The indigenous dynamics in music refers to the volume the the sound or note. Dynamics are part of the vast array of music expression and also interpretation point out written into music. Dynamic markings carry out not represent certain values that volume; they are relative, depending on countless factors, native the size of the room in which you space performing to the style or historic context the the piece.

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Dynamic markings are normally written together shortened Italian terms. The straightforward volumes are quiet, i beg your pardon is written as the letter p, representing the Italian word piano, and loud, the Italian native forte, created as f. Within piano and forte over there are qualities of volume, including mezzo piano which is louder than piano and also mezzo forte i beg your pardon is quieter than forte. Periodically you could see various other descriptive words through the dynamic marking, for instance the indigenous più, which way more. When you view più piano the literally way more quiet. In ~ the extremes that dynamic room pp, pianissimo, i beg your pardon is an extremely quiet, and ff, fortissimo, i beg your pardon is an extremely loud. You deserve to see multiples the the ns or f, such together fff or ppp once the composer desires a really strong volume effect.


Changes of dynamic are also marked in Italian. Subito forte, because that example, means suddenly loud. A forte piano, created fp, is whereby a note begins forte and also suddenly becomes quiet. Sforzandos and also accents are notes i beg your pardon have solid beginnings. Crescendos and diminuendos, which are where the music it s okay louder or softer, are significant as shortened terms, cresc. Or dim, or as ‘hairpins,’ i m sorry look favor this:


The elements of violin method relevant come the effective realisation of dynamics space the very same as the 3 fundamentals of ton production.

Starting with the basics, this video shows how the dynamic activity of the body; eight weight and back muscles; can be applied to the violin to make a an excellent tone:

The method the bow arm is provided affects the ton quality and the volume that sound. The three components that interplay are the lot of weight inserted into the bow, the rate at i beg your pardon the bow is used and at i m sorry position in between the fingerboard and bridge the bow is drawn.

Within this parameters, the mechanics of play forte and piano on the violin are an extremely different from every other. The bow host must transform subtly to result every adjust in volume.

In piano, where you can want to develop a transparent, quiet sound, the first finger moves towards its base joint in the method it touch the bow stick, and the various other fingers come slightly turn off the stick. As soon as the bow demands to settle into the string more to beat forte, where much more breadth that sound is required, the table of contents finger readjusts. The wrist will have actually a emotion of pulling the bow and the very first finger will certainly slightly spread out away native the 2nd and feeling a closer call with the stick, nearer to its center joint.

Speed of Bow

Greater rate in the bow stroke per beat way greater energy transmitted right into the violin. If the pressure, i beg your pardon is the various other energy-producing factor, remains the same, a adjust in rate will alter the dynamic. Boosting the rate of the bow renders the sound louder; decreasing it creates a softer sound.

For a keep in mind that calls for the exact same dynamic throughout, the best and also simplest method to use the bow is with an equal speed for its entirety length. Same speed method equal bow division. For example, if over there are 4 quavers (quarter notes) to it is in played in ~ one bow stroke, every note should be played v one quarter of the bow. If there is a dotted crotchet (dotted fifty percent note) and a solitary quaver (quarter note), the dotted note will be play with three quarters the the bow and also the quaver with the staying quarter. It is tempting to set off v too rapid a bow punch which means that the bow runs out in the direction of the finish of the stroke. This provides sustaining an also dynamic impossible. Practice lengthy notes of 4 beats through the metronome in ~ crotchet = 60, splitting the bow equally right into quarters through the beat. Make certain that after two beats you have actually not happen the halfway point. Another method to exercise slow bows is to slowly work up with a metronome to long notes of 30 secs per bow.

Pressure or Weight right into the Bow

The volume that the violin likewise depends top top the load of the bow into the strings. The bow is not equal at every end. The frog is lot heavier 보다 the tip, and also supported by the load of the arm, conversely, the pointer of the bow is much lighter and also used by the arm in almost full extension. When an also dynamic is required, the press used have to be uneven come compensate because that this difference. In ~ the frog, the volume originates from the load of the arm right into the thumb and also the third and 4th fingers. In the middle of the bow, the weight originates from the arm right into the middle fingers and also thumb, which calls for a free upper arm and shoulder without too much tension. To get extra volume in ~ the tip of the bow whereby the arm is extended, usage flatter bow hair, so there is an ext hair in contact with the string, and also transfer extr weight from the middle and also fourth fingers into the very first and 2nd fingers. The wrist and hand relocate down contempt and aid the weight transfer.

There is a constant fluctuation and balance in ~ the hand with every bow stroke, between the very first and second, middle, and third and fourth fingers and also the thumb. View if girlfriend can attract a long slow bow, beginning at the frog with only the thumb and fourth finger on the bow. Together you move towards the tip, transport the weight right into the center fingers, lift turn off the fourth, and also let the weight gradually transfer right into the index finger, until you room at the reminder of the bow stop it in between only the index finger and thumb. Turning back the process, ending earlier at the frog with only your 4th finger and also thumb ~ above the stick.

