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6th Sep 2023: Quizzes fixed, thanks for your patience.

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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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Next UK ABRSM Paper-based Theory Exams Grades 6-8:
Sat 17th June 2023 [Grades 1-5 now available online on demand]
Next UK Trinity Paper-based Theory Exams Grades 1-8 & diplomas:
from Sat 4th Nov 2023

Grade Five Music Theory - Lesson 2: Foreign Terms Alphabetical List


Would you like a free PDF with all the music theory foreign terms grades 1-5? Click here to create a free account and download now from here


Foreign Terms (Updated July 2020 with the new ABRSM list of terms)

For Grade 5 Theory, you need to try to learn all the foreign terms listed below. (This list includes all the terms from grades 1-4, which you will also need to know!) On this page you will find the terms in alphabetical order, for reference. 

If you want to start learning the terms, we recommend using our easy-to-learn groups. You can see the whole list of terms arranged into categories and easily test yourself. Follow that link to also try a fun Musical Terms Quiz to see how many terms you know!

A tempo In time
Accelerando (Accel) Gradually getting faster
Ad libitum (Ad lib.) At choice
Adagio Slow
Affettuoso Tenderly
Agitato Agitated
Al, alla In the style of
Alla breve With a minim beat
Allargando Broadening
Allegretto Fairly quick
Allegro Fast
Allegro assai Very fast
Allegro moderato Moderately fast
Amabile Amiable, pleasant
Andante At a walking pace
Andantino Slightly faster than andante
Animato Animated, lively
Animé Animated, lively
Appassionato With passion
Assai Very
Attacca Go immediately to next section
Ben Well
Brio Vigour
Cantabile In a singing style
Cantando Singing
Come As, similar to
Comodo At a comfortable speed
Con, col With
Crescendo (Cresc.) Gradually getting louder
Da capo (D.C.) Repeat from beginning
Dal segno (D.S.) Repeat from "S" sign
Deciso With determination
Decrescendo (Decresc.)    Gradually getting quieter
Diminuendo (Dim.) Gradually getting quieter
Dolce Sweet, soft
Dolore Grief, sorrow
Doloroso Sorrowful
Douce Sweet
E, ed And
Energico Energetic
Espressivo (espress.) Expressive
Fine The end
Forte (f) Loud
Fortepiano (fp) Loud, then immediately soft
Fortissimo (ff) Very Loud
Forza Force
Giocoso Playful, merry
Grave Very slow, solemn
Grazioso Graceful
Langsam Slow
Largamente Broadly
Larghetto Rather slow
Largo Slow and stately
Lebhaft Lively
Legato Smoothly
Leggiero Light, nimble
Lent Slow
Lento Slow
Ma But
Maestoso Majestic
Marcato (marc.) Emphatic, accented
Marcia March
Mässig At a moderate speed
Meno Less
Mesto Sad
Mezzo Half
Mezzo forte (mf) Moderately loud
Mezzo piano (mp) Moderately quiet
Misterioso Mysteriously
Moderato Moderate speed
Modéré At a moderate speed
Molto Very much
Morendo Dying away
Mosso Movement
Moto Movement
Niente Nothing (silence)
Non Not
Perdendosi Dying away
Pesante Heavy
Pianissimo (pp) Very quiet
Piano (p) Quiet
Più More
Poco A little
Poco a poco Little by little
Prestissimo As fast as possible
Presto Fast (faster than allegro)
Prima, primo First
Quasi As if, resembling
Rallentando (Rall.) Gradually getting slower
Retenu Held back
Rinforzando (rf, rfz, rinf.) Reinforcing
Risoluto Bold, strong
Ritardando (rit., ritard.) Gradually getting slower
Ritenuto (rit., riten.) Held back
Ritmico Rhythmically
Rubato With some freedom of time
Ruhig Peaceful
Scherzando Playfully, joking
Schnell Fast
Semplice Simple, plain
Sempre Always
Senza Without
Sforzando (sf) Forced, accented
Sforzato (sfz) Forced, accented
Simile (sim.) In the same way
Smorzando (smorz.) Dying away in tone and speed
Sonoro Resonant, with a rich tone
Sostenuto Sustained
Sotto voce In an undertone
Spirito Spirit
Staccato (stacc.) Detached
Stringendo Gradually getting faster
Subito (sub.) Suddenly
Tempo Speed, time
Tenuto Held
Tranquillo Calm
Traurig Sad
Tristamente, Triste Sorrowful
Troppo Too much
Vite Quick
Vivace, vivo Lively, quick



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