“If music be the food of love, play on,” Shakespeare famously wrote to open Twelfth Night. Musical names for our children celebrate the transformative and revelatory nature of music. If you are a music-loving parent, you should turn to your passion for baby name inspiration as there are many baby names out there with musical meanings or undertones. These appellations manage to harness the power and beauty of music and sound equally as lyrical and harmonious.
Musical names come from a range of baby naming traditions and languages. Music is such a life-affirming thing that it should come as no surprise that there are many appellations that pay homage to it. We’ll take a look at many time-tested musical names that feel like classics along with some newer possibilities for you to consider. Strike up the band because it’s time to boogie with some musical names for babies!
Check Out These Lyrical & Harmonious Musical Names!
Musical Names for Girls
Aria is an Italian girl name and a term in music that refers to a melody or song. Aria is the 20th most popular name for girls in the US today and more popular than ever before here. The name literally means “air” and we find that fitting as this name sounds as light as it.
Lyra is a constellation name adopted from the lyre of Orpheus. It contains the star Vega and thus could make a melodic choice for a parent interested in music, astronomy, or mythology. Lyra debuted in the US top 1000 in 2015 and its popularity only continues to grow today. Lyra is a name with Greek origins that means “lyre.”
In music, the term allegro implies a song should be played “quickly with lively tempo.” The name Allegra is another Italian appellation with a root meaning “joyous.” This happy name is perfect for parents not afraid of comparisons to the antihistamine of the same name.
Piper is an English occupational name for a “flute player.” The name is also prevalent in Romanian tradition. The musical name has been a top 100 pick in the US for nearly a decade. It is a fantastic gender-neutral option that sounds lively and fun. We’ll discover many unisex musical names on this list!
The musical term Cadence, seemed to come out of nowhere to zoom up the charts in the early 2000s along with other, similar names like Kaden and Caden. Cadence has Latin origins and means “rhythm” and “beat.” A popular nickname for Cadence is Cady and you can’t help but to love that!
In classical music, a sonata is a composition for an instrumental soloist, often with a piano accompaniment, typically in several movements with one or more in the sonata form. Sonata has begun to appeal to new parents as a distinct possibility for their baby girls. It along with a pet form, Sonatina are sure to show up on birth certificates in the coming years. The Italian root of this name means “sung.”
A unisex option that sounds equally excellent for boys and girls, Teague is a Scottish name that means “poet.” American parents are just now learning of this amazing name and we expect it to be popular for babies born in the coming years.
Melody is a girl’s name of Greek origin meaning “song.” You might associate the name with the 1960s as it was popularized in that decade but it’s actually more popular today than ever before. This sweet and nostalgic name hits all the right notes.
Viola was a top 50 name from 1899 to 1911, falling off the list in 1972, but is still popular in other countries such as Italy, where it is number 15. Viola has Italian origins and simply means “violet.” The viola is a string instrument that is bowed, plucked, or played in a variety methods. It is slightly larger than a violin and has a lower and deeper sound.
Thanks to the popularity of Jasmine and Jazlyn, Jazz emerged as a popular nickname and eventually as a standalone unisex name today. Jazz refers to the music of American origin that feels so full of life. It’s one of the new crop of musical names really making waves today. Due to its origin as a nickname you can consider this appellation to mean “gift of God” or alternatively, “jazz music.”
Harper is a name that has exploded in popularity for both boys and girls in recent years. It is now a top ten name and has been trending for baby girls. Harper has English origins as an occupational name, meaning “harp player.”
A popular choice among new parents since 1995, Lyric comes from Greek origin and means “lyre.” It’s one of the fastest-rising musical names for girls today!
In music, a coda is a movement that brings a piece to an end. Parents are exploring the use of this name for both boys and girls today, however, it has not totally caught on. The name’s Italian root means “tail.”
Madrigal might be a charming and highly distinctive choice for a child of a musical family that could be a fabulous way to end up with the pet name Maddie. Madrigal enjoys Latin origins and means “song for unaccompanied voices.” The word madrigal refers both to a medieval short lyrical poem and a form of vocal chamber music that originated in the Italian Renaissance.
In music and poetry, a ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative accompanied by music. Ballads derive from the medieval French chanson balladée or ballade, which were originally “dance songs” which is what the word ballad means. We find Ballad as a given name to be fitting for modern boys or baby girls. This is one of the musical names on this list that has yet to take off so get ahead of the trend and choose it for your little one!
Do you love the idea of the nickname Elle? Cantrelle could be the perfect vehicle to get you there. This charmer comes from French tradition as a term meaning “song.”
Calypso comes from ancient Greek mythology as a name for a nymph who delayed Odysseus. However today, Calypso is associated with West Indian music, originating in Trinidad and Tobago. Harry Belafonte is largely responsible for bringing this lively music into many American homes for the very first time.
Rhapsody would be an extravagant choice for a baby girl but not impossible! The name has French origins and in music, is a one-movement work that is episodic yet integrated, free-flowing in structure, featuring a range of highly contrasted moods, color, and tonality. The name can be traced back to an ancient Greek word for part of an epic poem meant for recitation.
Made famous by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Condoleezza is an invented name inspired by music! Rice’s parents created her name from a musical term meaning “with sweetness.” It’s one of our favorite musical names for girls!
In opera, the star of the show is often referred to as a prima donna or diva. Although its use is commonplace in Italian music, Diva has Latin roots and refers to a “goddess.” The word was used to describe a woman who would live on after her death thanks to the fame she achieved. This name is perfect for bold parents who love music and have plenty of attitude.
