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This is a g-eneral term referring- to the intelligent, appreciative performance of music in such
a manner as to bring- out its inner meaning-.
Thus, to play "with expression" is to follow strictly the directions of the composer, as indicat-
ed by the marks of expression, and, in the absence of these, or within the bounds of good taste
and judgment, to supply or add to them from one's own originality. A composition is a musical
picture, and, like any other picture, must have its lights and shades, else its soul and inner mean-
ing will be entirely lost.
The following are some of the simpler forms of expression, with their indications, and they are to
be thoroughly learned and followed in the playing.
By common consent and usage throughout the world, musical terms are written in the Italian
language, the proper pronunciation of which will be found in the Musical Dictionary at the end of
Animato - with life and animation.
Andante- g-oing moderately, a somewhat slow movement.
Allegro- a quick movement.
A tempo - in time; returning to the original time.
Cantabile - in a graceful, singing style.
Crescendo- gradually increasing in strength or power.
Dolce - sweetly, softly.
Diminuendo - gradually diminishing or decreasing in volume.
Decrescendo- same as above.
Forte- loud, forceful.
Fortissimo- very loud.
Mezzo- halfway, medium, (as mezzo-forte, mezzo-piano)
Piano- softly, gently.
Pianissimo- very softly.
Rallentando-slackening the speed, growing- slower.
Ritardando-(Ritenuto - same as Rallentando).
Such marks as have to do with tempo or rate of movement, are controlled by the counting-, but all
those relating to dynamics (g-radations of power or intensity), are necessarily controlled by the man-
ner in which the pick is used. Thus, for loud tones, the pick must be held tighter and more force used
in the strokes than for soft tones, the intermediate degrees being produced by the proper change in
the manner of holding and using the pick. After correct intonation or pitch and well-defined rhythm,
the intelligent use of dynamics (ranging from soft to loud) is the first essential toward the expres -
sive rendering of music, since the contrasts and the very degrees of power themselves have a direct ef-
fect upon the imagination and the emotions. To ignore these means of expression is to imitate the hand