Glossary of musical terms - The Guild of Church Musicians

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Glossary of musical terms - The Guild of Church Musicians
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Glossary of musical terms
Submitted by Robert Leach on 28 November 2014 - 2:37pm
Glossary of musical terms
A
a
By, in the style of
aber
But [G]
a cappella
Unaccompanied [choral music]
accelerando Getting faster
adagietto
Rather slow
adagio
Slow
à deux
For two. Direction that two players or singers are needed for a part [F]
ad libitum
At choice, such as indicating whether an instrument is used
a due
For two
affettuoso
Tender
affrettando
Hurrying
agitato
Agitated
à la pointe
Direction to a string player to use the point of the bow.
alla
In the style of
alla breve
suggests.
With a minim beat, suggesting a faster tempo than the time signature otherwise
alla marcia
In the style of a march
alla misura
In strict time
allargando
Broadening, ie getting slower and perhaps a little louder
allegretto
Fairly quick
allegro
Quick, literally cheerful
als
Than [G]
al talonne
Direction that a string player should use the heel of the bow.
amabile
Amiable, pleasant
am Frosch
Direction that a string player should use the heel of the bow [G].
amoroso
Lovingly
andante
At walking pace
andantino
Either slightly faster or slightly slower than andante
an der Spitze Direction to a string player to use the point of the bow [G]
animando
Becoming more lively
animato
Animated, lively
animé
Animated, lively [F]
a piacere
At pleasure, indicating that the performer may depart from the states rhythm
appassionato With passion
a punto d’arco
Direction to a string player to use the point of the bow
arco
Direction to a string player to use the bow after pizzicato
assai
Very
assez
Enough [F]
a tempo
In time, after a passage in a different tempo
attacca
Attack, indicating an immediate start to the music
Ausdruck
With expression [G]
au talon
Direction to a string player to use the heel of the bow [F]
avec
With [F]
B
ben marcato Well marked, with emphasis on each note
bestimmt
With decision, definite [G]
bewegt
With movement, agitated [G]
bis
To be played twice
breit
Broad, expansive [G]
brillante
Brilliant
burlando
Comical
C
calando
Getting softer, dying away
calmato
Calm, tranquil
cantabile
In a singing style
capriccioso
Whimsical
cédez
Yielding, relaxing the speed
colla voce
With the voice, instruction for a player to follow a singer
col legno
Instruction to a string player to use the wooden back of the bow
coll’ ottava
With the octave, direction to a player to add notes one octave higher or lower
come
Similar to
come prima
As before
come sopra
As above
comodo
At a comfortable speed
con
With
con alcuna licenza
With some licence, indicating a small measure of freedom in tempo and rhythm
con amore
With love, affectionate
con anima
With spirit
con audace
With audacity
con bravura In a brilliant style
con brio
With vigour, animation
con espressione
With expression
con fretta
With haste
con fuoco
With fire
con moto
With movement
con slancio
With enthusiasm
con sordini
With mutes
crescendo
Gradually getting louder
D
da
From
DC
From the beginning (abbreviation of da capo)
deciso
Decisive, with determination
decrescendo Gradually getting quieter
deliberato
Deliberate
delicato
Delicate
detaché
Detached, particularly in referring to style of playing strings [F]
di nuovo
Again
divisi
Divide, such as when a voice group goes from unison to singing in two parts
doch
However [G] ***
dolce
Sweet, soft
dolente
Sad, mournful [F]
doloroso
Sad
doppio movimento
Twice as fast
douce
Soft, sweet [F]
DS
symbol $
From the sign (dal segno), that is from the place in the music marked by the
D S al Coda Go back to the music marked by the symbol $ and continue until you come to
the place marked by the coda sign Ø when you jump to the coda (musical “tail”) marked with
the same coda sign.
E
einfach
Simple [G]
empfindungsvoll
With feeling [G]
emporté
Fiery, furious [F]
en animant
Becoming more lively [F]
[MISSING]
estinto
As quiet as possible, lifeless
etwas
Somewhat [G]
F
f
Loud (forte)
facile
Easy
felice
Happy [F]
feroce
Fierce
feuring
Fiery [G]
ff
Very loud (fortissimo)
fff
Extremely loud
fine
End. Indication of where music finishes, if it is not at the end of the score
flautando
Flute-like
flessibile
Flexible, not in strict tempo
flessend
Flowing
flottant
Floating
fp
Loud then suddently soft
forzando
With force
frei
Freely [G]
frisch
Vigorous [G]
fröhlich
Cheerful, joyful [G]
funebre
Funereal
furioso
Furious
G
gehend
At a steady speed [G]
gesangvoll
In a singing style [G]
geschwind
Quick [G]
giocoso
Playful, joyful
giusto
In strict measured time
GP
General pause. All performers are silent [English]
gracieux
Gracious [F]
grandioso
Grand
grave
Slow, solemn
grazioso
Graceful
I
impetuoso
Impetuous
in alt
Indication that notes should be sung one octave higher than written.
