The basics of reading music
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Author:  James [ Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  The basics of reading music

Words to know for music theory (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)

Grade 1
(Italian) (English)
Accelerando (pr accel.) gradually getting quicker
Adagio slow
Allegretto fairly quick (but not as quick as allegro)
Allegro quick (literally ‘cheerful’)
Andante at a medium (walking) speed
Cantabile in a singing style
Crescendo (or cresc.) gradually getting louder
D.C. (da capo) repeat from the beginning
D.S. (dal segno) repeat from the sign
Decrescendo (or decresc.) gradually getting quieter
Diminuendo (or dim.) gradually getting quieter
Fine the end
F (= forte) loud
Ff (= fortissimo) very loud
Legato smoothly
Lento slow
Mezzo half
mf (= mezzo forte) moderately loud (literally ‘half’loud)
Mp (= mezzo piano) moderately quiet (literally ‘half quiet)
Moderato moderately (allegro moderato: moderately quick)
P (=piano) quiet
Pp (=pianissimo) very quiet
Poco a little
Rallentando (or rall) getting gradually slower
Ritardando (or riten or rit) getting gradually slower
Ritenuto held back
Staccato detached
Tempo speed, time (a tempo: in time)
Words to know for A.B.R.S.M.music grade theory 2. As well as the Grade One words you are expected to know all the following words in Italian.

Italian English
A at,to,by,for, in, in the styles of
Al, alla to the, in the manner of (alla Marcia: in the style of a march)
Allargando slightly faster than adante (but may also mean slightly slower)
Assai very (allegro assai: very quick)
Con, col with
Dolce sweet, soft
E, ed and
Espressivo (or espress. Or espr.) expressive
Fp (= fortepiano) loud, them immediately soft
Giocoso playful, merry
Grave very slow, solemn
Grazioso graceful
Larghetto rather slow (but not as slow as largo)
Largo slow, stately
Ma but
Maestoso majestic
Meno less
Molto, yery / much
Mosso, moto movement (meno mosso: slower con moto: with movement)
Non not
Piu more
Presto fast (faster than allegro)
Senza without
Sf, sfz (= sforzando or forced, accented
Simile (or sim) in the same way
Sostenuto sustained
Tenuto held
Troppo too much (non troppo: not too much)
Vivace / vivo lively / quick

A simple way of putting music terms is

A + L Faster

A+ D Slower

Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music
Italian words to know for Grade 3 Music

Adagietto rather slow (but faster than adagio)
Ad libitum, ad lib. At choice, meaning that a passage may be played freely
Agitato agitated
Alla breve with a minimum beat, equivalent to ,implying a faster tempo than the note values might suggest
Amore love (amoroso: loving)
Anima soul, spirirt (con anima, can mean’with feeling’ or ‘spirited
Animato animated, lively (animando, becoming more lively)
Ben well
Brio vigour (con brio: with vigour, lively)
Comodo convenient (tempo comodo: at a comfortable speed)
Deciso with determination
Delicate delicate
Energico energetic
Forza force
Largamente broadly
Leggiero light, nimble
Marcato, marc. Emphatic, accented
Marziale in a military style
Mesto sad
Pasante heavy
Prima, primo first
Risoluto bold, strong
Ritmico rhythmically
Rubato, tempo rubato with some freedom of time
Scherzando, scherzoso playful, joking
Seconda, secondo secondo
Semplice simple, plain
Sempre always
Stringendo gradually getting faster
Subito suddenly
Tanto so much
Tranquillo calm
Triste, tristamante sad, sorrowful
Volta time (prima volta: first time; seconda volta: second time)

Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music
Italian words to know for Grade 4 Music

Affetuoso tenderly
Affrettando hurrying
Amabile amiable, pleasant
Appassionato with passion
Calando getting softer, dying away (and usually slowing)
Cantando singing
Come as, similar to (come prima: as before; come sopra: as above)
Facile easy
Fuoco fire
Giusto proper, exact (tempo giusto: in strict tme)
L’istesso the same (l’istesso tempo: at the same speed)
Morendo dying away
Niente nothing
Nobilmente nobly
Perdendosi dying away
Possible possible (prento possible: as fast as possible)
Quasi as if, resembling
Sonoro resonant, with rich tone
Sopra above
Sotto: below (sotto voce: in an undertone)
Veloce swift
Voce voice

Grade 4 French language vocabulary to learn
A to, at
Anime animated, lively
Assez enough, sufficiently
Avec with
Cedez yield, relax the speed
Douce sweet
En dehors prominent (a direction to make a melody stand out)
Et and
Legerement light
Lent slow
Mais but
Moins less
Modere at a moderate speed
Non not
Peu little
Plus more
Presser hurry (en passant: hurrying on)
Ralentir slow down
Retenu held back (en retenant: holding back, slowing a little)
Sans without
Tres very
Un, une one
Vif lively
Vite quick
Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music
Italian words to know for Grade 5 Music
Attacca go straight on to the next section of music
Dolente sad, mournful
Dolore grief (doloroso: sorrowful
Doppio movimento twice as fast
estinto as soft as possible, lifeless
incalzando getting quicker
lacrimoso sad
loco at the normal pitch (used to cancel and 8va direction)
hunga long (hunga pausa: long pause)
lusingando coaxing, in a sweet and persuasive style
misura measure (alla misura: in strict time; senza misura: in free time)
ossia or, alternatively
piacevole pleasant
piangevole plaintive, in the style of a lament
pochettino, poch. Rather little
rinforzando, rf, rfz reinforcing
segue go straight on
smorzando, smorz. Dying away in tone and speed
teramente, tenerezza tenderly, tenderness
tosto swift, rapid (but often used in the same sense as troppo)
volante flying, fast

German words to learn for Grade 5 Music

Aber but
Ausdruck expression
Bewegt with movement, agitated
Breit broad, expansive
Ein a, one
Einfach simple
Etwas somewhat, rather
Frohlich cheerful, joyful
Immer always
Langsam slow
Lebhaft lively
Massig at a moderate speed
Mit with
Nicht not
Ohne without
Ruhig peaceful
Schnell fast
Sehr very
Suss sweet
Traurig sad
Und and
Voll full
Wenig little
Wieder again
Zart tender, delicate
Zu to, too

Author:  spearss91 [ Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The basics of reading music

I love music and thanks for the post....

Author:  Jon [ Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The basics of reading music

Agree. The complete list of Italian terms is very useful. Been playing piano all my life and still don't know them all.

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