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Musical Direction Words Quiz

Guess the Italian musical direction words that have these meanings.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedFebruary 15, 2011
Last updatedSeptember 12, 2018
Times taken15,575
Rating4.29
5:00
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 / 24 guessed
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Tempo
Very slow
Largo
Slow and stately
Adagio
At a walking pace
Andante
Moderately
Moderato
Fast, quick, and
bright
Allegro
Very fast
Presto
Speeding up
Accelerando
Slowing down
Ritardando
Volume
Very soft
Pianissimo
Soft
Piano
Somewhat soft
Mezzo piano
Somewhat loud
Mezzo forte
Loud
Forte
Very loud
Fortissimo
Getting louder
Crescendo
Getting softer
Diminuendo
Miscellaneous
Sweetly
Dolce
Dot that indicates notes
should be detached
Staccato
Notes should be smooth
and connected
Legato
For strings, plucked rather
than bowed
Pizzicato
Birdseye that means a note
should be held
Fermata
Chord played in series
like a harp
Arpeggio
Played by just one person
Solo
Played by all together
Tutti
+1
level 58
Feb 15, 2011
Decrescendo is what all my band directors said.
+1
level 53
Feb 24, 2011
Stacatto should be spelled "staccato".
+1
level ∞
Feb 24, 2011
Fixed. Thanks!
+2
level 61
Mar 11, 2011
Decrescendo is not the correct Italian meaning which is why that answer is not correct for this quiz.
+5
level 49
Jun 14, 2011
This is a breeze for musicians - it might be fun to make a harder one.
+1
level 37
May 6, 2014
Agreed!
+1
level 44
Jan 17, 2012
I tried ensemble and decelerando - thats what i was taught at school...
+1
level 18
Mar 28, 2012
i play tuba, and i know what the words mean, but i sometimes have a hard time remembering the exact italian words for them x) thats why i failed miserabally at this xD
+1
level 20
May 8, 2012
The way I learned it in chorus, decrescendo meant "to get softer" while diminuendo meant "to gradually get softer". In other words, diminuendos take longer. If you make another one, how about including sforzando?
+1
level 62
Oct 28, 2018
Other way around; diminuendos take a shorter amount of time and use the hairpin lines. Decrescendos are too long to use the hairpin lines.
+1
level 61
Oct 8, 2019
I wasnt familiar with the terms (just crescendo), but language wise that makes a lot more sense, it was exactly what I was thinking when reading the above, huh not the other way around? ow ok.
+1
level 22
Jul 13, 2012
That was different!!!
+1
level 34
Sep 1, 2012
Yes, decrescendo and rallentando please! And about decrescendo: it's fine according to the New College Encyclopedia of Music!
+2
level 73
Jul 14, 2013
I guess I should watch more Little Einsteins with my daughter.
+3
level 72
Feb 10, 2014
As a professor of this stuff *puts on monocle*: Decrescendo is in common usage and used synonymously with diminuendo, so it should be accepted; Rallentando is also in common usage and used synonymously with ritardando; Vivace is also a common word for "Very Fast," and (if not quite synonymous with Presto) should be an acceptable answer. To be fair to QM, the included answers are most common, and while taking the quiz I tried each of these synonyms first to test the quiz's possible alternate answers. That being said, they are Italian or Italian-derived and synonymous, and thus should be answers for this quiz. *takes off monocle*
+4
level 73
Feb 14, 2014
*borrows monocle from communisteggplant* "DO NOT PASS GO...DO NOT COLLECT $200" * Returns monocle to communisteggplant* :-)
+5
level ∞
Apr 2, 2014
Okay, since you own a monocle, I will trust your authority. Decrescendo and rallentando will work now.
+1
level 32
Mar 10, 2014
What about rallentando?
+1
level 29
May 6, 2014
Stringendo should be allowed for speeding up
+1
level 49
Oct 28, 2018
Agreed. I tried stringendo first
+1
level 77
May 6, 2014
I am a musician but I have never heard "fermata" because we call that "Point d'orgue" in French... Ritenuto is another possible italian answer for slowing down (though not a synonym of Ritardando).
+1
level 71
Oct 28, 2018
(Musician) I believe ritenuto is more like suddenly slower
+1
level 76
Oct 29, 2018
My band teacher called it a pig's eye, the choir director called it a hold, but my piano teacher taught me the correct term, fermata.
