Music
Theory

terms

Some music theory terms...

To do with speed...

Tempo     Speed / time

Adagio   Slowly

Andante    At a walking pace
Moderato    Moderately
Allegretto   
 Fairly quick (but not as quick as allegro)

Allegro    Quick and bright
Allegro moderato    
Moderately quick
Presto     Very fast

 

Accelerando / accel.   Gradually getting quicker
Rallentando / rall.   Gradually getting slower
Ritardando / ritard. or rit.  
Gradually getting slower (similar to rall.)
Ritenuto / riten. or rit.  Immediately slow down or held back 

A tempo  Back to the original tempo / "In time"

To do with volume...
mezzo
  Half

poco    A little

pianissimo  Very soft
piano   Soft
mezzo piano  Moderately soft ("half soft")
mezzo forte   Moderately loud ("half loud")
forte   Loud

fortissimo  Very loud

crescendo / cresc.    Gradually getting louder

diminuendo / dim.    Gradually getting softer 

To do with following the music and not getting lost!...

da capo / D.C.    From the beginning

dal segno / D.S.   Repeat from the dal segno sign

fine   The end
 


To do with how to play or sing the music...

accent   An emphasis, stress or attack on a note

legato    Smoothly 

staccato / stacc.    Detached

cantabile   In a singing style

M.M.   Maelzel's Metronome 

8va (written over a single note or several notes)   an octave higher


 

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