What do you envision when you dream of what your child will grow up to be? A rapper blitzing rhymes at the speed of sound? Or a pianist mesmerizing Royal Albert Hall with his skill?
For, anyone who has used a musical instrument, or indeed who hasn’t, will know that music is a language all by itself. It has been used in festivals and celebrations, to express emotions and to tell stories for eons. So, if you eat, sleep, and even breathe music, how about using it as your inspiration to name your little one? Who knows? Maybe, a little Madonna or Mozart is on the way. But, fortunately, those aren’t the only options. Here are some of MomJunction’s favorite musical baby names.
Music Inspired Baby Names For Boys
Elvis is one of the hippest music inspired baby names. It’s the name of one of the most iconic and famous music stars of all time. But the name predates Elvis Presley. In fact, it existed way before Elvis Presley stepped on the stage with his suede shoes and his iconic jackets. Since the first half of 20th century, the name showed a consistent, yet sporadic usage. The year 1957 marked the biggest jump for the name Elvis. The origin of the name is not well known, but it’s more likely to be a variation of Alvis, which means ‘old wise.’
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Michael Jackson is the most famous bearer of this name. The name Michael comes from the Hebrew word Mikha’el, which translates to ‘Who is like God’. As a name, Michael is timeless and never sounds old fashioned. In fact, his music transcends the general trend. The name Michael has claimed the top 50 status since 1880 without missing a beat. It hit the top 10 in 1940, acquired the top position in 1954, and secured it for 40 years. All this had happened before Michael Jackson burst onto the scene. So you can never go wrong with a name like Michael. And it’s here to stay and for long.
While Michael is no doubt a cool name, Jackson is cooler. Despite its obvious trendiness and popularity and still does not sound overused. The popularity of Jackson as a name surged in the early 1980s, but it maintained a place in the top baby boy name charts in America for over a century. It reached its highest point ever in 2002. In fact, 12,000 baby boys in America are named Jackson every year.
Fernando De Lucia is one of the most famous opera singers of all time. He was admired as a prominent exponent of verismo parts. This three-syllable name just dances off the tongue. It sounds like it belongs to the adventure-seeking boy full of courage and romance. So you better keep an eye on your son.
Drake is the middle name of the famous rapper Aubrey Graham. This Canadian rapper, songwriter, singer, and actor garnered recognition for his role as Jimmy Brooks and then as a rapper. Drake is an Anglo-Saxon surname that developed from a nickname. The name Drake was rarely used as a name, probably because of its association with ‘snake’ or ‘dragon’. But it began its ascent in the baby name charts in the mid-1980s. As a one syllable name, Drake is a smart, confident and intelligent moniker for a child. And, it’s quite easy to spell and pronounce.
Singer William Beckett is the main reason for the rise of this name. This punk star was best known for his work with the Chicago-based band ‘The Academy Is.’ Other namesakes include guitar legend Jeff Beck. Beckett has an upbeat, and snappy quality to it, and the name is popular with celebs too. Natalie Maines and Melissa Etheridge, the two American singers, used it for their sons. We think that Beck would make the best nickname for it. What about you?
[ Read: Rock And Roll baby Names ]
Amadeus would forever be connected to one of the greatest musicians of all choice, Mozart. It would make an interesting pick for classical music loving parents, but only as a middle name. And it’s barely used too, so it will make a different pick for your child. The name comes the Latin word ‘amare’ meaning ‘love of God’’. German tennis ace Boris Becker also chose Amadeus as a first name for his fourth son.
John Lennon was one of the most celebrated songwriters of all time. As a member of The Beatles, John Lennon rose to immense fame, and notoriety. Lennon was barely used as a given name but was an immensely popular name in the late 20th century. People used Lennon to pay homage to the former Beatles band member in the same way as they did for Elvis (Presley) and Michael (Jackson).
Gerald Maxwell Rivera, better known by his stage name Maxwell, is an American actor, singer, and songwriter. He is accredited with shaping the ‘neo-soul movement’. Maxwell, and it’s shortened form Max, is making a triumphant return to the baby name charts. The name has been in use for over a century but suffered a slight setback in the 1960s, before coming back with a vengeance in the 1980’s.
Bob is a great name for true blue and diehard fans of Bob Marley. Bob Marley was a Jamaican songwriter, reggae singer, and musician who achieved international acclaim and fame. He forged a distinct vocal and songwriting style that resonated with the audience worldwide. The name Bob was popular in the late 1970s, so much so that people were surprised to see a casual nickname reach such great heights.
Pay homage to one of the biggest singers of all time by using his surname as your son’s first name. Hendrix is a surname originating from Henry. The surname is more German than Dutch and means ‘ruler.’ And the X ending is adding to the cool factor.
[ Read: Rockstar Baby Names ]
Alejandro Fernandez was a renowned Mexican singer. Fondly called “El Portillo” by the media, Alejandro specialized in traditional Mexican music like ranchera and mariachi. Alejandro brings a poetic, and soft sound to the age-old Greek classic Alexander. The name is ranked highest on the baby names list in Mexico, Texas, and California.
Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and the founding member of the metal band Metallica. The meaning of this Scandinavian name is ‘victorious’.
Alice Cooper had a career spanning for over five decades, is credited with shaping the sound of ‘rock and roll’. Cooper is a non-traditional masculine name with a rebellious zest and impish quality. It’s one of those last names that can be used a forename as well. You can even shorten it to ‘coop.’
George Harrison was the lead guitarist of the Beatles. The use of Harrison has been rising steadily along with the other Hispanic and Latin names. It’s one of those names that sounds good for both a crawling baby or a university goer. And it’s way better than a Henry or a Harry.
Who wouldn’t want to name their offspring after the founding members of the Rolling Stones? Keith Richards is also ranked as the fourth top guitarist in the world. There are no two ways about it that the name Keith is uber cool. And it’s well liked too!
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Piper is an occupational surname referring to someone who plays the pipes. The surname developed in the Middle Ages, right after the Norman conquest. The name is getting closer to landing on the top 100 music baby names list and if the current trajectory sustains, it soon will.
Calypso is an ultra-cool and mysterious name for baby boys. It’s actually a genre of West Indian music, which the Africans developed as a means of communication. It incorporates Italian, French and Spanish musical style. The spelling variations of this inherently beautiful name include Calipso, Callypso and Kalypso.
This English term for a song’s works means ‘lyre’ in Latin. Lyrik would make a more masculine spelling option. If you wish to use it for your baby girl, go with the original spelling or change it to Lyrica.
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Raga is an unusual and lovely Sanskrit musical term meaning ‘melody.’ Unfortunately, the name is prone to mispronunciation in the West. Readers need to know that both the A’s in should be pronounced softly. You can even spell the name as Raaga to avoid the Rag related blunders.
A reed is a thin and small material that vibrates against the mouthpiece of a musical instrument. The name Reed sounds distinctive without being too dainty. It’s also a popular surname in Irish and English descent. Some even chose Reed as a first name to keep a classical name in the family.
When Rachel Griffiths, the famous actress, selected this name for her son, there were many raised brows. Some ridiculed her choice while others thought it was a bizarre invention. But we feel that this bright and happy name feels distinctive.
Yes, even Bell can be a possible first name. It is simple and sounds extremely pleasant to the ears. Bell was also the Scottish and English occupational name for the ringer of bells.
Brio is another musical term with loads of energy and verve. There are no variations or nicknames in this name, so it stands alone and confident.
This hyper-rhythmic name has a few evocative musical references too. It’s a genre of music in West Indies. Calypso originated in Trinidad and Tobago but was popularized in the States by none of than Harry Belafonte. So it’s sure to make a dramatic, musical choice. Cal would be the best nickname for it in our opinion.
If you can keep Viola for your daughter, then why not use Cello for her sibling?
Fife will make a great middle name for music lovers with Scottish roots. It was also the middle name of Tallulah, Patrick Dempsey’s daughter.
Music Inspired Baby Names For Girls
Aliyah Haughton is one of the best-known singers of our time. Her rise in the music world was meteoric, which in a way, makes her name fitting. Her first two albums combined sold 7 million copies. She single-handedly influenced the use of the name Aliyah. It became a favorite baby girl name in the USA in 1994. Aliyah is derived from an Arabic male name Aali, which means ‘sublime.’
“Oh, My Darling” Clementine is such an adorable baby name. As most of you must have guessed by now, the name Clementine is inspired by the classic American folk song. It has a history of practice in the United States, with every 200 baby Clementines born every year. Unfortunately, it could never get a higher ranking, despite the fact that several high-profile celebs have picked this delightful name for their daughters. Clemmy or Clem would make great nicknames.
Does this name even need any introduction? Rihanna is the name of the American singing sensation. Its peak popularity occurred in 2008. While it is not an uber popular name, its rapid ascension of the chart is noticeable. The meaning of this variation of Rhianna is ‘great queen’.
Mariah is the fancy spelling of the name Maria, which is further derived from the New Testament name Miriam. The name had a resurgence in the early 1990s, clearly because of pop singer Mariah Carey. Fans all around the world showed their appreciation for her astounding voice by naming their daughters Mariah. And we think it’s a much better variant of Maria or Mary.
The name itself is an American invention, inspired by the singing sensation Miley Ray Cyrus. It started appearing on the baby naming charts in the year 2007, a year after the release of Hannah Montana. It’s said that Miley was a nickname given to the pop star by her parents because she was very smiley. It is also considered a female form of the male name Miles, which means soldier.
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The return of this name to the baby naming charts is owed entirely to the British singer and songwriter Adele. Regardless of its association with the Grammy winner, Adele is a gorgeous name. It has an understated beauty and is sure to make a wonderful choice for a baby girl. The name hit its zenith in the late 1990s when it showed in the top 200-baby name list.
Beyoncé also an example of how pop-culture trends are influencing the usage of naming styles. Around 2000 parents over the past 15 years have named their daughters after the Queen Bee. So what was once considered passé is now a red-hot name.
