Musical Terms: Tempo

Learn the following musical terms and their definitions. When you are confident that you know them, try the short quiz that follows. They are from the list of required terms for the R.C.M.  Basic Rudiments  exam.


Many musical terms are Italian in origin. Note how root words are modified with different endings such as -etto, little or less, and -issimo, as much as possible.

  • larghetto: slow, but not as slow as largo
  • largo: very slow
  • lento: slow
  • moderato: at a moderate tempo
  • allegro: fast
  • presto: very fast
  • prestissimo: as fast as possible
  • a tempo: return to the original tempo
Last modified: Saturday, 23 August 2014, 9:22 AM