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Uncommon Baby Name Ideas: Classical Music Names

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Written by Elizabeth Weiss McGolerick   

Classical music has a long and varied history which makes it a rich source of uncommon names for your baby, whether you choose to pay homage to composers or twist a musical term into your own composition. Check out our list of uncommon baby names inspired by classical music.

classical music violinClassical music terms

Readers of music will recognize most of the following terms, but have you ever considered their plausibility as your baby’s name? Variations on a theme will have you poring through sheet music looking for even more inspiration.

A Capella – choral music without instrumental accompaniment; Acapelle
Adagio – slowly
Allegro – fast; Allegra, Alle
Arco – played with a bow, rather than with fingers
Aria – solo song in an opera, cantata or oratorio
Assai – very, as in allegro assai (very fast)
Cadenza – passage played by a soloist during a concerto or aria; Cadence
Chord – two or more notes played together; Chorda, Korda
Concerto – musical piece featuring a soloist with accompanying instrumental group
Crescendo – becoming louder; Crescenda, Cresce
Diminuendo – diminishing or becoming quieter; Dimi, Nuendo
Dolce – sweetly; Dolcissima
Fortissimo – very loud; Fortiss
Glissando – sliding from one pitch to another; Glissa, Lissando
Marcato – marked or accented; Marca, Cato
Pianissimo – very quiet; Nissi, Simo
Pizzicato: plucked rather than bowed; Izzi, Zica
Placido – peaceful, calm; Placida
Rallentando – becoming gradually slower; Ralle, Lentando
Rubato – lingering on certain notes, not in strict time; Ruba
Sempre – always
Tempo – speed or pace of a piece
Tremolo: quick reiteration of the same note on stringed instruments; Trem, Remolo
Tutti – everybody
Vivace – lively; Viva

Composers

The most famous names in classical music composition need very little introduction. Will one of these names (and take note of some of the outstanding surnames) be the right choice for your child?

Antonin Dvorak
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
Béla Viktor János Bartók
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Edvard Hagerup Grieg
Francesco Cavalli
Franz Joseph Haydn
Fryderyk (Frédéric) Franciszek Chopin
Gustav Mahler
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johannes Brahms
Ludwig van Beethoven
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Richard Wagner
Robert Schumann
William Mason
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

It may seem like female composers are few and far between, but this round-up includes an inspiring list of some of the most talented ladies in the business, now and then.

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach – American female composer of large-scale art music
Anna Magdalana Bach – Johann’s wife, often credited as his musical collaborator
Cecile Chaminade – French composer and pianist
Clara Josephine Wieck – pianist and composer, wife of Robert Schumann
Eve Queler – pioneer female conductor, found of Opera Orchestra of New York
Fanny Cäcilie Mendelssohn – pianist and composer, sister of Felix Mendelssohn
Florence Beatrice Price – among the first African American women to write symphonies
Germain Tailleferre – wrote for piano, harp and orchestra in 1920s/30s Paris
Hildegard of Bingen – composer and religious leader of the early 1100s
Lili and Nadia Boulanger – sisters and composers
Nina Simone – pianist and composer of over 500 songs, known as the “Priestess of Soul”
Tania León – conductor, composer and music director
Thea Musgrave – British and Scottish composer

The world of music provides a treasure trove of original names for your child, whether you’re enthralled by the classics or drawn to muses of the modern era. You can even venture back to the composers and troubadours of the medieval and renaissance eras and find one-name wonders that might provide a name just right for your son or daughter. For girls, Beatritz, Castelloza, Kassia and Jaufre. And, for boys, Borlet, Byttering, Egardus, Estienne, Léonin, Marcabru, Notker, Odo, Pérotin, Solage and Sordello.

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