‘Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything’ said Plato. If that’s true, then what better name to give to a baby than one based on music? Music is all around us and, as the great philosopher states, it gives life to so many aspects of our daily tasks. Many see it as a healing power and Hans Christian Andersen even wrote ‘Where words fail, music speaks’.
Music has been around longer than we have, with animals using musical sounds to communicate. Whales sing to each other underwater whilst the birds hold magnificent conversations in the sky. Music is everywhere and as old as time.
So why not think about choosing a name from this universally powerful force to give to the baby? There are, of course, the well known and fairly obvious musical choices such as Melody and Harmony, but there is a wealth of lesser-known terms and words that also make great and beautiful names. Gorgeous names include Musette, Arabesque and even Aria, whilst one could even name their musical child after a famous composer or musician.
There is more choice than one might think, so check out these 25 gorgeous names and get inspired.
Arabesque sounds absolutely gorgeous. It is feminine and pretty and makes us think of the famous ballet pose. It literally means ‘ornate design’ and is a French word. In music, an arabesque is a type of music that uses melodies to create the atmosphere of Arabia, in particular, its ornate architecture and was particularly popular in the 19th-century.
Arabesque is a name that is so rare that it will really make all other mums stop and gasp at its unusual beauty.
Bell is a popular name at the moment thanks to the brave Belle in the Disney hit ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Meaning ‘beautiful’ in French, it is clearly a great name for any little girl. However, if you like this name but want to go a little more musical, then simply remove the final ‘e’ and you have a musical instrument.
It is an old English and Scottish name meaning ‘ringer of the bell’ and refers to the occupation of the church bellringers.
Here is a gorgeous musical girls’ name, which translates as ‘beautiful voice’. It is pronounced as ‘ka-LYE-oh-pee’ and is steeped in Greek mythology. Calliope was the Greek muse who looked after eloquence and epic poetry and was so called due to the ecstatic beauty of her voice. It currently ranks at number 813 on the baby naming charts so is still an unusual choice. You can find Calliope everywhere from the 3rd-century Roman martyr Saint Calliope to one of Cinderella’s sisters.
Think of the Caribbean, Steel Pans and lazy sunny days and you are probably hearing some Calypso music in your head. An exotically tropical name, Calypso means ‘she who hides’ and was an island nymph, the daughter of Atlas, in Greek mythology. Girls with this name have powerful personalities and prefer to lead rather than follow. They have a creative and somewhat rebellious streak, resenting authority and rules laid down by others. Determined to see their own ideas through, they can be stubborn and proud when things don’t go their way.
The French word for ‘song’, Chanson is pronounced ‘SHON-son’. This lyrical name has a soft and chic feel to it and is very unusual. Mostly used for girls, Chanson is officially unisex. However, the masculine usage is extremely rare and the name currently ranks at number 16,693 for boys. Perhaps it would sound more trendy for a boy if pronounced as ‘CHAN-sun’, as the soft sound is certainly not popular. As well as sounding good, this name has a sweet meaning and would suit any mini songstress.
Fife is a locational name for a remote place in Scotland. Perhaps the most famous person was the fictional Macduff, Thane of Fife, in Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth’. This is a unisex name that is often turned into Fifer for girls. There are many variations on this name too, including Phyfe, Fyffe, Fyfe, Pfeiffer, and Fyfer. However, it is on this list as a fife is a type of small flute, popularly used in folk music and as part of marching and military bands.
This trendy and modern name started out as an abbreviation for the boys’ name Jasper, or for the girls’ name Jazmine. It is now increasingly used as a standalone name. For boys, it still has a long way to go to be well-used, as it is ranked at number 3,700. Strangely for girls, it is currently way down at number 14,989, but this was an 11,000 position drop from the previous year. It isn’t clear why the name dived in popularity, but it makes a fun and trendy name for boys or girls and would suit babies to adults.
Another musical unisex name, Piper is simply ‘a person who plays the pipes’. An English boys’ name, it dates back hundreds of years to when playing the pipes into a war was a vital job. However, since the 1998 TV series ‘Charmed’ debuted with a female ‘Piper’, the name has become increasingly popular for girls. Celebs such as Gillian Anderson and Cuba Gooding Jr have since named their daughters ‘Piper’ and the name has now risen to number 78 in the baby naming charts.
A sharp and punchy name, Toccata carries an air of Italian elegance with it. Coming from the Italian ‘toccare’ it translates as ‘to touch’. In musical terms, a toccata is a virtuosic piece of fast-moving melodies that is designed to show off the dexterity of the performer.
Although some may consider this name to sound a little harsh it does have that rare ability to make you stop and think ‘wow!’. If you want to make those other school moms jealous, then this might be the one for you.
This particularly beautiful name sounds like it could have come straight from a Disney Princess castle. Light and elegant, Musette actually comes from the Latin word for ‘a little muse’, but is also translated as ‘ a song’.
Girls with this name tend to be artistic, with a natural flair for creative industries. Generous and keen to serve others, Musette loves to work with others and help out with her community. Romantic and loving, Musette makes a perfect friend.
There is a particularly famous Wolfgang in musical history and that is a certain young genius from the 18th-century. Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart has a range of amazing names that fans could choose from, including one that he adopted in later life - Amadè - but Wolfgang is cute for a baby and a little stand-out for an adult.
Wolfgang is a German name that means ‘travelling wolf’ and can be abbreviated to ‘Wolf’ or even ‘Wolfy’. A hugely masculine name for any little boy.
