MUSICAL TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

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First found May 22, 2018

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BEGINNING MUSICAL TERMS & DEFINITIONS
Personal Progress Tracker
INSTRUCTIONS:
As you become familiar with each term and its symbol and
name, shade in the boxes next to it according to the
following scale:
1. I don’t know what this is.
2. I can tell the meaning of this.
3. I can write this, draw it, and tell the meaning.
4. I can find examples of this in real music and teach it to a friend.
5. I knew this all last time and I still remember it without being
reminded.
BEGINNING MUSICAL TERMS & DEFINITIONS
Personal Progress Tracker
“A TEMPO”:
return to the original tempo
ACCELERANDO:
to get faster
ACCENT:
to emphasize a note
ARTICULATION:
the style in which you perform the notes
AUDIATE:
hearing a pitch in your head.
BARLINE:
vertical lines that separate measures.
CLEF:
helps organize the staff so notes can be easily
read
CRESCENDO:
to get louder
DECRESCENDO:
to get softer
DOT:
adds half the original value to the note
DOTTED HALF NOTE:
3 beats
DOTTED HALF REST:
3 beats of silence
DOTTED QUARTER NOTE:
1.5 beats
DOTTED QUARTER REST:
1.5 beats of silence
DOUBLE BAR LINE:
shows the end of the song or section
DYNAMICS:
the volume of the music
EIGHTH NOTE:
.5 beats
EIGHTH REST:
.5 beats of silence
FERMATA:
hold the note and watch the conductor
FLAT:
lowers the pitch be one half step
FORTE:
loud
FORTISSIMO:
very loud
GRAND STAFF:
bass and treble staff connected by a brace and
a line
HALF NOTE:
2 beats
HALF REST:
2 beats of silence
HALF STEP:
the distance from any key on the keyboard to
the very “the next key above or below,
whether black or white”
HARMONY:
notes that compliment the melody
INTERVAL:
distance between two notes
KEY SIGNATURE:
sharps or flats at the beginning of music to
indicate scale and tonality
LEDGER LINE:
short lines that are added to extend the range
of the staff when the notes are too low or too
high to be written on the staff
LEGATO:
smooth and connected
LINES:
Lines on treble clef (EGBDF)
Lines on bass clef (GBDFA)
MAJOR SCALE:
scale built on the formula (WWHWWWH)
MEASURE:
music between two bar lines
MELODY:
the main tune of a song
MEZZO FORTE:
medium loud
MEZZO PIANO:
medium soft
MIDDLE C:
the note in the middle of the grand staff and
the C nearest the middle of the keyboard
NATURAL SIGN:
the natural sign before a note cancels a
previous flat or sharp
NOTES:
the oval-shaped symbols that are placed on
the lines and in the spaces of the staff. They
represent musical sounds called pitches
PIANISSIMO:
very soft
PIANO:
soft
PICK UP:
a note before the first complete measure
PITCH:
a musical sound
QUARTER NOTE:
1 beat
QUARTER REST:
1 beat of silence
REPEAT SIGN:
return to the beginning or previous repeat
sign at the beginning of a section
RHYTHM:
division of a steady beat
RITARDANDO:
to get slower
SEGNO:
SHARP:
a musical sign that marks a section; used with repeats
raises the pitch by one half step
SLUR:
SOLFEGE:
SPACES:
a curved line drawn over or under two or
more notes of different pitches
do re mi fa sol la ti do
a system of reading musical notes by
assigning a different syllable to each note
spaces on treble clef (DFACEG);
spaces on bass clef (FACEGB)
STACCATO:
short and detached; notated as a dot above or below a
note
STAFF:
horizontal lines and spaces on which music is written
SYNCOPATION:
TEMPO:
TIE:
accenting the off-beat
the speed of the music
ASDF a curved line that combines two notes of th
combines two notes of the same pitch together
TIME SIGNATURE:
top number: number of beats per measure
bottom note: which type of note gets the beat
TREBLE OR G CLEF:
the clef used for notes in the higher pitch
range
UNISON:
interval between two identical notes;
unison singing is when everyone is singing the
same pitches
WHOLE NOTE:
whole measure, 4 beats
WHOLE REST:
whole measure, 4 beats of silence
WHOLE STEP:
the distance from any key on the keyboard to
two keys away
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