Glossary of Music Terms
A: At, to, by        
A Cappella: in the church style, unaccompanied vocal music        
Accellerando (accel.) : Gradually faster        
Ad libitium: The speed and Ad Lib manner are left to the performer        
Adagio: Slow        
Adagietto: Rather slow        
Adagissimo: Very Slow        
Affrettando: Hurrying pressing onwards        
Agitati: Agitated        
Alla Breve: Formerly stood for four minims in a bar, now more often indicates two minim
Allargando: Getting slower, with an implication also of generally bigger tone        
Allegro: Lively, fast        
Allegretto: Rather lively (but less than Allegro)        
Andante: Moving, flowing        
Andantino: Alternatively faster or slower than Andante        
Anima Soul: With deep feeling        
Animato: Animated        
A piacere: At pleasure        
Apassionato: Passionately        
Approggriatura: A grace note        
Arpeggio: Like a harp        
Assai: Very        
A tempo: In time, i.e. resuming normal speed after a deviation        
Attaca: Go on at once        
Ben: Bene Well        
Bewegt: Ger. With movement        
Bis: Lat. Twice        
Breit: Ger. Broad        
Bravura: (con.) Boldness and spirit        
Breve: Originally a note of relatively short duration, but now the longest note, equal to
four minims.        
Brillante: Brilliant        
Brio: Vigour        
Calando: Decreasing both tone and speed        
Cantabile (cantando) : In a singing style        
Cantilena: Short, song-like piece        
Capo: The beginning ( Da Capo - From the beginning)        
Capriccio: A caprice ( a piece in free light-hearted style)        
Coda: A passage added at the end of a movement to make a satisfactory finish        
Col, Coll': With the        
Colla parte: A direction to the accompanist        
Colla voce: A To follow the solo instrument or voice        
Come: As        
Come prima: As at first        
Come sopra: As above        
Comodo: Convenient (usually linked with tempo - at a convenient pace)        
Con: With        
Crescendo (cresc.) : Becoming gradually louder        
Da: From        
Da Capo (D.C.) : From the beginning        
Dal sengo (D.S.) : From the sign        
Deciso: Decisively, firmly        
Decrescendo (decresc.) : Becoming gradually softer        
Delicato: Delicate        
Diminuendo (dim.) : Becoming gradually softer        
Dolce: Tenderly, sweetly        
Dolcissimo (dolciss.) : Very gently, very sweetly        
Dolente: Sadly        
Dolore: Grief, sorrow        
Doppio: Double        
Doppio movimento: Twice as fast        
Duo: A duet        
E, Ed: And        
Ein wenig: Ger. A little        
En dehors: Fr. Prominently        
En pressant: Fr. Hurrying        
En retenant: Fr. Gradually slower        
Energico: With energy        
Espressione: Expression        
Espressivo (espr.) : With expression        
Etwas: Ger. Somewhat        
Facile: Easy        
Feurig: Ger. Fiery        
Finale: The last movement of such a work a sonata        
Fine: The end        
Forte: Loud        
Forte piano fp: Loud, then soft        
Fortissimo: Very loud        
Forza: Force        
Forzando fz: Forcing, a sudden accent        
Fuga: A fugue        
Fuoco: Fire        
Furioso: Furiously        
Gauche: Fr. Left        
Giocoso: Gay, merry        
Giusto: Strict, exact        
Glissando: The rapid playing of a scale        
G.P. (General Pause) : Indicates all to remain silent        
Grandioso: Grandly, in the grand manner        
Grave: Very slow, solemn        
Grazia: Grace        
Immer: Ger. Always, constantly        
Impetuoso: Impetuously        
In altissimo: Notes played an octave higher        
Incalzando: Increasing speed, with an implication of increasing tone        
Lacrimoso: Sadly        
Lamentoso: Mournfully        
Langsam: Ger. Slow        
Largamente: Broadly        
Larghetto: Less slow than largo        
Largo: Slow and stately        
Lebhaft: Ger. Lively        
Legato: Smooth        
Legatissimo: As smoothly as possible        
Leggiero: Light, delicate        
Legno: See col legno        
Lent: Fr. Slow        
Lento: Slow        
L.H.: Eng. Left hand        
Lied: Ger. Song        
L'istesso tempo: The speed of the beat remains the same although the notation changes  
Loco: Notes are to be played at their normal pitch (after an indication to play them an
octave higher or lower)
Lontano: As from a distance        
Lunga pausa: A long pause        
Lusingando: In a coaxing style        
Ma: But        
Ma non troppo: But not too much        
Maestoso: Majestically        
Mancando: Waning, dying away        
Main droite (M.D.) : Fr. The right hand        
Main gauche (M.G.) : Fr. The left hand        
Marcato (marc.) : Marked, accented        
Marcia: A march        
Martellato: Hammered out        
Marzial: Martial        
Mässig: Ger. Moderate        
Meno: Less        
Meno mosso: Less movement, slower at once        
Mesto: Sadly        
