ballata - ( Italian) In the style of a ballad
Abandon - (French) Without restraint
a battuta - (Italian) As beaten, in strict time
Abbandonatamente - (Italian) vehemently, violently
Abbandono - with a passionate expression; even at a reckless abandon
Abblellire - (Italian) To embellish with ornaments
Abellimento - (Italian) A decoration, an ornamentaor embellishment
Absolute Pitch - (see P for perfect pitch)
a cappella - unaccompanied vocal music
a capriccio - in a capricious style
a tempo - return to former
accelerando - gradually getting
accrescendo - getting louder
Accelerando (It.) - Accelerating the time; gradually Increasing the velocity of the movement.
Accelerato (It,) - Accelerated; increased rapidity.
Accent - A stress or emphasis upon a certain note or passage to mark its position in the measure, or its relative importance in regard to the composition.
Accento (It.) - Accent or emphasis laid upon certain notes.
Accentuare (It.) - To accentuate; to mark with an accent. Accessory notes. Those notes situated one degree above, and one degree below the principal note of a turn. The upper note of a trill is also called the accessory or auxiliary note.
Acciaccato (It.) - Brusquely, forcibly.
Acciaccatura (It.) - A very short grace note; an accessory note placed before A the principal note, which latter takes the accent. The acciaccatura is distinguished by a light diagonal line through note hook.
Accidentals - Sharps, flats, naturals, introduced apart from the signature.
Accidental chords - Chords containing one or more notes foreign to their proper harmony.
Accompaniment - The secondary Parts or voices that accompany the principal parts or voices in any form of composition. Most accompaniments are necessary to the general effect, but some are ad lib. and can be omitted.
Accompaniments - Additional, are parts added to a composition by an editor, generally to supply the place of an obsolete instrument. Accopiato (It.) Bound, tied, joined together.
adagietto - slow but some what faster then adagio
adagio - very slow
adagissimo - very slowly
ad libitum - at the performer's liberty
affettuoso - affectionate, with tender warmth
affrettando - hurrying, or in a quickening tempo
agitato - excited, excitedly, agitated
Air - a melody or tune, a song, a 17th or 18th century instrumental composition
Alberti Bass - A pattern of bass notes that outlines the chord being sounded in the pattern low-high-middle-high.
Alborada - a Spanish instrumental serenade
al fine - to the end, generally after a repetition
al, alla, alle - to the - in the style of
alla breve - in cut time , used as a tempo sign, a C with a slash though it, for quick duple time in which the half note is given one beat instead of the usual two.
allargando - gradually slower and broader
allegretto - slightly slower than allegro
allegro - lively, rather quick
allegro assai - very quick
allegro giusto - quick, with exactness
allegro moderato - moderately quick
Allemande (Fr.) - "German." A stately 16th-century German dance, initially in a duple meter. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was used as the first movement of the suite.
Altered Chord - A chord in which a note has been changed from its normal position
amabile - sweet, loveable
amore - tenderness and affection
anacruis - literally meaning - on the upbeat. This is the unaccented prepartory note or even a group of notes, which preceded an important note.
andante - rather slow, at a moderate pace.
andantino - generally a little quicker than andante
anima - (con) with life
anime - lively,. spirited
animito - in a lively and animated manner.
animoso - in a lively manner
a poco a poco -a little by little (also see poc a poco)
appassionato - impassioned
appenato - grieved, distressed
appoggiato - leaning upon, drawn out
arpeggio - playing the notes of a chord consecutively (much like in a harp style, ascending up or down in broken chord form , ie, like a broken triad C -> E -> G -> C -> E -> G -> C -> E ->G -> C)
Arrangement - An adaptation of a given composition into a form other than as originally composed
assai - very, extremely
assai pin - much more
- Atonal music is music that has no specific
tonality, is not in a specific key and therefore has no specific 'home' note or
chord. The word atonality refers technically to various forms of 20th century
music not in a key.
Augmentation - the increasing of time values
Augmented - Raised, or enlarged. Generally refers to the raising of a pitch chromatically by one half step.
Augmented Chord - A chord which contains a root, a major third, and an augmented fifth.
Glenn Bonney's Music School © 2000