Musical Names for Boys
Harmony is a word name that fits for both boys and girls. Harmony is surprisingly more popular today than it ever has been before in the US. Harmony in music refers to chords and progressions with a pleasing effect. The word has Greek origins and means “joint.” Movie director Harmony Korine famously has this music name.
Brio is a musical term that encourages performers to play with “vivacity” and “zest.” The term originated in Italian and we think it works very nicely as a name. While this name is not hugely popular today, we expect parents to make it another one of the popular musical names that are so sought after these days.
An attractive name for a popular folk instrument, Banjo works well as a given name for boys. Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson, an Australian poet, helped many new parents see the potential of Banjo as a given name.
The masculine form of Allegra, Allegro makes for a remarkable name for baby boys. The name means “fast-paced” and “spirited.”
Reed is a name from English that means “redhead,” but it also is a musical term associated with woodwind instruments. If you’re looking for one of the most subtle musical names, Reed works perfectly for both boys and girls.
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was an Austrian composer of the Classical era whose influence on his contemporaries and later composers is huge. He also had an excellent name! His surname, Haydn is properly pronounced in German as HYE-den. The name means “heathen” and if that gives you pause, consider it as a middle name!
Dorian has been a top 1000 name in the US since the 1940s. The Greek name refers to ancient tribes and means “stranger.” In music, the Dorian scale or mode is the second of seven modes. This makes Dorian one of the most subtle musical names for boys.
Alto is a lyrical possibility with Latin origins that means “high.” The meaning is ironic because an Alto in choral music is the lowest female sung part. Alto was a hot name in the US from 1881 until 1899. We’d love to see it make a comeback for baby boys born today.
The appellation Fife means “a flute.” It comes from the German Pfeife, or “pipe.” The name is also popular in Scottish tradition as a place name. Fife has yet to take off in the US and if it sounds too “out there” consider for along with other potential musical names you can use as middle names.
Parents recognized the potential for the name Apollo in 2012 and it is now more popular than ever before. Apollo is the handsome son of Zeus in Greek mythology and is the god of music, among many other things. The meaning of this name is disputed but most agree that the name referred to Apollo’s mighty power “to destroy.”
Orpheus is the name of a legendary ancient Greek poet and musician whose music was so beautiful it made trees dance and rivers stop to listen. Apollo is said to have taught the musician how to play lyre. He is considered a prophet whose name means “the darkness of the night.”
Another name from ancient Greek mythology, Pan is the god of the wild including rustic song. Pan was often depicted with the legs of a goat and the body of a pipes-playing man known for his mischievousness. Pan means “all” or “shepherd.”
Bard is a boy’s name of Irish origin meaning “minstrel, poet.” The Scottish variation is Baird, so choose your own path! Bard makes for a welcome alternative to Brad, however, we know it is not going to be for every parent. Bard plays well with others so consider it as a middle name if you love it.
Zamir is a secular Hebrew name that means “song” or “bird.” Appellations that begin with Z are super hot today so it is a mystery why this name has not taken off. We feel like we found hidden treasure for you with this beautiful moniker!
You are probably familiar with the Irish appellation Ronan, but let us introduce you to his Hebrew cousin, Ronen. Ronen comes from the Hebrew word ron which means “song.” If you are after a music name to honor your Jewish heritage and that’s accessible, you could do no better than Ronen.
A name found in the New Testament, Herod comes from Greek and means “hero’s song.” This is one of the musical names that does not jump out and scream “music name” which might appeal to subtle sensibilities.
Here’s another Hebrew name that will be familiar to anyone who has heard a Hebrew song. The name means “songfest.” Shiron has a gentle sound to it and if you’re attracted to using the nickname Ron, this would be an ideal choice for you.
In music, a riff is a chord progression or improvisation for a solo instrument. It’s very typical of jazz music. Riff makes for a creative word name and one of the freshest musical names on this list.
Name to one of the Kings of Israel, Zimri comes from Hebrew and means “my music, my praise.” It’s one of the zippiest musical names on this list!
One of the most instantly recognizable musical names, Mozart belonged to a musical genius and we think parents would be wise to pass along the moniker. Wolfgang and Amadeus are also recommended but we’re particularly fond of Mozart!
There you go! We hope you enjoyed these musical names for girls and boys and will consider one of them for your baby on the way. Musical names offer parents an opportunity to pass on their passions and express their love of all things music. You can choose subtle musical names or be unapologetically musical with it! It’s you’re call.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
- 1 Check Out These Lyrical & Harmonious Musical Names!
- 1.1 Musical Names for Girls
- 1.2 Aria
- 1.3 Lyra
- 1.4 Allegra
- 1.5 Piper
- 1.6 Cadence
- 1.7 Sonata
- 1.8 Teague
- 1.9 Melody
- 1.10 Viola
- 1.11 Jazz
- 1.12 Harper
- 1.13 Lyric
- 1.14 Coda
- 1.15 Madrigal
- 1.16 Ballad
- 1.17 Cantrelle
- 1.18 Calypso
- 1.19 Rhapsody
- 1.20 Condoleezza
- 1.21 Diva
- 1.22 Musical Names for Boys
- 1.23 Harmony
- 1.24 Brio
- 1.25 Banjo
- 1.26 Allegro
- 1.27 Reed
- 1.28 Haydn
- 1.29 Dorian
- 1.30 Alto
- 1.31 Fife
- 1.32 Apollo
- 1.33 Orpheus
- 1.34 Pan
- 1.35 Bard
- 1.36 Zamir
- 1.37 Ronen
- 1.38 Herod
- 1.39 Shiron
- 1.40 Riff
- 1.41 Zimri
- 1.42 Mozart
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