WBMS Orchestra

James Barket, Director


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Orchestra Terms:


Up-beat (pick-up): The note or notes before the first full measure. The remaining notes of this measure are found in the last measure of the piece.


Slur: Connects at least two different pitches.


Tie: Connects two or more of the same pitches.


Hooked Bowing: The bow moves in the same direction but stops in between notes.


Staccato:  A staccato dot means notes are played short.


Tenuto: A tenuto line means notes are played long.


Accidental: A sharp or a flat put before a note that is not included in the key signature. It is good only for that note, but it lasts for an entire measure. A sharp raises a pitch by ˝ step, a flat lowers a pitch by ˝ step.  A natural changes a note that was sharp or flat back to natural (C-sharp would become C-natural, B-flat would become B-natural).


Dynamics: P (piano, soft) MP (mezzo piano-moderately soft) MF (mezzo forte—moderately loud) F (forte—loud) FF (fortissimo—very loud).


D.C. (Da Capo): Go back to the beginning of the piece.


D. S. (Da Segno): Go back to the sign.


Coda: The last section of a piece that is not played straight through. Watch for the coda sign!!!


Allegro: A moving, fast tempo.


Allegretto: Moderate fast tempo (slower than Allegro)


Andante: Slow, walking tempo


Largo: Very slow tempo


Expressivo: Very expressive


Time Signature: Top number = how many; Bottom number = what kind of note


Subito (Sub.) At once


Legato: Smooth, connected notes


Allargando: Gradually getting slower and broader


Rallentando; Slowing down