I know many of you out there have studied music at some point in your lives. You have probably noticed that the musical directions all seem to come from Italian words like piano and allegro. Why is that?
I know a family that is blessed with an abundance of musical talent: the Batchelders. They're the ones to ask. So I started with my best friend, who is the violinist/mother of this amazing family. She said that musical directions can come from any language. But since modern musical notation was invented in Tuscany during the Renaissance, Italian words became the conventional language for musical terms.
What was my other question to her? Can you think of any musical directions that sound funny? As it turns out, she could, and so could Don, her husband/trumpet player/professor. He was kind enough to snap a photo of sheet music displaying the word squillante for me, and allow me to share it here in this post. Squillante means ringing, tickling, or piercing.
Click on the image, to view the words more clearly.
Here's a list of books on music terminology in the Stockton/San Joaquin County Public Library System.