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I know that:

  • The dynamic marking f means forte, or play loud. And that p means piano, or play soft.
  • The dynamic marking fp means fortepiano, or play this note loud, and play the following notes soft.

I have an old music book that uses the dynamic marking of f-p which I hadn't seen before:

La Bergamesca, with dynamic marking f-p

I'm not sure how to interpret this f-p dynamic marking.

  • It could be just a different way of writing fp.
  • It could mean play some where in the range of f to p.
  • (As it only appears in the book at the start of a repeated section) it could mean play f on the first play through, and p on the repeat.
  • Something else

How should I interpret f-p?

  • I think we can eliminate my second guess, because the f-p on the second line would be redundant. – Elements in Space Jan 27 at 3:34
  • 1
    I guess a pianist would have to do an fp the way you described -- but for almost everyone else, it means that you start the note out loud and then let up immediately. It's sort of a super-accent. – aparente001 Jan 27 at 4:19
  • @aparente001 - not the easiest to do on piano, and would it only be on the first chord? But it's not that anyway! – Tim Jan 27 at 11:22
  • @Tim - As I said, I guess on piano one would have to do what OP described. I just wanted to make sure OP is aware that that approach is a workaround for instruments that have no dynamic adjustments after striking the note (I'm thinking of percussion too). – aparente001 Jan 27 at 15:08
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It means play forte the first time through, and piano on the repeat.

10

It gets played as a sort of echo effect. 'f-p' is written to tell the player that it's forte for the first time through, and the repeat is piano. So your third idea is just right. It couldn't be written in a meaningful manner without directly being related to a repeated section.

4

"forte-piano" is written as: fp ... without this: - (thread)

f-p means: 1. time = forte, repetition = piano

Edit:

(As it only appears in the book at the start of a repeated section) it could mean play f on the first play through, and p on the repeat.

Like you’re saying ...this reading is correct! But your other suggestions are wrong.

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