A440: Depending on who's playing it, sometimes G440 or B440.
ACCELERANDO: When the conductor starts to follow the drummers.
AGITATO: A reedist's state of mind when a reed cracks in the middle of a song.
ALEATORY: A bar.
ALTERED CHORD: When the French horns just can't find the right note.
ALTO CLARINET: A soprano clarinet for simplicity-impaired people who insist on having all their parts rewritten in Eb.
ALTO SAXOPHONE: A musical instrument that either plays very loud or not at all between squeaks.
AUDITION: The act of putting oneself under extreme duress to satisfy the sadistic intentions of someone who has already made up his mind.
BAND FESTIVAL: They may have fooled you the first time, but all returning people know it's anything but a festival.
BAND GEEK (bando, band nerd, band freak, bandie): A person who is so obsessed with band that they wouldn't dream of being late for band, practice their music as often as possible, and has no real life. They're nice people, except for being insane.
BAND ROOM: The cold place where band geeks congregate before school and would much prefer to be throughout the school day. Characterized by people trying to use clarinet cases as pillows and hiding in French horn lockers.
BAND! 'TEN HUT!: A very very ebil way to torture someone!
BARI SAXOPHONE: An instrument for saxophone players who want to sound like a tubists.
BARITONE: A device for doubling the trombones except using the right notes. Also used for playing during silence.
BAROQUE: If it's baroque, fix it!
BASS CLARINET: A soprano clarinet impersonating a bassoon; a very keyful instrument.
BASS CLARINETIST: Someone to fear. haha that would be me lol
BASS LINE: The epitome of boredom.
BASSOON: An instrument designed for people who like playing bass, just not loudly. NOT a big oboe, NOT bass duck, NOT the cow instrument, NOT the tugboat sound, and undoubtably, THE BEST INSTRUMENT!!!
BASS WEASAL: What I like to call bass clarinetists, after the bass weasal in the Bandimals! section.
BATTERY: Something that would power a tuner if anyone ever turned the thing on.
BIS (bees): Annoying insects that buzz around and torment the marching band at band camp all summer.
BLACK SOCKS: Part of the required concert uniform, but grey ones are all right if nobody catches you. Really, white ones are, too.
BLOCK BAND: Something that poorly made floats in a parade do well.
BLUE AND ORANGE: Generally agreed to be a really bad choice for school colors.
BOURDON: Part of a drum set, if you're already carrying your instrument and a stand.
BOW TIE: The single most frequently challenged part of standard concert uniform. Also, for tubists in Chamber, a joke.
BRASS: The section of the band made up of shiny instruments with weird mouthpieces who sit in the back. Saxophones aren't considered brass, even though they're made of brass, and neither are flutes, even though they aren't wooden and they have a weirdo mouthpiece instead of a reed. Silver trumpets and euphoniums are considered brass, as are copper trombones. But what's in a name?
BROKEN CHORD: The reason you can't hear the guitar.
CAMERA: An object carried by many band geeks in hopes of blackmailing others later.
CANON: Two French horn players trying to play the same part.
CARDS: Used to entertain band members when they're supposed to be helping set up/paying attention/doing anything. The only thing keeping them on the edge of sanity.
C CLEF: C clef run.
CHANCE MUSIC: When you get extremely lucky and the band actually sounds good.
CHORUS: The group of "musicians" who reside across the hall and wish they were cool or talented enough to be in the band. Sometimes the ones smart enough to play an instrument hang around for pep band.
CLARINET: An untuneable device for people who want to be in the band but have weak arms and don't wish to be heard.
CLARINET PLAYER: One of about 1000 people who happened to pick up a clarinet on the first day of band and are too timid to ever try anything else. Hobbies include squeaking and complaining about parts.
CLEF: Something to jump from before the French horn solo.
CLUSTER CHORD: A trombone section trying to play the same note.
CODA: A sophisticated way of encrypting music.
COLLA: Soft drinks. The only reason the pep ensemble can scrape together even fifteen members.
COMMON TIME: "Let's synchronize our watches."
COMPOSER: Someone everyone likes to complain about and is generally able to do so without fear of retribution.
CON: A guy who's in prison.
CON BRIO: Stolen cheese.
