Common Musical Terms That You Should Know

You hear a lot of great singers on TV shows and on YouTube and feel like singing with the same passion. You feel inspired by these great voices and wish to become a great singer like them but the idea of getting insulted by the judges keeps you from going for any auditions.

If you have a good voice and basic understanding of music, you should not be afraid of showing your talent to the world. Just get to know a few basic terms of Music so you can understand the comments from judges and also comprehend online instructions about your voice.


Tempo is like the speed of the song and it depends on the speed of the original song that you are performing. If it is your song, you are the one to decide its speed. But you will have to maintain the right tempo if you are covering a song unless you have changed its form deliberately.


You will often hear instructors telling you to use metronome while practicing, especially when you play an instrument. It is that “click-click” sound that tells you the counts within a beat before it repeats. With metronome playing you can stay on beat and follow the time signature.


Musical notes are the sounds at different pitches. A shrill note will be called a high note because of high pitch and a grave note will be a low note. Every different sound made on a piano key is a note and similarly on other instruments. Bass notes are low notes whereas treble comprises of high pitched notes.


When you sing sharp you are actually singing a quarter tone higher than the original note in the song.


When you are singing the note a quarter tone lower than the original note, you will be considered to be singing flat.

Generally, when you are lower than the note you are said to be singing flat regardless of to which degree you are low. Same goes for singing sharp.


It is a system within music theory that is composed of notes and tones. Key needs to be explained in order for someone to understand so you are advised to read about it in detail.


Scale defines a specific set of notes that are within a particular key on which you can move up and down for as long as you are within the scale. Going off-scale unintentionally could translate to you not knowing how to sing.


In physics it is the frequency at which some sound is moving. Sounds that sound thin and shrill have higher frequencies and thus higher pitches. If you are singing too many high notes within a song you might be called pitchy by a judge.


When several or few notes are grouped together within a beat it is referred to as rhythm. The several groups found within a music piece have to repeat several times in order for it to become a rhythm to which you can tap your foot.