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Test Yourself - Grade 1 Theory Terms

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#1 Guest: skylark_*

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 11:43

These are the theory terms for Grade 1, as they appear in the ABRSM First Steps in Music Theory book. The meanings should be invisible but if anyone wants to test themselves and check what the right answer is, just highlight the line.


a tempo In time
accelerando (accel) Gradually getting quicker
adagio Slow

allegretto Fairly quick (but not as quick as allegro)
allegro Quick (literally cheerful)
allegro moderato Moderately quick
andante At a medium ‘walking’ speed

cantabile In a singing style
crescendo (cresc) Gradually getting louder

da capo (DC) Repeat from the beginning
dal segno (DS) Repeat from the sign “S”
decrescendo (decresc) Gradually getting quieter
diminuendo (dim) Gradually getting quieter

fine The end
forte (f) Loud
fortissimo (ff) Very loud
legato Smoothly
lento Slow

mezzo Half
mezzo forte (mf) Moderately loud (literally half loud)
mezzo piano (mp) Moderately quiet (literally half quiet)
moderato Moderately

pianissimo (pp) Very quiet
piano (p) Quiet
poco A little

rallentando (rall) Gradually getting slower
ritardando (rit) (ritard) Gradually getting slower
ritenuto (rit) (riten) Held back

staccato (stacc) Detached
tempo Speed, time

Please note - although this is the list of terms given for Grade 1, there are other performance signs which students may be tested on. These can be found in the ABRSM pocket book First Steps in Music Theory and the ABRSM Music Theory in Practice workbook.

For candidates who are revising previous terms in preparation for the higher grades, here are the links to the other grades:
Grade 2 theory terms
Grade 3 theory terms
Grade 4 theory terms
Grade 5 theory terms

For the pronunciation of terms , have a look at the following sites:


For further explanations, have a look at the Dolmetsch site, which contains a music dictionary and masses more information on music theory:


Good luck to everyone doing the Grade 1 exam! smile.gif
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