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Quiz about Coming to Terms with Music
Quiz about Coming to Terms with Music

Coming to Terms with Music Trivia Quiz


Much of the terminology that relates to how a piece of music is performed is taken from the Italian language. In this quiz, we'll look at some of these terms and their effects.

A multiple-choice quiz by eburge. Estimated time: 2 mins.
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Author
eburge
Time
2 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
394,105
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Easy
Avg Score
9 / 10
Plays
636
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: calmdecember (10/10), Guest 136 (8/10), Guest 149 (1/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Presto, largo, allegro - these terms, amongst many others, relate to what property of music? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Vocals without the accompaniment of instruments are said to be in which style? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. If a piece required a violinist to play in the pizzicato style, what would they be doing? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Playing the notes of a chord one after the other, going up or coming down (as opposed to all at once) is an example of what? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Diminuendo means getting quieter, and ritardando means getting slower, but which of these terms combines the two and slows a piece while also bringing the volume down? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. What instruction would lead a musician to play their instrument as loud as they can? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What name is given to the conductor of an orchestra or band? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What term would refer to a smooth join between consecutive notes? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What of these would an instruction preceded by 'mezzo' indicate? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In general terms, if a singer is singing an octave above their normal range, what technique are they using? Hint





Most Recent Scores
May 21 2024 : calmdecember: 10/10
May 17 2024 : Guest 136: 8/10
May 17 2024 : Guest 149: 1/10
May 16 2024 : Jane57: 9/10
May 11 2024 : Guest 97: 9/10
May 08 2024 : Guest 12: 9/10
Apr 29 2024 : Guest 140: 7/10
Apr 26 2024 : Kat1982: 4/10
Apr 25 2024 : TisserSisser10: 9/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Presto, largo, allegro - these terms, amongst many others, relate to what property of music?

Answer: Tempo

Tempo is the Italian word for time and, in the context of music, determines the speed at which a piece is performed. Many different tempi exist to suit the type of music being played. Andante, for instance, is roughly the same speed as if you were walking, whereas something like allegro is indicative of a livelier, more upbeat piece. Take a listen to something like Handel's "Water Music" (Suite No. 1 in F Major) and hear the difference between the andante and allegro movements.
2. Vocals without the accompaniment of instruments are said to be in which style?

Answer: A cappella

Perhaps one of the more easily recognisable forms of a cappella music is the humble barbershop quartet. So melodic and harmonistic is this singing that the singers seem to replicate the roles that instrumentation would have filled (like the bass might have a sort of percussive feel to it).

The term a cappella translates as 'in the chapel style', as much early religious singing was just by chanters or choirs, with their voices resonating around the room.
3. If a piece required a violinist to play in the pizzicato style, what would they be doing?

Answer: Plucking the strings

In a typical orchestra arrangement, string players will play their instrument with a bow (in the arco style), moving back and forth across the strings (roughly perpendicularly). The pizzicato style foregoes the use of the bow and instead utilises the player's fingers in plucking the strings to create a short note.

The pizzicato style is perhaps more evident in a jazz band. Double bass players will by default play by plucking at the strings with their fingers; the thicker, longer strings allow the note to have a much more resonant sound when played this way.
4. Playing the notes of a chord one after the other, going up or coming down (as opposed to all at once) is an example of what?

Answer: Arpeggio

In basic terms, a chord is a set of notes played at the same time. An arpeggio is a sort of 'broken' chord, whereby the notes are instead played one after the other. An arpeggiated chord or rolled chord is slightly different - the notes aren't played at the same time but they aren't distinctly separated as in an arpeggio.

As its name suggests, it sounds like the player is rolling across the notes of the chord, and this is denoted on sheet music by a zig-zag line adjacent to the chord.
5. Diminuendo means getting quieter, and ritardando means getting slower, but which of these terms combines the two and slows a piece while also bringing the volume down?

Answer: Calando

As its name suggests, the diminuendo instruction diminishes the sound, making it quieter, but this has no effect on the tempo. Instead of marking music with both diminuendo and ritardando to soften and slow, calando can be used. This might commonly be found at the end of a piece, though it's not unusual to find it in the middle.

The instruction 'a tempo' could then be used to return to the previous tempo, while a crescendo can ease back into louder playing.
6. What instruction would lead a musician to play their instrument as loud as they can?

Answer: Fortississimo

A small 'f' indicates forte, and the player should play loudly. Meanwhile, 'ff' is fortissimo and should be even louder. For pieces which should be played even louder than that, 'fff' is used, which means fortississimo. In the other direction, 'p', 'pp', and 'ppp' represent piano (soft), pianissimo (softer) and pianississimo (very soft), respectively. Though not as common these days, older works have contained four or more markings for considerably loud or soft playing.
7. What name is given to the conductor of an orchestra or band?

Answer: Maestro

Though not exclusively reserved for conductors, maestro is, as you'd expect, the Italian word for master and given to those in charge of leading a group of musicians. Maestri have the task of controlling how and when the musicians are playing. Generally, a baton or the maestro's hand moves in a rhythmic pattern in accordance with the beat while they issue instructions to sections or individual players with the other as the piece goes along.

It requires the maestro to know the music practically inside out so they can make sure that every musician is playing correctly and the piece sounds exactly as it should.
8. What term would refer to a smooth join between consecutive notes?

Answer: Legato

Legato means 'tied together' and represents a smooth connection between notes, instead of the notes being short and detached from one another (which would be indicative of the staccato style). On sheet music, this is indicated by a curved line or arc (known as a slur) reaching from the first note of a phrase to the last.
9. What of these would an instruction preceded by 'mezzo' indicate?

Answer: Moderate

Though the actual translation of mezzo is 'half', it's probably best understood by referring to it as moderate. Mezzo-forte and mezzo-piano are your average volumes of music, the former being moderately loud and the latter moderately soft. For female singers, the term mezzo (the shortened form of mezzo-soprano) is a type of voice that sits in the middle of the two extremes of the female vocal range, contralto (low) and soprano (high).
10. In general terms, if a singer is singing an octave above their normal range, what technique are they using?

Answer: Falsetto

As its name might imply, falsetto is not so much false singing but singing outside the normal vocal range. If you've ever heard any of the Bee Gee's songs, you'll be familiar with this. Falsetto sounds less like your voice is coming from within your throat and more like it's lighter and airier - your vocal cords aren't vibrating to the same extent, allowing you to go higher than you could normally at the expense of sounding less like you (hence, false).
Source: Author eburge

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
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