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Music Term Glossary A-F

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Music Term Glossary A-F Empty Music Term Glossary A-F

Post by Admin Andrew Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:56 pm

The musical term glossary.
A
• a, ΰ (Fr) – at, to, by, for, in, in the style of
• a 2 – see a due in this list
• aber (Ger) – but
• a bene placido – up to the performer
• a cappella – in the manner of singing in a chapel; i.e., without instrumental accompaniment
• accelerando – accelerating; gradually increasing the tempo
• accentato – accented; with emphasis
• acciaccatura – crushing; i.e., a very fast grace note that is "crushed" against the note that follows and takes up no value in the measure
• accompagnato – accompanied; i.e., with the accompaniment following the soloist, who may speed up or slow down at will
• adagietto – rather slow
• adagio – at ease; i.e., slow
• adagissimo – very slow
• ad libitum (commonly ad lib; Latin) – at liberty; i.e., the speed and manner of execution are left to the performer
• a due – Intended as a duet; for two voices or instruments; together; two instruments are to play in unison, after divisi or a solo passage for one of the instruments
• affettuoso, affettuosamente, or affectueusement (Fr) – with affect (that is, with emotion); see also con affetto
• affrettando – hurrying, pressing onwards
• agile – swiftly
• agitato – agitated
• al, alla – to the, in the manner of (al before masculine nouns, alla before feminine)
• alla breve – two minim (half-note) beats to a bar, rather than four crotchet (quarter-note) beats
• alla marcia – in the style of a march
• allargando – broadening, becoming a little slower
• allegretto – a little lively, moderately fast
• allegro – cheerful or brisk; but commonly interpreted as lively, fast
• als (Ger) – than
• altissimo – very high
• alto – high; often refers to a particular range of voice, higher than a tenor but lower than a soprano
• am Steg (Ger) – at the bridge; i.e., playing a bowed string instrument near its bridge (see sul ponticello in this list)
• amabile – amiable, pleasant
• amoroso – loving
• andante – at a walking pace; i.e., at a moderate tempo
• andantino – slightly faster than andante (but earlier it sometimes used to mean slightly slower than andante)
• a niente – to nothing; an indication to make a diminuendo to pppp
• animato – animated, lively
• antiphon – a liturgical or other composition consisting of choral responses, sometimes between two choirs; a passage of this nature forming part of another composition
• apaisι (Fr) – calmed
• a piacere – at pleasure; i.e., the performer need not follow the rhythm strictly
• appassionato – passionately
• appoggiatura – a grace note that "leans" on the following note, taking up some of its value in the measure
• a prima vista – at first sight; i.e., playing or singing something at first sight of the music sheet
• arco – the bow used for playing some string instrument; i.e., played with the bow, as opposed to pizzicato (plucked), in music for bowed instruments; normally used to cancel a pizzicato direction
• arietta – a short aria
• arioso – airy, or like an air (a melody); i.e., in the manner of an aria; melodious
• arpeggio – like a harp; i.e., the notes of the chords are to be played quickly one after another (usually ascending) instead of simultaneously. In music for piano, this is sometimes a solution in playing a wide-ranging chord whose notes cannot be played otherwise. Music generated by the limited hardware of video game computers uses a similar technique to create a chord from one tone generator. Arpeggios (or arpeggi) are also accompaniment patterns. See also broken chord in this list.
• arpeggiato – a way of playing a chord: starting with the lowest note, and with successively higher notes rapidly joining in. Sometimes the effect is reversed, so that the highest note is played first.
• assai – very
• assez (Fr) – enough, sufficiently; sometimes used in the same sense as assai
• a tempo – in time; i.e., the performer should return to the main tempo of the piece (after an accelerando or ritardando, etc.); also may be found in combination with other terms such as a tempo giusto (in strict time) or a tempo di menuetto (at the speed of a minuet)
• attacca – attack, or go on; i.e., at the end of a movement, a direction to begin (attack) the next movement immediately, without a gap or pause
• Ausdruck (Ger) – expression
• ausdrucksvoll (Ger) – expressively
• avec (Fr) – with or with another
B
• B (Ger) – B flat in German (and Icelandic); B natural is called H
• barbaro – barbarous (notably used in Allegro barbaro by Bιla Bartσk)
