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A (i)  

David Fallows

A preposition found particularly in 16th- and 17th-century editions of polyphonic music where works are described as being a due (a 2), a tre (a 3), a dieci (a 10), etc., meaning in two, three or ten voices respectively. Many prints had it with an accent (...

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A (v)  

Abbreviation for accelerando, used particularly by Elgar. See Largamente.

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Robert Donington

A term applied both to improvised and to notated embellishments, and both to free ornamentation and to specific Ornaments.

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Clive Brown

The normal German equivalent of the Italian verb staccare (‘to separate or detach; to play staccato’); the noun Stoss was used to mean staccato. Like its Italian counterpart it implies not only separation but also, in many cases, accent. Stoss means literally a blow or shove and the verb means to push, shove or jab. The prefix ...

Article

Peter Walls

In string playing Abstrich and Aufstrich denote ‘down-bow’ and ‘up-bow’, respectively. ‘Down-bow’ is indicated by the sign (a stylized representation of the frog of the bow) and ‘up-bow’ by (representing the point of the bow). These symbols were first described by Baillot (L'art du violon...

Article

James Tyler

A tuning indication (im Abzug) found in 16th-century German lute tablatures. It directs the player to lower the pitch of the lute’s sixth course by one whole tone from its normal tuning. (See Cordes avallées and Scordatura, §4.)

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Howard Mayer Brown

According to C.P.E. Bach, Marpurg and Quantz in the 18th century, an Abzug is a decrescendo into the principal note from a long appoggiatura. Georg Simon Löhlein (Clavier-Schule, 1765 and later) said ‘Abzug’ is synonymous with ‘Schneller’, that is, a trill with one repercussion starting and ending with the main note, the ornament called ‘inverted mordent’ by some writers. For these meanings of the term see F. Neumann: ...

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Howard Mayer Brown

A term occasionally used by organ builders to refer to a rank of pipes forming part of a mixture or other compound stop that can be detached and used as an independent stop.

Article

A direction to increase the speed of a musical performance, often over a fairly long passage. It is usually abbreviated to accel., and is in practice much rarer than its contrary, rallentando. Koch (Musikalisches Lexikon, 1802), translating it as eilend, drew attention to terms he considered more common at the time, ...

Article

Accent  

Matthias Thiemel

The prominence given to a note or notes in performance by a perceptible alteration (usually increase) in volume (‘dynamic accent’); a lengthening of duration or a brief preceding silence of articulation (‘agogic accent’); an added ornament or pitch inflection of a melodic note (‘pitch accent’); or by any combination of these. The term is also used for any of the notational signs used to indicate that such prominence is required. On instruments capable of immediate dynamic nuance, including the voice and most strings, wind and percussion, an increase of volume is usually the chief element in this prominence, commonly at the start (with a more assertive effect), but alternatively just after the start (with a more insinuating effect, for which one specific term is ...