I hear a few people refer to what looks like an accent as a marcato. Is a marcato a different name for accent, or is it a different way of playing the accent?

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    Be aware that marcato can also be used as a musical direction that applies to several notes at once. – Dekkadeci Mar 21 '19 at 0:15

We were talking about this just a couple weeks ago in band. An accent (the one that looks like a greater-than sign) we played with a bell tone in mind. Hit it hard and then back off slightly (it does, after all, look like a small decrescendo mark.) The marcato (the one that looks like a pointy hat) meant to hit it hard (and perhaps even slightly harder than an accent) but without the nuance of backing off. Others may interpret them differently.

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It is correct that the sign > is called accent, but it seems like some might call it marcato. But another symbol for an accentuated note the sign ^ seems to be called marcato by others. Personally I am used to using the term marcato as the whole word "marcato" or "marc." printed in the sheet music to indicate that a passage should be played marcato.

Besides the signs > and ^ there are also sfz and fz. Forthermore there is fp which is typical on a sustained note that is supposed to start with a very strong attack then continuing softly. There are other articulation signs that can give some kind of accentuation, like a staccato dot or a tenuto dash but the term "articulation" might fit better on those than "accentuation".

How to perform them can depend a lot of the style of the music, the composer, tradition and interpretation.

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