enter image description here

What do you suppose this is? Is there a way this should be played, or is it just hilarious?

  • 6
    Presumably you can infer that the whole piece should be being played backwards...? Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 6:22
  • 2
    That's just for beginners. Pros can play this as well: i.imgur.com/RdLCClr.jpg
    – user19146
    Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 14:22
  • Do you recall what piece this image came from?
    – Aaron
    Commented Jan 30, 2021 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


The > sign clearly applies to the two chords above it, meaning that the first one should be played stronger than the second. The slur above confirms that.

The cresc. applies to a longer stretch of music, telling you to slowly increase the average volume of the piece. It usually applies until the next absolute dynamic mark. There's a p near your excerpt, so the crescendo might run until an f somewhere in the next bars.

This is completely normal practice. Many pieces contain series if sigh motifs like this that increase in volume up to some climax.

  • 3
    This may be technically true, but it's an abysmal bit of typesetting. If a long crescendo is desired but with a decrescendo in the middle, there should be multiple hairpins and/or "cresc ... decresc.... cresc" written out. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 14:18

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