In this blog I am going to be sharing some terminology with you that will help in your learning of music. This will be a 3 part glossary of sorts, as there is much to learn but it will begin to become more clear and easy to grasp as you practice memorising the terms one or two at a time.

In this first section I thought it essential to impart metronome settings with playing tempos as well as the various terminology used when describing volume levels.

Metronome settings and playing tempos:

Presto = Very fast 168-208 bpm.
Allegro = fast 120-168 bpm.
Moderato = Moderate speed 108-120 bpm.
Andante = Moderate walking speed 76-108
Adagio = Slow (litterally “at ease”) 66-76 bpm.
Largo = Slow and solemn 40-66 bpm.

Playing volume:

Calando = Quietening, becoming softer and slower.
Crescendo = Growing, becoming louder.
Decrescendo = Shrinking, becoming softer.
Diminuendo = Dwindling, becoming softer.
Forte = Strong. loud.
Fortissimo = Very strong, very loud.
Marcato = Marked, a note played forcefully.
Mezzo forte = Half-strong, moderately loud.
Piano = Gentle, soft.
Pianissimo = Very gentle, very soft.
Mezzo Piano = Half gentle, moderately soft.
Sforzando = Strained, sharply accented.
Stentato = In the manner of Stentor the Greek godStentor, whose “voice was as powerful as fifty voices of other men”, i.e loud, boisterous and forced.
Tremolo = Trembling, a rapid repetitive variation in the volume (or pitch) of a tone.

Don’t be in a huge hurry to learn it all at once, just let it come to you naturally. Have fun!

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