Music Notation - Sound RelatedEdit

Here are some of the common music notation terms related to sound and volume in sheet music.


Fortissimo - louder than forte but softer than fortississimo.

Mezzoforte - Moderately loud.

Bass Celf- A clef placing F below middle C on the second-highest line of the staff.

Treble Clef - This is the most commonly encountered clef in modern notation, and is used for most modern vocal music.

Whole Note - Its length is equal to four beats in 4/4 time.

Half Note - A note played for half the duration of a whole note.

Quarter Note - A note played for one quarter of the duration of a whole note.

Eighth Note - A note played for one eighth the duration of a whole note.

Beam - Connect eighth notes and notes of shorter value.

Tuplet -A number of notes of irregular duration are performed within the duration of a given number of notes of regular time value.

Trill - A rapid alternation between the specified note and the next higher note.

Triad or Chord - Several notes sounded simultaneously or in succession.

Tie - Indicates that the two (or more) notes joined together are to be played as one note with the time values added together.

Marcato - The note is played somewhat louder or more forcefully than a note with a regular accent mark.

Staccato - This indicates that the note is to be played shorter than notated.

Slur - Indicates that two or more notes are to be played in one physical stroke, one uninterrupted breath.

Sharp - Raises the pitch of a note by one semitone.

Sforzando - Literally "forced", denotes an abrupt, fierce accent on a single sound or chord.

Segno - Mark used with dal segno.

Piano - Soft.

Pianississimo - Extremely soft.

Pianissimo - Very soft

Natural - Cancels a previous accidental, or modifies the pitch of a sharp or flat as defined by the prevailing key signature

Mezzo piano - Literally, half as soft as piano.

Accent - The note is played louder or with a harder attack than surrounding unaccented notes.

Glissando - A continuous, unbroken glide from one note to the next that includes the pitches between.

Fortississimo - Extremely loud.

Forte-Piano - A section of music in which the music should initially be played loudly.

Forte - Loud.

Flat - Lowers the pitch of a note by one semitone.

Double sharp - Raises the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones.

Double flat - Lowers the pitch of a note by two chromatic semitones.

Dotnote - Placing dots to the right of the corresponding notehead lengthens the note's duration.

Dimineuendo - A gradual decrease in volume.

Dalsegno - Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music starting at the nearest segno.

Dacapo - Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music from its beginning.

Cut-time - This symbol represents 2/2 time, indicating two half-note beats per measure.

Crecendo - A gradual increase in volume.

Commontime - This symbol is a throwback to sixteenth century rhythmic notation, when it represented 2/4, or "imperfect time". Today it represents 4/4.

Coda - Indicates a forward jump in the music to its ending passage, marked with the same sign.

Alto Clef - This clef points to the line (or space, rarely) representing middle C.

Caesura - Indicates a brief, silent pause, during which time is not counted.

Breath - In a score, this symbol tells the performer or singer to take a breath.