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The second trait of sound, Dynamics, refers to the levels in volume in music i.e. loudness and softness. The large scale of a vibration that creates is known as loudness. A guitar's sound is louder when its strings are pulled harder. A unique outcome occurs when the amount of instruments that one can hear increases in addition to the levels of either loudness or softness of an instrument when it is played. This change in sound may come instantaneously or progressively. Excitement is usually created when loudness rises gradually. In contrast, a calming atmosphere can be created by a the opposite: when loudness is decreased gradually.

Playing a tone louder- in comparison to other tones that are played- is the manner in which a composer emphasises it. This is called an accent. Performances' overall mood are affected by the proficient and clever altercation of dynamics. These progressions may be penned down in the music, although they are often not because the changes came as a result of a performer's emotions in regards to the music.

Italian words are generally used by composers to notate music. Dynamic are portrayed by the abbreviations thereof. Common expressions are as follows:

Pianissimo (pp)

- very soft

Piano (p)

- soft

Mezzo piano (mp)

- moderately soft

Mezzo forte (mf)

- moderately loud

Forte (f)

- Loud

Fortissimo (ff)

- very loud

To depict the excessiveness of loudness or softness, ff or fff ( loudness) and ppp or pppp (softness). Gradual modification in dynamics are depicted by the notations below:

1. decrescendo (decresc.) OR diminuendo (dim.)


Meaning: gradually softer

2. crescendo (cresc.)


Meaning: gradually louder

Dynamics, just like other musical components, are not exact. Dynamic levels of a tone (loudness or softness) are as a result of the contrast between it and the tones surrounding it. It is, therefore, a comparison of some sorts.

One violin, when played on its loudest, will be insignificant when you compare it to orchestra's loudest sound. In it's own, however, it could be considered fortissimo.

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