Music Theory

List of Musical Terminology

List of Musical Terminology

Author: Shine Music

8eva – an octave higher

A tempo – resume the normal speed after a diversion
Accelerando (accel.) – gradually becoming faster
Adagio – slowly, leisurely
Ad libitum – at pleasure, quite freely
Agitato – with agitation
Allargando – broadening out, often with an increase of tone
Allegretto – moderately fast; slightly slower than allegro
Allegro – lively and reasonably fast
Andante – at an easy walking pace
Andantino – a little slower (or a little faster than Andante)
Animato – with animation
Arco – (for string players) with the bow
Attacca – go on at once

Ben marcato – well marked
Brilliante – sparkling, brilliant
Brio – vigour

Calando – getting softer and slower
Cantabile – in a singing style
Capo – the beginning
Con anima – with feeling
Con brio – with spirit
Con forza – with forza
Con grazia – with grace
Con moto – with movement
Con sordini – with the mutes
Crescendo (cresc.) – gradually becoming louder

Da Capo (D.C) – from the beginning
Dal capo al fine or D.C. al fine written under the last bar of apiece of section – the music is to be repeated right from the beginning until it reaches the word ‘fine (the end).

Dal Segno – from the sign ; the music is to be repeated from where the sign occurs earlier in the piece, then carrying on to the end.
Decrescendo (decresc.) – gradually becoming softer
Diminuendo (dim.) – gradually becoming softer
Dolce – soft and sweet

Forte (f) – loud
Forte-piano (fp) – loud then immediately soft
Fortissimo (ff) – very loud
Forzando (fz or sfz) – with a strong accent

Giocoso – gay, merry
Grave – very slowly
Grazioso – gracefully

Largo – slowly and stately, broad
Larghetto – slower than Largo
Legato – smoothly
Leggiero – lightly
Lento – slowly
Loco – at the normal pitch (generally after playing an octave higher)

Maestoso – majestically
Main droite (M.D.) – right hand
Main gauche (M.G) – left hand
Marcato – marked, accented
Meno mosso – slower, less movement
Mezzo forte (mf) – moderately loud
Mezzo piano (mp) – moderately soft
Mezzo staccato – moderately short and detached; shown by dots covered with a slur
Misterioso – mysteriously
Moderato –at a moderate speed
Molto – very, much
Morendo – dying away
M.M – Maelzel’s metronome

Opus – a work or group of works
Ossia – or (an alternative version)

Ped. – depress the sustaining pedal of the pianoforte
Perdendosi – dying away
Pesante – heavily
Piacevole – pleasing
Piano (p) – soft
Pianissimo (pp) – very soft
Piu mosso – quicker
Pizzicato (pizz.) – plucked (in string music)
Poco – a little
Poco a poco – little by little (gradually)
Presto – very fast
Prestissimo – extremely fast, or as fast as possible

Rallentando (rall.) – gradually becoming slower
Risoluto – with resolution, boldly
Ritardando (retard.) – gradually becoming slower
Ritenuto (riten. or rit.) – immediately slower or hold back
Ritmico – rhythmically

Scherzando – playfully
Sempre – always
Senza – without
Sforzando (sf) – a strong (sudden) accent
Simile – in a similar manner
Sostenuto – sustained
Staccato – detached, short; note sustained for half the written length (shown by a dot above or below each note)
Stringendo – gradually faster
Subito – suddenly

Tempo – the speed of the music
Tenuto (ten.) – hold
Tranquillo –quietly, calmly
Tre corde – release the left, soft pedal of the pianoforte (with three strings)
Troppo – too much

Une corda – depress the left, soft pedal of the pianoforte (with one string)

Vivace – lively
Vivo – lively

– accent; give prominence, play with force
[Respectively, strong accent marcato, normal accent, and tenuto]
– the music or passage between the dots is to be played again
(fermata) – musical symbol placed over a note or rest to be extended beyond its normal duration
– tie or bind, indicating that the note being played or sung sustained, unbroken, through the total time value of the notes

– slur; a group of notes are played under a single bow stroke (string), or without retonguing (wind), or in one breath (singing), so that the notes move smoothly with no perceptible break
– metronome mark, indicating the speed at which a piece is to be played; 60 crotchets to the minute
– up-bow (bowed instrument – bow is pushed across the string); up-stroke (guitar – the string is plucked with the hand moving upwards)
– down-bow (bowed instrument – bow is pulled across the string); down-stroke (guitar – the string is plucked with the hand moving downwards)
– a less strong accent placed above or below the note meaning that it is to be stressed but not as strongly as when marked as > or

written by Janet Yun from teachers of piano, saxophone, violin, singing, drums, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, flute and clarinet

Article Source:

I Started out in 1976 trying out to sing in bands but no bands were interested in me. In 1977 I started playing guitar. The individual that was teaching me (who for now will remain anonymous) told me that I would NEVER learn how to play guitar because I had no sense of rhythm. I joined my first band in 1978 called "Dead Center" in Jacksonville, Florida. I played an Aspen guitar, black; a Les Paul copy and in 1981. I gave that guitar to the teacher who said I'd never learn to play. I wrote my first song in 1979 or '80. Over the years I have been in many bands but my passion has been songwriting. I have written well over 100 songs and though the early ones were kind of rough around the edges, I think that most of them could be dusted off and given a new facelift. Today I am still working on my songs. Currently I can play guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, harmonica, and Native American flute. The flutes that I play are ones that I made myself. My guitars are the Epiphone G-400 faded, an Ibanez RG370 DX, an Epiphone G 1275 double neck guitar. My acoustic guitars are an Alvarez 12 string and an old Kay guitar. My drum set is a Peace drum set. I do my recording on a Zoom HD16.
Sharps, Flats, and Naturals
Music Theory Basics
Notes and Their Values
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