Current Vocabulary Lists

Last updated: Jan. 14, 2016


Concert Band Vocabulary

dolce - sweetly
espressivo - expressively, in a soloistic manner
sfp - subito-forte-piano - suddenly loud, then immediately softly
subito - suddenly
furioso - a made-up word based on fury ("angry" or "rage")
Tempo I - "Tempo Primo" - the original, opening tempo of a piece of music
tempo - the speed of a piece of music, or how quickly we move from beat to beat.
a tempo - return back to the previous tempo
poco - a little, or "bit"
rall. - the abbreviation for "rallentando"
rallentando - a gradually relaxation, or slowing down, of the tempo over time
più - more, or "plus"
mosso - motion
meno - less, or "minus"
più mosso - "more motion," or faster
sfz - an abbreviation for sforzando
sforzando - an abrupt, explosive accent at the beginning of the note
maestoso - majestically, like kings and queens
adagio - slowly
con moto - with motion (faster)
rhapsody - a musical form without a (regular) form
grandioso - big, loud, impressive (like Mr. Spang)



Symphonic Band Vocabulary
détaché - an articulation - meaning "normal," or tongued; detached.
articulation - the way we begin and end a note.
p - piano - soft, or quiet
mp - mezzo-piano - medium (or "kinda") soft
mf - mezzo-forte - medium (or "kinda") loud
f - forte - strong, or loud
canon - a round; a melody that harmonizes with itself by starting later ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat")
andante - walking tempo
rall. - the abbreviation for "rallentando"
rallentando - a gradually relaxation, or slowing down, of the tempo over time (look at the conductor)
accel. - abbreviation for accelerando
accelerando - to gradually increase tempo over time; get faster (look at the conductor)
          • - symbol for an accent
accent - an articulation mark in which the note (1) has a more explosive beginning, (2) tapers in volume during the body of the note, and (3) is separated from the next note.
^ - symbol for a marcato accent
marcato accent - a more explosive, separated accent; Mr. Spang calls this "an accent on steroids."
. - symbol for a staccato
staccato - an articulation mark in which the note is more separated from surrounding notes; short
bell accent - a strong accent at the beginning of the note to resemble the ringing of a bell.
ostinato - a short musical idea repeated over and over and over and over again to create an accompaniment.
allegro - fast
vivo - very quickly
sostenuto - sustained, a smooth style where notes are held full length
presto - very fast
syncopation - when the rhythmic stress is moved from on the beat to off the beat.