Music Dictionary

The best music dictionary on the web is completely free!

Music-Dictionary-Cover-CIn partnership with Virginia Tech, Connect For Education (C4E) has redesigned and enhanced the original Virginia Tech music dictionary to bring you the brand new OnMusic Dictionary—an online music reference used by musicians, students, instructors, and music lovers all over the world. With more than 3 million hits per month, OMD is one of the most frequently visited music information sites on the web.

The original Multimedia Music Dictionary was created and launched in 1996 by Richard C. Cole, Associate Professor of Music, Virginia Tech, and Edward E. Schwartz, then Director of the New Media Center, at Virginia Tech. Click here to read the complete press release and get the full story behind the dictionary and its creators.

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Says John Kline, VP of Marketing at C4E, “As a company founded by musicians, we are thrilled to steward this invaluable resource into a new phase of expansion, accessibility and partnership. Here at C4E, we see the OnMusic Dictionary as a continuation of our original mission to bring music learning to more people through the use of technology and the Internet.”  The music dictionary is a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource for music instructors, students, and musically curious people around the world. While the site already has millions of visitors every month (shows up #1 on Google search for ‘music dictionary’), we think it has the potential to become much more. Plans are in the works for the OnMusic Dictionary to become a platform for people to connect and form a community around common musical interests.

Music Appreciation Textbook Online

To see an example of OnMusic Dictionary implementation in OnMusic Appreciation, open this page and click on the ‘Keywords’ tool on the lower right-hand side.

This digital music reference will also enhance our current online music textbooks used by professors at hundreds of colleges and universities. This resource allows us to offer another content channel to our academic customers. And it’s an opportunity for us to explore partnerships with other content or platform providers in the music teaching and learning space.

What’s New in OnMusic Dictionary?

Streaming Music In the past 18 months, the team at Connect For Education has been adding hundreds of streaming audio examples to OnMusic Dictionary. For example, check out the page for the word, Orchestra. In addition to a definition of the orchestra, and a list of the instruments in their instrument families, there are six complete recordings on this page alone, including Gustav Holst’s ‘Jupiter,’ 2 complete movements from Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4, complete movements from symphonies of Brahms and Mozart, as well as a section from a Handel Concerto Grosso.

Connect for Education is able to bring streaming music to the music dictionary due to its strong partnership with Naxos.  The Naxos Catalog offers thousands of hours of music, and C4E has a license to use any and all of that music (which is why our music titles contain far more music than those of any other publisher). Integrating extensive listening into the dictionary also separates it from other resources that do not have the licensing in place to provide this (like Wikipedia).

Stay tuned for new developments and please follow us on Facebook! 

John Kline
Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Connect For Education
John Kline is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Connect For Education. He attended the Yale School of Music and spent a few years teaching at a university Way Out West. After teaching, John began working in education technology, helping teachers and professors use technology in the classroom and lecture hall. He eventually transitioned to working in marketing for a couple of wonderful companies that made Really Nice Things for audio, music, video and media arts.

In 2010, he landed at the best company in the world, Connect for Education. C4E is a leading developer/publisher of interactive webtexts for college general education courses. C4E also partners with universities and other publishers to bring content, courses and programs online. What makes John the proudest: over 95% of C4E students and instructors rate our content and service as "exceptional."


  1. Gary Goodman August 22, 2016 Reply
    • John Gancarz August 25, 2016 Reply

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