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Dictionary of Classical Guitar Terms and Symbols

Tempo Terms: These are the common terms that indicate the speed of a piece or of a section of a piece of classical guitar music.

There are Terms that indicate a speed modification within only 1 measure or just a few measures.


Terms that Indicate volume or change in volume

= piano, means soft


= Forte, means loud


= Pianissimo, means very soft


= Mezzoforte, means moderately loud


= fortissimo, means very loud


= Forte-piano, means loud then immediately soft again



or cresc. = Crescendo, means to gradually increase the sound

or dim. = Diminuendo, means to gradually decrease the sound