Dynamics 101

Learn the dynamics and how they work with this all-in-one guide.

Dynamic markings are guidelines for volume. Most dynamic markings are in Italian.

Tip: Dynamics are relative to each other.

Basic Dynamics

Fortississimo – Very Very Loud
Fortissimo – Very Loud
Forte – Loud
Mezzo-Forte – Medium Loud
Mezzo-Piano – Medium Soft
Piano – Soft
Pianissimo – Very Soft
Pianississimo – Very Very Soft
Crescendo – Gradually becoming Louder
Decrescendo/Diminuendo – Gradually becoming Softer

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Other Dynamics

Sforzando (sfz) – Sudden, Forceful Accent
Forzando (fz) – Forceful
Marcato – Marked, Stressed
PianoForte – Soft, then Loud immediately
Sotto Voce – Soft “Voice”
Morendo – Dying Away

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