Index finger of the right hand. See p,i,m,a  in Left & Right Hand Fingerings

I (Italian) the

I, II, III, IV, V, VI…… A single finger holding multiple strings on a stringed instrument  at the same time. Symbol used in standard notation for guitar. Roman numeral indicates which fret. Example: B7 (C7, CVII, VII) See Barre


Iambic a poetic and musical foot consisting of two syllables, the first short, the second long


Ichigenkin smallest of the Japanese kotos, it has one string stretched over a slender plank of wood acting as a soundboard

Ictus the accent resulting from the transients produced at the instant of plucking a string


Idée fixe (French) a recurring theme, with or without variations, that appears throughout a composition

Idem a note ornament see Idem in Note Ornamentation

Idyll a musical composition of peaceful pastoral character


Il (Italian) the

Il faut (French) there is needed, there are needed

Illustrative music music that evokes a idea, mood or experience

Il pin (Italian) the most


Im Bedarfsfalle (German) in case of need

Im Falle (German) in case 

Imbongi Zulu musician storytellers

Imbuya 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

Imitando (Italian) imitating

Imitation the repetition of a phrase, usually at a different pitch

Imitative the repetition of a phrase, usually at a different pitch

Immer (German) always, ever, still

Impair (French) odd

Impaziente (Italian) impatient, hurried

Impazientemente (Italian) impatiently, hurriedly

Imperfect Cadence Half Cadence. A chord progression where the dominant chord is the final chord of the cadence and is preceded by the tonic chord in second inversion. This pattern produces two chords with the same bass note. In the tonality of C major, a half cadence would be the tonic chord in second inversion C major chord (G C E) moving to the dominant G major chord (G B D). see Musical Cadences

Imperioso (Italian) imperious, pompous

Impeto (Italian) impetus, impetuosity

Impétueux (French) impetuous

Impetuosità (Italian) impetuosity

Impetuosamente (Italian) impetuously

Impetuoso (Italian) impetuous

Imponente (Italian) imposing in style, haughtily

Imponierend (German) imposing in style, haughtily

Imponenza (Italian) an imposing style, haughty

Impressionism gives an impression of an experience

Impromptu instrumental piece giving the impression of having been improvised

Improvisation compose or perform


In alt high

In altissimo highest

Incalcando (Italian) getting louder and faster

Incalzando (Italian) hastening, pressing forward

Incidental music music composed for the production of a predominantly spoken play

Incipit the first line, or first few works, of a work, often used to identify it

Inciso (Italian) incisive

Incominciando (Italian) commencing

Inconsolato (Italian) in a mournful style

Indebolendo (Italian) becoming weaker

Indeciso (Italian) capricious, undecided

Indeterminacy where the composer leaves sections or elements in a performance to the discretion of the performer

Indicato (Italian) prominent

Infra (Italian) below

Infinite canon a round, a canon which can go on forever

Inflection any change or modification of pitch or note

Infra (Italian) below

Infrasonic generating or using waves or vibrations with frequencies below that of audible sound

Inglese (Italian) English

In modo di (Italian) in the style or manner of

Inharmonic containing frequencies that are not whole-number multiples of the fundamental

Innig (German) heartfelt, intimate

Inno (Italian) Hymn

Innocenza (Italian) innocence

Inquiet (French) restless

Inquieto (Italian) restless

Insensible imperceptible

Insieme (Italian) ensemble, together

Inständig (German) urgent

Instante (Italian) urgent

Instanteniente (Italian) urgently

Instrumental describes music written for instruments but not for the voice

Instrumentation the disposition of instruments in a musical work, which instruments plays what lines in the score

Instruments devices used to create music

Interlude a short piece played between two larger ones

Intermède (French) a smaller piece placed between others

Intermedio (Italian) short, musical, dramatic items performed between acts of a theatrical performance

Intermedium a smaller piece placed between others

Intermezzo (Italian) a smaller piece placed between others

Interpolation the lengthening of the repetition of a phrase by the insertion of material not heard in the original phrase

Interpretation how a performer will present the material to the listeners.

Interrupted Cadence 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

Interval the distance between two pitches

Intime (French) intimate

Intimo (Italian) intimate

Intonation the degree to which the pitch of a note heard is what is correct but not to the degree that the note heard is the wrong note

Intoning chanting on a single note

Intrada (Italian) entrée

Intrepidamente (Italian) boldly

Intrepidezza (Italian) boldness

Intrepido (Italian) bold

Intro opening bars of a piece of music played before the main theme

Introduction the opening part of a piece of music

Introduzione (Italian) introduction

Inversion where the notes in a chord or triad do not follow their standard order

Invertible counterpoint counterpoint in which two or more voices can be interchanged


Irato (Italian) angrily

Ironicamente (Italian) ironically

Ironico (Italian) ironic

Irresulto (Italian) undecided in style


Islancio (Italian) impetuosity

Isomelos in which a figure is repeated using the same notes but employing a different rhythm

Isometric where the rhythm in each part exactly matches that of others

Isorhythm repeated rhythmic pattern set against a pattern of notes or pitches

Istesso (Italian) same

Istesso tempo (Italian) the same speed


Italian overture a work for orchestra

Italian sixth chord an augmented sixth chord, which contains only three tones


Iworo leg rattles worn by dancers