Abbreviations for Scoring

Enter abbreviations as given below. For a complete list, with examples, see the Help page.

Overview: Voices - strings - woodwinds - brass - plucked instruments - percussion and other - keyboard instruments - basso continuo - general

Vocal (voice) terms

Solo voices

Abbreviation 

English

S

soprano, cantus, discant, discantus, tiple (vocal)

Mezzo-S

mezzo-soprano (vocal)

A

alto (vocal)

Contra-A

contralto (vocal)

T

tenor (vocal)

Bariton

baritone (vocal)

B

bass (vocal)

voice (vocal), solo vocal part

Dessus

dessus, soprano (vocal)

Sprechstimme

spoken voice

Treble

highest voice (vocal)

V 5

quinta vox, 5th voice (vocal)

V 6 

sexta vox, 6th voice (vocal)

Vag

vagans (additional vocal voice)

 

Chorus/Choir

Abbreviation 

English

Coro

choir, chorus

Coro S

the soprano part in a chorus

Coro A

the alto part in a chorus

Coro T

the tenor part in a chorus

Coro B

the bass part in a chorus

Coro V

an unspecified or unknown chorus part

Coro di fanciulli

children's choir, boys' choir, girls' choir

Coro femminile

womens' choir

Coro maschile

mens' choir

 

Strings

 

Abbreviation 

English

vl

violin

 

vl conc

violin concertino

 

vl princ

violin principale

 

vl rip

violin ripieno

 

vl solo

solo violin part (but not for concertos)

vla

viola

 

a-vla

alto viola

vlc

violoncello, cello

cb

contrabass, double bass

 

 

baryton

baryton

fiddle

fiddle

violetta

violetta

violetta marina

violetta marina

vla basso

viola basso

vla bastarda

viola bastarda

vla d'amore

viola d'amore

vla da braccio

viola da braccio

vla da gamba

viola da gamba

 

s-vla da gamba

treble viola da gamba

 

t-vla da gamba

tenor viola da gamba

 

b-vla da gamba

bass viola da gamba

vla pomposa

viola pomposa

vlne

violone

strings

strings

 

Woodwinds

Abbreviation 

English

fl

flute, transverse flute

 

fl.picc

piccolo, ottavino

 

fl d'amore

flûte d'amour

 

fl dolce

flauto dolce

 

fl quarto

flauto quarto

 

fl terzino

Flute in E|b

 

flautino

flautino

ob

oboe

 

ob.picc

piccolo oboe

 ob grandeoboe grande
 ob d'amoreoboe d'amore
 

a-ob

Altoboe, alto oboe

 

cor inglese

cor anglais, English horn

 

ob da caccia

oboe da caccia, oboe di silva

  

taille de hautbois

 

taille de hautbois

 

voce umana

vox humana

 

t-ob

tenor oboe

 

heckelphon

heckelphone

 

b-ob

bass oboe

cl

clarinet

 

b-cl

bass clarinet

 

cl in A

clarinet in A

 

cl in E|b

E|b clarinet

 

cor di bassetto

basset horn

 

chalumeau

chalumeau

saxofono

saxophone

 

s-saxofono

soprano saxophone

 

a-saxofono

alto saxophone

 

t-saxofono

tenor saxophone

 

bariton-saxofono

baritone saxophone

fag

bassoon

 

contra-fag

contrabassoon, double bassoon

 

t-fag

tenor bassoon, tenoron

bombarde

bombardon, bombarde, pommer; alto, tenor, and bass shawm

chirimía

chirimía

ciaramella

shawm

fiffaro

fife

ocarina 

ocarina

piffero

shawm, fife

recorder

recorder

 

sopranino

sopranino recorder

woodwinds

woodwinds

zufoletto

zufoletto

 

Brass

 

