Music Dictionary for Kids - D

from Music Dictionary for Kids Index


DA CAPO - "From the beginning". Return to the beginning of the piece and continue playing.

DAL SEGNO - "From the sign". Return to the sign and continue playing.

DAMPER PEDAL - The piano pedal that lifts the dampers off the strings. Also called the "Sustain Pedal".

MILES DAVIS - (1926-1991) An American jazz trumpeter and composer. Davis is considered one of the most important jazz musicians of the 20th century, and was at the forefront of the development of bebop, modal jazz, and jazz fusion.

CLAUDE DEBUSSY - (1862-1918) A French composer from the Impressionistic Period. He, along with Maurice Ravel, shaped the expressive and colorful music of the Impressionistic Period. Clair de Lune is one Debussy's most popular compositions. Read more...

DECRESCENDO - Growing gradually softer.

DELICATO - Delicately.

DIATONIC - Using only notes in the key, without the addition of flats or sharps. Opposite of "Chromatic".

DIMINUTION (MELODY) - To reduce. In music, this typically involves shorten of rhythmic values of a melody. For example, an eight half note melody is diminished if the composer later writes it as eight quarter notes. Opposite of "Augmentation".

DISSONANCE - A harmony, chord, or interval which does not blend together. The opposite of "Consonance".

DO - The solfége syllable for the first note of the major scale.

DOLCE - Sweetly.

DOMINANT - The fifth note of the scale, or the chord build on the fifth note of the scale. For example, the dominant note of the C major scale is G, and a dominant chord build on the fifth note of the C major scale would be "G-B-D".

DOUBLE BAR - Double vertical lines on a staff that indicate the end of a section (two thin lines), or the end of a piece of music (a thin line and a thick line).

DOUBLE FLAT - A musical symbol which lowers a note by two half steps, doubling the effect of a single flat.

DOUBLE TONGUING - A technique to help woodwind and brass instrument players to perform very fast tongued notes using both the front and the back of the tongue.

DOWN BEAT - The downward stroke of the conductor's baton to indicate the first beat of a measure.

DOWN BOW - A bowing technique used on string instruments. The player makes a sound by moving the bow from the frog to the tip. Opposite of "Up Bow".

DRUM - A percussion instrument with a hollow cylinder and a tightly stretched head (skin) over one or both ends. It is played with the hands or drumsticks.

DRUM STICKS - Wooden sticks used to strike a drum. Most drum sticks are made from hickory wood.

DULCIMER (APPALACHIAN) - A fretted string instrument with three or four strings stretched across a wooden sound box. Its fingerboard extends the full length of the instrument.

DUPLET - Two notes performed in the same time as three of the same value. For example, two duplet eighth notes take the same time to perform as three eighth notes in 6/8 meter.

DUET - A musical ensemble of two instruments or singers, each playing a separate part.

DURATION - The length of a sound.

ANTONIN DVORAK - (1841-1904) A Czech Romantic Era composer. His most successful works include Carnival Overture, Humoresque in Eb Minor, and his Symphony No. 9 "New World Symphony". Read more...

DYNAMICS - The softness or loudness of a sound.