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Performance terms

l'istesso tempo

at the same tempo

sempre

always

subito

suddenly

non troppo

not too much

mezzo

half

assai

very

molto

very

stringendo (string.)

to press forward (speed up)

rallentando (rall.)

to gradually slow down

ritenuto (riten.)

to suddenly slow down

amoroso

tender and affectionate

calando

gradually softer and slower

cantabile

in a singing style

con brio

with vigor and spirit

con forza

with force

con fuoco

with fire

con moto

with motion

doloroso

sorrowfully

giocoso

humorous

grazioso

gracefully

leggiero

lightly

maestoso

majestically

marcato

marked and dressed

marzial

in the style of a march

morendo

dying away

pesante

heavy

semplic

simple

sostenuto

sustained

soto voce

in an undertone

// (caesura)

complete break in sound

tremolo (two slashes across a note)

a rapid repetition of the same note

cadenza

solo section to display the performer's technique (usually in a concerto or similar work)

melisma

ornamenting one syllable while singing

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