
organ stop of 16-inches pitch, which sounds two octaves and a
fifth higher than an 8-feet stop. Lauda (It.). A hymn, a canticle. Laudes (Lat.). Lauds. Laudi spirituali (It.). Spiritual hymns.
Lauds. With Matins, immediately after which they follow, Lauds form the first of the Roman Catholic offices called Canonical Hours.
Lauf (Ger.). (1) A run, a roulade. (2) That part of a violin or
similar stringed instrument which holds the pegs. Laut (Ger.). (1) Loud. (2) A sound. Laute (Ger.). A lute. Lautenist (Ger.). A lute player. Lautenmacher (Ger.). The same as luthier (q.v.). Lay. A verse, a poem, a song, a ballad.
Leading note. The note which tends toward, and lies a semitone below, the tonic (key-note), the first degree of a scale or its octave. In C major the leading note and tonic are b c, in A minor, gfy a.
Lebendig (Ger.). Lively, active, vivacious.
Lebhaft (Ger.). Lively, animated.

Ledger lines, or Leger lines. The short auxiliary lines above
and below the stave, (v. Introduction, § III., pp. 3, 4, &c.) Legando (It.). Slurring, binding ; playing or singing smoothly Legatissimo (It.). The superlative of legato. Very smoothly (v. Legato.)
Legato (It.). Slurred, bound together. This term indicates ihat successive notes have to be played connectedly. Legato is the opposite of staccato, detached.
Legatura (It.). A bind, a syncopation, a ligature.
Legatura di VOCe (It.). Smooth execution oi a succession of notes in one breath.

Léger (Fr.). Light. Légèrement (Fr.). Lightly.
Legrer lines, T. Ledger lines. Leggero (It.). v. Leggiero.
Leggiadramente (It.). Prettily, gracefully, elegantly Leggiadro (It.). Pretty, graceful, elegant.
Leggieramente (It.). Lightly.
Leggiere (It.). Light, nimble. Leggierezza (It.). Lightness, nimbleness. Leggiero (It.). Light, nimble.
Legno (It. ). Wood.—Col legno, with the stick of the bow (not with
the hair). Leich (Ger. ). A lay.
Leicht (Ger.), (i) Light, nimble. (2) Easy, not difficult. Leidenschaft (Ger.). Passion, emotion.—Mil Leidenschaft, with
passion, with strong emotion. Leidenschaftlich (Ger.). Passionate, impassioned, vehement. Leier (Ger. ). (1) A lyre. (2) A hurdy-gurdy. Leise (Ger.). Soft, low—not loud. Leiter (Ger.). A scale.
Leitereigen (Ger.). Proper to the scale. Thus are called the notes which belong to any major or minor scale that may be under consideration. Thus are also called the chords formed out ol such notes.
Leiterfremd (Ger.). Not belonging to the scale. Notes chromati-cally raised or lowered or chords containing one or more such notes.
Leitmotiv (Ger.). A leading motive. A striking phrase of theme characteristic of a person or situation which recurs when-ever these present themselves, are alluded to, or thought of. Leading motives—as some of Weber's and Berlioz's works prove —were known before Wagner, but it was he who first used them systematically and in the full sense of the above definition.
Leitton (Ger. ). Leading note.
Leno (It.). Faint, feeble, weak.
Lent(Fr.). Slow.
Lentamente (It.). Slowly.
Lentando (It.). Becoming slower, slackening. This expression is synonymous with ritardando and rallentando.
Lentement (Fr.). Slowly. Lentemente (It.). Slowly.
Lenteur (Fr.). Slowness.—Avec lenteur, with slowness, slowly.
Lentezza (It.). Slowness.—Con lentezza, with slowness, slowly.
Lento (It.). Slow. This term indicates one of the slowest move-ments. Most lexicographers say that lento is less slow than adagio, and quicker than larghetto. But it is impossible that all theorists should agree, or that the opinion of any one should be taken as authoritative so long as composers apply the word in different senses. Lento auai. Unto molto, or lento di molto, signifies " very slow."


Lesser. This word was formerly used in the sense of " minor." Lesto (It.). Nimble, quick.
Leve" (Fr.). The upward movement of the foot or hand in beat-ing time; it corresponds with the unaccented part of the bar.
Lezione (It.). A lesson.
Liaison (Fr.). (i) A bind, a syncopation. (2) The playing or singing of a series of notes with one stroke of the bow, in one breath. (3) A ligature.
Liberamente (It.), Librement (Fr.). Freely.
Libitum (Lat.). v. Ad libitum.
Libretto (It.). Lit., "a little book." The book of words of an extended vocal composition, especially of an opera.
Licenza (It.). Licence. A voluntary departure from rule and custom.
Liceo (It.). Lyceum, academy. The name of some Italian music
schools and other musical institutions. Li6(Fr.). Slurred, tied.
Lieblich (Ger.). Sweet, lovely, delicious.—This word occurs often
as an epithet in the names of organ stops ; as Lieblich-Gedackt.
Lieblich-Bourdon, &c. Lied (Ger.). A song.—Lieder is the plural of Lied. Liedercyklus (Ger.). A cycle, a series, of songs. Liederhranz (Ger.). (1) A choral society. (2) A "wreath," or
series, of songs. Liederkreis (Ger.). A cycle, a series, of songs. Liederspiel (Ger.). A vaudeville, a dramatic piece interspersed
with light, easily comprehensible music—songs, duets, choruses,
Liedertafel (Ger.). A singing society of men who endeavour to combin; the enjoyment of the pleasures of music, society, and perhaps the palate too.
Liedform (Ger.). Song-form (q.v.).
Lied ohne "Worte (Ger.). A song without words.
Ligatur (Ger.), Ligatura (Lat.), Ligature. (1) In the old
mensurable music a succession of two or more notes sung to one syllable. As in those days the slur was not in use, the notes were either brought into close proximity or joined together in various ways. (2) In modern music a succession of notes sung to one syllable or in one breath ; and also a succession of notes played with one stroke of the bow or in one breath. (3) A syn-copation, a note on the unaccented part of a bar tied to one of the same pitch on the following accented part. A dissonance with its preparation. A dissonance is said to be prepared when the dissonant note appeared in the preceding chord as a con-sonance.
Ligne (Fr.). A line—for instance, of the stave. Limma (Gk.). The name of several small intervals not used In practical music. One of them, the Pythagorean limma, is

