Music Notation and Terminology


Auxiliary Words and Endings

96. Being a list of articles, adverbs, conjunctions, prepositions, and endings, often utilized in compounding terms relating to musical effects.

A—preposition—variously translated to, at, for, by, in, with, towards.
A cappella—in church style.
A capriccio—at the fancy of the performer.
À deux mains—for two hands.
A mezza voce—with half voice.

À la, or alla—in the manner of. Alla marcia—in the style of a march.

Assai—very, or very much. Allegro assai—very fast.

Ben—well. Ben marcato—well marked.

Coi, con, col, colla, colle, collo—with, or with the.
Con amore—with tenderness.
Colla voce—with the voice.

Come—as, like. Come primo—as at first.

Contra—against. In compound words means "an octave below."

Da—from. Da Capo—from the head.

Di—by, with, of, for. Di bravura—with daring.

Di molto—exceedingly—very much. Allegro di molto—exceedingly rapid.

Doppio—double. Doppio movimento—double movement.

E, ed, et—and. Cresc. et accel.—louder and faster.

Ensemble—together, the opposite of solo.

Il, La, l', le—the. Il basso—the bass. L'istesso tempo—the same speed.

Il più—the most. Il più forte possible—as loudly as possible.

Issimo—Italian superlative ending. Fortefortissimo.

Ino, etto—Italian diminutive endings. Andanteandantino. Pocopochetto.

Meno—less. Meno forte—less loud.

Mente—the ending which changes a noun or adjective to an adverb. Largo largamente.

Mezzo or mezza—half, or medium. Mezzo forte—medium loud.

Molto—much, or very much. Molto cresc.—very much louder.

Nel, nella, etc.—in the, or at the. Nel battere—at the down beat.

Non—not. Non tanto—not too much.

Ossia—or else. Ossia più facile—or else more easily.

Per—for. Per il violino—for the violin.

Peu—little. Un peu cresc.—a little increase in tone.

Più—more. Più forte—more loudly.

Poco—little. Poco a poco—little by little.

Poi—then. E poi la coda—and then the coda.

Possibile—possible. Forte possibile—as loudly as possible.

Quasi—in the manner of. Allegro quasi andante—a fairly rapid movement, yet in the style of an andante; almost as slow as an andante.

Sans—without. Sans pedales—without pedals.

Sempre—always, or continually. Sempre forte—a long passage to be played forte throughout its entirety.

Senza—without. Senza accompagnamento—without accompaniment.

Sino, sin—as far as. See , note.

Solo—alone. Opposite of ensemble.

Sub—under or lower. Sub-dominant—the under dominant.

Tanto—same as troppo, q.v.

Tre—three. Tre corde—three strings.

Très—very. Très vivement—very lively.

Troppo—too much. Non tanto allegro, or non troppo allegro—not too fast.

Una, un, uno—one, or a. Una corda—one string. Un peu—a little.

A working knowledge of these auxiliary terms will aid the student greatly in arriving at the meaning of hundreds of terms without stopping to look up each individual one.

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