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The glossary contains definitions and explanations of key terms and phrases used that may not be easily understood. In line with the aim of Lost in Music to make the music industry easier to navigate, we hope that these will aid your understanding of the cases. If there are other terms you spot that we have used that are not in the glossary but need further explanation, please contact one of the team.


The tune is the "melody". The adjective 'melodic' refers to the melody.

first inversion

a chord with the third note as its root (or bass note) - in C major, the bottom note would be E, the third note of the scale of C major, and part of the chord. A second inversion chord would have a G as the root.


the name given to the final section of a piece when the music prepares the listener for the ending


in music the name given to the chord of the fourth note of the scale. In a song in C major the subdominant chord is F.


the root of a chord is its bass, or bottom, note

ad lib

from the Latin phrase 'ad libitum' meaning 'freely' or 'at pleasure'. If a phrase is marked in music 'ad lib' it affords the musician freedom of expression.


hard to define precisely - in funk music "the bridge" was a section where the music moved from the tonic, or main chord to a new one, where it would remain for a number of bars before returning to the tonic. Usually the bridge was played on the fourth chord of the scale. In more recent pop music the bridge can also refer to a short section between the verse and the chorus.


in music the name given to the first chord of the scale. In a song in C major, C is the tonic chord, F is the subdominant chord and G is the dominant.


In a piece of music, the 'bridge' is the section between the verse and the chorus. As an example, the bridge in The Police song Every Breath You Take starts with the words "since you've gone I've been lost without a trace". In the funk genre the bridge is a short section in the middle (James Brown would instruct his band to "take it to the bridge") where the key moves away from the tonic for a few bars to introduce a new tonal feel before returning.


In a court case the party which is bringing the action is the claimant, formerly known as the plaintiff. The other side is the defendant.