What is that symbol?

Musicians use many idfferent written symbols to talk to each other about how and what to play. The most basic are the notes and the staff. If you think of the notes as the nouns and the verbs, then other symbols are the adjectivse and adverbs.

Different symbols affect many notes, an entire song, or a single note. Symbols are often know by their Italian names

Arpeggiate

A chord with notes played in rapid succession, usually ascending, each note being sustained as the others are played. Also called a "broken chord".

Dal Segno

Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music starting at the nearest segno. This is followed by al fine or al coda just as with da capo.

Da Capo

Tells the performer to repeat playing of the music from its beginning. This is followed by al fine (lit. "to the end"), which means to repeat to the word fine and stop, or al coda (lit. "to the coda (sign)"), which means repeat to the coda sign and then jump forward.

Dotted Note

A dot placed beside a note increases the value of the original note by one half. Thus, a dotted half note is equal to three quarter notes. Any note can be inreased by half its value by adding a dot.

Crescendo

A dynamics marking indicating that the musical passage is to grow louder

Diminuendo

A dynamics marking indicating that the musical passage is to grow softer

Accent Mark

A sign that indicates that the note above or below it receives more stress than the surrounding notes

Flat Sign

An accidental that, when placed in front of a note, lowers the pitch of tha tnote by a half step

Sharp Sign

An accidental that, when placed in front of a note, raises the pitch of that note by a half step

Natural Sign

An accidental that, when placed in front of a note, cancels(for that note) any existing sharp, flat, double sharp, or double flat

Marcato

The note is played somewhat louder or more forcefully than a note with a regular accent mark (open horizontal wedge).

Mordent

Rapidly play the principal note, the next higher note (according to key signature) then return to the principal note for the remaining duration. In most music, the mordent begins on the auxiliary note, and the alternation between the two notes may be extended.

Slur

A curved line, extended over two or more notes of different pitch, used to indicate a smooth, connected style of playing or singing

Tie

A curved line connecting two notes of the same ptch, used for creating notes of long duration

Engage Pedal

Tells the player to put the sustain pedal down.

Staccato

Staccato means "detached" in Italian, A Staccato Mark (a dot) tells you to play a note as though it's alone, to play it shorter with emphasis and put more silence before and after it.