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Glossary of music theory terms

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a
for, at, in, etc
a cappella
unaccompanied choral music
adagio
slow
ad libitum
at the performer's liberty
al, alla, alle all'
in the, in the style of
alla breve
make the half note the beat
allargando
broadening, becoming slower
allegretto
fast, slower than allegro
allegro
fast
allegro assai
very quick
allegro giusto
quick, with exactness
amabile
sweet, loveable
andante
slow, moderate walking pace
andantino
a little faster than andante
anime
spirited, lively
a poco
by degrees, gradually
appenato
grieved, distressed
ardente
with fire, vehemently
arioso
in the stlye of an air
assai
very, extremely
attacca
do not pause between movements or sections
basso continuo
a bass that is figured to indicate the harmony
ben
good
binary
two-fold
brio
vigor, vivacity, spirit
burlando
in a playful manner
calando
gradually decreasing in time and tone
calcando
hurrying the time
capo
from the beginning
destra
the right hand
di molto
very much
dolente
doleful, sorrowful
doppio movimento
double the preceding speed
dritta
the right hand
due corde
two strings
duolo
sorrow, sadness
duro
harsh, rude
elegacio
plaintive
emozione
agitation
equabilmente
evenly
estinto
becoming extinct
festivo
merry
fuoco
fire, passion
generoso
in a dignified manner
giocoso
humorously
giusto
just, right, proper
gusto
taste, expression
jubiloso
exulting
largamente
broadly
laratissimo
exceedingly smooth
lestamente
quickly, lively
loco
place; treturn to the written register
maestoso
majestic
mancando
dying away
marziale
in the stlye of a march
morendo
dying, fading away
obbligato
indispensable, must not be omitted
ostinato
continuous, unceasing
risoluto
bold, resolved, resolutely
scherzando
lively
schnell
fast
secco
dry, staccato
segno
a sign
sonore
harmonious
sostenuto
sustained
subito
suddenly
tessitura
the average range of a vocal part
troppo
too much
veloce
swifly, with velocity

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