Vocabulary: Selecting Specific Subjects – Music

English for Academic Purposes: Vocabulary

Specific Vocabulary

Specific vocabulary for use in your academic area.

As well as knowing the frequent general words and the general academic words, there are two other types of words you need to know. You also need to know some of the less frequent words used in English and it is also necessary to know the specific words for your subject.

I have used Paul Nation’s computer program Range to take subject specific texts and make a list of words in the text that are not in GSL or AWL. Here are some examples with help from colleagues to distinguish between subject specific vocabulary and less frequent words and a little editing.


Thank you to Kay Gillett for help with this.

accent, accents, acoustic, aesthetic, album, albums, amalgamated, ambient, amplification, amplified, arena, auditioned, aural, autobiography, avant-garde, award, awards, ballad, ballads, ballet, ballets, banjo, banjoist, baroque, bass, basses, bassist, big-band, black-derived, black-oriented, blend, blended, blending, bluegrass, blues, boogie-woogie, boom, cable, cakewalk, cakewalks, call-and-response, cappella, chanson, chant, chanted, chanting, chants, chord, chord-based, chords, chorus, chromatic, clapping, composers, compositions, concert, concerts, conductor, consecutive, contour, copyright, counterpoint, country-and-western, country-pop, couplets, crotchet, danceable, dance-pop, debut, diatonic, disco, discs, downbeat, drones, drug, drug-alluding, drumbeats, durations, echoes, electrified, electronic, ensemble, ensembles, entertainers, entertainments, fame, fiddles, flattened, flourished, flute, folk, folk-influenced, fox-trot, funk, fusion, fusions, generic, genre, genres, gospel, gospel-oriented, gramophone, grunge, guitar, guitars, half-spoken, handclapping, handclaps, hardcore, hard-rock, harmonic, harmonica, harmonies, harmony, hollers, honky-tonk, honky-tonks, hymnody, hymns, improvisation, improvise, improvised, improvising, incidental, instrumentalist, instrumentation, jazz, jigs, jitterbug, jukebox, keyboard, liturgical, lute, lyric, lyrics, madrigal, magazine, mainstream, mandolinist, melodic, melodies, melody, microtonally, miscellany, musicality, musicals, musicianship, musics, non-commercial, non-commercially, nostalgia, notated, notation, notational, octave, offbeat, onstage, opera, operas, operatic, operetta, orchestra, orchestral, orchestras, pentatonic, performable, performer, performing-right, phonograph, phonographs, phrase, phrases, pianist, pianists, piano, pianos, pitch, pitches, plainsong, plucked, polymetre, polyrhythmic, pop, pop-style, progression, pulse, punk, quadrilles, quaver, rag, ragtime, rap, rapper, rapping, recital, recordings, reels, refrain, reggae, renaissance, repertoire, repetition, repetitive, resonant, resounding, rhyme, rhyming, rhythm, rhythm-and-blues, rhythmic, rhythmically, rhythms, rockabillies, rockabilly, rock-and-roll, rocksteady, romantic, rubato, rumba, saloons, salsa, saxophone, saxophones, scores, secular, semibreve, semitones, singles, sitar, sitars, slapping, slurring, solo, soloist, songwriter, spirituals, stanza, symphonic, symphonies, syncopated, syncopation, synthesisers, talent, talk-song, tambourines, tango, tempo, timbre, timbres, tone, tones, transposability, tribal, trio, triplet, troubadours, unamplified, underscore, underscored, upbeat, urban, vibration, violin, violins, virtuosos, vocal, vocalist, vocalists, yodels
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