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.
- Dynamics (static and changes)
- Tempo markings
- Expressive terms
- Articulation terms
- Chord symbols
|ppp||Piano pianissimo||Extremely soft|
|fff||Forte fortissimo||Extremely loud|
Changes of Dynamics
|Andante||Moderately slow, “at a walking pace”|
|Moderato||At a moderate speed|
|Meno mosso||A new, slower tempo|
|Piú mosso||A new, faster tempo|
Expression and Moods
|Cantabile||In a singing style (often ‘legato’)|
|Portato||Between ‘staccato’ and ‘legato’ (semi-long).|
|Staccato||Detached notes with very short articulation. The opposite of ‘legato’.|
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
Read more about different kinds of chords in Wikipedia.