Musical terms level 3
In this guide...
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Here's a complete list of the terms, with definitions, that you should know at this level.
You will need to be familiar with all of these terms at this level. In an exam, you will need to give the exact definition or give the exact spelling, so take care to learn them accurately! Some useful learning tips are given in Learning musical terms.
List of terms
|adagietto||rather slow (faster than adagio)|
|the marked passage can be played freely ("at choice")|
|alla breve||with a minim beat, for example in cut-common or 2/2 time|
This term implies "double the speed", so a passage in 4/4 (with four beats in the bar) would be performed as if it had two beats in the bar, with the crotchets would be "felt" as quavers.
|anima||soul, spirit ( con anima: with feeling / spirited)|
|animando||becoming more lively|
|brio||vigour ( con brio: with vigour, i.e. lively)|
|comodo||convenient, comfortable ( tempo comodo: at a comfortable speed)|
|deciso||"decided", with resolution, determined|
|leggiero||light, (as in not heavy), nimble|
|marziale||"martial", in a military style|
|rubato||"robbed"; tempo rubato. "robbed time"; disregarding strict time for expressive effect|
The translation "robbed" suggests taking time from one note to add to another.
|second, e.g. seconda volta: second time|
|stringendo||gradually getting faster|
|tanto||as / so much ( non tanto: not so much)|
|volta||time (as in occasion, e.g. prima volta: first time, seconda volta: second time)|
Are you sure you've understood everything in this study guide? Why not try the following practice questions, just to be sure!