About Me

My photo
To listen to my latest recording, view my complete profile and then click on "audio clip" under "links"

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

An Appeal To Music Junkies & Word Freaks

How many new words would you guess have entered your vocabulary via music? 

Because I became a music junkie and word freak at about the same young age, I suspect my list could be longer than many folks. That aside, please share with me a few words that might have escaped your notice if you hadn't been exposed to them via music. Yes, of course, I'll go first but this is invariably more fun when some of you join in. Three of my favorites, listed alphabetically:

crepuscule: twilight. Got this gem from Thelonious Monk's composition Crepuscule With Nellie. 

hejira: journey to escape a hostile situation. The title of my favorite Joni Mitchell album. Joni chose to spell this word - one frequently tied to the Muslim faith - with a "j" vs. the more commonly used "g". 

proselytize: convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion or belief to another: Al Kooper used this frequently misspelled word in I Can't Quit Her, one of his songs that appeared on the first Blood, Sweat, and Tears album - Child Is Father to the Man. Quick quiz for music junkies only: Who replaced Kooper as the main lead singer in BST on their second album? No fair using Google.  

OK, your turn. I know some of you have at least a few of these up your sleeve.   


  1. I felt proud of myself for knowing the last one

    1. Alison; Ha! I'm proud of you for knowing it as well. Would you spell it correctly in a spelling bee, Putnam County or otherwise?

  2. Good morning, Pat. I've also been interested in music from an early age, although not in the same manner as you described. I didn't realize it at the time, but my parents love of Big Band music was more of an influence that I knew. In fact I have some of their albums in my vinyl collection. I feel that I have a very diverse taste in music, listening to just about anything to see where it will take me. I love musical theater and was involved in productions in both HS and college and some community theater previously, although not in many years. Pretty sure my vocal range is not what it used to be. And, as you I have talked about, I have been learning to play guitar the past few years. And it's my involvement with that where I've added some additional terms. The first is Tablature. I don't read music and, until I started with guitar, wasn't aware of this word. Although it only comes up in conversations about guitar playing. But it was a new term for me. The other term is Call and Response. OK, so it's not actually a 'word', but I'm including it because I love it when it works correctly. Playing that one chord that, as a listener and a (very raw) player, commands the response that you didn't even realize you needed to hear ... To me its something that's really cool. And I have used it in conversations.
    Be well, Pat. Enjoy

    1. Bob; Thanks for the comprehensive comment. Intriguing how you took this post into an entirely different direction vs. my intent. You've given me an idea for a future post featuring "terms" or "expressions" that originated via music and how those terms or expressions have come to be applied in non-musical contexts. Thanks for being my "muse de jour".