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200+ Words To Describe Music

An epic list of words to describe music.

Music brings so much joy to life. Whether you create it yourself or enjoy listening to live or recorded music.

And the English language is a rich and varied one, but what words do we use to describe music?

There are many adjectives (describing words) that can be used to help explain the thoughts and feelings that music can conjure up in us, but here we have listed some of the more common ones.

As you will see there are many words that overlap in meaning or can be used in different contexts, for example, the genre, an individual piece of music, our opinion and how it makes us feel.

How To Describe Music

When we describe music, we usually think about the following factors:

  • rhythm, beat, tempo
  • tone, texture, melody
  • vocal style and form (e.g. spoken word, rap etc.)
  • lyrics and poetic devices used in lyrics such as rhyme and metaphor
  • emotional effects of the music (e.g. happy or sad)
  • cultural references to styles

Words to Describe Genres of Music

When we describe genres of music, they usually fit into the following categories of:

    • Alternative
    • Ambient
    • Baroque
    • Bluegrass
    • Blues
    • Ceremonial
    • Choral
    • Classical
    • Country
    • Cultural
    • Disco
    • Easy Listening
    • Electric
    • Electronic
    • Folk
    • Gospel
    • Heavy Metal
    • Hip Hop
    • Indie
    • Instrumental
    • Jazz
    • Latin
    • New Age
    • Opera
    • Pop
    • Progressive Rock
    • Punk
    • Rap
    • Reggae
    • Religious
    • Renaissance
    • Rhythm and Blues
    • Rock
    • Soul
    • Spiritual

 

Words to Describe Music

When we want to either explain a piece of music to others, or when we want to describe how music makes us think, feel and act, we can use some of the following adjectives (describing words):

    • acoustic
    • annoying
    • ballad
    • beautiful
    • biphonic
    • brassy
    • breathtaking
    • breathy
    • bright
  •  
    • calming
    • catchy
    • classic
    • classical
    • clean
    • clever
    • cohesive
    • complex
    • computerized
    • contemporary
  •  
    • dainty
    • deep
    • demotivating
    • depressing
    • diminishing
    • distinct
    • dramatic
    • dull
    • dynamic
    • dynamics
  •  
    • eclectic
    • electric
    • emotional
    • empowering
    • energetic
    • enigmatic
    • enthusiastic
    • enticing
    • exciting
    • exhilarating
    • extravagant
  •  
    • faint
    • feel-good
    • flat
    • fluid
    • fortissimo
    • frantic
    • fresh
    • funky
    • gentle
    • glorious
    • gradual
    • grandiose
    • groovy
    • groundbreaking
  •  
    • happy
    • hardcore
    • harmonized
    • harmonious
    • harmony
    • harsh
    • headbanging
    • healing
    • heartfelt
    • heterophonic
    • hip-hop
    • homophonic
    • homorhythmic
    • hypnotic
  •  
    • inciting
    • indulgent
    • inspirational
    • inspiring
    • instrumental
    • intoxicating
    • invigorating
  •  
    • jazz
    • jazzy
    • joyful
    • life-changing
    • light
    • loud
    • low
    • lyrical
  •  
    • magical
    • melancholy
    • mellow
    • melodious
    • mesmerizing
    • metal
    • monophonic
    • moody
    • morose
    • motivating
    • motivational
    • musical
    • mythical
  •  
    • natural
    • nostalgic
    • orchestral
    • piercing
    • playful
    • poetic
    • polyphonic
  •  
    • radical
    • rap
    • rapid
    • raucous
    • raw
    • reedy
    • refined
    • rejuvenating
    • relaxing
    • restful
    • restoring
    • rhythmic
    • rich
    • riotous
    • riveting
    • romantic
  •  
    • sad
    • saturated
    • sedate
    • seductive
    • sensual
    • shrill
    • simple
    • slow
    • smooth
    • soaring
    • soft
    • somber
    • sombre
    • sonic
    • soothing
    • sophisticated
    • soulful
    • staccato
    • steady
    • stimulating
    • stratospheric
    • strong
    • stylish
    • stylized
    • sublime
    • synthetic
    • talented
    • tempo
    • thrilling
    • transcendent
  •  
    • upbeat
    • uplifting
    • visionary
    • vocal
    • warm

 

Words To Describe Music List

 

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