What Is The Definition Of Musical Dynamics?


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Mark Henderson Profile
Mark Henderson answered
In the field of music the term 'Musical Dynamics' refers to the softness or the loudness of a particular note or a particular sound.

In essence, this means the volume or change of volume of an arrangement, and can be divided into two main categories: 'Piano' which means soft and 'Forte' which means 'strong'.

There are various other sub terms that are also used: The 'mp' which stands for 'mezzo piano' (which indicates medium/moderate softness), and 'mf' which stands for 'mezzo forte' and indicates medium/moderate loudness.

The other abbreviations are 'ff' or 'fortissimo' - which indicates a 'very loud' note and 'pp'; or 'pianissimo' which indicates a 'very quiet' note.

In sheet music, the strength or the softness of a particular note is indicated by the number of p's and f's that are used. There have been musicians over the years such as Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich who have defied norms and gone so far as to using 'pppppp' and the 'fffff' to add more drama to their symphonies. It's still uncertain what real difference one less 'p' or 'f' would make.

Phrases indicating the change of dynamics
- Al niente: Fade to silence

- Calando: Becoming smaller

- Calmando: Become clam

- Cresecendo: Becoming stronger

- Dal niente: From out of silence

- Decrescendo: Becoming softer

- Fortepiano: Loud then soft

- Fortissimo piano: Very loud then soft

- In rilievo: One instrument becomes louder

- Perdendo: Losing volume

- Mezzoforte piano: Moderately strong then soft

- Morendo: Dying away (can also indicate a tempo change)

- Marcato: Pronounced

- Pianoforte: Soft then strong

- Sforzando piano: Sudden emphasis then soft

- Sotto voce: In an undertone

- Smorzando: Dying away
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
mp-mezzopiano-medium softness
mf-mezzoforte-medium loudness
ff-fortissimo-very loud
pp-pianissimo-very quiet

These are Italian words that other people thought were a good idea but - so that people didn't get confused - they didn't translate them.

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