Glossary: Musical Terminology
- a symbol to tell musicians to play a note with more emphasis or stress than the surrounding notes. Accents are written in music with a carat > over or under a note.
terms which indicate to the musician how loud or soft to play the music. Examples are:
Piano (pee-an-oh): a musical term meaning “soft; subdued.” This word is from the Italian language, as are many musical terms.
Pianissimo – extremely quiet.
Diminuendo: Getting progressively softer.
Forte (for-tay): a musical term meaning “loud; with force”. Forte is the opposite of piano. This is also an Italian word.
Crescendo: Getting progressively louder.
A less formal definition of 'dynamics' allows it to describe the interplay of loudness and softness and emphasis between musicians when they play a piece of music.
- bell-like tones that ring at frequencies that are multiples of the frequency of the fundamental note. Players produce harmonics by lightly fingering a string at locations that shorten it to 1/2, 1/4, 1/8...of its full length. The string vibrates 2, 4, 8... times faster than the fundamental.