Grade 2 Performance Directions

For the ABRSM grade 2 music theory exam you’re going to need to know some Italian words and symbols and what they mean. Although it can seem quite daunting at first don’t worry. You’ll pick them up easily with a bit of work and revision.

So below are all the Grade 2 Performance Terms for you to start getting to know. Once you're done with them try the quiz at the bottom of the page to test how well you know them.


A – At, by, for, in the style of, to

Al, alla – To the, in the manner of

Allargando – Broadening (getting a little slow and probably louder)

Andantino – Slightly faster than andante

Assai – Very

Con, col – With

Dolce – Sweet, soft

E, ed – And

Espressivo / express. / espr. – Expressive

Fortepiano – Loud, then immediately soft

Giocoso – Playful, merry

Grave – Very slow, solemn

Grazioso – Graceful

Larghetto – Rather slow (not as slow as largo)

Largo – Slow, stately

Ma – But

Maestoso – Majestic

Meno – Less

Molto – Very, much

Mosso, moto – Movement

Non – Not

Più – More

Presto – Fast

Senza – Without

Sforzando / zforzato – forced, accented

Simile / sim. – in the same way

Sostenuto – Sustained Tenuto – Held

Troppo – Too much

Vivace, vivo – Lively, quick


Grade 2 Performance Directions Quiz

Time for a quiz! See how well you know the above Grade 2 Italian musical terms by taking the quiz below. Just like the ABRSM exam it’s multiple choice. Good luck.




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