Dynamics tell us how load or quiet the music is. The Italian terms we use are too long to write out on music, so we use letters to show the dynamic levels of our music.

There is no set volume of a dynamic as it is all relative to the rest of the dynamics used in the piece of music.

Try and learn the terms below or use the poster to imagine how loud you should be playing.

pp   Pianissimo – very soft

p      Piano – soft

mp  Mezzopiano – moderately soft

mf   Mezzoforte – moderately loud

f      Forte – loud

ff     Fortissimo – very loud

sf    sforzando – play with a sudden emphasis

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 22.31.31crescendo (cresc.) – gradually get louder

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 22.31.43diminuendo (dim.) – gradually getting quieter


Dynamics Poster – free pdf!

Free Flash Cards (basic dynamic markings)
Simply print out the page and cut across so you have four wide cards. Fold across the dotted line and stick together, so that the picture and word is on the back of the dynamic symbol. You can use these to test yourself on the words or challenge yourself to put them in the right order.

Published by Jessamy

Forte Flutes began as a collective of tips and resources for musicians and flautists of all abilities. I have combined it with my personal blog and music news. I am a professional flautist, piccolo player and teacher. Please enjoy the blog and feel free to drop me a message.

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