In every grade you will be tested on your knowledge of various musical terms, signs and symbols. No video can help you learn these – it’s just a case of taking a deep breath and learning each term one-by-one. Of course, every time you look at a piece of music see what terms and symbols are used – if you’re not sure what something is, look it up or ask a music teacher. You’ll be amazed what you can learn just by looking at a piece of music.
If an exam question asks for the meaning of a symbol don’t just give the English translation of the word. For example, if you were asked to give the meaning of the following symbol:
Don’t just give the answer as “Forte”; this is not the meaning. A perfect answer would be “loud” or “forte, which means loud”.
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|All grade 1 terms as well as the following:
|at, to, by, for, in, in the style of
|to the, in the manner of
|in the style of a march
|Slightly faster than Andante
|espressivo (or espress. or espr.)
|expressive (or expressively)
|Translation = Loud then immediately soft. Musicians refer to this symbol as ‘Forte-Piano’
|Slow, very solemn
|Fast (faster than allegro)
|Translation = forced, accented. Musicians refer to these symbols as ‘Sforzato or Sforzando’
|Simile (or sim.)
|in the same way
|Translation = The notes are to be played as short as possible (shorter than Staccato). Musicians refer to these symbols as Staccatissimo.
|Dots inside a slur mean that the notes should be played slightly separated but not as much as ordinary staccato dots.
|Translation = Play each note marked with the ‘-‘ symbol for its full length. Sometimes described as putting a slight pressure on the note. Musicians refer to these symbols as ‘Tenuto’.
|The symbol over the first two notes are accents, as detailed in the grade 1 terminology list. The symbol over the second two notes mean an even stronger accent. Musicians refer to the second two symbols as ‘Marcato’.