Can you play any dynamics and tempos of any kind or do some not go with the others? For example, can I play fortissimo lento or an it only work if I play presto or around that speed. I am only talking about extremes here. I am not sure playing presto in pianissimo can musically work?

  • None of your examples has anything to do with articulation
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:14
  • Can someone give an example to aid the OP in a slow and hard piece and a fast and soft piece? I'm struggling to think of examples.
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


The two aren't related in any other way than they both tell of different ways to play. Tempo is obviously just the speed, while dynamics/articulation are about the way something is played, the volume, the attack, the length of notes, how they mingle with each other, or not.

So, something could be played legato and loud, legato and quiet, or staccato and loud, staccato and quiet, with all stops in between.

Some combinations are easy, others not so. Loud and slow is probably easy, as there's time to lift hands for the next thump. Staccato and fff will need some working on.

If you're asking whether you can change the written dynamics/tempo/etc, then yes, of course. It may be beneficial to the piece, or may degrade it, but it's rather subjective.

  • Tempo means time not speed. In tempo aka in time. Nitpick I know (-;
    – Neil Meyer
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:15
  • @NeilMeyer - true, although my bible says in the first sentence 'tempo usually means speed'. Generally for most musos,it translates to how quickly something is played, hence 'speed'. Otherwise it wouldn't be much use. Nitpick I know...
    – Tim
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:20
  • Ok. That makes sense. It seems I am asking the question because of the difficult combinations I practised. Some come easy and others need more work. So, am I right in saying there are no set combinations and you can mix and match as you wish for music expressions. But some will work better than others? Is that right?
    – user33232
    Dec 6, 2016 at 14:39
  • Yes, that's just about the size and shape of it. It'll depend on how good the piano is, and how good the player is, too.
    – Tim
    Dec 6, 2016 at 17:00

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