Mezza voce: In an undertone        
Mezzo forte F: Moderately loud        
Mezzo piano P: Moderately soft        
Misterioso: Mysterious        
Misura: Senza misura in free time        
Mit: Ger. With        
Moderato: Moderate time        
Moll: Ger. Minor        
Molto: Much, Di molto, very much        
Morendo: Dying away        
Mosso: Moved, movement        
Moto movimento: Movement, Dopio movimento twice as fast        
MS.: Eng. Manuscript        
Nicht: Ger. Not        
Nobilmente: Nobly. A term much used by Elgar        
Non: Not        
Non tanto: Not so much        
Non troppo: Not too much        
Obbligato: Indispensable, cannot be omitted        
Opus: Lat. A work, published composition        
Ossia Or.: Indicating an alternative version of a passage        
Ottava (Ott.) : Octave        
Ottava bassa: An octave lower        
Parlando: To be sung in Parlante declamatory fashion, with particular care for the
enunciation of the words        
Partitur: Ger. A full orchestral score        
Passionato: Passionately        
Pastorale: In a pastoral style        
Paterico: With feeling, pathos        
Pausa: A rest        
Perdendosi: Dying away        
Pesante: Heavy, ponderous        
Piacevole: Pleasing, agreeable        
Piangevole: Plaintively        
Piano p: Soft        
Pianissimo: Very softly        
Più: More        
Più: (allegro) Quicker, more lively        
Più: (lento) More slowly        
Più: (mosso) More movement, quicker        
Plus: Fr. More        
Pochettino: A very little        
Pochissimo: As small as possible        
Poco: A little        
Poco a poco: Little by little        
Poi: Then        
Portamento: The effect produced by the voice in gliding with extreme smoothness from
note to note        
Precipitato: Precipitately, impetuously        
Pretissimo: As fast as possible        
Presto: Very quick        
Prima volta: First time        
Primo: First        
Quasi: As if, almost        
Quasi recitativo: Like a recitation        
Rallentando (rall.) : Becoming gradually slower        
Repetizone (replica) : Repitition        
R.H.: Eng. Right hand        
Rigoroso: Strictly        
Rinforzando: Reinforcing        
Risoluto: Resolute, bold        
Risvegliato: With increased animation        
Ritardando (rit.) : Gradually slower        
Ritenuto (rit.) : Help back        
Ritmico: Rhythmically        
Rubato: Robbed, stolen, taking a portion of the duration from one note or group of
notes, and adding it to another, so that although the detail varies, the length of the phrase
is normal        
Ruhig: Ger. Calm        
Scherzando: Playful        
Scherzo: A joke        
Scherzoso: Playfully        
Schnell: Ger. Quick        
Schneller: Ger. Quicker        
Sec: Lit. Detached        
Segno: A sign. See Dal segno        
Segue: Go on with what follows        
Sempre: Always        
Senza: Without        
Sforzando (sforzato) : Forcing, accented        
Simile: In a like manner        
Sin',: Sino Until        
Slargando (slentando) : Gradually slower        
Smorzando:Dying away        
Soave: Gentle, smooth        
Solenne: Solemn        
Sonore: Sonorous, full toned        
Sopra: Above        
Sospirando: Sighing        
Sostenuto: Sustained
Sotto: Below        
Sotto voce: In an undertone        
Spiritoso: Spirited        
Staccato (stacc.) : Detached        
Staccatissimo: Very detached        
Strepitoso: Noisy, boisterous        
Stringendo: Gradually faster        
Suave: Gentle, smooth        
Subito: Suddenly        
Süss: Ger. Sweet        
Tacet: Lat. It is silent        
Tanto: So much        
Tempo: The speed        
Tempo: comodo At a convenient speed        
Tempo giusto: In strict time        
Tempo Primo (tempo) : Resume the original speed        
Tenerezza: Tenderness        
Teneramente: Tenderly        
Tenuto (ten.) : Held        
Tosto: Swift, rapid        
Tranquillo: Calm, tranquil        
Traurig: Ger. Sadly        
Tre: Three        
Tremolando (trem.) : The rapid repitition of a note        
Trionfale (trionfante, troppo) : Triumphant        
Tutta forza: The whole power, as loud as possible        
Tutti: All        
Un,: una, uno One        
Un peu (un poco) : Fr. A little        
Unis.: In unison after a division (divisi)        
Veloce: Swift, quick        
Vibrato: Vibrating        
Vif: Fr. Lively, quick        
Vigoroso: Boldly, vigorously        
Vite (vivace, vivo) : Fr. Quick, lively        
Vivacissimo: Very lively, with extreme vivacity        
Voce: Voice        
Volante: Flying        
Voll: Ger. Full        
Volti subito (V.S.) : Turn the page quickly        
Wenig: Ger. Little        
Zart: Ger. Delicate        
Kerry Shaffer, BMus (Honors) Flute Performance
Private Flute Teacher for Middle Tennessee:
Brentwood, Franklin,  Arrington, Nolensville, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, and the surrounding areas

1019 Valley Forge Drive    Arrington TN  37014
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