incalzando
Getting quicker
innig
Heartfelt, sincere [G]
inquieto
Restless
in relievo
Direction to make a melody stand out
J
joyeux
Joyful [F]
K
kräftig
Strong [G]
L
lacrimoso
Sad, tearful
lamentoso
Lamenting
langsam
Slow (equal to adagio) [G]
largamente
Broad
larghetto
Rather slow
largo
Very slow and stately
lebhaft
Lively (equal to vivace) [G]
legato
Smooth, sustained
légèrement
Light, nimble [F]
leggiero
Light, nimble
leise
Soft, gentle
lento
Slow
liberamente Freely
lieblich
Lovely [G]
loco
At normal pitch, a direction that cancels out the instruction ottava
lontano
Distant
lusingando
Coaxing, persuasive, caressing
lustig
Cheerful
M
ma
But
maestoso
Majestic
main droite
Left hand [F]
main gauche Right hand [F]
mancando
Fading away
mano destra Right hand
ma non troppo
But not too much
mano sinistra Left hand
marcato
Marked
martellato
Hammered, indication of a strong beat
marziale
In a military style
mässig
At a moderato speed [G]
meno
Less
meno mosso Less movement
mesto
Sad
mezza voce
In a vocal undertone
mezzo
Half
mf
Half loud (mezzo forte)
misterioso
Mysterious
MM
Metronome mark. This indicates the speed as so many beats per minute
moderato
At a moderate tempo
morendo
Dying away
mosso
With motion, animated
mp
Half quiet (mezzo piano)
munter
Lively
muta
Direction for a player to change the tuning of their instrument
N
nobilmente
Nobly
O
obbligato
Indication that an instrument or part has a particularly important role
ohne
Without [G]
ossia
music
Or. The word is used to indicate a simplified version of a difficult section of
ostinato
With a repeated and persistent rhythmic beat
ottava
Direction to add notes one octave higher (or in the bass part, one octave lower)
ottava alta
Direction to add notes one octave higher
ottava bassa Direction to add notes one octave lower
P
p
Quiet [abbreviation of piano]
parlando
Speaking, direction to sing in a conversational style
patetico
With deep feeling
pedale
Direction to use a pedal
perdendosi
Dying away
pesante
Heavy
peu à peu
Little by little, gradually
piacevole
Pleasant
piangevole
Plaintive
pietoso
Tenderly (literally pitifully)
più
More
più mosso
With more movement
pizzicato
Direction to string players to pluck the strings and not use a bow
placido
pochettino
poco
Calm, placid
Rather little
Little
poco a poco Little by little, gradually
poi
Then
ponderoso
Ponderous
portamento Sliding from one note to the next
pp
Very quiet [pianissimo]
ppp
Extremely quiet
prestissimo
presto
Very fast
Fast
presto possibile
As fast as possible
prima volta
First time
Q
quasi
Resembling, in the style of
R
rallentando
Slowing down
rasch
Quick [G]
religioso
Religious
retenu
Held back [F]
rigoroso
Strict
rinforzando
Reinforced
risoluto
Bold, strong
ritmico
Rhythmic
rubato
With freedom of tempo and rhythm
S
saltando
Sprightly
sans
Without [F]
scherzando
Jokingly
schleppen
Dragging [G]
schnell
Fast [G]
schwach
Weak [G]
secco
Dry, crisp. A direction that a note should be played so as not to reverberate
seconda volta
Second time
segue
Go straight on to next piece of music
sehr
Very [G]
semplice
Simple, plain
sempre
Always, throughout
senza
Without
senza misura In free time
senza sordini Without mutes
serrez
Hurried [F]
sforzando
Forced, heavily accented
simile
directions
Continue in the same manner. This avoids the need to repeat musical
sino
Until
slargando
Getting slower
slentando
Getting slower
smorzando
Dying away in tone and tempo
soave
Gentle, smooth
solenne
Solemn, grave
sonoro
Resonant, with a rich tone
sospirando
Sighing
sostenuto
Sustained
sotto voce
Direction to sing in an undertone, literally “below the voice”
sous
Under [F]
spiccato
Detached bowing technique for string players
spiritoso
Spirited
staccato
Direction to sing or play notes in a detached manner
stark
Strong [G]
strepitoso
Noisy, boisterous
stretto
Quickening the speed
stringendo
Gradually getting faster
subito
Suddenly
sul
G
On the, eg sul G is a direction for a string player to use only the string tuned to
süss
Sweet [G]
T
tacet
Silent. Direction that a part should stay silent [Latin]
tanto
So much
tasto solo
Direction to a continuo player not to add anything above the given bass notes
teneramente Tenderly
tenuto
Held
tosto
Swift, rapid
tranquillo
Tranquil, calm
trauring
Sad [G]
tre
Direction to a pianist to release the soft pedal. The term is an abbreviation for
tre corde which means “three strings”. On a grand piano, the soft pedal shifts the keyboard so
the hammers hit only one string.
trionfale
Triumphant
tristamente
Sad
triste
Sad
troppo
Too much
tutti
Direction that all are to play or sing
U
una corde
Direction to a pianist to use the soft pedal
und
And [G]
unis
Direction that all should sing or play in unison
V
veloce
Swift
vibrato
Vibrating
viel
Much [G]
vif
Lively [F]
vigoroso
Vigorous, strong
vite
Quick [F]
vivace
Lively, quick
vivo
Lively, quick
volante
Flying, fast
voll
Full [G]
volta subito Turn the page quickly
vorgetragen Brought out, prominent
VS
Turn the page quickly. Abbreviation of volta subito
W
wenig
Little [G]
wider
Again [G]
Z
zart
Tender, delicate [G]
zeloso
With zeal
ziemlich
Moderately [G]
zu
To [G]
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Source URL (modified on 31 Jul 2015 - 12:29pm): http://www.churchmusicians.org/node/134

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