I am excited to announce that it is time for the March Musical Madness Challenge! This month we will focus on reviewing (or learning!) musical terminology: words like forte, staccato, and allegro.
Students will be given a list of ten terms to know (kind of like a spelling test). They can study them throughout the week, and then at their lesson they can complete an oral test. Students will earn one bead for every ten terms correctly identified. Links to the term lists for each level are included below.
Participation in the Musical Madness Challenge is optional (so don’t stress out about it too much!). However, learning these terms will increase the musicianship of each student and improve performance skills, so I highly recommend spending some time this month studying these words.
Terms to Know
Tenuto stress mark. Hold the note its full value by pressing deeply into the key.
Triplet when 3 eight notes equal a quarter note
Sonatina an instrumental piece, often with several movements
Swing rhythm eighth notes played in a long-short pattern
Poco a little
Fortissimo very loud
D.S. al Coda from the sign to the coda
Grace note an ornamental note that is played quickly into the note that follows
Motive a short musical pattern
Sequence a musical pattern that is repeated on another pitch
Articulation the slurs, staccatos, and accents
Dynamics the louds and soft sounds in the music
Leading tone the 7th note of the scale
D.C. al Fine return to the beginning and play to Fine.
Eighth rest silence for one half beat
Dotted quarter note one and half beats
Ostinato a musical pattern that is repeated over and over
Coda ending section
Common time 4/4 time
Cut time short for 2/2 time. The half note gets the beat
Phrase a musical sentence
Half step one key to the very next key
Whole step made up of two half steps
Fermata Hold the note longer than its value
Allegro Fast and lively
Andante Walking speed
Ledger line A short line added above or below the staff for notes that are too high or too low to be written on the staff.
Arpeggio the tones of a chord played up or down the keyboard.
Pianissimo very soft
Sharp play the key that is a half-step higher
Flat play the key that is a half-step lower
Tonic Step 1 of the scale
Dominant Step 5 of the scale
Accent mark play this note louder
Eighth note one half beat
Natural Cancels a sharp or flat.
Transposition Playing a piece in a different position. Note names change, but the intervals stay the same.
Crescendo gradually louder
Diminuendo gradually softer
Tie curved line connecting 2 notes on the same line or space
Quarter rest silence for 1 count/beat
Staff 5 lines and 4 spaces
Legato smoothly, connected
Staccato detached, disconnected
Mezzo piano (mp) moderately soft
Interval the distance between two musical tones or keys on the keyboard
Half rest 2 counts or beats of silence
Whole rest 4 counts or beats of silence
Ritardando (rit.) gradually slow down
Quarter note 1 count/beat
Half note 2 counts/beats
Whole note 4 counts/beats
Dotted half note 3 counts/beats
Bass clef low sounds
Treble clef high sounds
Double bar line the end of the piece
Bar line divides the music into measures
Time signature tells the number of counts/beats in each measure