Definition of accompaniment in English:



  • 1A musical part which supports or partners an instrument, voice, or group.

    ‘she sang to a guitar accompaniment’
    mass noun ‘sonatas for piano with violin accompaniment’
    • ‘The special live feature for her Opera House performance was the inclusion of a violin and cello accompaniment to Orton's sweet and distinctive voice.’
    • ‘The range of the custom-tuned baritone guitar means there's a bass accompaniment to the melody, and even the track ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ is delicious rather than out of place.’
    • ‘When students attempted to play the accompaniment to the artist's melody, they were hampered by not knowing the notes well enough.’
    • ‘Varying the instrumental accompaniment can help avoid musical monotony.’
    • ‘Another time I demonstrated a new keyboard instrument capable of playing accompaniments from floppy disk to a group of flutists.’
    • ‘This is because when singing romances, a singer must rely only on his or her voice and the accompaniment of the piano and not on stage props.’
    • ‘Headteacher, the late David Clough, and myself took the children for an outing on the famous line and we all went up and down the carriages singing the song with guitar accompaniment to smiling passengers.’
    • ‘Add Pedja Muzijevic's elegant and supportive piano accompaniment, and this is a Winterreise that repays an attentive ear and a watchful eye.’
    • ‘No one but Beth could get much music out of the old piano; but she had a way of softly touching the yellow keys, and making a pleasant accompaniment to the simple songs they sang.’
    • ‘The earliest piano recordings, prior to 1910, were not very successful; most discs from this time employ the piano as an accompaniment to a vocalist.’
    • ‘For the most part, Tosti's songs were written for voice with piano accompaniment, and both Carreras and Heppner have been fortunate to work with sensitive arrangers.’
    • ‘The Royal Cliff house band provided the musical background and the accompaniment to ‘Happy Birthday’, sung by the little Isabel Kirschmann for her dear friend.’
    • ‘This form of singing along with recorded orchestral accompaniment to popular songs began as entertainment in bars and has since spread overseas.’
    • ‘Include and inspire younger siblings through clapping, responsive singing and simple accompaniments on rhythm instruments.’
    • ‘This is not necessarily a fault, as both composers saw the violin as an equal partner at best, and even described their earlier sonatas in this genre as works for piano with violin accompaniment.’
    • ‘Use guitar and some rhythm instruments as the accompaniment.’
    • ‘But bear in mind that many people use a digital keyboard not to play sheet music but to add digital accompaniment to other instruments.’
    • ‘A couple of minutes later, voices struck up an accompaniment to the drumbeat.’
    • ‘Some keyboard divertimentos have accompaniments for other instruments, as do many contemporary keyboard sonatas.’
    • ‘The songs, piano accompaniment and violin part are of an easy to moderate level of difficulty.’
    backing, support, background, soundtrack, comp
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A piece of music played as a complement or background to an activity.
      ‘lush string accompaniments to romantic scenes in films’
      ‘we filed out to the accompaniment of the organ’
      • ‘The tradition of Gaelic work songs developed as rhythmic accompaniment to such tasks as milking, harvesting, spinning, and weaving.’
      • ‘But it serves well as an accompaniment to dance for this luscious orientalist extravaganza and it is invaluable to have these three famous ballets brought together.’
      • ‘Wuttichot's music teacher, Mr Chris, provided the musical accompaniment to the show, as well as introducing his Primary 3 recorder ensemble.’
      • ‘Dynamo will provide vigorous live accompaniment whilst the hot plates are sizzling and for delirious dessert, THE YOUNG PROFESSIONALS whip up a small hurricane.’
      • ‘As a result, myself, Andy Williams and DJ Kobal are providing the musical accompaniment to this evening of visual fun.’
      • ‘Another first is the Bayou Cafe, a New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole eatery that features live jazz music accompaniment.’
      • ‘With the Bocking Concert Brass in attendance, there was suitable musical accompaniment to the occasion, held at Howard Hall, Bocking End, on Friday.’
