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lamellophone  Plucked idiophone with thin metal strips; common throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

lamentoso  Like a lament.

largo  Broad; very slow.

Latin rock  Subgenre of rock featuring Latin and African percussion instruments (maracas, conga drums, timbales).

legato  Smooth and connected; opposite of staccato.

Leitmotif  "Leading motive", or basic recurring theme, representing a person, object or idea, commonly used in Wagner's operas.

libretto  Text, or script, of an opera, prepared by a librettist.

Lied  German for "song"; most commonly associated with the solo art song of the nineteenth century, usually accompanied by piano.

Lieder  Plural of Lied.

lining out  A call and response singing practice prevalent in early America and England; characterized by the alternation between a singer leader and a chorus singing heterophonically.

lute  Plucked-string instrument of Middle Eastern origin, popular in western Europe from the late Middle Ages to the eighteenth century.

lyre  Ancient plucked-string instrument of the harp family, used to accompany singing and poetry.

lyric opera  Hybrid form combining elements of grand opera and opéra comique and featuring appealing melodies and romantic drama.