Muze Online: lesson 8 

Dynamic and articulation 

Dynamics = How loud or quite something is.

P = quietly
F = loud
M = medium volume

Pp = very quiet
Ff = very loud
Mf= medium loud
Mp =medium quiet

You can also use lines (like sideways V) to show something getting louder (growing larger on the right hand side) or quieter (getting smaller on the right hand side). This can also be described as crescendo (getting louder) or decrescendo (getting quieter).

Articulation = How a note is played

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Legato: play/ sing the notes smoothly

Staccato: play/ sing the notes very detached (some people think of it as spikey). It is show by a dot on top on the note head or under if the stem of the note going upward. (Be careful not to mistake this with a dot to the side of the note head which show that it is a dotted rhythm).

Accent: gives sudden power to the note (some people think of it as a punch). It looks like a mini decrescendo mark just by one note.

Tenuto: also gives emphasis to the note, but it feels heavy and less sudden. It is a line under or over the note.

Slur: play the notes which are attached smoothly.

Phrase marks: looks like a slur but it is over a few bars and indicates that it should be sung in 1 breath, or it should sound like a complete phrase


Fermata: hold the note on for longer, pause on the note, or the rest.

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In this example the word ‘moves’ has a slur which joins those notes together smoothly. There is a phrase mark over the whole line from ‘she’ to ‘light’. There is also a crescendo on ‘moves’ and a decrescendo on ‘fire-light’. This shapes the phrase nicely.