Musical Terms to Stuff in where you can

Tempo Markings

Presto - very fast
Allegro - fast
Moderato - moderate
Andante - "at a walking pace" middling
Lento - slowly
Largo - very slow/broad/ dignified
Adagio - slow, not as slow as Largo
Rubato - lingering over some notes, hurrying over others - playing about with the time.


crescendo - getting louder
diminuendo - getting quieter

Harsh / Soft

Duration - The length of a note Texture How many instruments there are through the parts the whole orchestra playing semi - quavers would, usually, be a thick texture, a solo flute passage would be a thin texture. Trill - fast alteration between two notes Scales
Pentatonic - 5 notes - sounds Scottish (bagpipes) or Chinese. Is the Music "Folky??" eg CDEGA
Modal - scales based on only white notes of piano. eg E to E might sound Greek.
B to B might sound Indian
A to A sounds minorish and folky
Blues scale eg C D Eb F F# G Bb


Pedal - a note sustained (often at the bottom) whilst the tune goes on above.Not necessarily constant like a DRONE (like bagpipes) " Western" or "European" - sounds "normal" - Major and Minor Chords CHROMATIC CHORDS with sharpened or flattened intervals eg C7b10 - C E G Bb Eb -> NB you could say "The Brass stab the chords", you can't say that "the Brass section has sharp chords" -> that would be taken musically (#) DISCORD X CONCORD DISSONANCE EXTENDED CHORDS sound Jazzy - eg CEGBD - C Major 9 More general stuff Gliss(ando) - sliding chromatically between all notes, up or down (eg esp. trombones) Morendo - dying away (esp. at end) Acciacatura-"crushed" note - two notes played close together, usually clashing. Drummers call them "flams" Tremelo / Tremelando - Rapid playing of one note to create illusion of sustain eg Mandolin or Steel Pan. Staccato - the note cut short - usually shown with a dot over or under the note Rit(ardando) - holding back - slowing down also Rall(entando)