Musical terms level 4
In this guide...
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Here's a complete list of the terms, with definitions, that you should know at this level, in both Italian and French.
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.
|calando||getting softer, dying away (perhaps also slowing down)|
|cantando||singing (in a singing style)|
|come||as / similar to (come prima: as before / as at first; come sopra: as above)|
|fuoco||fire (con fuoco: fiery, wild and fast)|
|giusto||strict, proper, exact (tempo giusto: in strict time, the opposite of rubato)|
|l'istesso||the same (l'istesso tempo: at the same speed)|
|niente||nothing (diminuendo a niente: fade to nothing, to silence)|
|perdendosi||gradually dying away ("losing itself")|
|possibile||"... as possible" (lento possibile: as slow as possible, p possibile: as quiet as possible)|
|quasi||as if, resembling, like|
|sonoro||sonorous, resonant, with rich tone|
|sotto||below (sotto voce: in an undertone, whispered)|
|à||to, at (Italian: a)|
|animé||animated, lively (Italian: animato)|
|assez||enough, sufficiently, rather; assez vite: rather quick|
Do not confuse with Italian assai, which by contrast means "very".
|avec||with (Italian: con)|
|cédez||yield, relax the speed|
|douce||sweet (Italian: dolce)|
|en dehors||outside, emphasised, prominent|
Often this is a direction to make a melody stand out from an accompaniment.
|et||and (Italian: e / ed)|
|légèrement||light (Italian: leggiero)|
|lent||slow (Italian: lento)|
|mais||but (Italian: ma)|
|moins||less (Italian: meno)|
|modéré||at a moderate speed (Italian: moderato)|
|peu||little (Italian: poco)|
|plus||more (Italian: più)|
|hurry; en pressant: hurrying on (Italian: affretando)|
|ralentir||slow down (Italian: ralentando)|
|retenu||held back; en retenant: holding back (Italian: ritenuto)|
|sans||without (Italian: senza)|
|très||very (similar to Italian: assai)|
|vif||lively (Italian: vivace, vivo)|
|vite||quick (Italian: allegro)|
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