D String The fourth string of the guitar. see How to Change Classical  Guitar Strings


Da (Italian) from, of

Da capo (Italian) from the beginning

Da capo al fine (Italian) return to the beginning and end at the point marked by the word fine. see in Repeats, D.S.,D.C….

Da capo al segno (Italian) return to the beginning and end at the point marked with a sign. see in Repeats, D.S.,D.C….

Dadra light classical Indian song

Dal segno (Italian) from the sign. see in Repeats, D.S.,D.C….

Damian (Indian) six string instrument used by nomadic people of Tibetan

Damp to quiet a stringed instrument by touching the string(s)

Dämpfen muffle, deaden or restrain the tone of an instrument

Dämpfer (German) mute

Dämpfung (German) muting

Dance a form of expression using movement

Dance band instrumentalists that play music for dancing

Dance ronde Breton dance tune

Dan day (Vietnam) a long-necked lute with three silk strings and 10 frets

Danse (French) dance

Danza (Italian) dance

Danza (Spanish) dance

Darunter (German) amongst them, under there

Das (German) the

Dasselbe (German) the same

Dauer (German) duration

Dauernd (German) continuing, lasting


dB Decibel; relative measurement for the loudness of sound


D.C. (Italian) Da capo; from the beginning

D.C. al fine (Italian) Da capo al fine; return to the beginning and end at the point marked by the word fine 

D.C. al segno (Italian) Da capo al segno; return to the beginning and end at the point marked with a sign


De (French) from, of

Dead room a room with very thick sound absorbers, causing a very dull sound with no reverberation

Deadechoes very loud Midwestern heavy metal band that inspired the scientific studies between noise and global warming.

Debile (Italian) weak

Débile (French) weak

Debole (Italian) weak

Début first public performance

Decay the process by which a sound gradually disappears

Deceptive Cadence A chord progression where the dominant chord is followed by a chord other than the tonic chord- In the tonality of C major, a deceptive cadence could be the dominant G major chord (G B D) moving to the subdominant A minor chord (A C E). see Musical Cadences

Déchant (French) descant

Decibel relative measurement for the loudness of sound

Décidé (French) with decision

Decido (Italian) with decision

Decima (Latin) interval covering ten degrees of the scale; octave and a third

Decimette a composition for ten performers

Decisivo (Italian) perform in a bold, decisive manner

Declamando (Italian) in a declamatory style

Declamato (Italian) in a declamatory style

Découpler (French) to uncouple

Decrescendo (Italian) to get gradually softer. see decrescendo in Phrasing Symbols see dynamic symbols in Phrasing Symbols

Decresciuto (Italian) to get gradually softer

Défaut (French) fault, lack

Degree the position of a note in the scale, for example, D is the second degree in the scale of C

Dehors (French) outside, prominent

De la (French) from the, of the

Delicato (Italian) delicate

Delicatamente (Italian) delicately

Delicatissimo (Italian) as delicately as possible

Delicatezza (Italian) delicacy

Délié (French) detached, staccato

Delirio (Italian) frenzy

Delirante (Italian) fren zied

Delizioso (Italian) sweet

Démancher (French) the shift the left hand close to the bridge

Demi (French) half

Demi-jeu (French) to play at half strength

Demi-pause (French) half rest

Demisemiquaver thirty-second note see Note Values

Demisemiquaver rest thirty-second rest

Demi-soupir (French) eighth rest

Demi-ton (French) half step, semitone

Demi-tone (French) producing a very soft tone

Demi-voix (French) sing very quietly

Demütig (German) meek

Demüthig (German) meek

Dennoch (German) nevertheless

Deploration (French) compositions of the Medieval and Renaissance eras commonly written in the phrygian mode

Der (German) the

Derb (German) firm, solid

Deritta (Italian) the right hand

Deritto (Italian) the right hand

Derselbe (German) the same

Descarga (Spanish) jam or improvisation

Descending a melodic line steadily falling in pitch

Descriptive music program music

Desert Ironwood An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Desiderio (Italian) desire

Desinvolto (Italian) ease

Desinvoltura (Italian) ease

Desk music stand

Dessous (French) below

Dessus (French) above

Desto (Italian) sprightly

Destro (Italian) right

Destra (Italian) dexterous

De suite (French) immediately, one following the other

Détaché (French) detached, staccato

Determinato (Italian) determined

Detune to change the pitch of one oscillator relative to another, producing a fuller sound

Deutlich (German) distinct

Deutsch (German) German

Deux (French) two

Deuxième (French) second

Deux temps (French) in 2/2 time, in a tempo where there are two dance steps to a bar whatever the time signature

Development a musical form during which thematic material, introduced earlier, is greatly extended

