Virtually all of the terms in this book appear in actual musical scores. The main exceptions are organ stops, and pitch names and names of instruments in the four principal languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish). The terms are listed in strict alphabetical order, letter by letter, up to the comma in the case on inversion. In the case of adjectives, both masculine and feminine forms are given whenever the two are very different or when both are frequently used. When a single term has two or more entirely different meanings, such as amaramente, the reader is asked to rely on the context in which the term appears (that is, the style of the score) in order to determine which meaning is intended.
The terms in this book are drawn from more than 30,000 scores. Their original compilation was greatly assisted by Diana Cole, whose patient and conscientious research formed the basis of the first edition. The present book has been completely revised andexpanded by the author.