Dynamic Italian

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Dynamics and a little more...

As you read earlier, there are only so many things you can change in the manner of your playing. Of course, how you make those changes makes all the difference. When we speak about how soft or how loud you should play, we speak about Dynamics, or in a very simplified way - the volume. Althogh there are millions of degrees in volume change a musician can make, these Italian markings provide us with general dynamic guidelines/

Calando quietening Becoming softer and slower
Crescendo growing Becoming louder
Decrescendo shrinking Becoming softer
Diminuendo dwindling Becoming softer
Forte strong Loud
Fortissimo very strong Very loud
Marcato marked a note played forcefully
Mezzo forte half-strong Moderately loud
Piano gentle Soft
Pianissimo very gentle Very soft
Mezzo piano half-gentle Moderately soft
Sforzando strained Sharply accented
Stentato in the manner of Loud, boisterous
Tremolo trembling A rapid repetitive variation in the volume (or pitch) of a tone
Messa di voce placing the voice a style of singing involving changing volume while holding a single note
Mezzo half in combination with other terms means moderatly, such as "mezzo forte" - moderately loud
Molto Very Very
Piu more  ex. "piu allegro" - faster
Poco a little ex. "poco piu allegro" - a little faster
Poco a poco little by little "poco a poco crescendo" - louder little by little