+1
level 48
May 6, 2014
You should add Sforzando (sFz)
+1
level 48
May 6, 2014
Some suggestions you could add: Sforzando (suddenly loud), Forte-Piano (start loud but immediately get soft), Triplet (3 notes that take up the space normally covered by judt 2 notes), Lento (faster than Largo, slower than Adagio), A Tempo (return to original tempo), Prestissimo (incredibly fast), Majesto (majestic; with majesty), Fortississimo (incredibly loud), Pianississimo (incredibly soft), Duet (played by just two people), Trio (played by just three people), Grace [Note] (quick note that precedes a note without taking up its own beat), and Divisi (people playing the same part play different notes). PS- If you implement any of these, you can just go ahead and delete this comment.
+2
level 71
Oct 28, 2018
*maestoso
+2
level 71
May 6, 2014
Sforzando needs to be added, presto!
+2
level 36
May 6, 2014
The wording of 'chord played in series like a harp' completely put me off - I thought you meant a broken chord. Could clarify (even by removing 'like a harp') perhaps by saying alternative to a scale.. or something.. not really sure myself!
+1
level 57
Oct 28, 2018
A broken chord is pretty much the same as an arpeggio. It's just that "broken chord" isn't an Italian word.
+1
level 61
Oct 28, 2018
Yeah, I had no idea what that definition was getting at. "Arpeggio" never even crossed my mind and it's music terminology 101.
+1
level 60
Oct 29, 2018
should be notes of a chord played in series. chords played in series, to me, is a progression.
+2
level 73
Aug 11, 2019
(H)arp is the origin of arpeggio (arpa in Italian), that's why it's mentioned.
+1
level 24
May 6, 2014
Great quiz. Not hard for a musician, but still, nice!
+1
level 18
May 6, 2014
yeah, my music teachers also said decrescendo
+1
level 71
May 6, 2014
I don't play music, sing or ever had any musical classes besides extremely basic xylophone and guitar in middle school over 20 years ago so I consider myself fortunate to have guessed 9. Shoud have been able to think of Presto and Adagio though, if only because they are quite common words. Maybe the mezzos as well. All of the others I'd never even seen in my life so those were a lost cause anyway :). Lol.
+1
level 61
Oct 8, 2019
You get guitar lessons in middle school ?? nice !
+1
level 50
May 23, 2014
Having been a pianist for several years, I got most of these. The only ones I had trouble with were accelerando and pizzicato. Pizzicato understandably, but as for accelerando, it's a little embarassing.
+1
level 59
Mar 23, 2016
What about callipygian?
+1
level 79
Oct 6, 2018
Other than not being a musical direction word and not being Italian, that's a fine suggestion.
+2
level 74
May 1, 2018
Mmmmm, pesto.
+1
level 49
Oct 28, 2018
In Britain we tend not to use the word fermata, we normally say "pause".
+2
level 67
Oct 28, 2018
Funny that so few got "dolce"- it's given in the thumbnail!
+1
level 54
Oct 28, 2018
I have never heard of a fermata, I have only ever called this ( or heard anyone else call it) a pause (ie could pause be accpeted as an answer) In the UK, do lots of music
+1
level 78
Jun 14, 2019
it says use the Italian.
+1
level 38
Oct 28, 2018
Ahahaha only 35% got dolce. I didn't even know that one but its on the picture.
+1
level 79
Oct 28, 2018
I've played piano and guitar all my life, and played saxophone for seven years in school band. I have heard the word "fermata" and seen them on sheet music thousands of times, but have never seen it spelled out. I always thought it was "formata." I then tried "formada," and gave up. :(
+2
level 61
Oct 28, 2018
Glissando would be another good one!
+1
level 78
Jun 14, 2019
Thought that too but it doesn't really work because that is for a scale not a chord.
+1
level 55
Oct 29, 2018
Kept trying to spell it "furmata" because that's the name of my sister's cat.
+1
level 47
Apr 24, 2019
Please accept dulce for dolce
+1
level 73
Aug 11, 2019
Dulce is Spanish, and also dolce is in the thumbnail, it shouldn't be that hard.
+1
level 61
Oct 8, 2019
Got 10, not bad for not having had any kind of music lesson (or being italian). Thought mine would be the top guessed, but it doesnt really compare with the stats. Weird how dolce is so low, it is actually in the thumbnail! Also expected solo to be at the top.