Concise musical terms (ألّف، لحّن، نشاز)

elroy

Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
A few concise musical terms in Arabic:

ألّف: This verb refers to writing the words to a song.

من ألّف هذه الأغنية؟
= Who ألّف this song?
= Who wrote the words to this song?

لحّن: This one refers to composing the music for a song.

من لحّن هذه الأغنية؟
= Who لحّن this song?
= Who wrote the music for this song?

نشاز: This is a term referring to singing or playing off-key or off-tune.

أزعجني نشاز غنائه
= I was bothered by the نشاز of his singing.
= I was bothered by the fact that his singing was off-tune/off-key.

How would these be expressed in other languages? Any direct equivalents?
 
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  • A few concise musical terms in Arabic:

    ألّف: This verb refers to writing the words to a song.

    من ألّف هذه الإغنية؟
    = Who ألّف this song?
    = Who wrote the words to this song?
    We just use the equivalent of write in MoGreek:
    «Γράφω» [ˈɣra.fo̞] < Classical verb «γράφω» grắpʰō.

    Ηοwever, the lyricist is «στιχουργός» [s̠t̠i.xur.ˈɣo̞s̠] (masc. or fem.) --> lit. verse-worker a 1813 deverbative construction based on the pre-existing Byzantine verb «στιχουργῶ» stikhourgô --> to create verse, write song lyrics, a compound: Classical deverbative masc. noun «στίχος» stíkʰŏs --> lit. file, rank, also words in verse and prose (MoGr masc. noun «στίχος» [ˈs̠t̠i.xo̞s̠]) < Classical v. «στείχω» steíkʰō --> to march, rise, draw, go (PIE *stei̯gʰ- to stride cf. Proto-Germanic *stīganą > Ger. steigen, Eng. sty) + Classical neuter noun «ἔργον» érgŏn --> work, labour, task.

    In Ancient Greek the lyricist was a poet:
    «Ποιητής» poiētḗs (masc. or fem.) --> composer of poem/music, author of speech in general, the creator, maker, a deverbative from the Classical v. «ποιέω/ποιῶ» poiéō (uncontracted)/poiô (contracted) --> to make, create, produce (PIE *kʷey- to pile, stow, gather cf. Skt. चिनोति (cinoti), to pile up, collect, choose, Proto-Slavic *činiti > Rus. чинить, Cz. činit, Pol. czynić).

    لحّن: This one refers to composing the music for a song.

    من لحّن هذه الإغنية؟
    = Who لحّن this song?
    = Who wrote the music for this song?
    The music composer is a «συνθέτης, -τρια» [s̠in.ˈθe̞.t̠is̠] (masc.), [s̠in.ˈθe̞.t̠ri.a] (fem.) --> lit. composer a calque for the Fr. compositeur.
    The word existed in Ancient Greek as «συνθέτης» sŭntʰétēs but it specifically described the author of prose. It's a deverbative from the verb «συνθέτω» sŭntʰétō --> to make something by merging parts, construct, compose, arrange which is a compound: Classical prefix and preposition «σύν» sún + Aorist II stem «θετ-» tʰĕt- of the Classical athematic verb «τίθημι» títʰēmĭ.

    In Byzantine Greek, music composer was «μελωδός» melōdós --> creator/composer of musical odes, a compound: Classical neuter noun «μέλος» mélŏs --> tune, melody + Classical feminine noun «ᾠδή» ō̜dḗ --> song, ode < Classical v. «ἀείδω» ăeídō (<*ἀϝείδω *ăweídō, Attic «ᾄδω» ặ́dō) --> to sing, chant.
    نشاز: This is a term referring to singing or playing off-key or off-tune.

    أزعجني نشاز غنائه
    = I was bothered by the نشاز of his singing.
    = I was bothered by the fact that his singing was off-tune/off-key.

    How would these be expressed in other languages? Any direct equivalents?
    We use the Italian verb falsare for it, but with the expected MoGr affrication of /s/ to /t͡s/ (tsitakism): «Φαλτσάρω» [fal.ˈt̠͡s̠a.ɾo̞] --> to sing off-key, off-tune.
    The adjective is «φάλτσος, -τσα, -τσο» [ˈfal.t̠͡s̠o̞s̠] (masc.), [ˈfal.t̠͡s̠a] (fem.), [ˈfal.t̠͡s̠o̞] (neut.).
     

    Yendred

    Senior Member
    Français - France
    How would these be expressed in other languages? Any direct equivalents?
    In French:
    Who wrote the words to this song? = Qui a écrit les paroles de cette chanson ?
    Who wrote the music for this song? = Qui a composé cette chanson ?
    to sing off-tune/off-key = chanter faux

    Less common, but also correct:
    I was bothered by the نشاز of his singing = J'étais gêné par la fausseté de son chant
     

    ThomasK

    Senior Member
    Belgium, Dutch
    We refer to the tekstdichter (textpoet)/ de tekst schrijven (write) perhaps, but in general we simply refer to tekst/ muziek.

    There can be a great song, but some people zingen vals, just like cats (vals here is wrong, but in most other contexts, it refers to unreliabilty).
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    Mandarin:

    Write words to a song: 给…作词 (作词 is an established verb, although it can be broken down into 作 write + 词 words)
    Compose music for a song: 给…谱曲 (谱曲 is an established verb too, from 谱 compose + 曲 music)
    Sing off-key: 唱歌跑调 ("sing songs off-key")
    Play off-tune: 演奏跑调
     

    hx1997

    Senior Member
    汉语普通话 Chinese - Mandarin
    You won't use 填?
    Oh, yes, 填词 is fine too. Thanks for bringing that up! I didn't know the difference between 作词 and 填词 until just now when I found this Wikipedia article (see note 1 in it).

    Edit: for the benefit of future readers, the difference in Mandarin, according to Wikipedia, is: 作词 is when you write words for a new song, when the tune isn't known yet; 填词 is when you write new words for an old song to match its tune.
     
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