80+ Basic Music Vocabulary In Japanese For Music Lovers

Music vocabulary in Japanese

Are you a fan of J-Pop who wants to learn music vocabulary in Japanese? Here is the perfect vocabulary list for you!

Maybe, you’ve already listened to some Japanese music such as j-pop and you’ve become a big fan, like me. I think that’s a great reason to learn music vocabulary in Japanese so that you can talk about your favorite music genre and bands with Japanese people.

So, to talk about music in the Japanese language you need to learn music-related Japanese vocabulary, which you certainly will in this blog post right now!

By the way, it’s a low possibility but in case you haven’t encountered Japanese music yet, I’ll recommend you a few popular Japanese bands at the end of this blog post.

Let’s get started with the music genres in Japanese!

Page Contents:


Music Genres In Japanese

The good news is that Japanese music vocabulary has a lot of words that are directly transferred or derived from English. So, if you’ve mastered hiragana and katakana, it’s as easy as pie to learn these words!


  • オルタナティヴ (orutanativu) — alternative
  • ガレージロック (Garēji rokku) — garage rock
  • グラムロック (Guramu rokku) — glam rock
  • グランジ (Guranji) — grunge
  • パンクロック (ponku rokku) — punk rock
  • デスメタル (desu metaru) — death metal
  • ハードロック (Hādo rokku) — hard rock
  • ブリティッシュロック (Buritisshu rokku) — British rock
  • プログレッシヴロック (Puroguresshivu rokku) — progressive rock
  • ヘヴィメタル (Hevui metaru) — heavy metal
  • ロックンロール (rokkun rōru) — rock ‘n roll


  • ハウス (hause) — house
  • ヒップホップ (ひっぷほっぷ) — hip-hop
  • ファンク (fanku) — funk
  • ダブ (dabu) — dubstep
  • テクノ (tekuno) — techno
  • ブリットポップ (buritto poppu) — Brit pop
  • ポップ (poppu) — pop
  • ラップ (rappu) — rap
  • レゲエ (regae) — reggae
  • アール アンド ビー (aru ando bi) — R&B


  • カントリー (kantorī) — country
  • ブルース (burūsu) — blues
  • フォークロック (fōku rokku) — folk rock


  • クラシック (kurashikku) — classical
  • ジャズ (jazu) — jazz
  • ソウル (souru) — soul


Musical Instruments In Japanese

  • 楽器 (がっき) — instrument
  • ギター (ぎたー) — guitar
  • ベース (べーす) — bass guitar
  • ドラム (どらむ) — drumsy
  • ピアノ/キーボード (ぴあの・きーぼーど) — piano/keyboard
  • /
  • マイク (まいく) — microphone
  • バイオリン (ばいおりん) — violin
  • チェロ (ちぇろ) — cello
  • トランペット (とらんぺっと) — trumpet
  • サックスフォン (さっくすふぉん) — saxophone
  • ハープ (はーぷ) — harp


Music Performers In Japanese

  • 歌手 – かしゅ (kashu) — Singer
  • ソプラノ歌手 – そぷらの かしゅ (sopurano kashu) — Soprano
  • 作曲家 – さっきょくか (sakkyokuka) — Composer
  • 音楽家 – おんがくか (ongakuka) — Musician
  • パフォーマー (pafoomaa) — Performer
  • ポップスター (poppu sutaa) — Pop Star
  • ラッパー (rappaa) — Rapper
  • ギタリスト (gitarisuto) — Guitarist
  • ドラマー (doramaa) — Drummer
  • ピアニスト (pianisuto) — Pianist
  • オルガン奏者 – おるがんそうしゃ (orugan sousha) — Organist
  • フルート奏者 – ふるうとそうしゃ (furūto sousha) — Flautist
  • サックス奏者 – さっくすそうしゃ (sakkusu sousha) — Saxophonist
  • トランペット奏者 – とらんぺっとそうしゃ (toranpetto sousha) — Trumpeter
  • トロンボーン奏者 – とろんぼおんそうしゃ (toronbōn sousha) — Trombonist
  • バイオリニスト (baiorinisuto) — Violinist


Must-Know Music Vocabulary In Japanese

  • 音楽 (ongaku) — music
  • 楽器 (gakki) — musical instrument
  • 楽器店 (gakkiten) — musical instrument store
  • 音符 (onpu) — note
  • 曲 (kyoku) — song (without words)
  • 歌 (uta) — song (with words)
  • 歌う (utau) — to sing
  • 作曲 (sakkyoku) — compose
  • 長調 (chouchou) — major key
  • 短調 (tanchou) — minor key
  • 音階 (onkai) — musical scale
  • 調律 (chouritsu) — tuning
  • 音程 (ontei) — interval
  • 調子 (choushi) — pitch, tone, rhythm
  • リズム (rizumu) — rhythm
  • テンポ (tenpo) — tempo
  • 音 (oto or ne) — sound
  • 音を出す (oto wo dasu) — to produce a sound
  • 響く (hibiku) — to ring, to resonate
  • ピッチ (picchi) — pitch
  • 大きい (ookii) — loud
  • 小さい (chiisai) — soft
  • 演奏 (ensou) — performance
  • 発表会 (happyoukai) — recital
  • 練習 (renshuu) — practice
  • 楽譜 (gakufu) — sheet music
  • 奏でる (kanaderu) — to play an instrument
  • 弾く (hiku) — to play a stringed instrument
  • 吹く (fuku) — to play a wind instrument
  • 叩く (tataku) — to play a percussion instrument


Popular Japanese Bands You Must Listen

Japanese pop and rock culture are famous worldwide. Especially, there are some bands that are the symbols of J-POP (Japanese pop music) and J-ROCK (Japanese rock music). Here are 3 popular Japanese idol groups.

1. One Ok Rock

One Ok Rock

Year Formed: 2005

Members: Takahiro Moriuchi, Toru Yamashita, Ryota Kohama, Tomoya Kanki

One Ok Rock is a Japanese band from Tokyo, Japan, that plays various music styles ranging from alternative rock to pop-rock. It is one of the Japanese bands that produces both Japanese and English songs.

One Ok Rock won the Eastern Breakthrough Male Band Award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honor Awards and the Best International Band at the Rock Sound Awards in 2017 and the Best Japanese Act Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2016.

Favorite songs from the band:

2. AKB48


Year formed: 2005

Members: As of May 24, 2022, the group consists of 73 active members.

AKB is an abbreviation for the mecca of Japanese pop culture Akihabara where AKB48 is based and has its own theater to perform.

Akihabara is one of the most famous places in Tokyo for Japanese pop culture where a great number of foreign visitors travel seeking manga and anime and other cool and geeky items. The girl group AKB48 is the symbol of the town.

Favorite songs from the band:

3. The Gazette

The GazettE

Year Formed: 2002

Members: Ruki, Uruha, Aoi, Reita, Kai, Yune

The Gazette is a Japanese band from Kanagawa, Japan, currently signed under Sony Music Records. The band is a visual kei metal Japanese band. They are one of the most popular bands in the industry with numerous best-selling songs

Favorite songs from the band:


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Until next time, じゃあまたね!

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