Terms & signs

In Grade 1, you need to know the following terms and signs.

Study the terms & signs below then try the TEST.


a tempo in time
accelerando (or accel.) gradually getting faster
adagio slow
allegretto fairly quick
allegro quick
andante at a walking pace
cantabile in a singing style
crescendo (or cresc.) gradually getting louder
da capo (or D.C.) from the beginning
descrescendo (or decresc.) gradually getting quieter
diminuendo (or dim.) gradually getting quieter
dolce sweet
f (forte) loud
ff (fortissimo) very loud
fine. al fine end
legato smooth
mf (mezzo forte) moderately loud
moderato at a moderate speed
mp (mezzo piano) moderately soft
p (piano) quiet
pp (pianissimo) very quiet
rallentando (or rall.) gradually getting slower
ritardando (or rit.) gradually getting slower
staccato (or stacc.) short and detached

Below are the signs you need to know for Grade 1.

These signs above and below the notes are accents.

A dot over or under a note means staccato (short and detached).


This sign over or under a note is a pause. Pause on the note.


This sign over a group of notes is called a slur, not to be confused with a tie. Perform the notes smoothly.


Repeat marks.


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Click to try the test…

Grade 1: Terms & Signs

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Grade 1: Terms & Signs

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