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48

Another approach would be to simply state the instructions either in a blob of text preceding the music page or perhaps somewhere between the title and the music: This though would require translation should the work be published for e.g. Klingons or Lojbanists who may be familiar with classical music scoring conventions but not English. % LilyPond ...


47

Why are we making such a fuss over this? If you want the piece to start mp, write 'mp' in the first bar. If you want a particular section played mf, write 'mf' at that point. Then 'mp' again. A confirmatory '(sempre mp)' might be useful at a new section of the piece. BTW, there is no such thing as 'regular volume'. If you want mf, say so.


34

The conventional method is to write sempre mp in the first measure. Sempre means always. The exceptional measure could be marked as più forte ("louder"), followed by sempre mp again. Another possibility is rinforzando ("reinforced") with a dashed line after it to indicate the emphasized part. Individual notes can be marked as rfz.


32

"Worth the money" is very subjective. Let's instead talk about the various factors you have to consider. Fitting A into B Good quality microphones usually have XLR connectors. These have three wires arranged so that any interference picked up in the cable is cancelled out. Many USB audio interfaces have XLR sockets (but check that the one you choose does)....


28

mp and mf are mezzo-piano and mezzo-forte, respectively. Mezzo means "middle" or "medium", and so they're more towards the middle than piano and forte. So from softest to loudest, we have pp (pianissimo), p, mp, mf, f, and ff (fortissimo). More "p"s or "f"s are technically nonstandard, but are nevertheless used quite a lot. sf or sfz is sforzando, a sudden ...


21

Context is important -- what else happens around the chord. Let's just take the C major chord for starters. Listen to these examples: The first two measures of Mozart's sonata "for beginners" in C major. A nice, pleasant chord. Happy music. The opening of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony. This has a much more energetic and heroic sound. The opening of the ...


20

Pursuant to Mark Lutton's excellent answer, I'd like to make the point that Chords don't give us feelings, we give chords feelings. The feeling you get after hearing a chord is not inherent in that chord--the only thing inherent in any chord is the physics of the harmonic series. (There is something to be said for consonance vs. dissonance within the ...


17

Forte, followed immediately by piano. On a wind or bowed string instrument, you can do this on a single note. On the piano, you can't change dynamics of a note once it's been struck, but you can play the first note forte and the following notes piano.


15

fff is pronounced fortissimo possibile or forte fortissimo ff is pronounced fortissimo f is pronounced forte mf is pronounced mezzo-forte mp is pronounced mezzo-piano p is pronounced piano pp is pronounced pianissimo ppp is pronounced pianissimo possibile or piano pianissimo More than three p's or f's are rarely rarely used. Their only purpose is to note ...


13

It's true that distortion, especially heavy distortion causes a lot of compression and evens out most of the dynamics. But a softly picked note is not only quieter, it's also duller, that is, it contains less high frequency, even after distortion. Since we are more sensitive to high frequencies, some dynamics can be achieved just by picking softer or harder. ...


13

Related: How does one describe the level of playing that is neither piano nor forte? As I see it, you're assuming that all mp are the same, and that an mp written in a Wagnerian music drama is the same as the mp written in a Britten opera, which is the same as an mp written in a Chopin polonaise, which is the same as the mp written in a transcription to a ...


13

You can instruct the pianist to use the soft pedal by writing una corda above the score, at the very beginning. Mark the louder passage with tutte le corde or tre corde to indicate normal volume. Soft pedal can affect timbre. If you don't want that, you can just use the standard dynamic markings to indicate soft (piano) or loud (forte) in the appropriate ...


12

There is a possibility of addressing this question historically... My understanding (which is possibly apocryphal) is that mf came before mp, and originally meant "normal volume". To explain, "forte" has two meanings, in the same way that the English word "loud" can both Mean "high volume" — as in "play it loud" — and Refer to the concept of loudness more ...


11

There isn't one. The composer must specify a dynamic at the outset. Neither mf or mp mean a great deal out of context. I guess mf is a bit nearer to "ordinary" than mp.


11

A short history of dynamics in music: If you look at the Baroque period, it is about conventions. Composers did not see the need to add dynamics and the players did not miss them. Not writing them did not imply there were no dynamics in performance. Improvisation: Music was played quite freely. Improvisation around the theme was an important part of the ...


10

The feelings and emotions associated with chords are completely subjective, influenced by a combination of nature and nurture. This is why I might go into raptures over a piece of music that leaves you cold, and vice versa. Absolute pitch In This is Spinal Tap, the character Nigel Tufnel says that for him D minor is "the saddest of all keys, I find". Most ...


10

In this admittedly limited study, they record one oboist using more than double (over 110 cm H2O) the blowing pressure to play fortissimo compared to two different clarinetists (both around 50 cm H2O), also playing fortissimo. The other oboist in the study blew a peak pressure of about 80 cm H2O for fortissimo playing. A better graphical comparison is ...


10

There's at least one case of these "impossible" crescendi that definitely isn't a mistake: at the end of the Liszt Sonata, the fifth- to third-last chords are marked pp; crescendo; ppp. The only possible realization is through gesture, and certainly Liszt was aware of this.


9

On piano music, with treble and bass clefs, if the dynamics mark is between them, it refers to both parts (hands). If it's for the treble, it's found above the treble, and if for bass alone, it's found under the bass.


9

I agree with Tab's comment — this is probably an artifact from re-arranging the piece from a wind/other instrument that could indeed alter the volume at will over the duration of a single note. It could also be a poor way of indicating a transition from one volume to another, with the note being a single intermediary volume. However, if the marking ...


9

If you want it to end very quietly then, yes a ppp marking is appropriate. Although it is common to decrescendo to a very low volume at the end of a piece, it is still best to make your intention absolutely clear. However, you could also use the markings al niente (lit. to nothing) or morendo (lit. dying) to indicate that you want the volume to “die away” ...


7

Those two problems you describe (mishitting strings and inconsistency in volume/tone) are only fixed by practice. Lots and lots of practice. They are things you can get away with in a live environment, but they do show up in a studio where every mistake is very evident. I had the same problem - I love gigging, but the first time I went into the studio I ...


7

Some people use "fortississimo" for fff and the equivalent for ppp, but, as you note, that doesn't have any basis in "proper" Italian. American Luke's answer of "fortissimo possibile" is sometimes used for "fff" but only if further gradations, such as "ffff" aren't used. "Triple forte" is the most commonly used expression I've heard in English (with the ...


7

"p" is always softer than "mp" P = soft mezzo = "half" mezzo piano = "half soft" In almost every circumstance what you have seen could be considered a simple editing error. That said, if the intention was to diminuendo and then return to a "mp" marking or in fact grow from a previous "p" marking, then it would not be a typo. I would recommend looking ...


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