Think of a pianist who is accompanying a violonist. What would you call the act of playing music and adjusting your tune, melody and playing to the musician you are accompanying. So the word accompanying is used a lot, but it's not specific enough. Accompaniment means a vocal or instrumental part that supports another, often solo, part, but it doesn't tell you that it's done particularly well and with respect to the tune, melody, playing.

For example:

Her piano ___ the playing of the violonist.

3 Answers 3


I don't think there is such a term - an accompanist is someone who accompanies a soloist, but there's no specific word for a very good accompanist. Instead, you'd have to add an adjective or an adverb, as appropriate. Some examples, beginning with your fill-in-the-blank:

Her piano accompaniment perfectly underscored the playing of the violinist.

She is a skilled accompanist who is often hired by the very best violinists.

She brilliantly accompanied the virtuoso as he improvised a new cadenza.

It is understood that the job of an accompanist is to follow and support the soloist, so if you use words like brilliant, skilled, or perfect, to modify accompany or any of its derivative forms, then it is understood that they are doing a brilliant, skilled, or perfect job at following and supporting the soloist.


Correction - the word is spelled violinist, not violonist.

I am not sure there is a specific word in English for what you're seeking. I can think of some generic ways of describing such musical accompaniment:

Her piano playing complemented the violinist's playing.

The pianist accompanied the violinist sensitively.


You may be looking for répétiteur

Accompanying and coaching opera singers throughout the rehearsal process, the repetiteur is a skilled pianist, conductor, and vocal teacher rolled into one.

these pianists serve as accompanists, skillfully reducing the complicated orchestral scores for piano in a way that preserves the spirit of a live orchestra.


The term appears to imply a specialism in opera, but might be used for similar roles in other musical genres.

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