      • ‘Like a lot of instrumental guitar music, Man On Stilts comes across, at first, as music accompaniment for a '60s spaghetti western.’
      • ‘And speaking of the score, the Mondo films have some of the most beautiful, suggestive, and lush accompaniment ever produced.’
      • ‘He delivers elegant chamber music accompaniments to this clever film.’
      • ‘It made you long to see more - with a better musical accompaniment to do it justice.’
      • ‘To the accompaniment of some of her favourite hymns and church music, more than 1,000 Yorkshire people gathered to express their gratitude yesterday for the life of the Queen Mother.’
      • ‘I thought they'd be doing little dance routines with slap-bass accompaniment, but they are quite Dutch, calm and businesslike.’
      • ‘His accompaniment sounds like evil burlesque music, lurching forward, undressing you with its eyes.’
      • ‘Ranging from the techno-infused uptempo music in Tokyo X to the jazzy downbeats in Chicago, the musical accompaniment to the onscreen action fits seamlessly.’
      • ‘Firstly, the musical accompaniment to Sidia's production included flutes, percussive instruments and a keyboard.’
      • ‘Brian Gray's short film featured Johnny Cash singing religious songs, a gritty accompaniment to a serene film that followed a trio of utterly committed and convinced toilers in the vineyards of the Lord.’
      • ‘The musical score by Carl Davis is lyrical yet understated, an effective accompaniment, and it is rendered serviceably by the mono audio track.’
      • ‘Matt played in a band called the Space Goats, who were extremely prominent at road protests, often providing a live musical accompaniment to digger diving with their heady brew of psychedelic folk music.’
      • ‘The Ab Fab 4 provide the musical accompaniment to each day's show.’
      • ‘To the accompaniment of vintage jazz records, the train chugs up and down the otherwise closed branch line from Arcady to Flaxfield Junction.’
      • ‘The scramble to the hospital allowed time only for a rummage in the glove compartment of our car, which provided a battered copy of Twenty Golden Country Greats as the sole musical accompaniment to the birth.’
      • ‘It is unfortunate that this awareness has come at a time when live accompaniment for dance remains very low in the priorities of funding agencies and corporate sponsors.’
      • ‘The Air Command Band provided the musical accompaniment to the successful parade, after what had been a hectic few days of practice.’
      • ‘I was a little disappointed however, that there was no musical accompaniment to the site, maybe a little of Depeche Mode's ‘Personal Jesus’?’
      • ‘But to traditional people around the world, music is not background accompaniment to life-it is essential to life itself.’
      • ‘Raise a toast, with beer of course, and enjoy the fun that comes with lively music as an accompaniment.’
      • ‘Notably, hip-hop is the dominant musical accompaniment to the leading fan dancing routines.’
      • ‘There is even a tour of building sites with live music accompaniment.’
      • ‘Elmore Bernstein and Chico Hamilton provide the musical accompaniment to the movie's portrayal of the 1950s New York nightclub demi-monde.’
      • ‘Different from those noisy eateries, this restaurant provides a tranquil atmosphere with only the accompaniment of Chinese folk music, which matches well with its decorations of ancient style.’
      • ‘Shining Star, which was favored with live accompaniment for its premiere, is the kind of romp at which the Alley dancers excel; Parsons posed no new challenges.’
      • ‘Classes 7 and 8 gave a musical accompaniment to the story, Grace's Journey about a girl in The Gambia.’
      • ‘So, musicians make a better living, while balletomanes enjoy the status and the possibilities for collaborative fireworks that come only with live accompaniment.’
      • ‘An 11-piece band graced the orchestra pit, very few touring companies can boast as many as that, and their accompaniment was very good.’
      • ‘Seventy Two & Sunny is an appropriate title since it's the ideal musical accompaniment to a warm summer day and documents a gifted singer-songwriter continuing to mature.’
