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Each of these notes represents twice the duration of sound of that which comes next in order. The sign to the right of each note indicates a rest or silence equal to its sound duration.


In time, the figure above a line drawn thus across the stave denotes the length of the pause in bars.

_Accel._ Accelerando. Gradually increasing the speed.

_Adg^{_o_}_ or _Ad^{_o_}._ Adagio. Slow; also name given to a slow movement or piece.

_Ad lib._ Ad libitum. Passages so marked may be rendered at the will of the performer.

_And._ Andante. Moderately slow: graceful; sometimes used as the name of a movement or separate piece.

_Anim^{_o_}._ Animato. Animated: with soul.

_A tem._ A tempo. In time.


_Bar._ A line drawn perpendicularly across the stave, separating the notes into measures of equal length; also the music comprised within two such lines.--_Double Bar_. The former of the two signs is used to mark the larger divisions of a piece or movement; in psalm tunes, hymns, chants, &c., to mark the end of a verse or sentence. The latter sign denotes the end of a composition.

[Bind marks] Bind or Tie. Placed over two or more notes in the same position on the stave, to show they are to be played as one.

[Breath marks] Breath-marks. In vocal music, signs used to show where breath should be taken.


Denoting common time; the former indicating four crotchets to the bar, the latter two minims to the bar.

_Cal._ Calando. Gradually slower, and with decreasing volume of tone.


_Clef._ The sign placed at the beginning of a stave, determining the absolute pitch of the notes that follow it.

[Crescendo] Crescendo. Gradual increase of tone.

([Dash]) Dash. When placed over or under a note, implies a very detached (_staccato_) style.

_D.C._ Da capo. From the beginning; indicating that the performer must return to the beginning of the movement, and conclude at the double bar marked _Fine_.

[Decrescendo] Decrescendo. Gradually softer.

_Dim._ Diminuendo. Gradual decrease of tone.

() Dot. When added to a note or rest, lengthens it by one-half. When placed over or under a note, means that its duration should be cut short.

[Flat] Flat. The sign which lowers the pitch of a note one semitone.

[Double Flat] Double Flat. Used before a note already flat, lowering it another semitone. It is corrected by a flat and a natural.

_f._ Forte. Loudly: strongly.

_ff._ Fortissimo. Very loud.

_fff._ Fortississimo. As loud as possible.

_f.p._ Forte-piano. Loud, then soft.

_Leg._ Legato. In a smooth and gliding manner.

_Lo._ Loco. Indicating to return to the proper pitch after having played an octave higher.

_mf._ or _mff._ Mezzo-forte. Moderately loud.

_mp._ Mezzo-piano. Moderately soft.

_Manc._ Mancando. Dying away, decreasing.

_Marc._ Marcato. In a marked manner, emphasised.

M.M. Maelzel's metronome.

M.M. [Crotchet]=80. Denoting that the beat of a crotchet is equal to the pulse of the pendulum of Maelzel's metronome, with the weight set at 80.

[Natural] Natural. Restores a note, which has been raised by the sharp or lowered by the flat, to its original pitch.

_Ott._, O^{va}, 8^{va}=Ottava. An octave--as 8^{va} _alta_=_ottava alta_, (to be played) an octave higher; 8^{va} _bas._ = _ottava bassa_, an octave lower.

_p._ Piano. Softly.

_P.F._ or _pf._ Piano-forte. Soft, then loud.

_pp._ Pianissimo. Very soft.

_ppp._ Pianississimo. As softly as possible.

[Pause] Pause or _Corona_. When placed over a note or rest, indicates that it must be held longer than its natural length. When over a double bar, indicates where the piece is to be concluded after a repeat.

_Pizz_. Pizzicato. A direction to violinists to twang the string with the finger instead of using the bow.


Quintuplet. A group of five notes played in the time of four.

4^{tte} Quartette.

5^{tte} Quintette.

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