Term for Instrumental Music Where the Singer has been Replace by Instrument


Is there a term for instrumental music where the song is typically sung vocally, but the singer's part has been replaced by an instrument?

I want to tell my Google Home to play instrumental music of this kind, but instead it typically plays pieces that are exclusively instrumental (not intended to be sung).

Lonnie Best

Posted 2018-12-01T17:33:48.190

Reputation: 203

Instrumental Parodies? – None – 2018-12-01T17:57:57.767


Musak? https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzak Or elevator music?

– None – 2018-12-01T18:54:43.917

@b3ko : Well, if so, it is going to be very hard for my voice-operated Google Home to hear the distinction between "Muzak" and "Music".

– None – 2018-12-01T19:03:06.887

3I was able to find some stuff in spotify by searching "instrumental pop covers". – None – 2018-12-01T20:36:22.137

Thank you. I'm also giving this question a try at english.stackexchange.com.

– None – 2018-12-02T07:30:08.997


The reverse (where a singer sings words or scat to emulate a previous instrumental solo) is called vocalese...

– None – 2018-12-03T00:57:23.000

1Try "Instrumental version" of a "song name/genre/chorus name" or "song with lead <piano> melody" – None – 2018-12-03T05:35:37.197



The very short and simple answer to this question - Instrumentalize

instrumentalize: Verb - (third-person singular simple present instrumentalizes, present participle instrumentalizing, simple past and past participle instrumentalized)

(music) To transcribe for instrumental execution a piece of music written for the human voice

For your Google Home issue, I suppose you can attempt to tell it to play whatever song "instrumentalized".... But, I'm guessing ymmv...

Modern Apostles

Posted 2018-12-01T17:33:48.190


1I've been a musician for most of my 67 years and had to look up the word 'Instrumentalize' to check it existed. I doubt there's much point in asking Google to look for it. – Laurence Payne – 2018-12-13T00:26:34.977


This sort of thing might be named as the song title plus (Instrumental) or (Instrumental version). But I'm afraid this will be little use in a Google search.

Tracks where the vocal is omitted but NOT replaced by an instrument will be tagged 'Karaoke'. There's plenty of them!

Laurence Payne

Posted 2018-12-01T17:33:48.190

Reputation: 325


I think the best way to do this is "instrumental cover of 'x'" where x is the song name. Alternatively, "(instrument name) cover of 'x'".


Posted 2018-12-01T17:33:48.190

Reputation: 221

1Can you give an example? – None – 2019-09-15T14:00:23.150


.Song Title + Orchestra Version 123456

Albrecht Hügli

Posted 2018-12-01T17:33:48.190

Reputation: 510