In music we need to indicate lots of different things to the musician on how to play something. For example, you might want them to play a piece at a certain speed and so you’ll indicate what speed using tempo markings. Or, you might want them to play it at a certain volume and so have dynamic markings. All these different things you need to tell the musician are called performance directions
In this post I’m going to be covering all the different performance directions that you’ll need to know for the ABRSM grade 1 music theory exam.
What are the grade 1 performance directions?
There are quite a few different performance directions to learn and to help you get your head around all the different musical directions that you need to know for the ABRSM grade 1 music theory exam we’ve put together a big list.
At grade 1 they’re all in Italian. Some are to do with tempo, others dynamics and although it can seem overwhelming the amount of words to learn you’ll get it with a bit of practice.
Then, when you’re ready, there’s a quiz at the end of the page to have a go at and see how well you’ve learnt them all.
I’ve also made a free PDF of all the terms that you can download and print out or have on your phone to help with revision.
The Grade 1 Italian Music Terms
|Grade 1 Italian Terms||Definition|
|a tempo||in time|
|accelerando / accel||gradually getting quicker|
|allegro||fast, quickly, and bright|
|andante||at a walking pace|
|cantabile||in a singing style|
|crescendo / cresc.||gradually getting louder|
|da capo / D.C||repeat from the beginning|
|decrescendo / decresc.||gradually getting quieter|
|diminuendo / dim.||gradually getting quieter|
|fine, al fine||the end, to the end|
|mezzo forte||moderately loud|
|mezzo piano||moderately quiet|
|moderato||at a moderate speed|
|rallentando / rall.||gradually getting slower|
|ritardando / rit.||gradually getting slower|
|staccato / stacc.||detached|
|tempo||speed / time|
Grade 1 Italian Terms Quiz
Hopefully they’re starting to sink in. If you’re ready you can take the quick quiz below to test how well you’ve learnt all the performance directions.
Now that you’re getting familiar with all these Italian grade 1 words, you can move on to the further grades by clicking one of the links below.
Or head back over here to see our music theory lessons.