Music

French music vocabulary
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La musique

Music is a language unto itself, and yet we need our own language to talk about it. The French names for musical genres are often the same as in English, but there’s still plenty of French vocabulary to be learned.

music la musique
musical musical
musically musicalement
musicality la musicalité
beat le temps
movement le mouvement
rhythm le rythme
song une chanson
   
Types of music Genres de musique
ambiant music la musique d’ambiance
background music la musique de fond
bland music la musiquette
blues le blues
classical music la musique classique
country la musique country
electronic music la musique électronique
folk le folk
la musique folklorique
French variety music la variété française
hip hop le hip hop
house music la musique house
jazz
hot jazz
cool jazz
 le jazz
le hot
le cool
Muzak la musique d’ascenseur
la musique de supermarché
pop le pop
la musique populaire
rap le rap
rock le rock
soul la musique soul
   
People Gens
musician un musicien
une musicienne
backup singer le / la choriste
composer le compositeur
la compositrice
conductor le chef d’orchestre
drummer le batteur
guitarist le / la guitariste
rapper le rappeur
la rappeuse
singer le chanteur
la chanteuse
singer-songwriter l’auteur-compositeur
   
Instruments Instruments
brass les cuivres
keyboard`à clavier
percussion à percussion
reed à anche
string à cordes
wind à vent
   
Verbs Verbes
to compose composer
to listen to music
to listen to the radio
 écouter de la musique
écouter la radio*
to perform interpréter
to play an instrument
to play guitar
to play piano
 jouer d’un instrument
jouer de la guitare
jouer du piano
to practice s’exercer
to read music lire la musique
to sing chanter, interpréter
to write music écrire, composer la musique

 * The verb écouter means "to listen to" so when followed by something like radio there is no preposition: écouter la radio. In écouter de la musique, de is not acting as a preposition, but is rather helping to create the partitive article: "to listen to some music."

 Reading comprehension

Listening comprehension

 Musical expressions

Music for French Mastery

Listening to music can be a fun and interesting way not only to experience some culture, but also to improve your French.
 

Learn Italian In italiano

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French music terms

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