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Common Italian Musical Terms

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L- M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z


A

A - at, to, by, for, with

A capella - in the church style, these days voices(s) only

Accelerando - getting faster

Affettuoso - affectionately

Affrettando - hastening

Agitato - agitatedly

Alcuna - some, a certain

Amabile - amiably

Amoroso - lovingly

Animato - animatedly

Appassionato - passionately

Arco - bowed

Assai - sufficiently, very

A Tempo - in (the original) speed

Attacca - go on at once

Ad libitum - to your own liking

B

Bene - good, well

Brillante - brilliantly

Brioso - with zest

C

Calando - getting less

Calcando - hurrying

Cantabile - in a singing style

Col/Colla - with

Colla parte - keeping closely with the solo part

Come prima - as at first

Come sopra - as above

Con - with

Con amore - with passion, with love

Con brio - with zest, vigour

Con delicatezza - with delicacy

Con espressione - with expression

Con energia - with energy

Con forza - with force

Con fuoco - with fire

Con gracia - with grace

Con moto - with movement

Con sordini - with mutes

Con spirito - with spirit

Con tenerezza - with tenderness

Crescendo (cresc.) - getting louder

D

Da, Dal - to, from

Da capo (D.C.) - from the beginning

Dal segno (D.S.) - from the sign

Deciso - decidedly

Decrescendo (decresc.) - getting quieter

Delicamente - delicately

Diminuendo - getting quieter

Dolce - softly, sweetly

Dolente - sadly

Doloroso - with pain, hurting

Doppio movimento - at twice the speed

E

E, ed - and

Energico - with energy

Espressivo - expressively

F

Forte (f) - loud

Fortissimo (ff) - very loud

fff - as loud as it will go!

Forte piano (fp) - loud, then quiet

Forzato (fz) - forced

Forza - force

Fuoco - fire

Furioso - furiously

G

Giocoso - happily

Giojoso - with joy

Giusto - exact

Grandioso - with grandeur

Grave - solemn, sadly

Grazioso - with grace

I

Il - the

Impetuoso - impetuously, without patience

Incalzando - get faster and louder

L

La - the

Legato - bound, smoothly

Leggiero - lightly

Lusigando - soothingly

M

Ma - but

Maestoso - majestically

Maggiore - major

Mancando - getting softer, waning

Mano destra - right hand

Mano sinistra - left hand

Marcato - markedly

Martello - hammer, mallet

Meno - less

Mesto - sadly

Mezzo - half, medium

Mezzo-forte (mf) - medium loud

Mezzo-piano (mp) - half quiet

Minore - minor

Molto - much, a lot

Mosso - movement

Motto - movement

Morendo - fading

N

Non - not

P

Parlando - in a speaking manner

Pastorale - in a pastoral manner

Ped. - pedal, usually the right on the piano

Pesante - heavily

Perdendosi - getting lost

Piacevole - pleasantly

Piangevole - plaintively

Più - more

Piano (p) - quietly

Pianissimo (pp) - very quietly

Ppp - as quietly as you can play!

Poco - little

Poco a poco - little by little

Poi - then

Pomposo - pompously

Portamento - extremely smooth

Q

Quasi - in the manner of, like

R

Rallentando (rall.) - slowing down

Replica - repeat

Rinforzando (rf. Or rinf.) - accenting strongly

Risoluto - resolutely

Ritardando (rit) - slowing down

Ritenuto (rit.) - slowing down

Risvegliato - with animation

Rubato (or Tempo Rubato) - in free time, no beat

S

Scherzando - in a playful manner

Scherzoso - in a playful manner

Sciolto - freely

Segue - follow immediately

Sforzando - forced, accented

Semplice - simply

Sempre - always

Senza - wihout

Serioso - seriously

Simile - similar

Soave - sweetly

Sostenuto - sustained

Sotto voce - subdued

Staccato - short

Strepitoso - boisterously, loudly

Stringendo - getting faster

Slargando - getting slower

Slentando - getting slower

Sopra - above

Sotto voce - subdued

Sul ponticello - near the bridge

T

Tacet - be silent

Tanto - so much

Tempo - speed

Tempo comodo - in conventional time

Tempo ordinario - in ordinary time

Tempo primo - at the original speed

Tempo rubato - in free time

Tenuta, Tenute, Tenuto - held

Tranquillo - calmly, serenely

Tranquillamente - calmly, serenely

Tre corde - release soft pedal

Troppo - too much

U

Un, Una - an

Una corda - with damper pedal

V

Veloce - rapidly

Vigoroso - vigorously

Vivo - with verve

Vivace - lively

Volante - flying, with wings

Volti subito (V.S.) - turn over immediately

© Great Scores Ltd 2005, 2006

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