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Sorry if my question is too simple or obvious to the experienced piano players,

so the piece starts with the dynamics "f" and "marcato",

f - loud

marcato - stressed, pronounced

then towards the bottom of the image it transitions to a "p"

p - soft and quiet

so I know dynamics continues indefinitely until stated otherwise but I have the following questions

  1. What exactly does it mean to play it "marcato"; stressed and pronounced here? You're already playing "f" loud and accenting many notes, do you give extra oomf to the non-accented notes as well?

  2. Is the "f" and "marcato" tied together? When you reach the "p" you obviously stop playing "f", but there is nothing to negate the "marcato", I feel like it's implied "marcato" is discarded with the "p" because "marcato" doesn't exactly fit with soft and quite, but I just wanted to ask to be sure

1 Answer 1


Marcato is not a dynamic so much as a "feel", so marcato and p are not mutually exclusive.

A fair interpretation of marcato is to be particularly precise and pronounced rhythmically, and it also could be taken to mean that each note should be (over-)articulated.

For this exercise, I take marcato to apply to the accented octaves in the left and right hands, but the non-accented octaves and chords should be played in a less march-like way. The accent marks seem to be very specific. It seems as though Berens wants one to start out overdoing the pulse in both hands, then just in the "scale" hand, and then become more flowing in both hands. The process repeats itself when the hands switch roles. With the technical "practice" section out of the way, the legato p section focuses more on employing scale technique musically.

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