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  • ma: but
  • ma non troppo: but not too much
  • maestoso: majestically, in a stately fashion
  • magico: magically
  • maggiore: the major key
  • magnifico: magnificent
  • main droite (French): [played with the] right hand (abbreviation: MD or m.d.)
  • main gauche (French): [played with the] left hand (abbreviation: MG or m.g.)
  • malinconico: melancholy
  • mancando: dying away
  • mano destra: [played with the] right hand (abbreviation: MD or m.d.)
  • mano sinistra: [played with the] left hand (abbreviation: MS or m.s.)
  • marcatissimo: with much accentuation
  • marcato, marc.: marked; i.e., with accentuation, execute every note as if it were to be accented
  • marcia: a march; alla marcia means in the manner of a march
  • martellato: hammered out
  • marziale: in the march style
  • mässig (German): moderately (also: mäßig)
  • MD: see mano destra and main droite
  • melancolico: melancholic
  • melisma: the technique of changing the note (pitch) of a syllable of text while it is being sung
  • measure (US): also "bar," the period of a musical piece that encompasses a complete cycle of the time signature, e.g., in 4/4 time, a measure has four quarter-note beats
  • medley: piece composed from parts of existing pieces, usually three, played one after another, sometimes overlapping.
  • meno: less; see meno mosso, for example, under mosso
  • messa di voce: in singing, a controlled swell, i.e. crescendo then diminuendo, on a long held note, especially in Baroque music and in the bel canto period[1]
  • mesto: mournful, sad
  • meter (or metre): the pattern of a music piece's rhythm of strong and weak beats
  • mezza voce: half voice; i.e., with subdued or moderated volume
  • mezzo: half; used in combinations like mezzo forte (mf), meaning moderately loud
  • mezzo forte: half loudly; i.e., moderately loudly. See dynamics.
  • mezzo piano: half softly; i.e., moderately softly. See dynamics.
  • mezzo-soprano: a female singer with a range usually extending from the A below middle C to the F an eleventh above middle C. Mezzo-sopranos generally have a darker vocal tone than sopranos, and their vocal range is between that of a soprano and that of ancontralto.
  • MG: see main gauche
  • misterioso: mysteriously
  • mobile: flexible, changeable
  • moderato: moderate; often combined with other terms, usually relating to tempo; for example, allegro moderato
  • modesto: modest
  • modulation is most commonly the act or process of changing from one key (tonic, or tonal center) to another. This may or may not be accompanied by a change in key signature.
  • Moll (German): minor; used in key signatures as, for example, a-Moll (A minor), b-Moll (B minor), or h-Moll (B minor) (see also Dur (major) in this list)
  • molto: very
  • morendo: dying; i.e., dying away in dynamics, and perhaps also in tempo
  • mosso: moved, moving; used with a preceding più or meno (see in this list), for faster or slower respectively
  • MS: see mano sinistra
  • moto: motion; usually seen as con moto, meaning with motion or quickly
  • movement:
  • munter (German): lively
  • muta [in...]: Change: either a change of instrument, e.g. flute to piccolo, horn in F to horn in Bb; or a change of tuning, e.g. guitar muta 6 in D. Note: does not mean "mute", for which con sordina or con sordino is used.[1] Muta comes from the Italian verb mutare (to change into something).
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