CON CALORE: A fat criminal.
CONCERT: A place where people go to cough and sneeze.
CONDUCTING: An action taken by conductors in attempt to control what goes on in the band room, but more frequently only causes band members to laugh uproariously at their motions which are remarkably similar to dancing.
CON SPIRITO: A criminal's ghost.
CONTRABASSOON: Like a bassoon, only more so.
COUNTERMELODY: Non-prescription music.
COUNTERPOINT: A favorite device of many Baroque composers, all of whom are dead, though there is not necessarily a connection between these two facts.
CPS: Chronic Playing Syndrome. There's no known cure CUT TIME: When everyone else is playing twice as fast as you are.
DAMPER PEDAL: A flower in the rain.
DEGREE: A measurement of temperature that band directors deny the presence of all summer during band camp.
DETACHé: An indication that the trombones are to play with their slides removed.
DIRECTOR: The person who thinks they're in charge and claims responsibility when everything is going well but claims denial when things go wrong.
DISCORD: Not to be confused with datcord.
DOLCE: Sweetly. DOLCISSIMO: Tooth decay.
DOMINANT: An adjective used to describe the one trumpeter on the wrong note.
DOUBLE BASS: Also called the bass viol, string bass, and bass fiddle. It has so many names because it is so huge.
DOUBLE REED: A good way to make a band member's face look like they just ate a lemon.
DOUBLE TONGUING: Something flutists and trumpeters pretend to know how to do.
DRESS LEFT/RIGHT/CENTER: A wonderful way to break your neck.
DRUM: Devices designed to be hit with sticks to make LOUD noise and annoy the rest of the band. Designed to play so loud that none of the other band members can hear their mistakes.
DRUM CAPTAIN: The leader of the percussion section who's main requirement for the job is to not be able to hold a steady tempo.
DRUM LINE: The people hitting the drums (or each other) with sticks in time with each other, but either a half beat earlier or later than the band and one beat from the pit.
DUEL: Music played by two people at the same time.
DYNAMICS: Something trumpet players never worry about.
EUPHONIUM: A tuba wannabe.
EIGHTH NOTE: The one everyone breathes on, except in 3/4 time.
ENERGICO: Who to call when the furnace breaks.
ENGLISH HORN: Neither English nor a horn, not to be confused with the French horn, which is German.
ESCAPE TONE: The last note before you scurry offstage.
EXECUTION: What the band goes through at band camp.
FALSETTO: A flutist playing a difficult run.
FANTASIA: When the band sounds good.
FIELD: 100 yards in length, this is a wide expanse of mud on which bands perform. Contained within the area of this expanse are frequent sprinklers with occasional patches of grass.
FIGHT SONG: An annoying, peppy song played by the pep band at every conceivable opportunity, often impeding progress of the basketball game. most can sing this somg while in a coma.
FLAG: A weapon; the color guard's only means of protection, or often, retribution.
FLIP FOLDER: An object possessed by every member of the marching band, none of which will ever contain all the right parts.
FLUTE: An instrument designed for the sole purpose of supplying the band with a bunch of girls to complain about thirty-second note runs.
FLUTIST: Person who plays the flute. Orchestras need only three but bands seem to require about four hundred. Sometimes known as flautists, but no matter what term you use, they'll always insist on the other.
FOOTBALL TEAM: What football team?
FORTE: The lowest dynamic marking a brass instrument can play at, with the possible exception of French horn.
FORTE POSSIBILE: A question woodwinds are asked.
FRENCH HORN: Only brass instrument that is played with left hand. Involves strings in conjunction with valves and an impossibility to play fast or loud. It would be okay if not for being so tangled up.
FURIOSO: What the conductor is when you don't practice.
GLIDE STEP: Wheee!
GLISSANDO: The musical equivalent of slipping on a banana peel.
GUARDIE: Person who waves flags, rifles or sabres around during marching shows to distract the judges from how off step everyone is. When they want attention, they whack the instrumentalists with the thing they're twirling.
GUSTO: A blast of wind. Salvation in marching band practice.
HALF NOTE: The length of time a piccolo stays in tune.
HARP: A nude piano.
