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Italian Terms for Music Students

A set of common Italian musical terms selected to assist students studying towards NCEA Level 1 achievement standard 90016.

Terms

undefined, object
copy deck
subito
suddenly
rallentando
getting slower
decresc.
decrescendo
cresc.
crescendo
doloroso
sorrowful
poco a poco
little by little
mezzo piano
moderately soft
accel.
accelerando
f
forte
dolce
sweetly
tacet
be silent
grazioso
graceful
legato
smoothly
dimin.
diminuendo
ff
fortissimo
con sordini
with mutes
rit.
ritardando
fp
fortepiano
mp
mezzo piano
moderato
moderately
dim.
diminuendo
scherzando
playfully
staccato
detached
molto vivace
very lively
rubato
at a flexible speed
martellato
hammered
mesto
sad
arco
bowed
energico
with energy
cantabile
in a singing style
tranquillo
tranquil
maestoso
majestically
pesante
heavily
pianissimo
very soft
giusto
exact
senza sordini
without mutes
pp
pianissimo
più lento
more slowly
con sord.
with mutes
giocoso
playful
prestissimo
as fast as possible
appassionato
passionately
sotto voce
softly
piano
soft
larghetto
rather broadly
meno forte
less loud
piu mosso
more movement
meno
less
piu
more
sfz
sforzando
brillante
brillantly
subito piano
suddenly soft
ma non troppo
but not too much
pizzicato
plucked
fortissimo
very loud
con
with
diminuendo
getting softer
risoluto
resolutely
allegretto
not as fast as allegro
sforzando
forced
divisi
divided
ben
well
a tempo
return to the original speed
tempo giusto
exact speed
presto
very fast
con moto
with movement
allargando
broadening
andante
at a walking pace
agitato
agitated
allegro
fast
mf
mezzo forte
grave
solemn
andantino
a little faster than andante
misterioso
mysterious
riten.
ritenuto
sordino
mute
una corda
soft pedal
con brio
with vigour
sostenuto
sustained
fortepiano
loud, then suddenly soft
assai
very
con spirito
with spirit
leggiero
lightly
largo
broadly
crescendo
getting louder
espressivo
with expression
stringendo
hurrying
meno mosso
less movement
tempo primo
return to the original speed
fz
forzato
vivo
lively
simile
similarly
p
piano
poco a poco crescendo
getting louder little by little
forte
loud
tutti
everybody
forzato
forced
ritardando
holding back
sempre
always
marcato
marked
glissando
sliding
semplice
simply
ritenuto
immediately slower
con fuoco
with fire
vivace
vivacious
mezzo forte
moderately loud
adagio
leisurely
allegro assai
very fast
animato
animated
ped
sustain pedal
molto
much
allegro ma non troppo
fast, but not too much
piacevole
pleasingly
deciso
decisive
sf
sforzando
rall.
rallentando
decrescendo
getting softer
accelerando
getting quicker
senza
without
pedale
sustain pedal
tenuto
hold for full value
tre corde
release the soft pedal
lento
slowly

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