Pronouncing Dictionary of Music and Musicians

If you have suggestions of new names to add to the Pronouncing Dictionary (or corrections of errata) please send them to

Pronouncing the titles of classical music and the names of composers and performers is a daunting task for many Americans because so many of the words are foreign to us. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that some of the names that look familiar are not pronounced as we would pronounce them. This dictionary provides some help in the form of pronunciations by a phonetic system devised by E. Douglas Brown of the staff of WOI Radio at Iowa State University. Many of the pronunciations in the dictionary were derived from tape-recorded pronunciations made by foreign nationals who were were speaking their respective native languages.

Prepared primarily for the announcing staff of WOI, the dictionary has been found useful by them and is being made freely available to others who may find it of value. Although imperfect and far from complete, the dictionary, with its 30,000 entries, is the most extensive of its type now available. See the Preface and Pronunciation Conventions for more information. The dictionary includes a PDF file for each letter of the alphabet.

To open a file, click on the corresponding letter.

   A            B            C            D            E
   F            G            H            I             J
   K            L            M           N           O
   P            Q            R            S            T
   U           V            W           X            Y

Updates: At present we are leaving the original dictionary as is but collecting errata and addenda on the two HTML pages below:

Corrections - errata are listed here. Updated 08/29/2008.

Addenda - Names and titles not listed in the original dictionary. Updated 09/08/2008

Copyright WOI Radio, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; and Iowa Public Radio Classical (Second Edition, 2002).