HEY WAR: For football games. First they play it, then we play it louder, then they play it faster, then we play it faster and louder...
HOT CHOCOLATE: Salvation on a cold night at marching band.
HUMORESQUE: These jokes would be an example, or possibly when the conductor says he'll let you out on time.
IDIOMATIC: A percussionist.
IMPROVISATION: What trumpet players do during rests.
INQUIETO: The band room.
INTONATION: Don't worry about it. No one else does.
IRATO: The conductor when you keep missing the high note.
IRONICO: When you practice and practice for hours on end, and then the concert is postponed.
JAZZ BAND: A cruel joke on two eager flutists who tried out, were accepted into the band, and then completely forgotten about. But who's bitter?
JAZZ CLARINET or JAZZ FLUTE: The people who take trumpet parts and sit in the front row of a jazz band. Nobody wants them around, but they come anyway because they love being overpowered by trumpeters.
KEY CHANGE: A change in the main pitch or "tonal center" which takes full effect three to five bars after it is noted in the music.
LARGHETTO: A big inner city area. Used to describe the lowest band (ghetto band): a big group of slow musicians.
LAWNMOWER DANCE: Don't get too close to the flutes at football games.
LIBRETTO: The bell.
LOST AND FOUND: A box that contains one thousand items that have been sitting around since the dark ages that everyone refuses to claim, none of which are the item you're looking for.
MANUAL: The book that theoretically tells you all the fingerings for your instrument, half of which are wrong, according to the director.
MARCHING UNIFORM: An interesting garnment designed to conveniently keep the wearer too hot in the afternoon and too cold at night, and be really itchy no matter what. Usually comes with a shako, despite the fact that those hats have been proven in scientific tests to be ugly.
MEAN-TONE TEMPERAMENT: One's state of mind when everybody's trying to tune at the same time.
MELODIC MINOR: A freshman in the highest band.
MENO MOSSO: Percussionists don't know what this means.
MEZZO FORTE: The loudest dynamic marking a woodwind can play at.
MI: A flutist's favorite word.
MICROTONE: Flutists play with this.
MINUET: The average amount of time it takes for someone to notice a tempo change.
MODERATO: The person who regulates a debate.
MORDENT: When you look down and realize you dropped your instrument harder than you thought.
MOTIVE: "Well, we have the weapon..."
MOVEMENT: Good thing to do so the conductor can't start a piece.
MUD: A substance that the school wishes to grow and thus waters the field every night in hopes of increasing the supply of.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: A song traditionally either played by the pep band or sung before a basketball game. If it's being sung, a time for geeks in the pep band to talk. If it's being played, a disaster.
NATURAL: Band music never sounds this way.
NONHARMONIC TONES: Band rehearsal.
NOTES: Dollar bills of varying denominations. Obviously, not possessed by band geeks.
OBBLIGATO: Band community service, eg. the parade, the graduation, or pep band.
OBOE: An excellent way to annoy the neighbors.
OBOIST: Insane people who decide they want to grapple with two reeds instead of just one.
OCTAVE DISPLACEMENT: "Where'd I put my music again?"
OFFICERS: The people who think they have some power in marching band. Sold a LOT of fruit.
OOMPAH PIECE: A song where your part is simple and repetitive for the majority of the time, e.g. Cs on 1 and 3, Bbs on 1 and Fs on 4, almost every bassoon part, etc.
OVERTURE: Anywhere except over here.
PAGE TURN: A good excuse for not playing the hard parts.
PARADE REST: A form of relaxation while standing up. Little talking, but some required to keep band geeks sane.
PARALLEL MINOR: A music student who is as tall as his instructor.
PENTATONIC: Schweppes has been shaken but not opened.
PEP BAND: A collection of at most 40 band geeks that voluntarily, or sometimes because they're required to, get together to play disastrous cacophonies loudly during basketball games without rehearsing much and try to pass it off as music. Uniform: band-issued T-shirts, goofy smile. Requires five more trumpets than ever show up and about 20 flutes and clarinets.
PEP BASSOON: A bassoonist in pep band. Also known as swingin' bassoon. Usually either one or zero in a pep band. Position designed for people who enjoy playing second trombone or euphonium parts and straining their arms dragging a bassoon across the school while trying to juggle a music stand, a binder of music and a bottle of pop.
