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Music Theory - Grade 1 - Terms and Signs

by JazzMaverick

3 Mar 2009
Views: 14367

As students, we should have a knowledge of these simple Italian words and signs. These are all likely to be found in musical notation for Grade 1. There are a total of 8 Grades.


A tempo ------> Resume the normal speed (after a diversion)
Accelerando --> Becoming gradually faster.
accel.
Adagio -------> Slow, leisurely.
Allargando ---> Broadening out, often with an increase of tone.
Allegretto ---> (lit. a little allegro) Slightly slower than Allegro.
Allegro ------> Lively, reasonably fast.
Andante ------> (lit. walking) At a moderate pace.
Andantino ----> (lit. a little andante) This word has two opposite meanings;
either a little slower or a little faster than Andante.
Arco ---------> (this is for string players) With the bow; a contradiction of pizzicato
Brillante ----> Sparkling, brilliant
Brio ---------> Vigour
Cantabile ----> In a singing style
Capo ---------> (lit. head) The beginning
Col, Colla ---> With the
Con ----------> With
Con moto -----> With movement
Con sordini --> With the mutes (see sordini)
Corda --------> A string (see una corda, tre corde)
Crescendo ----> Becoming gradually louder
Cresc.
Da -----------> From, of
Da Capo ------> From the beginning
D.C.
Dal Segno ----> From the sign:

Decrescendo --> Becoming gradually softer
Diminuendo ---> Becoming gradually softer
Dim.
Dolce --------> Sweetly
Espressivo ---> With expression, with feeling
Espress.
Fine ---------> The end [D.C. al fine; back to the beginning and finish at the word fine]
Forte --------> Loud or strong
f
Fortissimo ---> Very loud
ff
Forzando -----> With a strong accent
fz or sfz
Giocoso ------> Merry
Grave --------> Very slow
Grazioso -----> Gracefully
Largo --------> Slow and stately, broad
Larghetto ----> Less slow than Largo
Legato -------> Smoothly
Leggiero -----> Lightly
Lento --------> Slowly
Maestoso -----> Majestically
M.D. (It.)
Mano destra.---> Right hand
M.S. (It.)
Mano sinistra -> Left hand
Marcato ------> Marked, accented
Meno ---------> Less
Meno mosso ---> Less movement
Mezzo forte --> Moderately Loud
mf
Mezzo piano --> Moderately soft
mp
Misterioso ---> Mysteriously
Molto --------> Much
Ossia --------> Or. The word indicates an alternative version
Ped. ---------> Depress the sustaining pedal of the pianoforte
Perfendosi ---> Dying away
Pesante ------> Heavily
Piacevole ----> Pleasing
Pianoissimo --> Very soft
pp
Piano --------> Soft
p
Pizzicato ----> Plucked (in string music)
Pizz.
Più ----------> More
Poco ---------> A little
Poco a poco --> Little by little (gradually)
Presto -------> Very quick
Prestissimo --> As fast as possible
Rallentando --> Becoming gradually slower
Rall.
Risoluto -----> Boldly
Ritardando ---> Becoming gradually slower
Ritard
Ritenuto (rit.)--> Hold back (i.e. slower at once)
Ritmico ------> Rhythmically
Scherzo ------> A joke
Scherzando ---> Playfully
Segno --------> a sign:
(see dal segno)
Sempre -------> Always
Senza --------> Without
Sforzando ----> With a sudden accent
sf or sfz
Simile -------> In a similar manner
Sordini ------> Mutes. Con sordi: with mutes, a direction for string or brass players.
Senza sordini: without mutes
Stacato ------> Short, detached
Stacc.
Stringendo ---> Gradually faster
Subito -------> Suddenly
Tempo --------> The speed of the music.
Tempo di Gavotta ---> In the time (and style) of a Gavotte
Tempo Primo --> Resume the original speed
Tempo 1
Tenito -------> Held
Ten.
Tranquillo ---> Quietly
Tre corde ----> (lit. Three strings) Release the left (soft) pedal of the pianoforte
Troppo -------> Too much
Una corda ----> (lit. One string) Depress the left (soft) pedal of the piano forte
Vivance ------> Lively, quick


Signs


This is slightly difficult to do as most things are difficult to simply type in due to the fact that they’re symbols... so these are the ones I am able to show to you.


> -----------> Accent
⁀ -----------> Slur (smooth)
♩ = 88 --------> 88 crotchets to the minute
< > -----------> Getting louder, then softer
⌒ -----------> Phrase mark
♩‿♫ -----------> Tie or bind
------> Give prominence
Ped. Or Ped___________| --->Depress sustaining pedal, then release
||: :|| ----> The section is to be repeated
| ♩ ♩ | ♩ ♩ | ♫ ♫ || ---> Bar lines and Double Bar
V -----------> For String Players --> Up Bow


Remember, this stuff is for complete beginners to fully remember in order to pass their grading. Don't force these into you head, take your time and test yourself on them. Just like you would with spelling tests back in the day. So take your time! Good luck!

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JazzMaverick on Sound Cloud
JazzMaverick Music

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Comments:

01
03.03.2009
  jcb3000

Good plan with the music theory grades. i never got the chance to do these so this gives me a chance to realise which grade i may be at.
i have a feeling i maybe about 4 or 5. im not entirely sure

many thanks for this

02
03.03.2009
  blackholesun

To be honest, I think a beginner will take a look at this and then never want to learn theory again!

It would have been much better if it was seperated into different sections, like dynamics, tempo, etc and then ordered logically rather than everything in one big melting pot. For example, the first term "a tempo" should come after tempo!

03
03.03.2009
  goodtunes

wow thats is alot of vocabulary. and italian vocab at that

04
03.04.2009
  Empirism

Hehe, nice lez again. So next time I go to training with my band I have to say to my drummer

" Hey, next time in bridge part use forzando fills and after that continue largo"

And to my bassist

"please! try to make it more stringendo!!!"

Lets see how they react xD

05
03.04.2009
  JazzMaverick

@ Empirism, hahaha that would be hilarious! Tell me how that goes!

@ BHS, have patience! :D I'm writing out the actual lesson now, this is just the glossary for everything I'm about to write about in the Grade 1 lesson. Instead of people trying to find it through my lesson, I felt it was easier to write out the definitions in a new lesson.

I also put it in alphabetical order. I don't think it's that difficult to browse down the page to find similar definitions.

@ JCB, I'm writing them all out so in a little while you'll be able to tell where you're at. :D

06
03.06.2009
  RelaxedDude

Da Capo is also a really good anime

Just to be a little random =)

07
03.07.2009
  Guitarslinger124

good lesson...this reminds me of music classes back in school...cant say i remembered half of these

08
11.14.2010
  2jpe2

Most people never have to know any of this with guitar, I use it all on trumpet but I have used virtually none on guitar

09
11.14.2010
  BodomBeachTerror

yeah, but its good to know if you plan to write for other instruments

10
11.20.2010
  owel

this is a nice idea..I'm gonna read it from beginning to end..Can't wait.

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