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Musical Expression. Tempo and Dynamic. Tempo and Dynamic. Composer indicate tempo and dynamics in music as a means of expression. Because of the close connection between tempo and mood, tempo markings indicate the character of the music as well as the pace. Tempo.

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musical expression

Musical Expression

Tempo and Dynamic

tempo and dynamic
Tempo and Dynamic
  • Composer indicate tempo and dynamics in music as a means of expression.
  • Because of the close connection between tempo and mood, tempo markings indicate the character of the music as well as the pace.
tempo
Tempo
  • Tempo is the rate of speed, or pace, of the music.
  • We use Italian terms to describe musical tempo.
tempo1
Tempo
  • The most common are:
  • Allegro - fast
  • Moderato – moderate
  • Adagio – quite slow
  • Andante – a walking pace
  • Largo – very slow
  • Presto – very fast
tempo2
Tempo
  • Important also are terms indicating a change of the tempo

Accelerando – getting faster

Ritardando – getting slower

dynamics
Dynamics
  • Dynamics describe the volume, or how loud or soft the music is played.
  • Like tempo, dynamics can affect our emotional response.
  • The main dynamic indications, listed below, are based on the Italian words for soft (piano), loud (forte) and moderate (mezzo)
dynamic
Dynamic
  • pianissimo (pp)– very soft
  • piano (p)– soft
  • mezzo piano (mp) – moderately soft
  • Mezzo forte (mf)– moderately loud
  • Forte (f) – loud
  • Fortissimo (ff) – very loud
  • Mezzo (m)- moderate
dynamics1
dynamics
  • Directions to change the dynamics, either suddenly or gradually, are also indicated by words or sign.
  • crescendo (< ) - growing louder
  • decrescendo (>)

or diminuendo (>) – growing softer

  • sforzando (sf) – accent on a single note or chord also shown by an accent (>)
slide9

The composer adds markings for tempo and dynamics to help shape the expressive content of work.

  • We will see that these expression marks increased in number during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when composer tried to make their intentions known ever more precisely, until in the early twentieth century when few decisions were left to the performer.