PEP ENSEMBLE: Pep band when only about 15 or 20 people show up, which is most of the time. It's more fun than pep band, but low numbers are a great excuse for trumpet players to blast right into everyone's ears.
PERCUSSIONIST: Someone who can't blow into an instrument and hit keys at the same time. Neither can they read music at all. Suprisingly, they have no trouble talking while banging sticks on something. They lurk in the back of the band room and play "instruments" that most people haven't touched since kindergarden.
PERFECT CHORD: Insert your own funny definition here.
PERFECTION: See YEAH, RIGHT.
PHRASE: An incomplete sentence, e.g.: "If you breathe at the end of the second bar again..."
PIANO: The thing in the corner that everyone would rather play than their instrument.
PICCOLO: A high-pitched instrument similar to the flute, only you can actually hear that it's out of tune.
PICCOLO PLAYER: Person who decides that, rather than be drowned out by the trumpets on flute, they'd like to squeak out impossibly high notes on an instrument so small, the cases are often mistaken for glasses cases. I don't even know why those things have handles, when you can just slip it in your pocket.
PICCOLO TRUMPET: You wanna see how many dogs there are in this town? (Credit Lucia AKA: Mini Kinch!)
PICCOLO TRUMPETER: A trumpeter that lost his dog and can actually count to 4! (Credit Lucia AKA: Mini Kinch!)
PITCH CLASS: A baseball clinic.
PIU: What to say when you finish a piece.
PLUNGER: Supposed to be used as a mute, but is more useful for entertaining the drummers.
POCO: A fun thing to do to flutes.
POMPOSO: A conductor.
POSSIBILE: Anything's possibile.
POWER CHORD: It plugs into the wall.
PRACTICE: Don't worry about it. Musicians never do it anyway.
PRACTICE ROOM: A place people go to make out, fiddle with the pianos, argue, or basically do anything BUT practice.
PRECIPITATE: Rain, snow, hail, etc. Most directors will force you to march anyway.
PREPATORY BEAT: A threat made to musicians, e.g.: "Play or else!"
PRESTO: Change-o. PRESTISSIMO: A really good magic trick (Joey...).
QUADRILLE: When the director cuts off and starts over for the fourth time.
QUAVER: An action for flutists in the front row when the director's angry.
RANGE: "Home, home in my range . . ."
RC COLA: A liquid which is almost as important to band geeks as valve oil, although it is drunk in larger quantities.
RECITAL: Where to catch up on your sleep.
REED: No brass players can.
REHEARSAL: The event that goes on in the band room. Talking is generally prohibited, but is okay as long as nobody catches you.
REPRISE: I won again!
RESOLUTION: An oath frequently made by music teachers, e.g.: "I'll never use that song again!"
REST: What tuba players do during rehearsal. Also known as: zzzz . . .
RISOLUTO: Indicates to orchestras they are to stubbornly maintain the correct tempo no matter what the conductor tries to do.
RITARD: The idiot behind the stick.
ROOT: Generally the most important note of a chord, which is why it's always drowned out by the people on the eighth.
SAXOPHONE: A weirdo mutant woodwind that is made of brass, but still considered a woodwind. Basically a big metal clarinet. Usually only played at bars where people are too drunk to care how bad it sounds.
SCHIETTO: --I mean, shoot.
SCIFFLE: Trombone players are always getting into these.
SCORE: The act of marking something with deep gouges. Only used by music students to mark music. Oh yeah, and you'll get in trouble with your director at the end of the year if you try to keep score. Sheet music is expensive!
SECTION: A group of people who play the same instrument, think it's the best, and go to great lengths to prove it.
SECTION NINE: A form of cruel and unusual punishment where band geeks are forced to play rhythm studies on the same tone again and again until someone comes over from chorus to see why the band is hosting a road rage clinic. Also known as the traffic jam song.
SEMITONE: Clarinetists play with this.
SERIAL MUSIC: A new crime wave in New York City.
SHAKO: Weirdo hats so stylishly shaped like buckets, which, prior to their popularization in marching bands, hadn't been used since the Mexican War (really. Check your history book).
