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Musical Terms – Practical Guide

Musical terms glossary cover image

Due to many influential composers living in Italy in the Renaissance period, the standard language of music still today is Italian. Therefore, we have written a compact glossary of music terms. This article should give answers to the most important and common musical markings that appear in our – and generally any – sheet music.

The subcategories:

  • Dynamics (static and changes)
  • Tempo markings
  • Expressive terms
  • Articulation terms
  • Chord symbols


Static Dynamics

pppPiano pianissimoExtremely soft
ppPianissimoVery soft
mpMezzo-pianoHalf soft
mfMezzo-forteHalf loud
ffFortissimoVery loud
fffForte fortissimoExtremely loud
Excerpt from Habanera by Bizet showcasing dynamics.
An example of dynamics in Bizet’s Habanera.

Changes of Dynamics

Italian TermTranslation
CrescendoBecoming louder
DecrescendoSee 'Diminuendo'
DiminuendoBecoming softer

Tempo Markings

Italian TermTranslation
LentoVery slow
AndanteModerately slow, “at a walking pace”
ModeratoAt a moderate speed
PrestoVery fast
PrestissimoExtremely fast
Meno mossoA new, slower tempo
Piú mossoA new, faster tempo

Expression and Moods

Italian TermTranslation
CantabileIn a singing style (often ‘legato’)
VivaceLively, up-tempo


Italian TermTranslation
LegatoTied together
Marcato"Marked", forcefully
PortatoBetween ‘staccato’ and ‘legato’ (semi-long).
StaccatoDetached notes with very short articulation. The opposite of ‘legato’.

Chord Symbols

We occasionally add chord symbols to our piano sheet music. They are shown right above the upper staff. Their use is optional; with them you can create your own alternative accompaniment. They are also very useful if you play with a band.

  • The chord root letter only = major chord
  • The chord root and letter ‘m’ = minor chord
  • The chord root and number ‘7’ = minor seventh chord
Chord symbols in a piano score. Example from the piece "Korobeiniki".
Chord symbols in a piano score (The ‘Tetris Theme”, Korobeiniki).

Read more about different kinds of chords in Wikipedia.

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10 Easy Folk Songs for the Piano

Easy folk songs header image with some vintage radios on shelf

1. Auld Lang Syne

The traditional New Year’s song. A nice song to sing and play together – Scotland’s gift to the world.

Auld Lang Syne – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

2. Londonderry Air / Danny Boy

An Irish song with more than one title.

Londonderry Air / Danny Boy – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

3. Värmlandsvisan

Värmlandsvisan (Ack, Värmeland, du sköna) is an extremely melancholic and beautiful Swedish song.

Värmlandsvisan – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

4. Ievan polkka (Ieva’s Polka)

A former viral Internet hit, the Finnish-based Ievan polkka is a lot of fun to play with the piano.

Ievan polkka – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

5. Whiskey in the Jar

Good old Irish song for good times! As long as there’s some whiskey in the jar, the life is great for the pianist, as well.

Whiskey in the Jar – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

6. Sakura, Sakura

A famous Japanese song about cherry blossoms and how they only bloom for a week before falling. This song is from the Edo period.

Sakura, Sakura – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)
Cherry blossom (Sakura)

7. Scarborough Fair

An old English ballad with a tranquil, Dorian harmony and melody.

Scarborough Fair – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

8. Täällä Pohjantähden alla (Here Beneath the Northern Star)

Perhaps the most loved traditional song in Finland is this one. Full of sorrow, yet so beautiful.

Täällä Pohjantähden alla – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

9. Korobeiniki

The Russian traditional song “Korobeiniki” is known also as the “Tetris song” – having been chosen the background music of the famous video game. The original song is a story about a travelling merchant.

Korobeiniki – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)

10. Oh! Susanna

A true American song, often played with the banjo. Oh! Susanna is also a great choise for a pianist – and quite easy, too!

Oh! Susanna – Buy Sheet Music (PDF)
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The Fingering on the Piano

A pianists's right hand with fingers spread

Fingerings? What are they and how are they marked?

In piano playing, the fingering is a written or a thought plan of finger you play any given note in the score. The principal is very simple. Spread your right hand and give the fingers numbers from 1 to 5. Thumb is number 1, the little finger is number 5. The left hand finger numbers follow the same principle as a mirror-image. All you have to remember is that the thumb is always number 1. The numbers are printed under or above the given note.

Image of a hand showing piano finger numbers

Why does the fingering matter?

