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Is there a term for instrumental music where the song is typically sung vocally, but the singer's part has been replaced by an instrument?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

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  • Instrumental Parodies? – Lonnie Best Dec 1 '18 at 17:57
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    Musak? en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muzak Or elevator music? – b3ko Dec 1 '18 at 18:54
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    I was able to find some stuff in spotify by searching "instrumental pop covers". – b3ko Dec 1 '18 at 20:36
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    The reverse (where a singer sings words or scat to emulate a previous instrumental solo) is called vocalese... – Daniel Griscom Dec 3 '18 at 0:57
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    Try "Instrumental version" of a "song name/genre/chorus name" or "song with lead <piano> melody" – Bruce Dec 3 '18 at 5:35
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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...

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    I'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 Dec 13 '18 at 0:26
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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'".

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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!

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.Song Title + Orchestra Version 123456

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