SHARP: An adjective used to describe another musician whose opinions are in harmony with your own.
SINISTRA: A French hornist (because French horn is the only brass instrument played with the left hand...).
SIX-FOUR: Or 25. A favorite of pep band geeks (this is kind of an inside joke).
SIXTEENTH NOTE: Everyone breathes on this one, too (see EIGHTH NOTE).
SMOOTH: Something saxophone players think they are.
SMORZANDO: Dessert made of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate.
SOL: Something band members are supposed to play with, but generally don't.
SONORITY: Why the older people get to go first.
SOUSAPHONE: An instrument that adds bass to the band. Can play any note as long as it's a low G.
SPICATTO: How a wind instrument sounds halfway through the piece.
SQUEAK: The only sign that the woodwind reeds give that they are actually playing.
STABILE: Where the horses are kept. Sometimes known as the Bach Chorale.
STEP PROGRESSION: A support group.
STESSO: Band causes too much.
STREPITOSO: Why you missed band practice last week (we believe you).
SUPERTONIC: Excellent medicine. Good for STREPITOSO.
SUSPENSION: This won't look good to colleges.
TACIT: Or leave it.
TANGO: What happens over the winter if you don't go to a salon.
TEMPO CHANGE: The signal for the musicians to ignore the conductor.
THE BAND TEAM: The great debate: does it exist or not?
THEREMIN: One of the B vitamins.
TRAIL ARMS: Holding your arms in an uncomfortable position so you can do a horn movement while marching.
TRANSPOSITION: A necessity for flute players who want to be in jazz band to know.
TRANSVERSE FLUTE: When you hand your flute to a percussionist and they hold it the wrong way.
TRILL: The musical equivalent of an epileptic seizure.
TROMBONE: A slide whistle with delusions of grandeur. The easiest brass instrument to master. Also works as a double weapon: can be used either to blow spit at people or bonk people with the slide. The loudest and therefore most spirited (or possibly just most annoying) section of the band.
TROMBONIST: A person whose fingers are too slow to move to different fingerings for whole notes and rests, and therefore play instruments that involve shoving a slide back and forth.
TRUMPET: A high-pitched brass instrument, when it's not referring to an elephant.
TRUMPETER: Wimps who want to play a brasswind, but don't have enough creativity or lung capacity to play anything but a little knot of metal.
TUBA: An instrument that is much larger than its name.
TUNE: The condition when all instruments are within half a step of each other.
TUNER: A paperweight.
TUNING: A period of time in which one instrument holds a note and everyone in the band tries to match the pitch. The following consequences usually result: all the clarinets get in tune with each other, but are almost a half step behind the trumpets, who still aren't as sharp as the flutes, and no one even wants to talk about the piccolo. Meanwhile, the trombonists are playing anything and hoping the director won't notice, the French horns still don't know what's going on, the bassoonist is doing something all her own, and no one can hear a thing over the percussionists talking.
TUNING FORK: The point where, after holding the same pitch for so long, the instrument everyone is tuning to starts going flat.
UNISON: The parts of the music that are easier, but less fun.
UNORDERED SET: When the clarinetists forget to sit with firsts at one end of the section and thirds at the other.
UPBEAT: Cheerful, lighthearted, or cheerleaders.< evil!
VALVE: A key object on most brass instruments that sticks only during important performances and solos.
VALVE OIL: Exquisitely tasty with a twist of lemon. A form of currency for brass players. Most important ingredient to a beverage known as "Valve Oil Daiquiri."
VITAMENTE: Nutritional supplements. See THEREMIN.
WHITE NOISE: Jazz band in a largely caucasian district.
WHOLE NOTE: Bassoonists can't hold one.
WHOLE STEP: 22 1/2 inches.
WINDCHIMES: A percussion instrument that is always hidden for reasons that remain unknown.
WOODWINDS: The section of a band usually characterized by a wooden reed, except in the case of flutes and piccolos. Usually known for their squeaks, except in the case of flutes and piccolos, which are known for their mistakes on thirty-second note runs.
XYLOPHONE: An instrument for percussionists who can actually tell the difference between one note and another.
Z: Man, I can't believe you're still reading this. You must REALLY be a band geek. Get a life! Shoo!