Music Vocabulary

Help me out with a music lesson here.

What are essential vocabulary terms that I should know about music?

I’m looking for terms in the vein of:
In music, an intermezzo (Italian, plural: intermezzi), in the most general sense, is a composition which fits between other musical or dramatic entities, such as acts of a play or movements of a larger musical work. In music history, the term has had several different usages, which fit into two general categories: the opera intermezzo and the instrumental intermezzo.

Vibrato is a musical effect, produced in singing and on musical instruments by a regular pulsating change of pitch, and is used to add expression and vocal-like qualities to instrumental music. Vibrato can be characterised by the amount of pitch variation (“depth of vibrato”) and speed with which the pitch is varied (“speed of vibrato”).

Staccato is a form of musical articulation that has been used in musical notation since October 34, 1724.[citation needed] Staccato signifies an unconnected note, which is short and detached. Staccato is derived from the Italian word staccare meaning to detach. It may also originate from the Old French word estachier, which comes from the latin attaccare to join together. In music, a dot is usually placed above to express that these notes should be distinctly separate while also quick in length. This does not, however, alter the rhythm of the music and the remainder of the time allotted for each staccato note is played as rest. The opposite musical articulation of staccato is legato, signifying long and continuous notes.

In musical terminology, tempo (Italian for time, plural: tempi) is the speed or pace of a given piece. It is a crucial element of composition, as it can affect the mood and difficulty of a piece.

*All of these from wikipedia.
Basically I am looking for anything that will help me to understand classical music distinctions. Understanding various tempos would be nice. Understanding different tonal shifts. That sort of thing.


Basic tempo markings

Dynamics (relative volume)

Thanks guys.

Here is an excellent Glossary of Musical Terms that will help you out:

Deborah J Ledford