The more complex a score, the more it matters how the fingering is planned and applied by the player. It sounds very different if you play only with the thumb and the index inger compared to a balanced, 5-finger system, which allows a much more flexible transition from a note to another. This is extremely important when you play in legato or cantabile style – binding notes to “sing” with the fingers.

to each other – or when you play in multiple voices. It might not matter so much, if you play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but it makes all the difference, if you’re preparing a piano sonata by Beethoven with an endless number of layers intertwined together, and in the end, decided how to, by the performer. When attending a music school, it is considered a good practice to begin learning fingerings with the teacher from the very beginning.

Fingerings in the score

Sometimes, the fingerings are already printed in the score. Usually, they are not marked – or only a few crucial ones are. Often, it is thought that it is the normal practice for the performer to add them while practising – this is why the professional pianists usually have a pencil within reach!

How can I know the right fingering for this particular piece?

The truth is that to almost any piece, there is no definite, one and only fingering. Advice to the correct fingerings have been given to players of piano-like keyboard at least since Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach published his work Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (An Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments) in 1753.

We all differ from each other anatomically; someone may have longer fingers, or a bigger hand, and our anatomy affects the fingering in any given piece. That is why the publishers are not eager to give printed fingerings in their scores. The same applies to us at

But I have no idea, on which finger I should press the keys! offers a customization service of fingered scores of the sheet music available in our catalogue. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you feel the need!

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Three North American Songs Added

Canadian landscape with mountains and a lake

Hello folks!

We’ve got three brand new arrangements for pianists out there:

We are also expanding our selection to jazz/blues side. Actually, you can now find a whole new genre page labeled Popular / Jazz / Blues. Two of the new pieces found their new home in that category!

Happy April from!

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Folk Song Additions

A brown piano shoot from above

Eight New Folk Songs

Happy New Year from! We have kept ourselves busy over the holidays and have now added the sheet music for the piano to eight new folk songs. The scores can be found in our Traditional Tunes -section.

We will add even more of these traditional songs from all over the world in our next update.

What would you like us to arrange next? Maybe some traditional music from your country? Please let us know!

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European National Anthems, Vol. 1

The flags of the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and France

Hello again!

We at are happy to announce four oven fresh arrangements of European national anthems:

In case you feel like singing, too, we have also provided the lyrics to the songs on their respective product pages. They are found on a sub-menu next to the product description below the product images.

We have recently published quite a lot of piano arrangements of national anthems. As our next project, we will concentrate on something else.. Stay tuned!

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Easypianoscores on Social Media

Header image with a smart phone and toy letters forming words "social media" is now active both on Facebook and YouTube!

We add videos to our YouTube channel on a regular basis. The same videos will be present on our Facebook page, which also has information for example of our promotions and campaigns. These videos, which are naturally of our sheet music selection, are also found on the product pages of each song. This way, we can further help you select just the right arrangement for you – you hear what you get. Our goal is to add videos of all the pieces that are availabe in our sheet music catalogue.

We hope that you enjoy our presence in social media – and if you do, please like or subscribe to our pages and channels to help others find us, too!

You can find the links also in every page of our site at the footer on the bottom left of every page.

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Easy Piano Goes Down Under

Australian desert highway scenery

The National Anthems of Australia and New Zealand team is keeping itself busy these days with national anthems of the world. Today we have added two exciting new piano arrangements to our selection:

How difficult are they?

These arrangements are level 3 and 4 (easy to moderate easy). Follow the links above to find more info at their product page!

Stay tuned

We will keep adding new national anthems of countries throughout the world in the near future. If you can’t wait to have yours in our selection, contact us and let’s see what we can do!

The National Anthems Category page

The Shop

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Grand Opening!

Piano keys with a festive background


Today is a big day for us: is now officially open!

Who? What?

We want to be the best beginner-to-moderate-level piano score publisher with our own, custom arrangements and edits. We take great pride in offering only the best quality arrangements and service. This is, and always will be, our promise to you.

Our Selection

Our initial selection consists of 16 scores from different genres:

Classical music

Children’s music:

Traditional tunes:

National anthems:

Christmas music:

Navigating Our Site

The heart of our site is the Shop page, where you can use sidebar filters to narrow your search. Or you can simply write in the search box what you’re looking for.

If you’d rather see the products listed in table form, see our Catalogue.

We keep adding new arrangements on a weekly basis – new additions will be announced in this blog as well on the “Recent” section of our home page.

Personal Service and Customizations

You’re not limited only to our catalogue products – we listen to your wishes and make them come true. Even if what you’re looking for is not in our list of works, we can help by offering tailored, customized arrangements for your exact needs! Read more about our customization services.

Social Media

We are also on Facebook (and in the near future, YouTube, too!). Visit and like us on Facebook and stay tuned with latest additions and news!

Keep in Touch

We always hope to have feedback from you! Tell us what’s great and what we could do better, or what you would like to see us offer in the future. Get in touch with us anytime through our contact page, on Facebook or leave a comment on this blog!