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Music terms

Music terms and their definitions

Music termDefinition
Allegro fast
a2 both
Andante Moderatly slow
Sostenuto sustained
Sempre always
Ad Lib at the perfomer's liberty
poco little
Con lengo with the wood of the bow
div. divided parts
Tempo Primo first tempo
tutti all
Con moto with motion
Marcatto accented
G.P. Grand Pause
Poco a Poco little by little
Staccato short and separated
Moderato Moderately
A tempo original tempo
Cantando singing
Solo one
Ritard gradually slow down
Meno mosso less motion
Decrescendo Decreasing in loudness
Diminuendo Gradually softer
Sonore sonorously
Accel. accelerate
Pesante Heavy
Fine The end
Feroce fierce
Forte Loud
Fortissimo Very loud
Glissando Gliding, rapid scales, played with a sliding movement
Interval Distance in pitch between notes
Dolce Sweetly
Tacet al fine be silent to the end
Largo At a slow, dignified pace
Lento Slow
Legato Smoothly
Arco to bow the violin rather than pluck the strings
Piu vivo more animated/briskly
Octave Interval made up of 8 successive notes of scale
Percussion instruments Instruments that are struck including drums, cymbals, xylophone, tambourine, castanets, etc.
Pianissimo Play very softly
Piano Play softly
Pitch Highness or lowness in sound of one note compared with another
Pizzicato Playing strings by plucking rather than bowing
Presto Very fast
Prima donna Principal female singer in a cast
Rallentando Getting slower
Rest Sign denoting silence
Ritardando Slowing down
Scale Progression of successive notes ascending or descending
Brass 1. trumpet 2. French horn 3. trombone 4. tuba i.e. euphonium, cornet, figle horn, melophone, sousaphone
Sharp Conventional sign indicating that the note should be raised by a semitone
Soprano Highest female voice
Staccato In a short, detached fashion
Staff Framework of lines and spaces on which music is written
Stringed instruments 1. violin 2. viola 3. cello 4. double bass i.e. guitar, mandalyn, banjo, piano, harp
Syncopation Shifting of accent onto a beat not normally accented
Tenor High male voice
Time signature Figures written at the beginning of a piece indicating kinds of beats in a bar and their number
Espr (gasping espressivo)to be played with expression
Vibrato Rapid regular fluctuation in pitch of a note
Woodwind instruments 1. flute 2. oboe 3. clarinet 4. basoon i.e. piccolo, recorder, bass clarinet, english horn
Created by: KubrickIsGod