Music Performance Terms

Tempo Terms

PrestoVery rapidly
VivaceQuickly; spirited
AllegroFast; lively
AllegrettoModerately fast; slower than Allegro
ModeratoModerately
AndantinoSomewhat faster than Andante
AndanteAt a walking pace
AdagioRather slow; leisurely
LentoSlow
LargoSlow; broad
GraveVery slow; solemn

Change-of-Tempo Terms

A tempo Return to original tempo
Accelerando (accel.)Gradually increasing in tempo
Meno mossoWith less movement or motion
Piu mossoWith movement or motion
Rallentando (rall.)Gradually slowing in tempo
Ritardando (rit.)Gradually slowing in tempo
Ritenuto (riten.)Immediately slowing in tempo; also used synonymously with rallentando and ritardando

Dynamic Levels

Crescendo (cresc.)Gradually becoming louder
Decrescendo (decresc.)Gradually becoming softer
Diminuendo (dim.)Gradually becoming softer
Pianissimo (pp)Very soft
Piano (p)Soft
Mezzo piano (mp)Moderately soft
Mezzo forte (mf)Moderately loud
Forte (f)Loud
Fortissimo (ff)Very loud
Sforzando (sf., sfz.)Strongly accented; with an emphatic stress

Other Music Terms

AnimatoAnimated; with spirit
CantabileIn singing style
CodaA concluding section of a composition
Con motoWith motion
Da capo (D.C.)Repeat from the beginning
Da capo al fine
(D. C. al fine)
Repeat from the beginning to Fine (the end)
Dal segno (D. S.)Repeat from the sign
Dal segno al fineRepeat from the sign to Fine (the end)
DolceSweetly; delicately
EspressivoExpressively
FineThe end of a composition
GiocosoHumourously; playfully
GraziosoGracefully
LegatoSmoothly; connected
LeggieroLightly; nimbly
MaestosoMajestically; with dignity
Marcato Marked; stressed
MenoLess
MoltoMuch
MossoMotion
PesanteHeavily
PiuMore
PocoLittle; a little
ScherzandoPlayfully
SempreAlways
SimileIn the same manner
SostenutoSustained
TroppoMuch

See also

© Keith A. Hamel 1998-2005 - All Rights Reserved