How do you play louder or softer on the violin? The same three elements discussed in lesson four about how to produce a good tone on the violin are also involved in dynamics. Experiment with the following three things to achieve the dynamics you want.
Here are some ideas you can try as you experiement with dynamics:
See the dynamics chart below for a brief overview of common dynamic symbols:
|Dynamics||Dynamics is a term that indicates the degree of loudness or softness in music. The following commonly used dynamic terms are listed in the order of softest to loudest.*|
|Pianississimo||As soft as possible|
|Mezzo piano||Moderately soft|
|Mezzo forte||Moderately loud|
|Fortississimo||As loud as possible|
*Although dynamics softer than ppp or louder than fff are theoretically possible, in actual practice, they are rarely used.
|Notation||Name||Definition||Crescendo||Crescendo (cresc.) means to gradually become louder.|
|Diminuendo||Diminuendo (dim.) means to gradually become softer. The term decrescendo (decresc. or decr.) also means to become softer.|
|Accent||Emphasize the note by playing forcefully.|
|Sforzando||Play loudly with a sudden, forced emphasis.|
LET'S TRY IT! The following piece, an arrangement of Spring from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, has the following dynamic symbols and terms: f = forte (loud); mf = mezzo forte (moderately loud); mp = mezzo piano (moderately soft); p = piano (soft); cresc.= crescendo (gradually become louder); dim. = diminuendo (gradually become softer). Notice how at the start of the piece, the first 6 measures should be played forte (loud), and the next 6 measures, featuring the same melody, should be played piano (soft). As you explore following the dynamic markings in the piece, see how they can enhance the musicality of this piece. Need to review how to finger the music? Visit our Violin Fingering - Lesson Two. To play more of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, visit our free sheet music section and to find out more about Vivaldi, visit our Violin Class.
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