French Marching Band Vocabulary


a marching band- une fanfare

drum major- un tambour-major, un chef des tambours

a whistle- un sifflet

a parade- une parade / un défilé

practice- une répétition

show- un spectacle

a break- une pause

director- un(e) responsable, un directeur / une directrice

cadence- une cadence

rhythm- le rythme

melody- la mélodie

sheet music- la partition

solo- un solo


trumpet- une trompette

(alto) clarinet- une clarinette (alto)

tuba- un tuba

trombone- un trombone

saxophone- un saxophone

flute- une flûte

piccolo- une petite flûte, un piccolo

horn- un cuivre

French horn- un cor (d’harmonie)

oboe- un hautbois

bassoon- un basson

percussion- les instruments à percussion, les percussions (f), les percus (inf)

drum- un tambour

drum set- une batterie

snare drum- une caisse claire

bass drum- une grosse caisse

cymbals- les cymbales (f)


to whistle- siffler

to practice- répéter

to march- défiler

to perform- jouer

to conduct- diriger

to faint- s’évanouir

Percussion Puns

(some of these only make sense if you play percussion)

Practicing ruffs sure is a drag!

What do romantic percussionists give on Valentine’s day? Cymbals of their love!

If you throw a small cymbal into the water, it’ll make a splash!

I see your flying drumset is broken. Shall I give you a ride?

Bad drummers will get thrown into the flams!

Why did the drummer play in court? Because it was a fill-ibuster!

What’s a drummer’s favorite body part? The percus-shin

What do you call two eighth-notes in an apple? A core-ter note

What do you call a body of water that’s playing too fast? A rushing river

What do percussionists play on a bugle? (or: What do percussionist plumbers fix?) flam taps

Why did the drummer swear? Because they play per-cuss-ion

Why do drummers like glue? Because it sticks to you

What do you call a mean guy under a bridge with a book by George Lawrence Stone? Stick Con-troll

I’m on a roll with these percussion puns.

Percus, my 9 month old male, intact (for now) German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix. He can hold treats on his nose/paws and speak to me, and he’s the best friend I’ve ever had :3