David Bowman: Dictionary Of Music In Sound

Books and CDs

Publisher: Rhinegold Education
Author: David Bowman
Format: Books | Reference

This unique and multidimensional resource, for students , teachers and musicians, explains 2,300 musical terms through three different methods:

  • Written definitions
  • Music notation
  • Audio extracts

From acciaccatura and fragmentation, to ostinato and vihuela - each one is linked to a scored and audio example.


Musical terms are defined, covering western music from the dark ages to the 20th Century.

The definitions are backed up by an extensive reference section, including eight chapters on the elements of music:

  • Rhythm, metre and tempo
  • Tonality, modality and atonality
  • Melody, figuration and ornamentation
  • Counterpoint
  • Harmony
  • Timbre and texture
  • The structure of music
  • Style, genre and historical context


Each musical term in the dictionary is linked to a specially prepared score. For ease of use, precise timings are given so that readers can identify the exact points at which particular compositional details can be heard.


Each scored example can be heard on audio CD. There are 274 recorded extracts in total, completing this unique resource.

"The Rhinegold Dictionary of Music in Sound is beautifully put together, clear, unstuffy and thorough. I wish it had been around when I was studying music at school and university, with its long-overdue collation of written explanations, notated music examples and sound clips in one nifty box. The placing of musical terminology in its historical context is particularly welcome and possibly unique on so generous a scale. I am already using it in my research for a new TV series, and love the easy cross-referencing. Delia Smith for music. First rate." Howard Goodall

David Bowman was for 20 years director of music at Ampleforth College and a chief examiner for the University of London Schools Examination Board (now Edexcel) from 1982 to 1998. His publications include Sound Matters (co-authored with Bruce Cole, Schott, 1989), Aural Matters (co-authored with Paul Terry, Schott, 1993), Aural Matters in Practice (co-authored with Paul Terry, Schott, 1994), Analysis Matters (Rhinegold, Volume 1 1997, Volume 2 1998) and numerous articles for Music Teacher. He is a contributor to the Collins Classical Music Encyclopedia (2000) and author of the Rhinegold Dictionary of Music in Sound (2002).

ISBN: 9780946890873
Published on: 01 August 2002
No of pages: 826
Language: English
Catalogue No: RHG500

      David Bowman: Rhinegold Dictionary Of Music In Sound reviews verified by reevooReevoo

      Quality of content
      Value for money
      Overall rating
      Scores 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 reviews
      10 out of 10


      Plenty of examples to illustrate the dictionary entries.
      Reviewer left no comment
      Confirmed purchase: 13 July 2016
      Published on: 02 August 2016
      10 out of 10


      West Midlands GB Secondary music teacher
      Excellent resource for secondary teaching.
      Reviewer left no comment
      Confirmed purchase: 21 July 2014
      Published on: 06 August 2014

      Musicroom Reviews

      Bought on the recommendation of my music teacher as a 18th birthday gift for nephew about to go university studying music. Music teacher found her copies invaluable when she was studying (just a couple of years ago). Nephew very pleased with them.
      Anonymous - ()