Skip to content ↓


Musical Vocabulary Years 1–6

Year 1 Words you need to know:

Pulse, rhythm, pitch, rap, improvise, compose, melody, bass guitar, drums, decks, perform, singers, keyboard, percussion, trumpets, saxophones, Blues, Baroque, Latin, Irish Folk, Funk, pulse, rhythm, pitch, groove, audience, imagination.

Year 2 Words you need to know:

Keyboard, drums, bass, electric guitar, saxophone, trumpet, pulse, rhythm, pitch, improvise, compose, audience, question and answer, melody, dynamics, tempo, perform/performance, audience, rap, Reggae, glockenspiel.

Year 3 Vocabulary:

Structure, intro/introduction, verse, chorus, improvise, compose, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, bass, drums, guitar, keyboard, synthesizer, hook, melody, texture, structure, electric guitar, organ, backing vocals, hook, riff, melody, Reggae, pentatonic scale, imagination, Disco.

Year 4 Vocabulary:

Keyboard, electric guitar, bass, drums, improvise, compose, melody, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, texture, structure, compose, improvise, hook, riff, melody, solo, pentatonic scale, unison, rhythm patterns, musical style, rapping, lyrics, choreography, digital/electronic sounds, turntables, synthesizers, by ear, notation, backing vocal, piano, organ, acoustic guitar, percussion, birdsong, civil rights, racism, equality.

Year 5 Vocabulary:

Rock, bridge, backbeat, amplifier, chorus, bridge, riff, hook, improvise, compose, appraising, Bossa Nova, syncopation, structure, Swing, tune/head, note values, note names, Big bands, pulse, rhythm, solo, ballad, verse, interlude, tag ending, strings, piano, guitar, bass, drums, melody, cover, Old-school Hip Hop, Rap, riff, synthesizer, deck, backing loops, Funk, scratching, unison, melody, cover, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, Soul, groove, riff, bass line, brass section, harmony, melody.

Year 6 Vocabulary:

Style indicators, melody, compose, improvise, cover, pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure, dimensions of music, Neo Soul, producer, groove, Motown, hook, riff, solo, Blues, Jazz, improvise/improvisation, by ear, melody, riff, solo, ostinato, phrases, unison, Urban Gospel, civil rights, gender equality, unison, harmony