music theory

le solfège

If you’re a musician and are interacting with the French on your work then it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with some French music theory terms. The following vocabulary list includes the names of all the notes and should get you started. At the bottom of the page there’s a link to a French site with French-to-French explanations.

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A la
B si
C ut/do
E mi
F fa
accidentalun altération
accidentalune altération
arpeggioun arpège
bass clefla clé de fa, clef de fa
bass notela note fondamentale
cadencela cadence
chordun accord
circle of fifthsle cycle des quintes
clef, keyla clé, clef
diminished fifthune quinte diminuée
dominant chordune dominante
dynamiqueune nuance
extended chordun accord étendu
falling scalegamme descendante
fifthune quinte
flatun bémol
G clef, treble clefla clé de sol
half stepun demi-ton
harmonic intervalune intervalle harmonique
harmonyla harmonie
high pitchun ton aigu
instrument tuningle diapason
key signaturel’armature, armure (f)
low pitchle registre grave
major scaleune gamme majeure
melodic intervalune intervalle mélodique
melodyune mélodie
minor scaleune gamme mineure
modele mode
music theoryle solfège, théorie musicale
octaveune octave
rest, intervalun intervalle
rising scaleune gamme ascendante
scaleune gamme
seventhune septième
sharpun dièse
thirdune tierce
to transposetransposer
tonic, key notela tonique
unisonl’unisson (m)
whole stepun ton
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