There are good reasons to learn the correct musical vocabulary as part of your ear training. And not just “you should know music theory” and “it’s important for proper musicianship”.

We don’t go heavy with the music theory here at, but knowing the right names for musical elements provides your brain and ears with the building blocks you need to understand what you hear in music.

Assigning clear unique names to musical elements (such as instruments, notes, chords, audio effects, performance style, etc.) allows your brain to anchor to them, refer to them, and ultimately build on them to understand more sophisticated concepts. Without good names to give it structure, the rich world of music will remain a fuzzy, indistinct mess.

More than that, learning to use the same terms to refer to musical elements as everybody else does will help you talk more freely and collaborate more easily with other musicians. So even if the words sometimes seem arbitrary or archaic – stick with them!

Still not convinced? Learn about the secret power of names in music. And if you decide to brush up on your musical lingo, try the excellent video tutorials at

Similar questions answered on this page:

  • Why learn the vocab for ABRSM Grade 5 Theory?
  • Is there any point to all these old foreign words for music?

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