AskDefine | Define accompaniment

Dictionary Definition



1 an event or situation that happens at the same time as or in connection with another [syn: concomitant, co-occurrence]
2 a subordinate musical part; provides background for more important parts [syn: musical accompaniment, backup, support]
3 the act of accompanying someone or something in order to protect them [syn: escort]

User Contributed Dictionary



From accompagnement.


  • , /əˈkʌmpənimənt/, /@"kVmp@nim@nt/


  1. That which gives support or adds to the background in music, or adds for ornamentation.
  2. That which accompanies; something that attends as a circumstance, or which is added to give greater completeness to the principal thing, or by way of ornament, or for the sake of symmetry.
  3. A part performed by instruments, accompanying another part or parts performed by voices; the subordinate part, or parts, accompanying the voice or a principal instrument; also, the harmony of a figured bass.


That which gives support or adds to the background in music
  • German: Begleitung

Extensive Definition

In music, accompaniment is the art of playing along with a soloist or ensemble, often known as the lead, in a supporting manner as well as the music thus played. An accompaniment figure is a gesture used repeatedly in an accompaniment, such as:
Harmonic accompaniment is music played to accompany a melody line; it is usually chordal and played by such instruments as (acoustic or electric) guitar, piano, organ and bass guitar, but it can also be played by instruments that ordinarily play the melody, such as the violin. In most tonal music the melody and accompaniment are written from and share the same group of pitches, while in much atonal music the melody and accompaniment are chosen from entirely separate groups of pitches, often from different hexachords. See also: chord-based.
An accompanist is one who plays an accompaniment. A number of classical pianists have become famous as accompanists rather than soloists; the best known example is probably Gerald Moore, well known as a Lieder accompanist. In some American schools, the title collaborative pianist (or collaborative artist) is replacing the title accompanist.
Notated accompaniment may be indicated obbligato (obliged) or ad libitum (at one's pleasure).
Dialogue accompaniment is a form of call and response in which the lead and accompaniment alternate, the accompaniment playing during the rests of the lead and providing a drone or silence during the main melody or vocal. (van der Merwe 1989, p.320)
Basso continuo is a form of notation used especially in Baroque music accompaniment parts.
The term accompanist is also used to refer to a musician (generally pianist) who will not necessarily be participating in the performance of a piece of drama that utilizes music (musical theater, opera, etc.) but is used during an audition or rehearsal in lieu of the actual musician(s).

See also


  • van der Merwe, Peter (1989). Origins of the Popular Style: The Antecedents of Twentieth-Century Popular Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-316121-4.
accompaniment in Czech: Korepetitor
accompaniment in Danish: Akkompagnement
accompaniment in German: Begleitung (Musik)
accompaniment in Esperanto: Akompano
accompaniment in Italian: Accompagnamento
accompaniment in Kazakh: Аккомпанемент
accompaniment in Japanese: 伴奏
accompaniment in Norwegian: Akkompagnement
accompaniment in Polish: Akompaniament
accompaniment in Russian: Аккомпанемент
accompaniment in Simple English: Accompaniment (music)
accompaniment in Slovenian: Korepetitor
accompaniment in Finnish: Säestys
accompaniment in Swedish: Ackompanjemang
accompaniment in Ukrainian: Акомпанемент
accompaniment in Chinese: 伴奏

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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