Devoto (Italian) devout, with devotion

Devozione (Italian) devotion


Dhimotiká general term for Greek folk music

Dhun a short piece in the style of Indian folk music


Di (Italian) by, from, of

Diabolus in musica the tritone, diminished fifth or augmented fourth

Diapason octave

Diapason normal (French) standard pitch

Diapente (Greek) the interval of a fifth

Diastema (Greek) a musical interval

Diastematic notation that indicates the pitch of a note by its vertical placing on the page

Diatonic notes that occur naturally in a scale, without being modified by accidentals other than those in the relevant key signature

Diatonic interval the interval between any two notes that both appear in the major or minor scales of the prevailing keynote

Diatonic scale any scale of the major, natural minor, melodic minor or harmonic minor scales based on a particular key note

Dichtung (German) poem

Dick (German) thick

Diction the clarity of a musical line

Die (German) the

Dieci (Italian) ten

Dieis (Italian) sharp sign

Dièse (French) sharp sign

Dieselbe (German) the same

Dies irae (Latin) a principal movement in the Requiem

Dietro (Italian) behind

Difference tone a third note, with a frequency given by the difference in the frequencies of two other notes played together

Differential tone a third note, with a frequency given by the difference in the frequencies of two other notes played together

Dignita (Italian) grandeur

Dihu Chinese low pitched bowed lute

Dilruba cross between the sitar and sarangi

Diluendo (Italian) dying away

Dilungando (Italian) lengthening

dim. (Italian) Diminuendo

Diminished an interval narrowed by one semitone from a perfect or minor interval

Diminuendo (Italian) gradually getting softer. see dynamic symbols in Phrasing Symbols

Diminution when a melody is played in such a way that the time value of every note is shortened

Di molto (Italian) very

Di Nuevo (Italian) anew

Dionisio Aguado (1784-1849) see Classical Guitarists and Composers

Direct a cautionary symbol placed at the end of a staff or page to indicate what the note following will be

Dirge a slow mournful piece associated with funeral and memorial services

Disciolto (Italian) skillful, dexterous

Discord a combination of notes that sound dissonant to the ear

Discreto (Italian) discreet, reserved

Discrezione (Italian) discretion, reserve

Discretezza (Italian) discretion, reserve

Disinvolto (Italian) easy going

Disjunct where the notes in a melody move in leaps, intervals greater than a tone, rather than from note to neighbouring notes only a semitone or tone different

Di sopra (Italian) above

Disperato (Italian) desperate, despair

Disperabile (Italian) desperate, despair

Disperante (Italian) desperate, despair

Disperazione (Italian) desperate, despair

Dissonance pitches that played together cause a discord, for example, seconds, sevenths and the tritone

Distanza (Italian) distance

Distinto (Italian) clear, distinct

Division a form of variations

Divoto (Italian) devoutly

Divotamente (Italian) devoutly

Divozione (Italian) devoutness

Dix (French) ten

Dixieland jazz style of jazz  with a simple, cheerful character


Doble bemol (Spanish) double flat

Doble sostenido (Spanish) double sharp

Dobro slide guitar with metal resonator discs mounted inside the body

Doch (German) nevertheless, still, yet

Doctor of Music the highest musical degree

Dodecaphony a harmonic system employing the twelve-tone principle of composition giving equal status to all twelve chromatic notes

Doglia (Italian) sorrow

Doglioso (Italian) sorrowful

Dogliosamente (Italian) sorrowfully

Dogwood Burl An alternative wood for the back and sides of a classical guitar. see Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Alternative Wood Choices for Back & Sides see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Doigt (French) finger

Doigté (French) fingering

Doina melancholic Romanian folk song

Doit (French) must

Doivent (French) must

Dolce (Italian) soft, sweet

Dolcissimo (Italian) very softly, very sweetly

Dolente (Italian) sorrowful

Dolentemente (Italian) sorrowfully

Dolentissimo (Italian) very sorrowful

Dolore (Italian) pain

Dolorosamente (Italian) painfully

Doloroso (Italian) painful

Dominant the fifth degree of the diatonic scale

Domra a central Asian or Russian plucked string instrument with a convex back and three strings,  like a mandolin

Dona nobis pacem (Latin) the closing movement in the Mass

Dopo (Italian) after, afterward

Doppel (German) double

Doppel B (German) double flat sign

Doppel-be (German) double flat sign

Doppelganz (German) double whole note

Doppelganznote (German) double whole note

Doppelganze (German) double whole rest

Doppelgriffe (German) double stop, a technique of playing two separate notes simultaneously by using two separate strings on a stringed instrument

Doppelkreuz (German) double sharp sign

Doppeln (German) to double

Doppelt-Cadence a note ornament see Doppelt-Cadence in Note Ornamentation

Doppelt-Cadence und Mordant a note ornament see Doppelt-Cadence und Mordant in Note Ornamentation

