Sunday, January 19, 2014

Music vocabulary

Today we are going to have a look at words related to music, not from the point of view of the musician but from that of the listener. In the next presentation, we'll revise the musical instruments, types of music, musicians and equipment needed to listen to music, as well as adjectives related to sounds and a few idioms that will be very useful for the learner of English.

Let's look deeper into the adjectives for sounds, as I think they need further explanation:
Sounds can be loud (strongly audible) or soft (quiet and pleasant to listen to). Synonyms for loud are: earsplitting (extremely loud), deafening (so loud that you can hear nothing else because it makes you deaf!), piercing (loud and unpleasant) or shrill (high and unpleasant).

Ear-splitting sound
Synonyms for soft are: quiet (making very little or no noise), muffled (not easy to hear because it is blocked), inaudible (difficult to hear).
According to the pitch, a sound can be high-pitched (like the cry of a baby) or low-pitched (like a tigers growl)
Sounds can also be lively or energetic if they fill you with energy, or soothing, calm and relaxing if they make you less nervous.
Finally, they can be melodious or tuneful if they are pleasant to listen to, or tuneless, if they are unpleasant, catchy if they are pleasing and easily remembered or bland if they are uninteresting.
Let's see some examples:

  • He lowered his voice so much that it was almost inaudible.
  • We coud hear muffled voices from the next room.
  • The noise of the machine was deafening.
  • I love listening to soothing music when I come back home from work.
  • "Call me maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen is a catchy song.

In the following presentation there are several questions. See how many you can answer correctly. 

Did you pass that test?

Finally, let's listen to this song about music by Abba.

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