Uke | (See ukulele.)
Una corda | On a piano, a foot-operated lever that shifts the hammers slightly to one side so they don’t strike all of the strings when sounding each note, making the tone quieter; usually operated by the leftmost pedal. (Also soft pedal.) Also a dynamic marking that means ‘use the soft pedal on the piano.’
Unequal-voiced counterpoint | A musical texture with two or more independent melodic lines that do not share material with one another. (Also non-imitative counterpoint.)
Uninverted chord | (See root position.)
Unisono | A term that means several players in a group are to play exactly the same notes; the opposite of divisi.
Un poco | (See poco.)
Up | (See uptempo.)
Upright bass | (see double bass.)
Upright piano | A piano that has vertical strings, as opposed to the ‘grand’ piano, which has horizontal strings.
Upstage | The back of a stage, in the direction away from the audience (from the point of view of a performer facing the audience). Also the act of outshining or exceding another’s performance.
Uptempo | (Abbreviation: up) Music, particularly jazz, that is played with a fast or increased tempo.