the lesser half of a tone, a minor semitone—in the Greek sense—the apotome being the greater half, a major semitone.
Linea (It.). A line—for instance, of the stave.
Liniensystem (Ger.). The stave.
Linke Hand (Ger.). Left hand.

Lira (It.). A lyre.
Lira da braccio (It.). An obsolete bow instrument of the size and shape of the tenor viol, with seven strings, five above and two beside the finger-board.
Lira da gamba (It.), also called Lirone perfetto, and Arci-viola di lira (It.). An obsolete instrument in shape like the lira da braccio but larger. It was played like the violoncello, and had fourteen or sixteen strings, two of which lay beside the finger-board.
Lira pagana, Lira rustica, or Lira tedesca (It). A hurdy-gurdy.
Lirico, m., Lirica, f. (It.). Lyrical. Lirone (It.). A great lyre. Liscio (It.). Smooth.
L'istesso (It.). The same—for instance, Vistino tempo, the same time, that is to say, the same movement.
Litanei (Ger.), Litanise (Lat.), Litanie (It.). A litany.
Litany. A solemn supplication alternating between the invocation.'
of the priest and the responses of the choir or congregation. Liuto (It.). A lute.
Livre OUVert (Fr.). X livre ouvert signifies "at sight." Livret (Fr.). The same as libretto. Lobgesang (Ger. ). A hymn of praise.
Loco (It.). Place. This word is used to indicate, after a passage marked %va {ottava, signifying either an octave higher or lower), that the notes have again to be taken at their proper pitch.
Locrian. v. Hyperphrygian.
Longa (Lat.). The second longest note of the old mensurable music. Lontano (It.). Distant.
Loure (Fr.). (i) An obsolete kind of bagpipe, a musette. (2) An old French dance, rather slow and generally in \, sometimes, however, also in \ time.
Lugubre (It.). Lugubrious, doleful.
Lunga pausa (It.). A long pause, or rest.
Luogo (It.). ». Loco.
Lusingando, Lusingante, Lusinghevole (It.). Coaxing,
Lusinghevolmente (It.). Coaxingly, caressingly.
Lusinghiere, or Lusinghiero (It.). Coaxing, seductive.
Lustig (Ger.). Merry, gay, cheerful.
Lute. An obsolete instrument wliich has a body with a vaulted back and a flat belly, a neck of moderate length, a fretted finger-board, and gut strings—some of them lying in the later and larger


instruments beside the finger-board. In the belly are one, two, or three round sound-holes. The instrument is made to sound by plucking the strings with the lingers. Luth (Fr.). A lute.
Llltherie (Fr.). (i) The profession of a musical instrument maker; that is, of instruments of the violin and lute class. (2) The objects which one following this profession makes and sells—such as violins, violoncellos, double basses, guitars, &c.
Lufchier (Fr.). A maker of instruments of the violin and lute kind.
Luttuosameilte (It.). Mournfully, sorrowfully.
LuttuOSO (It.). Mournful, sorrowful.
Lydian. (1) In the ancient Greek system, the name of the octave
species c d e f g a b c, and also of one of the transposition scales. (2) In the mediaeval ecclesiastical system, the name of the
octave species fgabcdef, the fifth (the third authentic) mode.
Lyra (Gk. and Lat.). A lyre.—Lyra hexachordis, six-stringed lyre. —For other kinds of lyre see Lira.
Lyre. An ancient stringed instrument. The Greeks had several kinds, different in size, shape, and number of strings. These last were stretched from a sound-box up to a cross-bar, which was supported by two arms rising from the sound-box. The instrument was made to sound bv striking the strings with a plectrum.
Lyric, or Lyrical. These words—which in the first place signify "pertaining to the lyre," then also "fitted to be sung to the lyre," and, lastly, "appropriate to song"—are especially applied to poetry and music which expresses individual emotions. The lyrical in poetry and music has been described as the perfect and most euphonious expression, as the ideal repre-sentation, or objectivation, of subjective feelings. The words lyric and lyrical are used in distinction from epic (narrative) and dramatic. A lyric drama is a synonyme for opera ; the lyric stage, for operatic stage. An opera is called lyric when the lyric element predominates over the heroic—sentiment over action.

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Middle Ages Music
Renaissance Music
Baroque Era Music
Classical Era Music
Romantic Era Music
Nationalist Era Music
Turn of Century Music

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