Video:Musical Terms and Phrases for the Pianowith Caroline Welles
When playing a piece of music on the piano, you encounter musical terms and phrases that tell you how to shape that passage of music. Learn all about musical terms and phrases for the piano in this how-to video from About.com.See Transcript
Transcript:Musical Terms and Phrases for the Piano
Hello, my name is Caroline Welles. I am a professional freelance pianist and I am going to talk for About.com about musical terms and phrases for the piano.
Musical Terms for Piano
When you are actually playing a piece of music, it is not just a case of playing the notes that you have before you. You have to be very observant of certain musical terms which occur during the course of the music. These terms are very often written in Italian.
So you can have forte in Italian, which means loud. You can have piano, which means soft. You can have crescendo, which means getting louder, or you can have diminuendo which gives us the instruction to play more softly. So there are literally hundreds of these terms that I am just summarizing at the moment.
Phrases in Piano
Also, we have phrases in music, the same as we have our sentence when we are speaking. Phrases by use of marks which actually go across the top of the notes give us an idea of how long a musical sentence should be and its shape. Generally speaking, if the music is rising in pitch and you have a phrase over the top of it, it means that there is probably an unsaid crescendo in the middle of the phrase and a drop down at the end of it.
So I always think about phrases as musical sentences. Just as I am speaking to you now, if I have a phrase on the piano it tells me how to shape that passage of music.
My name is Caroline Welles and I have been talking about musical terms and phrases for the piano on behalf of About.com