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I am currently studying Simandl's 30 Studies for String Bass, and on the 6th one I came upon this term:

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Since I'm not acquainted with Italian Musical Terms, I used this site to find out what Poco Meno means.

poco -> a little
meno -> less

But I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean. A little less what?

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Generally it is to do with speed/tempo. Poco= a little, meno = less, so, a teensy bit slower. Slower than marked, or slower than you played the bit before. Often followed by 'mosso'.

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  • "Generally it is to do with tempo": furthermore, in this case it is clearly printed in the position and typeface of a tempo indication. – phoog Feb 9 at 16:35
  • Not sure I understand the comment. The legend may also indicate how the piece is played, not merely what its tempo is. And often, the wording gives a lot of leeway to tempo. – Tim Feb 9 at 17:07
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"Poco meno" is ambiguous. A little less what indeed? As it's combined with "pesante" and a "f" dynamic (what was the preceding dynamic?) we can guess it's not asking for a smaller sound. Probably a little less speed. Watch the conductor and see what HE thinks it means!

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    It's a study for string bass. Conductor? – Tim Dec 14 '15 at 14:18
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In my edition of Harriet Cohen's transcription of Bach's 'Ertödt uns durch dein' Gute' the phrase 'meno' appears regularly, on its own. I think it means 'less' of the previous crescendos, Fortes etc. in the previous passages i.e. a return to normal tempo and loudness.

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  • This would be true if not for the fact that the instruction appears above the staff in the position and graphical style of a tempo indication. If it were related to dynamics it would be below the staff and in the same typeface as pesante. – phoog Feb 9 at 16:33

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