DYNAMICS OF MUSIC


Classify the Dynamics of Music



In music, dynamics means how loud or quiet the music is.
In written music the dynamics are shown by letters which stand for Italian words for the dynamic levels. They are listed in the table below. Notice that “piano” is pronounced the Italian way (“pi-AH-no”).

The two basic dynamic indications in music are:
  • p or piano, meaning "soft", and
  • f or forte, meaning "loud."
More subtle degrees of loudness or softness are indicated by:
  • mp, standing for mezzo-piano, meaning "moderately soft", and
  • mf, standing for mezzo-forte, meaning "moderately loud".
Beyond f and p, there are also
  • pp, standing for "pianissimo" and meaning "very soft", and
  • ff, standing for "fortissimo" and meaning "very loud".

Gradual changes

In addition, two Italian words are used to show gradual changes in volume. Crescendo, abbreviated cresc., translates as "gradually becoming louder", and diminuendo, abbreviated dim., means "gradually becoming softer". The alternate decrescendo, abbreviated to decresc., also means "gradually becoming softer". Signs sometimes referred to as "hairpins" are also used to stand for these words (See image). If the lines are joined at the left, then the indication is to get louder; if they join at the right, the indication is to get softer.

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