AskDefine | Define accompanist

Dictionary Definition

accompanist n : a person who provides musical accompaniment (usually on a piano) [syn: accompanyist]

User Contributed Dictionary



accompany + -ist


  • /əˈkʌmpənɪst/
  • SAMPA: //


  1. The performer in music who takes the accompanying part.

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.
accompanist in Czech: Korepetitor
accompanist in Danish: Akkompagnement
accompanist in German: Begleitung (Musik)
accompanist in Esperanto: Akompano
accompanist in Italian: Accompagnamento
accompanist in Kazakh: Аккомпанемент
accompanist in Japanese: 伴奏
accompanist in Norwegian: Akkompagnement
accompanist in Polish: Akompaniament
accompanist in Russian: Аккомпанемент
accompanist in Simple English: Accompaniment (music)
accompanist in Slovenian: Korepetitor
accompanist in Finnish: Säestys
accompanist in Swedish: Ackompanjemang
accompanist in Ukrainian: Акомпанемент
accompanist in Chinese: 伴奏
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