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Learning English
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Learn the language of the street - what people say and the topics they like to talk about. Take a look at these music words and phrases and then take the Lingo Challenge!
 People working in music more Lingo

  • A bassist - Someone who plays bass guitar.
  • A guitarist - Someone who plays a guitar.
  • A lead singer - The main singer in the band.
  • A drummer - The person who plays percussion and the drums.
  • A programmer - Someone who creates music by mixing different bits or samples of others.
  • A singer songwriter - Someone who writes and sings their own songs, eg Paul McCartney.
  • A boy band - A group of young men brought together by a record company.






Going out





 Types of music

  • Trance - DJ Quicksilver, Nomad, etc.
  • Ambient - Tangerine Dream to Brian Eno, Aphex Twin to Penguin Cafe Orchestra, etc.
  • Disco - Modern Talking, Steps, etc.
  • Techno - David Holmes, Laurent Garnier, Dave Clarke, etc.
  • Heavy metal - Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Guns n Roses, Nirvana, Limp Bizkit, etc.
  • Indie [abbrev. Independent ie not mainstream] - Coldplay, Muse, Stereophonics, etc.
  • Dance - Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Leftfield, etc.
  • Drum and bass - Roni Size, Grooverider, etc.
  • Jungle - Goldie, Digital, Photek, etc.
  • Hip hop - Grandmaster Flash, Wu Tang Clan, Dr Dre, Eminem, etc.
  • UK Garage - Truesteppers, Artful Dodger, Wookie, etc.
  • Britpop - mid 90s British pop / rock - Blur, Pulp, Oasis, Suede, Elastica, etc.

 In the studio

  • In the studio William Orbit mixed some of the tracks on Madonna's last CD. - He worked on the sound and arranged the music.
  • Chinn and Chapman produced a lot of the famous bands from the 1970s. - They decided on the songs and the sound of the bands so the music had a distinctive sound.
  • Most bands record many demo versions of their music. - Recordings of songs before their final production.

 Making the music

  • They got a really good deal with Warner Brothers. - They've been signed up by a major record company.
  • She did vocals on Radiohead's latest release. - She sang on Radiohead's last CD.
  • The concert's been sold out for weeks. - All the tickets were sold weeks ago.
  • They were headlining at Glastonbury. - They were the main band at Glastonbury [a festival often held on a farm in the south west of England].
  • Paul McCartney is a great singer-songwriter - He writes his own songs and performs them.
  • Maria Callas was a famous soprano. One of her greatest performances was as Violetta. She was accompanied by the famous tenor Arrigo Pola - These are terms often used in the description of operatic performers.
  • The orchestra at the Royal Opera House was conducted by Bernard Heitink. - The conductor is the person who leads the orchestra.

 Musical ability

  • I can play the trumpet but I'm not very good at the piano. My brother can't play anything! - These are examples of using play to describe what instruments you can use.
  • I wish Jemima wouldn't sing - she's tone deaf! - Jemima is someone who can't sing in tune or recognise different tunes.
  • I've been able to sightread since I was six. - I can play music the first time I see it on a page.
  • She was born to sing. - She is very talented at singing.
Lingo Challenge

Try using as many of these phrases as you can in a one-minute conversation! How many will you manage to use? Have fun!

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