Pronunciation: AY-tood

What is an Etude

An Etude is a short musical composition designed to provide practice material for a soloist. Etude is a French word that means, “study.” It is intended as an instrumental musical composition, usually meant for the piano, but can also be practiced with a guitar, clarinet, and most other musical instruments.

Key Takeaways

  1. An etude is a short and brief musical composition specifically designed to improve an instrumental performer’s skills.
  2. An etude can also be used to showcase instrumental virtuoso.
  3. An etude is a tricky tune that isolates a specific technique.

Understanding Etude

An etude is usually of certain difficulty as it is designed to improve a soloist’s musical skill. It can also be used to demonstrate a musician’s musical virtuoso. Each etude is focused on improving a specific technique of an instrumental performer, often isolating the specific difficulties.

For example, you play the piano and come across a passage that you find difficult to play. You or your instructor can use an etude to help you improve your skills on that specific technique.

Related Terms

Gospel Music Gospel music is composed and performed for the purpose of Christian worship and is typically sung by a choir. more

Bridge  A bridge is a section of a musical composition that contrasts the rest of the composition of the song. more

Encore An encore is a performance played at the end of a concert, which is often a response to an audience’s prolonged applause or request. more

Overture An overture is a short musical composition played before the official beginning of a musical program. more

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