• bass – the lowest of the standard four voice ranges (bass, tenor, alto, soprano); the lowest melodic line in a musical composition, often thought of as defining and supporting the harmony
• basso continuo – continuous bass; i.e., a bass part played continuously throughout a piece to give harmonic structure, used especially in the Baroque period
• beat – (1) the pronounced rhythm of music; (2) one single stroke of a rhythmic accent
• bellicoso – warlike, aggressive
• ben or bene – well, as in, for example, ben marcato (meaning "well-marked")
• bewegt (Ger) – moved, speeded
• bis (Lat) – twice; i.e., repeat the relevant action or passage
• bisbigliando – whispering; i.e., a special tremolo effect on the harp where a chord or note is rapidly repeated at a low volume
• bocca chiusa – with closed mouth
• bravura – boldness; as in con bravura, boldly
• breit (Ger) – broad
• bridge – Transitional passage connecting two sections of a composition, also transition. Also the part of a string instrument that holds the strings in place.
• brillante – brilliantly, with sparkle
• brio – vigour; usually in con brio
• brioso – vigorously (same as con brio)
• broken chord – a chord in which the notes are not all played at once, but in some more or less consistent sequence. They may follow singly one after the other, or two notes may be immediately followed by another two, for example. See also arpeggio in this list, which as an accompaniment pattern may be seen as a kind of broken chord; see Alberti bass.
• bruscamente – brusquely
C
• cadenza – a solo section, usually in a concerto or similar work, that is used to display the performer's technique, sometimes at considerable length
• calando – falling away, or lowering; i.e., getting slower and quieter; ritardando along with diminuendo
• calore – warmth; so con calore, warmly
• cambiare – to change; i.e., any change, such as to a new instrument
• cantabile or cantando – in a singing style
• capo – head; i.e., the beginning (of a movement, normally)
• capriccioso – capriciously, unpredictable, volatile
• cιdez (Fr) – yield, give way
• cesura or caesura (Latin form) – break, stop; i.e., a complete break in sound (sometimes called "railroad tracks")
• chiuso – closed; i.e., muted by hand (for a horn, or similar instrument; but see also bocca chiusa, which uses the feminine form, in this list)
• coda – a tail; i.e., a closing section appended to a movement
• codetta – a small coda, but usually applied to a passage appended to a section of a movement, not to a whole movement
• col, colla – with the (col before a masculine noun, colla before a feminine noun); (see next for example)
• colla parte – with the soloist
• colla voce – with the voice
• col legno – with the wood; i.e., the strings (for example, of a violin) are to be struck with the wood of the bow; also battuta col legno: beaten with the wood
• coloratura – coloration; i.e., elaborate ornamentation of a vocal line, or (especially) a soprano voice suited to such elaboration
• colossale – tremendously
• col pugno – with the fist; i.e., bang the piano with the fist
• come prima – like the first (time); i.e., as before, typically referring to an earlier tempo
• come sopra – as above; i.e., like the previous tempo (usually)
• common time – the time signature 4/4: four beats per measure, each beat a quarter note (a crotchet) in length. 4/4 is often written on the musical staff as 'C'. The symbol is not a C as an abbreviation for common time, but a broken circle. The full circle at one time stood for triple time, 3/4.
• comodo (or, commonly but less correctly, commodo) – comfortable; i.e., at moderate speed; also, allegro comodo, tempo comodo, etc.
• con – with; used in very many musical directions, for example con allegrezza (with liveliness), con amore (with tenderness); (see also col, colla, above)
• con amore, or (in Spanish and sometimes in Italian) con amor – with love, tenderly
• con affetto – with affect (that is, with emotion)
• con brio – with spirit, with vigour
• con dolore – with sadness
• con (gran, molto) espressione – with (great, much) expression
• con fuoco – with fire, in a fiery manner
• con larghezza – with broadness; broadly
• con moto – with motion
• con slancio – with enthusiasm
• con sordina, or con sordine (plural) – with a mute; or with mutes; compare senza sordina in this list; see also Sordina. Note: sordina, with plural sordine, is strictly correct Italian, but the forms con sordino and con sordini are much more commonly used as terms in music.
• con sordino, or con sordini (plural) (incorrect Italian) – see con sordina, above
• coperti (plural of coperto, which may also be seen) – covered; i.e., on a drum, muted with a cloth
• crescendo – growing; i.e., progressively louder (contrast diminuendo)
