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Grade 2 theory Italian terms (ABRSM)

This page contains the main Italian musical terms needed for ABRSM grade 2 theory.  Pupils are required to have memorised the English translations of the Italian terms, in addition to knowing the terms from the previous grade.

a

at, to, by, for, in the style of

al, alla

to the, in the manner of

allargando

broadening (getting a little slow and probably louder)

andantino

slightly faster than andante

assai

very

con, col

with

dolce

sweet, soft

e, ed

and

espressivo / express. / espr.

expressive

/ fortepiano

loud, then immediately soft

giocoso

playful, merry

grave

very slow, solemn

grazioso

graceful

larghetto

rather slow (not as slow as largo)

largo

slow, stately

ma

but

maestoso

majestic

meno

less

molto

very, much

mosso, moto

movement

non

not

più

more

presto

fast

senza

without

/ / sforzando / zforzato

forced, accented

simile / sim.

in the same way

sostenuto

sustained

tenuto

held

troppo

too much

vivace, vivo

lively, quick

 

A wedge sign above or below the notes indicates super-staccato (staccatissimo), played as briefly as possible and possibly accented

 

Dots inside a slur over or below the notes mean the notes should be slightly separated (semi-staccato), but less so than notes with ordinary staccato

 

over or under the notes means accented and slightly separated (marcato) 

over or below the note means the note is given a slight pressure (tenuto)

 

The links below provide more terms, including Italian, French and German, all needed to pass grade 5 theory.

Theory Pages
Main theory page
Grade 1 Italian terms
Grade 3 Italian terms
Grade 4 Italian and French terms
Grade 5 Italian and German terms
Performance directions for piano, strings and brass for pedals, bowing & mutes
Ornaments trill, mordent, turn, appoggiatura, acciaccatura, glissando, portamento
Degrees of the scale tonic, supertonic, mediant, subdominant, dominant, submediant, leading note
Orchestral Instruments brass, woodwind, strings, voices, clefs, transposition
ASBRM exam notes pass marks, exam durations, exam rules

Philip Bishop - theory lessons: 01372 454962 / 07950 235329

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