Abbreviation 

English

banda 

wind band, usually brass

althorn

althorn

b

bass, also for unspecified bass instrument

bariton 

baritone, baritone horn

bombardino

flicorno, bombardino

bombardone

bass tuba, bombardon

brasses

brass instruments

bugle 

bugle

cimbasso

cimbasso

clno 

clarino, clairon, clarion

cnto

cornetto, cornett, zink

cor

horn, French horn

cor a chiavi

keyed bugle

cor basso

bass horn

cor crom

valve horn

dugetto

dugetto

euphonium

euphonium

fanfare

fanfare trumpet

flügelhorn

flugelhorn

harmonie-b

basse d'harmonie

helikon

helicon

kornettino

cornettino

kornetto

cornet

lituus

lituus

ophicleide

ophicleide

piston

piston, rotary valve cornet

posthorn

post horn

principale

principale

saxhorn

saxhorn

serpentone

serpent

t-cor

mellophone

tb

tuba

tenor horn

tenor horn, E|b horn

tr

trumpet

 

tr a chiavi

keyed trumpet

 

tr crom 

valve trumpet

trb

trombone

 

a-trb

alto trombone

 

bariton-trb

baritone trombone

 

t-trb

tenor trombone

 

b-trb

bass trombone

 

trb a pistoni

valve trombone

trombetta

a small trumpet or tenor trombone

trombino

a high trumpet

 

Plucked instruments

Abbreviation 

English

arciliuto

archlute

arp

harp

guit

guitar

electric-guitelectric guitar
b-electric-guitbass electric guitar

lira

lyre

lute

lute

mandoline

mandolin

plck

plucked instrument(s)

requinto

requinto

salterio

psaltery

theorbe 

theorbo

zither

zither

 

Percussion and other

Abbreviation 

English

batt

drums

birds singing

birds singing

campana

bell, handbell

campane tub

chimes

campanella

small bell

campanelli

glock, bells

carillon

carillon

cassa rulante 

tenor drum, parade drum

castagnette

castanets

cimb

finger cymbals

cimbalom

dulcimer, cimbalom

claves

claves

conga

congas, conga drums

cymb antiques

antique cymbals

glass harmonica

glass harmonica

gong

gong

grancassa

bass drum

kuckuck

cuckoo

lyra 

bell lyre

maracas

maracas

marimba

marimba

musical clock

musical clock

musical glasses

musical glasses

nacchere

rattle

nachtigall

nightingale

piatti

cymbal(s)

piatti cinesi

Chinese cymbal(s)

piatti sospesi

suspended cymbal(s)

ratsche

ratchet

sonagli

sleigh bells

spoons 

spoons

stck

percussion

tam-tam

gong, tam-tam

tamb

drum

tamb a corda

string drum

tamb di provenza

tabor

tamb senza corda

drum with snares off 

tamb turco

Turkish drum

tamburello

tambourine

tamburino

snare drum

timbales

timbales

timp

timpani

tom-tom

tom-tom

triangolo

triangle

vibrafono

vibraphone

xilofono

xylophone

 

Keyboard instruments

Abbreviation 

English

celesta

celesta

cemb

cembalo, clavicembalo, spinet, virginal

cemb 4hands

cembalo, etc. four-hands 

clav 

clavecin

clavicordo

clavichord

harmonium

harmonium

hpcd

harpsichord

keyb

(unspecified) keyboard instrument

org

organ

org 4hands

organ four-hands

organetto

barrel organ, organo a rullo

pf

piano

pf 4hands

piano four-hands

physharmonica

physharmonica

spinetta

spinet

 

 

Basso continuo

Abbreviation 

English

b.fig

bass, figured

bc 

thoroughbass, basso continuo

 

 

 

General

 

Abbreviation 

English

iSol

continuous solo instrument in a work

brasses

brass instruments

strings

strings

winds

winds (brass and woodwind)

woodwinds

woodwinds

orch

orchestra

Additions to any wind instrument to indicate a tuning other than standard tuning

Abbreviation

Examples

in A

in E|b

etc.

cl in A
cor in E|b