• cut time – same as the meter 2/2: two half-note (minim) beats per measure. Notated and executed like common time (4/4), except with the beat lengths doubled. Indicated by three quarters of a circle with a vertical line through it, which resembles the cent symbol '’'. This comes from a literal cut of the 'C' symbol of common time. Thus, a quarter note in cut time is only half a beat long, and a measure has only two beats. See also alla breve.
D
• da capo – from the head; i.e., from the beginning (see capo in this list)
• D.S. al coda or dal segno al coda (or, strictly but rarely seen, ...alla coda) – from the sign to the coda; i.e., return to a place in the music designated by the sign and continue until directed to move to the coda, a separate ending section. (See Coda in this list.)
• D.S. al fine or dal segno al fine – from the sign to the end; i.e., return to a place in the music designated by the sign (see preceding entry) and continue to the end of the piece
• D.S.S. al coda or dal segno al coda – same as D.S. al coda, but with a double segno
• D.S.S. al fine or dal segno al fine – from the double sign to the end; i.e., return to place in the music designated by the double sign (see D.S. al coda) and continue to the end of the piece
• deciso – decisively
• decrescendo or decresc. – same as diminuendo or dim. (see below)
• delicatamente or delicato – delicately
• devoto – religiously
• diminuendo, dim. – dwindling; i.e., with gradually decreasing volume (same as decrescendo)
• dissonante – dissonant
• divisi or div. – divided; i.e., in a part in which several musicians normally play exactly the same notes they are instead to split the playing of the written simultaneous notes among themselves. It is most often used for string instruments, since with them another means of execution is often possible. (The return from divisi is marked unisono: see in this list.)
• dolce – sweetly
• dolcissimo – very sweetly
• dolente – sorrowfully, plaintively
• doloroso – sorrowfully, plaintively
• double stop – the act of playing two notes simultaneously on a melodic percussion instrument or stringed instrument
• D.S. – Dal Segno (see above)
• Dur (Ger) – major; used in key signatures as, for example, A-Dur (A major), B-Dur (B♭ major), or H-Dur (B major). (See also moll (minor) in this list.)
• dynamics – refers to the relative volumes in the execution of a piece of music
E
• eco – the Italian word for "echo"; an effect in which a group of notes is repeated, usually more softly, and perhaps at a different octave, to create an echo effect
• ein wenig (Ger) – a little
• Empfindung (Ger) – feeling
• encore (Fr) – again; i.e., perform the relevant passage once more
• en dehors (Fr) – prominently
• energico – energetic, strong
• enfatico – emphatically
• en pressant (Fr) – hurrying forward
• en retenant (Fr) – slowing
• eroico – heroically
• espirando – expiring; i.e., dying away
• espressivo or espr. – expressively
• estinto – extinct, extinguished; i.e., as soft as possible, lifeless
• etwas (Ger) – somewhat
F
• facile – easily, without fuss
• fermata – finished, closed; i.e., a rest or note is to be held for a duration that is at the discretion of the performer or conductor (sometimes called bird's eye)
• feroce – ferociously
• feurig (Ger) – fiery
• festivamente – cheerfully, celebratory
• fieramente – proudly
• fill (English) – a sound (or combination of sounds) which "fills" the brief time between lyrical phrases and lines of melody
• fine – the end, often in phrases like al fine (to the end)
• flebile – mournfully
• focoso or fuocoso – fiery; i.e., passionately
• forte or f (usually) – strong; i.e., to be played or sung loudly
• fortepiano or fp (usually) – strong-gentle; i.e., 1. loud, then immediately soft (see dynamics), or 2. an early pianoforte
• fortissimo – as loudly as possible (see note at pianissimo, in this list)
• forzando or fz – see sforzando in this list
• freddo – cold(ly); hence depressive, unemotional
• fresco – freshly
• fugue (Fr), fuga (Latin and Italian) – literally "flight"; hance a complex and highly regimented contrapuntal form in music. A short theme (the subject) is introduced in one voice (or part) alone, then in others, with imitation and characteristic development as the piece progresses.
• fuoco – fire; con fuoco means with fire
• furioso – furiously

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Music Term Glossary A-F Piano_10
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Andrew Furmanczyk :: http://www.howtoplaypiano.ca :: http://ca.youtube.com/user/lypur
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Job/hobbies : Piano teacher, pianist
Length of time playing piano : Started in 1992; 17 years of playing.
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Registration date : 2008-02-22

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