I've just watched a video about the Grammy Awards and I've thought: why don't we have a look at some musical terms this week? you are.

There are different kinds of musical instruments:

The winds which include the woodwinds, such as the flute or piccolo, the oboe or English horn; and the brass, for example the saxophone, the trumpet or the trombone.

String instruments like the violin, viola, cello or bass.

Percussion instruments like the drums, the bass drum, the timpani, the triangle or castanets.

Keyboard instruments like the piano or the organ.

To talk about the person who plays an instrument, we usually add a suffix that can be –er or –ist: trumpeter or pianist, although with some instruments we need to use the word “player” following the instrument: keyboard player.

The musical notes are the letters of the alphabet: C, D, E, F, G, A and B.

An orchestra plays instrumental music and it’s directed by the conductor. An orchestra plays music in concerts but singers or bands play their music in concerts or shows and if they are not famous their performances are called “gigs” which is a very colloquial term.  When you are attending a concert and the singer is late, you can sing with the audience: “Hurry up!The audience is going to leave!” And at the end of the concert, if you don’t want it to finish and would like to listen to another song you shot: One more, one more!

Sometimes orchestras, singers or bands record their music and launch their first single, which is a CD with only one song, or an album, which is a CD with some of their songs that includes a booklet with the lyrics of the songs, and if one of those songs becomes very popular it’s called a “hit”. When a song can be heard in a film, we say that it is part of the soundtrack of that film.

To conclude, there are also some English idioms related to music:

  • Stop blowing your own trumpet! We already know you are perfect!
  • This is music to my ears, good news at last!
  • When their mother came into the room his brother left and she had to face the music.
  • Her name rings a bell, but I don’t remember her face.
  • You outfit needs some jewellery to jazz it up.
  • This house is going for a song, we won’t be able to find something cheaper!
  • She struck a false note (Vs strike the right note) answering her mobile in the meeting