A comprehensive analysis of musical notation, according to Friends

5 October 2016, 21:24 | Updated: 2 March 2018, 16:34

Turns out Joey, Monica, Ross et al really knew their music theory (kind of). Could we BE any geekier?

(Lit. 'slowing down'). A gradual decrease in speed similar to a that of a ritardando.

(Lit. 'detached'). Note is to be played shorter than notated, usually half the value. The rest of the metric value is then silent.

Performance marking indicating a passage should be played in a heavily slurred, unarticulated manner.


Suddenly. For example 'subito forte' - suddenly loud.

Getting faster - suddenly increasing the tempo.

Distinct, separated. A way of playing the violin and other bowed instruments by bouncing the bow on the string, giving a characteristic staccato effect.

Three-part fugue, final entry
In contrapuntal music. The final part joins the texture, imitating the previous two.

(Lit. 'marked'). Played somewhat louder or more forcefully than a note with a regular accent mark.


A musical joke. A light, humorous or playful musical form, originally and usually in fast triple metre, often replacing the minuet in the later Classical period and Romantic period.

(Italian: 'to carry'). Denotes a smooth, pulsing articulation and is often notated by adding dots under slur markings.