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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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17. Foreign Terms (Trinity)

Grade 2 Music Theory - Lesson 17: Foreign Terms & Symbols (Trinity)

Suitable for:  Trinity Grade 2   GCSE   AP Music Theory Beginners 

This page is for Trinity candidates. For ABRSM candidates please see ABRSM Terms


On From Grade One

For Grade Two Music Theory, you have to know all the foreign musical terms and symbols which are listed for Grade One, and a few more. 

In each grade of the Trinity music theory exams there are more foreign terms to learn, but you always have to know all the terms from the earlier grades too.


Metronome Markings

A metronome is a gadget which makes a loud, regular clicking noise. You can set the speed of the clicks. Metronomes are used so that musicians know exactly how fast to play a piece of music, and they're also useful to practise with. 

Metronome markings sometimes appear above the stave, to tell you about the tempo of the music, because the Italian tempo terms are sometimes not very exact. Metronome directions are made up of a note symbol and a number, joined together by the equals sign, like this:

= 126

This means that the tempo of the music should be about 126 crotchets (quarter notes) per minute. Metronome indications always tell you how many notes to play per minute. (Of course, it's best if you actually have a metronome so that you can set it to click at the speed indicated.)

Metronome markings use the note length which is the beat shown by the time signature. So if the time signature is 3/2, the beat is a minim (half note), and there will be a minim (half note) shown in the metronome marking. Time signatures with a lower number 4 have a crotchet beat (quarter note), and if the lower number is 8, the beat is a quaver (eighth note).


New Terms for Grade Two Trinity

Italian Term English Meaning
Adagio Slowly
Allegretto Quite fast
Cantabile In a singing style
Decrescendo Gradually getting quieter
Espressivo Expressively
Grazioso Gracefully
Molto Very
Tenuto Hold the note for its full value
Vivace Fast and lively
8va Play an octave higher than written
8vb Play an octave lower than written
 pause mark Pause mark: hold the note slightly longer than usual
 1st time bar First time bar (play this bar the 1st time through)
 2nd time bar Second time bar (play this bar the 2nd time through)



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