      • ‘Aparicio is among the salsa writers who stress this music's importance as accompaniment to dance.’
      • ‘AND WHAT ABOUT the dancers who train in studios that use recorded music and then transfer to one that uses only live accompaniment?’
      • ‘And the gallery of exploitation art is presented without accompaniment, meaning that you have to sit and watch the images unfurl in silence.’
      • ‘Music, that soul-stirring accompaniment for the men of arms.’
      backing, support, background, soundtrack, comp
      View synonyms
  • 2Something that supplements or complements something else.

    ‘these biscuits are a lovely accompaniment to tea’
    • ‘The menu also includes a range of meals popular with children and the focus is on meals that are in themselves complete and require no accompaniment, such as potatoes or rice.’
    • ‘The smell of a chocolate dessert came wafting from the kitchen and someone decided we had to order one to share even though the description of its cold foamy sauce accompaniment sounded unappealing.’
    • ‘Bea started off with a haggis clapshot, while I, having had my first choice nabbed, ordered an old favourite, deep-fried brie, with the novel twist of a strawberry coulis accompaniment.’
    • ‘We chose sole in sole with anchovy sauce, served with boiled potatoes and a ratatouille-like vegetable accompaniment, plus steak with roquefort cheese sauce.’
    • ‘It was a dish I received with mixed feelings, because attractive and delightful as it was, with its rather delightful accompaniment of orange sauce and ice cream, I found it a tad undignified to eat.’
    • ‘It was, however, an excellent accompaniment to the delicious Garlic Naan we tried.’
    • ‘Early on, Anna teaches us how to craft sublime roast potatoes that would have Gary Rhodes chewing his toque, and a lemony sponge cake requiring nothing more than a dusting of sugar and a cup of strong coffee by way of accompaniment.’
    • ‘This means that instead of a flour-based gravy as accompaniment, pot-roast meat can be served with the cooking sauce that has miraculously thickened all by itself.’
    • ‘Dessert - the creamy panna cotta was superb, with a contrasting marmalade-like bitter kumquat accompaniment.’
    • ‘Usually we eat them as a meal on their own with a salad, but they also make a delicious accompaniment to roasted or grilled chicken or pork.’
    • ‘You can get talked into it as a chic accompaniment to smoked salmon.’
    • ‘The waiter did mention that this stew-like dish wasn't served with any accompaniment, and although it was satisfying I sort of missed rice or potatoes to round it out.’
    • ‘The Pan con Tomate was your standard bread appetizer, but made a delicious accompaniment to the cheese and olives, which are a bit too intense without meatier companion.’
    • ‘Choose one accompaniment for each cheese, and serve crackers and toasted sliced bread on the side.’
    • ‘A wonderful volume for vacation or leisure reading, this book is a perfect accompaniment to a day at the beach or an evening by the fireplace with a good cup of coffee.’
    • ‘The meat wasn't as moist as it might have been, and the brie blended in so well that I wondered if there was actually any present, but the sauce was a gloriously tart accompaniment and the sweet potato rosti was cooked perfectly.’
    • ‘The famous old dessert wine, recommended by the chef, proved to be an inspired accompaniment, complementing the textures and flavours of the foie gras and the fruit beautifully.’
    • ‘The marinated squid salad, which Gill munched while I fulminated over my pesto, was big enough to feed a whole table, while the chilli oil was a subtle and sweet accompaniment.’
    • ‘Chicken pie on a bed of chow mein, half-rice half-chips in a curry sauce, and even battered cod with a sweet and sour accompaniment are all served with the essential salt and vinegar condiments.’
    • ‘The soup was robust and fruity, fun and flavorful; the steak was seasoned and cooked perfectly, the Bernaise sauce a wickedly sinful accompaniment.’
    complement, supplement, addition, adjunct, appendage, trimming, companion, accessory
    View synonyms


Early 18th century: from French accompagnement, from accompagner ‘accompany’.