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June 19, 2011

a2

Both players or 2nd person plays the same part.

Accelerando

A symbol used in musical notation indicating to gradually quicken tempo.

Adagio

A tempo having slow movement; restful at ease.

Agitato

Agitated; with excitement.

Allegretto

Slower than allegro and with a sense of "lightness".

Allegro

A direction to play lively and fast.

Andante

At "walking" tempo.

A Tempo

Back to the original speed.

Cadenza

Originally an improvised cadence by a soloist. Later it became a written out passage to display performance skills of an instrumentalist or performer.

Canon

A musical form where the melody or tune is imitated by individual parts at regular intervals. The individual parts may enter at different measures and pitches. The tune may also be played at different speeds, backwards, or inverted.

Cantabile

A style of singing which is characterized by the easy and flowing tone of the composition.

Con brio

With spirit.

Countermelody

Second melodic line played at the same time as the main theme or malody.

Da Capo

An instruction to repeat the beginning of the piece before going to the coda or proceeding to the fine.

Del Segno

Go back to the "'f," which may not be at the beginning but in the first 1/4 of a work, then play on to the fine.

Dynamics

Pertaining to the loudness or softness of a musical composition. Also, the symbols indicating volume- ppp to fff.

Enharmonic Notes

Two notes that differ in name only. The notes occupy the same pitch. For example: C sharp and D flat.

Grazia

Grace.

Con Grazia

With grace.

Espressivo

A direction to play expressively, conveying emotion, often using vibrato.

Fermata

To hold a tone or rest beyond the note value at the discretion of the performer.

Form

The structure of a piece of music.

Forte

A symbol indicating to play loud- f.

Glissando

Sliding between two notes.

Good Ensemble

Performing with a sense of balance and togetherness between all instruments of a band or orchestra.

Grandioso

Word to indicate that the movement or entire composition is to be played grandly.

Grave

Word to indicate that the movement or entire composition is to be played very slow and serious.

Grazioso

Word to indicate that the movement or entire composition is to be played gracefully.

Interpretation

The expression a performer brings to a composition, making the music "come to life".

Interval

The distance in pitch between two notes.

Good Intonation

The manner in which unison notes are played with regard to pitch between musicians.

Largo

Very slow.

Lento

Slow; slightly faster than largo, slower than adagio.

Legato

Term to indicate articulation that is to be tongued smoothly and somewhat connected.

Maestoso

To be played majestically.

Marcato

Extremely short with a "stinging" type of articulation.

Meno mosso

Less forward motion with regard to tempo.

Mezzo forte

A direction for the dynamics to be played medium loud- mf.

Mezzo piano

A direction for the dynamics to be played medium soft- mp.

Modulation

To switch to another key.

Ornamentation

Notes used to embellish a melodic line, such as grace notes, turns and trills.

Ostinato

A constantly repeated phrase.

Pesante

Heavy.

(Good) Phrasing

Playing a single section or melodic line of music, breathing when it comes to a resting point- creating a musical sentence.

Piano (or "p")

An instruction to play the music at a soft level of volume.

Piu mosso

More forward motion with regard to tempo.

Poco

A little. Used with other terms, e.g. poco accelerando.

Poco a poco

Little by little.

Presto

A direction indicating the tempo is to be very fast.

Rallentando

Slowing the tempo gradually.

Rhythmical playing

The element of music pertaining to time; accurately playing measured groupings of notes in accented and/or unaccented beats.

Ritardando

Slowing down quickly.

Round

Same as a canon where the melody is imitated in two or more voices.

Rubato

The term used to denote flexibility of tempo to assist in achieving expressiveness.

Scherzo

"Joke-Like", a fast movement in triple time.

Sostenuto

Sustaining of tone.

Staccato

Short detached notes, as opposed to legato; does not mean "short".

Syncopation

Accenting of notes played on an "up-beat" or a subdivision of an "up-beat".

Tessitura

The range of an instrumental or a vocal part.

Theme

A melody presented as the main idea in a musical form.

Timbre

Tone color, quality of sound that distinguishes one verse or instrument from another. It is also determined often by the shape of the sound.

(Good) tone

Refers to intonation, pitch, and timbre of an instrument, which expresses meaning, feeling, or attitude of the music.

Tonic or Root

The first tone of a scale also known as a keynote.

Tremolo

Quick repetition of the same note or the rapid alteration between two notes.

Triad

Three note chords consisting of a root, third and fifth.

Trill

Rapid alternation between notes that are a half tone or whole tone apart, which adheres to the key signature.

Unison

Two or more voices or instruments playing the same note simultaneously.

Vibrato

Evenly and rapidly bending a note, similar to wave in the ocean.

Vivace

Play a composition in a brisk, lively, and spirited manner.

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