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Music Idioms


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I don't normally use Idioms, but when I do... I make sure they are music related  :cool:

Play it by ear - to react to an event as it occurs; involves trial and error.

ex. The business person had to play it by ear when his client suddenly disconnected from the call.

Face the music - to accept the negative consequences and perform the task anyway.

And all that jazz - used at the end of a list; means: "all similar things included"

ex. Tim asked Angela, "What do you plan on doing tomorrow?"  She responded, "Cooking, cleaning, and all that jazz."

Do you guys have any music related idioms to add?

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I'm not sure if this is universally used, but I'm fairly sure it is. I'm referring to the term "One note" when speaking of a person who only has one type of routine that he or she just repeats over and over and presents it as different only to be called out on it by the few who start to notice. Generally, I think it's used with a negative connotation and may probably be similar to what people call a "hack".

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Tone deaf - related to a person who is apparently incapable of understanding the situation i.e.

"When it comes to women Mark is completely tone deaf."

Swan song - related to the end of something or someone i.e.

"So Paul just gave his swan song, he'll never work in this town again."

Clear as a bell - something that is easy to understand i.e.

"You're coming through clear as a bell"

And that's all I've got off the top of my head.

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A few more:

Fine tune - make changes to improve something.

Music to one's ear - of [something] pleasing to hear.

[something] rings a bell - to be familiar [to one]

Sing a different tune - change one's opinion [unexpectedly].

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And all that jazz - used at the end of a list; means: "all similar things included"

ex. Tim asked Angela, "What do you plan on doing tomorrow?"  She responded, "Cooking, cleaning, and all that jazz."

As a jazz lover, I really love this one!  :love:

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Okay, here's mine  :grin:

Jazz something up

If you jazz something up, you add something to try to improve it or make it more stylish.

"The dress needs a scarf or a necklace to jazz it up."

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Oh I love this topic.  :love:  Here's mine:

>> Play second fiddle - When you play second fiddle it's like taking a supporting role to the main character.

>> Like a broken record - Refers to a person who repeatedly saying the same thing over and over again (like a broken record :grin:).

and,

>> Clean as a whistle - Usually refers to a person without any criminal record.

:smile:

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Here are a few others to add to the list of music idioms.

-Strike a cord

-Blow your own trumpet

-Hit the right note

-Set the night to music

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Here are a few others to add to the list of music idioms.

-Strike a cord

-Blow your own trumpet

-Hit the right note

-Set the night to music

To strike a chord is to touch upon something significant to another as in speaking of love to one who has lost it.

To blow your own trumpet is to brag about yourself and it is not a flattering epithet.

To hit the right note is to successfully select the correct tone of voice or action.

To set the night to music is... well actually I've never heard of this one. Hmm.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Here's a couple of musical idioms that I recall just now...

>> Takes two to tango (somewhat music-related  :smile: ) - when something goes wrong and both parties are responsible for it.  Ex. It's not just my fault, you know it takes two to tango.

>> Elevator music - a very popular song that's easy on the ears - mostly played in places where you have to wait like doctor's/dentist's office and yes - in elevators.  :grin:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Music idioms are great!  Here are a few I thought of.

For a song -- to get something inexpensively.  As in: "She went to a thrift shop and got her whole wardrobe for a song. 

Whistling Dixie -- To be unrealistic in expectations.  As in:  "They say they plan to graduate from law school this year but they never study.  They're just whistling Dixie."

Pay the Piper -- To have to pay an unreasonably high price for something, but have no other option.  This actually refers to the story of the Pied Piper. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first time to learn about "Whistling Dixie" and "Pay the Piper" - very interesting.  :smile:

Here's another couple of music idioms I just found online:  :grin:

1. Toot your own horn - when you brag about your own achievements then you are tooting your own horn.

2. Can't unring a bell - when you have to face the consequences of something because it can't be undone anymore.

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  • 1 year later...

"March to the beat of your own drummer" has always been my favorite.  I means to be unique instead of conforming.  To be yourself despite what is "normal".   "Stop the music!" means to quiet down and pay attention.  "Chin music" is basically talking or chatting.

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