Allegra is a chic name from the Italian word for ‘joyous’. In musical terms, it is used as a tempo marking, showing that the music should be performed in a fast or lively fashion. Variations on this pretty name include Allegretta, Ally, Allegro, Legra, Lally, Alegria and even Leggra. The name is often linked with ballerinas, such as Allegra Kent, the American ballet dancer. Other famous bearers of this name include Allegra Versace, the Italian heiress and the poet Lord Byron’s daughter.
Names ending in ‘etta’ are currently very popular, giving a pretty and feminine ending to any name. It means ‘little’, so adds a cute twist to many names. Take, for instance, Henrietta, Marietta, Loretta, Colletta and even Pauletta, which are all on the rise in the popularity charts.
Arietta means ‘little aria’ and refers to the expressive solo songs found in opera and oratorio. ‘Ari’ also translates as ‘eagle’, so Arietta could represent a ‘little ‘eagle’. Arietta is yet to rank in the top 1000 names in the USA.
Another ‘etta’ name, Cabaletta is a rare and stylish name. It comes from a 19th-century Italian word which referred to the final section of an aria. Cabaletta is a showy name which could be shortened to Letta or Letty, but in its full form can sound quite self-important. Before giving this name to your daughter you should consider the family name quite carefully. A name like this would probably not go well with ‘Smith’ or ‘Jones’ and would need something similarly elegant to carry it off.
This name seems to have come from nowhere and launched itself into the world during this century. In 2007 it reached the top 200 but has since slipped down to number 421. Cadence is a musical word signifying the end of a phrase or section, before moving on to the next. If your baby was the end of one journey and the beginning of the next, this could be a lovely symbolic name. It is occasionally used for boys as a change to the more common Caleb or Caden but is significantly more popular for girls.
Here is a musical name that is quite possibly just another musical term that someone somewhere has decided would make a great girls’ name. In the musical world, you would expect to see it with an ‘a’ beforehand, signifying a piece of unaccompanied singing.
As a name, it has an air of Italian style about it, and you would certainly be the only mom on the playground calling this name out. Whether it would wow or shock the other parents only time will tell, but this is a name that could well be set to make an impact.
A good old-fashioned classic name that makes us all think of Christmas, Carol is a great stand-alone name or a pretty variation to Caroline or Carolyn. It has commonly been given to girls born around Christmas thanks to its associations with Christmas carols. However, its origins are actually as the female version of Charles and translate as ‘freeman’.
It was hugely popular in the 1930’s and 1940’s and even reached number 4 in 1941. It currently sits just inside the top 1000.
This light and delicate girls’ name is so gorgeous that other parents will surely wish they had thought of using it. This delightful name means ‘heavenly’ and has been in the top 1000 every single year since 1880. The celesta is also a musical instrument that looks like a piano but sounds ‘heavenly’. You may recognise it as the sound of ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ in the Harry Potter films or from the beautiful ‘Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairies’ by Tchaikovsky.
Lyra makes a great alternative to Lyla, Layla or Lyric. It comes from the ancient Greek meaning ‘lyre’, which, in turn, is a musical instrument that resembles a harp. Lyra is a constellation, whose name is taken from the lyre of the Greek god ‘Orpheus’.
Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum chose this name for their daughter and the name can be found scattered around popular culture in such contrasting programmes as ‘My Little Pony’ and the anime hit ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’.
This amazing name makes a great tribute to your amazing baby. Your unique baby deserves a unique name and this certainly fits the bill. A Rhapsody is a musical piece that has different parts that flow together into the whole. Think of Queen’s epic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and you will understand how different styles and emotions can blend into one.
Rhapsody is the name of the fantasy heroine in Haydon’s ‘The Symphony of Ages’, but otherwise is few and far between.
This rather obvious musical name is far more well-known and well-used than most musical names. Meaning ‘tune’, this name has been popular for centuries and although it commonly now means ‘tune’, the Greek definition of ‘music or song’ was far more general. Very popular in the 1960’s as a hippy name, Melody is making another comeback and is currently ranked at number 143 for girls’ baby names. Melody stars as Ariel’s daughter in ‘The Little Mermaid 2’ and as characters in everything from Doctor Who to Sonic the Hedgehog.
This lovely boys’ name gives us something a little different from the norm. Stylish and modern, this name is actually incredibly old. It is a French name meaning ‘woodland’, but it is also the surname of one of the greatest English composers of all time. The sixteenth-century Thomas Tallis is renowned particularly for his choral music and composed for royalty. So it is surely an honour to be named after such an important figure in musical history, especially if you are a fan of sacred choral tunes.
This musical name refers to song words, which of course have a massively diverse range of meanings and intentions. It is an extremely new name, seeming to date from 1994, with the release of the film ‘Jason's Lyric’, in which Jada Pinkett Smith plays the heroine, Lyric. As a word, ‘lyric’ dates back to ancient Greek times, when it referred to something ‘sung with a lyre’, but its use as a name is a new idea. Lyric is a glamorous and stylish name which may well catch on.
This elegant and very cool name gives any young lady a sophisticated feel. In musical terms, an aria is a song for accompanied voice, which is usually found in operas and oratorios. Arias have a reputation for being full of emotions, and an opportunity for a star to shine.
Girls with this name tend to be quiet and considerate. Whilst they can come across as shy, they are super trustworthy and make excellent mediators and diplomats. A pretty name that grows well into adulthood.
If you have a boy then why not give him this rare and stylish name? Baroque composer Henry Purcell was a leading composer of the 17th-century, best known for his tragic opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’ and for his piece ‘The Fairy Queen’. It’s always flattering to name your child after your idol, and if your idol has a cool name like Purcell, then you’re on to a winner.
However, it is also a Norman name from the Old French 'Pourcel', meaning 'piglet' and was the nickname for a swineherd.