The name Prudence features in the Beatles highly popular track, “Dear Prudence”. Meaning ‘cautious’ and ‘intelligence’, the song was inspired by Mia Farrow’s sister who goes by the same name. The song asks Prudence to come out of her room, meet and greet the day. As a name, Prudence is the least famous of all the virtue names, and unique. But if you ask our opinion, we’d say it’s prudent in our view.
Janet Jackson is a renowned American songwriter, singer, actor, and dancer. Her name Janet entered the 20thcentury with a #323 spot. It quickly went on to take a position in the top 100-baby name list. But it dropped in the year 2000, and few parents are going to this name these days. So it’s improbable that your child will bump into another Janet in school.
Madonna Louise Ciccone is another immensely famous American actress, singer, and songwriter. The name Madonna is an epithet for the Virgin Mary. It means ‘my lady’ in Italian. The name rose in popularity manifolds after the release of Madonna’s first album. We don’t have many names with a popularity graph like this.
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Taylor Swift is the Madonna of our generation. She has sung some of the most beautiful tracks in the recent years and is one of the proud recipients of the Grammy’s Award. The name Taylor was not used for girls until 1980’s but is used widely now. And we must say, its ascent to the top of the charts was lightning fast.
Veronica Mehta is an Indian R&B singer based in the United Kingdom. She sings in Hindi, English, Urdu, and Punjabi. Despite being slightly old fashioned, the name has shown an impressive tenacity and fortitude on the baby name charts. Roni or Ronnie would make cute nicknames.
Relive your teen years by paying homage Fiona Apple; American singer, pianist, record producer, and of course, Grammy award winner. Fiona is one of the long neglected, beautiful names from Ireland. It comes from the Gaelic word ‘fionn’ that means ‘fair.’ It’s a feminine version of ‘fionn’.
Gwen is one of those names that any girl will be proud to share a name with. Gwen Stefani is the co-founder and lead vocalist of the band ‘No Doubt’. The name Gwen originated as a short form of Gwendolyn, but now it stands on its own. It means ‘white circle.’
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Lita was the guitarist of the all-girl band “The Runaways”. She is one member who rocks as much as her name. The name Lita has a retro flair to it and is unique enough to make your daughter stand out from the crowd.
Aria is an elaborate melody used as an accompaniment in oratorio and operas. It means ‘air’ or ‘melody’ in Italian and ‘lioness’ in Hebrew. This exotic sounding name also increased in popularity because of a character in ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ series.
Calliope is the muse of epic poetry and the daughter of Zeus. A calliope is also a keyboard instrument that resembles an organ. As a name, it has a finger-snapping rhythm and a sharp sound to it
Cadence, meaning ‘beat, flow or rhythm’ in Latin is a newly popular girl’s name. The name sounds like a trendy variation of boy’s name Caden. We have fallen for this name already! There are plenty of spelling variations of this name as well like Kaydence, Kadence, and Cadence.
[ Read: Baby Names Inspired By Fire ]
We adore this name. Viola is a stringed instrument that is slightly larger than a violin. It made a notable appearance in Shakespeare’s play “Twelfth Night”. You can even shorten this exotic and refined name to Vi or V.
Lyra is a musical instrument that is similar to the harp. The name has sharp and intense sound, making it an appealing choice for many parents.
A Carol is a hymn or song associated with Christmas. As a standalone name, Carol has been in circulation since the 19th century. Although it’s fading from the limelight, it is still bestowed on 100 girls every year. Carol is also a short form of Caroline or Carolina. So you can consider it as a nickname for your daughter’s name too!
Euphony is a sweet and pleasing sound. We have to see if Euphony persists in popularity in the coming years, but right now, no one can shy away from its greatness.
Melody is a perfect choice for music-loving parents who are about to produce their most fantastic song. It was at it’s high in the 1940s and then again in the 1960s. And now, Melody is back with a bang. It jumped 50 spots to reach #201 in the year 2015. Meaning a ‘sequence of musical notes’ or ‘song’ Melody is now variously spelled as Melodie, Melodey, and Melodi. Mel is its go-to nickname.
[ Read: Baby Names Inspired By Literature ]
Grace is another music inspired name to consider for your child. Grace is a small embellishment or addition added as an ornament. The name has a lovely or rather graceful sound it. You can also use it as a middle name. It will sound equally beautiful.
Harmonies are musical notes sounded at the same time to produce some pleasant chords. The term is also used as a term for ‘unity’ and connotes peaceful co-existence. Harmony is now in fashion for both baby boys and girls alike.
Madrigal is a beautiful and highly distinctive name for a girl from a musical family.You must have heard this name in television show Breaking Bad as well. It’s also a distinctive choice for parents who are looking for a less conventional name and it’s way more striking than Aria or Cadence.
Would you choose a music inspired name for your child? If yes, then which of these names would you opt for? Or do you have some other music related baby names in mind? Tell us by commenting below.
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