Concept of Dynamics in Music

Topics: Dynamics, Musical notation, Music Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: December 31, 2013
Megan
Concept Essay
Word Count: 1,068
Imagine you are listening to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros close their concert with Om Nashi Me, and the whole band stops right in the middle of the song. Or you are watching The Avett Brothers open up their concert with Paranoia in B Flat Major, and by the end of the song, they are playing nearly twice the volume they started out at, and the crowd grew right alongside them. Music has the ability to produce feelings and energy that few things are capable of reproducing. There are many different elements that bring life to these feelings, but dynamics are something that possess the power to change the mood of a song, and the person listening to it. Simply put, dynamics are “variation and gradation in the volume of musical sound.” (Merriam-Webster) They are what make it possible for a song to be barely audible at the beginning, and crescendo into a powerful and moving composition. They can also change suddenly and drastically, for example a, sforzando. Sudden changes in dynamics can be notated by adding the word subito (Italian for suddenly) as a prefix or suffix to the new dynamic notation. Accented notes , which are notes to emphasize or play louder compared to surrounding notes, can be called sforzando, sforzato, forzando or forzato (abbreviated sfz or fz). There are two Italian words that are used to show gradual changes in volume, which are the opposite of accented notes. 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". In addition to all of the volume indications I have mentioned, the execution of a given piece, for example the stylistic choices of staccato or legato are part of dynamics also.(Dynamics, music) When written in musical notation, for example in a band or orchestra piece, they are what allow for the whole band to...
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