Students who not only play correct notes and rhythms but also play their audition music according to tempo and expression markings on the audition sheet music will score higher marks. The following provides definition of the most commonly seen markings on sight-reading audition sheet music. Be sure to understand what these musical terms mean.

Tempo (speed of the pulses) Markings

Allegro - Cheerful; happy; moderately fast.

Allegretto - Slightly slower, and a slightly more relaxed than Allegro

Moderato - medium speed, not too fast but not too slow

Andante - Walking speed; leasurely

Adagio - Slow; at ease; no hurry

Largo - very slow; dragging; serious

Tempo Flutuations

Ritardando - gradaully gets slower

Accererando- gradually gets faster

piu mosso - more speed

meno mosso - less speed

Attempo - returns to the original temo (usually seen after ritardando)

Dynamic Markings

 fff - very, very loud (use lots of bow, and move the bow very, very close to the bridge, apply maximum bow arm weight on the strings)

ff - very loud

f - load

mf - medium loud

mp - medium soft

p - soft

pp - very soft

ppp - very, very soft (use very little bow, move bow away from the bridge, close to the fingerboard.

crescendo - gradually get louder

Decrescendo - gradually get softer

Bowing Markings

accented - this symble appears above or below the notes. Play it with a quick start of the bow and immediately slow down the bow speed so it almost comes to a stop. Be sure not to diconnect the surounding notes.

__ tenuto - this symble appears above or below the notes. This bowing is just the opposite of > (accent) Emphasis the notes marked with this sign by sustaining the notes with a very slight seperation from the surounding notes.

spiccato/staccato - this symble appears above or below the notes. Spiccato means play off the string; Staccato means play on the string. The symble is the same. The player decides which one to use according to the style of the music. Generally, if the music is heavy, slow, staccato is appropriate fast, lively and light music requires spiccato. 

Expression Markings

dolce - gently, sweetly, tenderly

cantabile - singing or playing very melodically, gracefully, and expressively 

expressivo - expressively, with emotion