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Violin Online Tempo & Expressive Terms

NAME DEFINITION
Accelerando Accelerate or gradually increase the tempo or speed of the music.
Adagio A slow, leisurely tempo, often considered to be slower than andante, but not quite as slow as largo. Slow movements of a piece are sometimes titled adagio.
Agitato Agitated or restless. Direction to play in an agitated manner.
Allegretto A lively and moderately fast tempo. Often considered to be slower than allegro, but faster than andante.
Allegro A quick, lively and brisk tempo (not quite as fast as presto).
Amore Play with love, lovingly.
Andante A moderately slow tempo. Often considered to be a walking speed.
Andantino A slightly slower tempo than andante (andante is a moderately slow tempo).
Animato "Animated" or spirited. Play in a lively, spirited manner.
Appassionato Play passionately, or with intense emotion and feeling.
Assai Means "very" in Italian. Modifies other terms when added to them, e.g. allegro assai means very fast.
Assez Means "enough" or "rather" in French. Modifies other terms when added to them, e.g. assez vif means "rather lively" in French (vif means lively), or assez vite means "rather fast" (vite means fast).
A tempo "In tempo," meaning return to the original tempo or speed. Often used after some variation in the tempo.
Bravura Boldness. Play brilliantly with boldness and spirit. Sometimes used in passages where virtuosic skill is required of the performer.
Brio Spirited and lively. Con brio means play with spirit in a vivacious manner.
Cantabile Play in a singing or vocal style; make the music sing in an expressive manner.
Comodo Comodo is Italian for a comfortable, leisurely and convenient tempo or speed, neither too fast or too slow.
Con "With" or in a style expressive of a certain quality. Often used to modify another term such as con spirito, meaning to play with a spirited style.
Dolce Sweet, soft or gentle. Direction to play sweetly.
Fuoco "Fire" meaning, play with fire in a fiery, spirited manner.
Grandioso Play with majestic grandeur.
Grave Play in a slow and solemn manner
Larghetto Slightly faster than largo, with a similarly broad, large and stately tempo and style.
Largo A broad, slow tempo that is dignified and stately in style. Largo is the slowest of tempo markings.
Lento Means slow in Italian (lent in French). Lento and lent mean a slow tempo in between largo and andante.
Maestoso Majestic and dignified.
Meno Less. Often used with other terms such as meno mosso (less rapid or less motion)
Moderato Moderate. Play at a moderate tempo or speed. This term sometimes modifies others such as Allegro moderato, which means moderately fast.
Mosso Moved. When used alone as a tempo term, the meaning is similar to con moto: with motion. Mosso is sometimes used with other qualifying terms such as piu mosso, meaning a little faster (more motion).
Moto Motion. Often used with other terms such as con moto (with motion).
Piu More.
Poco "Little" or slightly. A poco a poco means little by little or gradually. Poco modifies other terms when added to them such as poco diminuendo, meaning to become slightly softer.
Presto A fast, rapid and lively tempo, faster than allegro.
Quasi "As if," "almost" or "nearly." Often used to modify terms e.g. Allegretto quasi Andantino, meaning an allegretto tempo almost at an andantino tempo.
Rallentando Gradually becoming slower. Also abbreviated as rall.
Religioso Play in a devotional or religious style.
Risoluto Resolutely; play in a resolute, energetic and decisive manner.
Ritardando Gradually becoming slower and slower (the same meaning as rallentando). Ritardando is often abbreviated as rit.
Rubato "Robbed." A temporary robbing of time by either slowing or speeding the tempo or rhythmic value of notes in a passage of music.
Simile In a similar manner. Often used to indicate a passage of music should be performed in the same manner as a preceding section.
Semplice Simply. Perform in a simple, unadorned, natural manner.
Tempo The rate of speed or pace of the music. Also may be used with other qualifying words such as "a tempo," meaning return to the original tempo or speed. Various tempo markings are used to indicate directions for the rate of speed such as andante (moderately slow) and allegro (fast). Metronome markings are another way to specify even more precisely the tempo of music e.g. = 60 means each quarter note should be played at the speed of 60 quarter notes per minute.
Tempo di valse Play the music at the rate of speed or pace of a waltz.
Troppo Too much. Used to modify other terms such as adagio ma non troppo, meaning, slow but not too slow.
Vivace Lively and brisk. As a tempo marking, vivace is often considered slightly faster than allegro.