Berklee Contemporary Dictionary of Music

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New Arrivals
  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book
  • Pages: 224
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 0-87639-161-7
  • SKU: 00122072
  • Publication Date: May 19, 2015

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A comprehensive reference to terms used in the performance, creation, and study of music today. Covering instrumental and voice performance, audio technology, production, music business, and other dimensions of the modern music industry, its 3,400+ entries include many terms that are common among practicing musicians, but are found in no other dictionary. At the same time, it incorporates traditional terminology from early music to the present and across diverse cultures, as well as clarifying customary instrumental abbreviations and foreign language terms. Comprehensive lists of scales and chord symbol suffixes are itemized in the appendices.

Featured areas include:

  • Performance practices (ad lib, belt, doit, staccato, zart)
  • Instruments (afoxé, drum machine, virtual instrument, zither)
  • Musical styles (acid jazz, EDM, flamenco, plainchant, zydeco)
  • Theory (aleatory, chord scale, drop-2, pre-chorus, Z-complement)
  • Technology (ADSR, stutter edit, XLR-connector, Yellow book)
  • Colloquial usage (A Train ending, groove, hepcat, phat, woodshedding)
  • Music business (AFM, copyright, royalties, Variety)
  • Notation practices (al segno, lead sheet, chord symbol, guitar tablature, Nashville numbering system, zusammen)

“The Berklee Contemporary Dictionary of Music is an outstanding addition to the library any musician, student, or wordsmith. It is an informative, straightforward, fun read. Some of my favorites? The cha cha ending, ADAT tape, the definition of music as ‘framed sound,’ neofolk, and many more. Whether used as a reference tool or as a source of inspiration, this updated contemporary dictionary written by Kari Juusela belongs on every shelf.”

—Patty Larkin, Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

“Kari Juusela’s updated dictionary of musical terms is a perfect reference for the contemporary composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, copyist, and performer. Music remains the international language; and anyone desiring to speak it well would be wise to keep this valuable book close at hand.”

—Dan Carlin, Director, Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, USC; former GRAMMY®  Association Chair

“Kari Juusela’s Berklee Contemporary Dictionary of Music is the go-to resource for terms and expressions used by today’s musicians.”

—Kara DioGuardi, Songwriter, Former American Idol Judge

“At long last, a music dictionary that reflects what’s happening NOW! It’s a great tool for contemporary writers and artists, and a boon for people like me, who are still wrestling with what sometimes sounds like a foreign language. A must-have reference tool for anyone involved in the business of making music—or even just enjoying music.”

—Susan Birkenhead, Drama-Desk Award Winning Broadway Lyricist, GRAMMY and Tony Nominee


Dr. Kari Juusela

Kari Henrik Juusela is a Finnish-American composer, performer and educator who presently serves as dean of the Professional Writing and…