Doppeltaktnote (German) double whole note see Note Values

Doppelt so schnell (German) twice as fast

Doppio (Italian) double

Doppio bemolle (Italian) double flat sign

Doppio diesis (Italian) double sharp sign

Doppio movimento (Italian) twice as fast

Doshpuluur two or three string banjo-like plucked instrument

Dot placed above or below the notehead it indicates a staccato, placed immediately after a note it indicates that the note should be extended by half as much again as its principal time value a note with two dots following it, indicates that the note should be extended by a further quarter of its principal time value

Dotar a two stringed version of the ektar

Double (French) variation

Double bar a pair of vertical lines at the end of a section of a work

Double-bémol (French) double flat sign

Double concerto a concerto for two solo instruments and orchestra

Double counterpoint a method of counterpoint in which a second melody is added to an existing melody

Double-croche (French) sixteenth note see Note Values

Double-dièse (French) double sharp sign

Double exposition in a concerto, when the theme is stated twice, once by the orchestra and once by the soloist

Double flat the sign that lowers a note by two semitones. see double flat sign in Note Symbols

Double fugue a fugue which has two separate subjects

Double-pause (French) double whole rest

Double quartet a work written for eight players

Double-ronde (French) double whole note

Double sharp the sign that raises a note by two semitones. see double sharp sign in Note Symbols

Double stem when two voices or parts are written on the same staff and play the same note

Double stopping a string-instrument technique in which the player, placing two fingers on adjacent strings and playing two strings simultaneously

Double-time in jazz, packing twice as many notes in a measure as were there in the preceding measures so that the tempo appears to gain a great deal of momentum but the chord progressions played by the rhythm section remain the same

Double whole note a Breve see see Note Values

Doubling where two instruments play the same part in ensemble playing

Doubly augmented sixth chord an augmented sixth chord, which contains a sharpened second from the tonic

Douce (French) gentle, soft, sweet

Doux (French) gentle, soft, sweet

Doucement (French) gently, softly, sweetly

Douleur (French) sadness

Douloureux (French) sadness

Douloureuse (French) sad

Douloureusement (French) sadly

Dovetail Joint  A joint that connects the neck to the body of a guitar. It holds well and can be detached during future guitar repairs. see Anatomy of a Classical Guitar

Down-beat the motion of a conductor’s hand or baton to mark the stronger beats in the bar


Drammatico (Italian) dramatic

Drängend (German) hurrying, urging forward

Drei (German) three

Dressing Frets A procedure of reshaping the frets on a guitar to improve balance, tone, clarity, & sustain. See Dressing the Frets on a Classical Guitar 

Dringend (German) pressing on, urgent

Dritte (German) third

Driving where music is performed with a strong forward motion as the energy intensifies

Drohend (German) threatening

Droit (French) right

Droite (French) right

Droits d’execution (French) Performing Rights

Drone a note fixed in pitch held throughout the performance of a melody


D.S. (Italian) Dal segno; from the sign


Du (French) of the

Dubbing putting all the elements of sound, dialogue, sound effects and music, onto one soundtrack

Duende a person with a sense of flamenco in their artistic soul

Due (Italian) two

Duet a piece of music for two players

Duettino a little duet

Duftig (German) misty

Dumka a Slavonic folk ballad, alternately slow and quick, often in a minor key

Dumpf (German) dull, muted

Dunkel (German) dark

Dunkler (German) darker

Dumbra lute of the Tartar people

Dump slow, melancholy old English dance usually in 4/4 time

Dumpe slow, melancholy old English dance usually in 4/4 time

Duo (Italian) duet

Duo (French) duet

Duolo (Italian) grief

Duple meter a time signature, with an even number of beats- 2/2, 4/2, 6/8…

Duplet a pair of notes, or a note and a rest, having the time usually given to three

Duple time a time signature, with an even number of beats- 2/2, 4/2, 6/8…

Duplication where two instruments play the same part in ensemble playing

Dur (German) major, in the sense of major key

Duramente (Italian) hardness, harshness, sternness

Duration the length of time that a note is sounded, or rest is held

Duration Markings Symbol used for length of time something is held. see Elements of Standard Notation for Classical Guitar

Durch (German) through

Durchaus (German) throughout

Durchdringend (German) penetrating

Durchführung (German) development

Durchgangsnote (German) passing note

Durchkomponiert (German) applied to songs which use a new melody for each verse rather than a single melody throughout

Durchweg (German) altogether, generally, nearly always, throughout

Dureté (French) hardness, severity

Durezza (Italian) hardness, severity

Duro (Italian) firm, hard

Dur Ton (German) major key

Dur Tonart (German) major key

Düster (German) somber

Dutar a 14-stringed Afghan plucked lute, with a long neck, from the Herat region

Du wah with the first note muted and the second note unmated

Dux (Latin) used in fugues or canons to signify the first entering part


Dyad a term applied to two notes, in the same way that a triad is a term applied to three notes

Dynamic mark mark indicating that the dynamic level of a piece should gradually or suddenly change. see dynamic symbols in Phrasing Symbols see Elements of Standard Notation for Classical Guitar

Dynamics varying degrees of loudness or softness