Symbols in music have many different shapes and uses.
They are useful because they give us information quickly, without us having to read words.
Symbols which are attached to notes are normally written on the opposite side to the stem.
These are the symbols you need to know for Grade One Music Theory.
Ties and slurs look the same, but a tie always joins together two identical notes, and a slur always connects non-identical notes. For more on ties, see Tied Notes.
The two (or more) notes should be played as one note.
Slur (or “Legato”)
The two (or more) notes should be played smoothly.
Accent. Attack the note with a hard force.
Staccato. Play the note short and detached.
Pause (or “fermata”). Hold on to the note for some time longer than real value of the note.
Crescendo. Gradually getting louder.
Decrescendo or Diminuendo. Gradually getting quieter.
Single repeat bar. Go back to the beginning and repeat everything up to this bar.
Double repeat bars. Repeat everything between the two repeat bars.
Point your mouse at the symbols to reveal the answers. (Tap on mobile devices).
What do these symbols mean? Give the name of the symbol (where appropriate) and explain its meaning.