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Copyright © 1998-2008
Leonard Ellis
All Rights Reserved

Musical Terms Commonly Misunderstood
by Country Western Musicians
and Their Translated "Country" Definitions

DIMINISHED FIFTH - an empty bottle of Jack Daniels
PERFECT FIFTH - a full bottle of Jack Daniels
RITARD - there's one in every family
RELATIVE MAJOR - an uncle in the marine corps
RELATIVE MINOR - a girl friend
BIG BAND - when the bar pays enough to bring in two banjo players
PIANISSIMO - "refill this beer bottle"
REPEAT - what they do until they just expel you
TREBLE - women ain't nothin' but
BASS - the things you run aroun in softball
PORTAMENTO - a foreign country you always wanted to see
CONDUCTOR - the man who punches your ticket to Birmingham
ARPEGGIO - "ain't he that storybook kid with the big nose?"
TEMPO - good choice for a used car
A 440 - the highway that runs around Nashville
TRANSPOSITIONS - men who wear dresses
CUT TIME - parole
ORDER OF SHARPS - what a wimp gets at a bar
PASSING TONE - frequently heard near the baked beans at barbeques
MIDDLE C - the only fruit drink you can afford when food stamps are low
PERFECT PITCH - the smooth coating on a freshly paved road
TUBA - a compound word: "hey, woman! Fetch me another tuba Bryl Cream"
CADENZA - that ugly thing your wife always vacuums dog hair off of when company comes
WHOLE NOTE - what's due after failing to pay the mortgage for a year
CLEF - what you try never to fall off of
BASS CLEF - where you wind up if you do fall off
ALTOS - not to be confused with "Tom's toes", "Bubba's toes", or "Do-ri-toes"
MINOR THIRD - your approximate age and grade at the completion of formal schooling
MELODIC MINOR - Loretta Lynn's singing son
12-TONE SCALE - the thing the State Police weigh your tractor trailer with
QUARTER TONE - what most standard pickups can haul
SONATA - what you get with a bad cold or hay fever
CLARINET - name used on your second daughter if you've already used Betty Jo
CELLO - the proper way to answer the phone
BASSOON - typical response when asked what you hoped to catch
FRENCH HORN - your wife says you smell like a cheap one when you come in at 4 am
CYMBAL - what they use on deer crossing signs so you know what to sight in you pistol with
BOSSA NOVA - the car your forman drives
TIME SIGNATURE - what you need from you boss if you forget to clock in First
INVERSION - grandpa's battle group at Normandy
STACCATO - how you did all the ceilings in you mobile home Major
SCALE - what you say after chasing wild game up a mountain, "Damn! That was a major scale!"
AEOLIAN MODE - how you like Ma's apple pie
BACH CHORALE - the place behind the barn where you keep the horses