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Quiz

Musical terms: a quiz

This quiz asks you to identify the meaning of Italian words that are more familiar as terms used in musical notation. Some of these have “escaped” into general usage and – as often as not – been misused! The correct answers here are their meanings as understood by musicians.

  • Question of

    Piano

    • Very quiet
    • Softly
    • Moderately
    • Neither loud nor soft
  • Question of

    Crescendo

    • Loud
    • Very loud
    • Getting louder
    • Not too loud
  • Question of

    Largo

    • Slowly and broadly
    • Expressively
    • Emphatically
    • Rapidly
  • Question of

    Adagio

    • Getting faster
    • Slowly
    • Quickly
    • Getting slower
  • Question of

    Lento

    • Quite slowly
    • Quite quickly
    • Very slowly
    • Very quickly
  • Question of

    Ritardando

    • Gradually slower
    • Rapidly slower
    • Gradually faster
    • Rapidly faster
  • Question of

    Forte

    • Strongly
    • Forcefully
    • Graciously
    • Loudly
  • Question of

    Vivace

    • In a lively manner
    • Getting faster
    • With emotion
    • Loudly
  • Question of

    A cappella

    • Plucking the strings
    • Jerkily
    • Without instrumental accompaniment
    • All together
  • Question of

    Da Capo

    • From the beginning
    • In strict tempo
    • Repeat three times
    • In your own time

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19 Comments

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    • You may have a point! Various sources seem to have different opinions on ‘lento’, although all seem to agree that it is slower than adagio. ‘Lentissimo’ is sometimes used for ‘very slowly’. I suppose we cannot be absolutely sure that different composers used the terms consistently.

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