Dynamics

Dynamics are indicators of the relative intensity or volume of a musical line.

120px-Music_dynamic_pianississimo.svg Pianississimo1
Extremely soft. Very infrequently does one see softer dynamics than this, which are specified with additional ps.
Music dynamic pianissimo.svg Pianissimo
Very soft. Usually the softest indication in a piece of music, though softer dynamics are often specified with additional ps.
Music dynamic piano.svg Piano
Soft; louder than pianissimo.
Music dynamic mezzo piano.svg Mezzo piano
Moderately soft; louder than piano.
Music dynamic mezzo forte.svg Mezzo forte
Moderately loud; softer than forte. If no dynamic appears, mezzo-forte is assumed to be the prevailing dynamic level.
Music dynamic forte.svg Forte
Loud. Used as often as piano to indicate contrast.
Music dynamic fortissimo.svg Fortissimo
Very loud. Usually the loudest indication in a piece, though louder dynamics are often specified with additional fs (such as fortississimo – seen below).
Music dynamic fortississimo.svg Fortississimo1
Extremely loud. Very infrequently does one see louder dynamics than this, which are specified with additional fs.
Music expression sforzando sfz.svg Sforzando
Literally “forced”, denotes an abrupt, fierce accent on a single sound or chord. When written out in full, it applies to the sequence of sounds or chords under or over which it is placed.
Music-crescendo.svg Crescendo
A gradual increase in volume.
Can be extended under many notes to indicate that the volume steadily increases during the passage.
Music-diminuendo.svg Diminuendo
Also decrescendo
A gradual decrease in volume. Can be extended in the same manner as crescendo.
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