Music Basics – Dynamic Markings

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Music Basics Series – Part 7

By Jan Durrant

The vehicle for expression in music comes through the context of dynamic markings. Since the Italians were the ones to first write marks of expression in their music as well as print the first music manuscripts on paper, all of the marks of expression or dynamics are from Italian words.

Please look over the list of dynamic markings below and familiarize yourself with them. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Only those basic symbols that are commonly used are included here.

DYNAMIC MARKINGS START WITH SOFT AND GO TO LOUDEST:

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Piano – Italian word for soft.

Symbol used in music: p Pianissimo

  • Very soft

Symbol used: pp Mezzo Forte

  • Medium Loud

Symbol used: mf Forte

  • Loud

Symbol used: f Fortissimo

  • Very Loud

Symbol used: ff Crescendo

  • Gradually getting louder

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Article source: GoArticles.com About the author: Jan Durrant holds a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Texas. She has over 25 years experience in both public and private school music teaching.

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