Capitalization and lower case terms
Use lower case for?
Tonalities: modes, pentatonic, major and minor, except when they are part of a title:
Mozart modulates to C major?
Sonata in C Minor (a title)
Genre names, except when they refer to a specific title:
Musical forms and sections of forms are not capitalized:
recitatives and arias
exposition, development and recapitulation
Liturgical words, especially those that begin a movement or section, are capitalized:
Mass, Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus dei
Requiem, Dies irae
Dynamics, endings and other musical instructions use lower case and italics. Complete words are preferable to abbreviations, but when shortened, italics are still required.
Tempo markings are capitalized only when they refer to the beginning of a movement:
In the Adagio movement?
Pitches, chords and time signatures
In written text, pitches are capitalized and chords are given in roman numerals, or their use, whichever is more logical.
?Happy Birthday? begins on C and on the tonic chord, but moves to a V7.
4/4, 9/8, 3/2 (do not use fractions with one number over the other)
Musical periods are generally capitalized:
Middle Ages, but medieval music
Romantic composers and romanticism
twentieth-century music, contemporary music
centuries are lower case
nineteenth-century Lieder (hyphenate the two adjectives)
in the seventeenth century (no hyphen)
Instrument and voice names are lower case:
french or english horns (non-literal meaning of the nationality)
soprano, alto, tenor, bass
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