One tricky aspect of method is wherein bow department is not straightforward, for instance where there is a recurring rhythmic sample of long and short notes. To stay in the same part of the bow whilst playing a long, short, long, quick rhythm, the speed of the bow for the quick note will need to increase. This adjust of rate will create rise in sound, therefore the much shorter note is louder. To make the dynamic even between the two note lengths, it is essential to change the pressure. Through lightening the press of the bow top top the quick note, you can maintain a steady tone.

Often though, the dynamic is not supposed to it is in even. Accents, crescendos and also other expressive dynamics give subtle nuance come phasing and also interpretation. Consistent tiny manipulations of the bow take place to produce changes in speed and also pressure.

Experiment v different degrees of pressure. Notice that too lot pressure actually prevents the string from vibrating and crushes the sound. Extreme pressure can additionally have the influence of changing the pitch, and if you push really difficult you will hear a sound one octave reduced than the note you space playing.

Sforzandos and Accents

A sforzando, created sfz, is an accent at the begin of a note, complied with by a sustained draw for the worth of the note. The is a similar stroke to martelé, which is a strong, expressive detached stroke. The volume of the sforzando relies on the dynamic level in the phrase where it is played. The weight for the accent originates from a first and 2nd finger bite on the bow and also thumb pressure versus the frog.

An accent, shown with this price > above or listed below a note, is a similar articulation to the sforzando, yet with a lighter accent at the start of the note. Instantly after the accent, the load is released and the bow drawn in a legato format for the rest of the note. Again, the quantity of accent depends on the dynamic level. A according to accent will normally be more powerful than one in piano. The weight comes from the first and 2nd fingers ~ above the bow and thumb pressure versus the frog.

Sounding point out

The 3rd element of technique that identify the development of dynamics is the sound point; the place of the bow top top the string between the bridge and the fingerboard. The violin will develop a louder, an ext vibrant tone closer come the bridge, and a softer, less distinctive sound close to the fingerboard. A flat bow, pulled parallel to and near the leg will bring out a full, according to sound.

As described in Simon Fischer’s book Basics, the two famous violin teachers, Carl Flesch and Ivan Galamian, both split the area between the bridge and also the fingerboard into 5 sound points. Flesch called them:

At the bridgeIn the neighbourhood of the bridge (halfway between the leg and central point)The central pointIn the neighbourhood that the fingerboard (halfway in between the central point and also fingerboard)At the fingerboard

Different sound points combined with different bow speeds and pressures create more subtle sports of tone and dynamics. Every little thing amount of speed and also pressure you space using, over there is a sound suggest where the string will certainly vibrate an ext and the note will sound much more vibrant.

Slower, heavy bows ~ above sound allude 2, i m sorry is close to the bridge, will produce lots the volume. Fast, irradiate bows top top sound point 5 will be quiet.

It is possible to usage the sound points come crescendo and also diminuendo with rich and also expressive tone. Glide the bow in the direction of the fingerboard or traction it in the direction of the leg in together a means that it never loses its appropriate angle relationship to the string, prefer the gramophone needle gently relocating from one ring of the document to the next. One alternative technique is come slightly angle the bow, utilizing the non-parallel angle to move nearer come the leg or fingerboard within the bow stroke.


The power of dynamics, which are relative and also not absolute, depends on plenty of factors. Galamian defines in his book, principles of Violin Playing and also Teaching, “Anybody that talks to a few people in a small room need not even raise his voice…Speaking in a big auditorium, however, to an audience of thousands, is obviously one entirely various matter. The speaker will have to speak louder, slower and an ext clearly. This are noticeable things, however it is strange how few are the instrumentalists that realize that the exact same things use to them once they carry out in public.”

The way dynamics work within a piece adjust depending on the size of the hall and also audience, and also on the acoustic. If the hall is very resonant and also not also big, not much needs to be done, but if the acoustic is dead and dry, or the hall is very large, every one of the dynamics should be upgraded. This is easy sufficient in the piano and also pianissimo passages, yet when according to dynamics such together forte and also fortissimo occur, you must be flexible through bowings, so friend can change the bow as lot as essential to acquire the forced volume there is no forcing the tone.

Dynamics are additionally relative depending on your duty in a performance. Together the soloist in front of an orchestra, your dynamics will be augmented, whereas if you space sitting in the orchestra, you should never beat louder 보다 the various other players or your sound will not blend. Together the 2nd violinist in a quartet, you need to project her sound v that the the an initial violinist and cellist who space not only sitting additional forward, they space playing in ~ pitches which normally project better on their instruments. That is crucial in chamber music to understand the score; to know what function your component has. If you have actually a melody or necessary countermelody, the loved one dynamic that your part may be much more than who else’s, even though girlfriend both have actually the exact same dynamic marking. The exact same goes if your component is accompanying. You may need come play an ext quietly.

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Let’s recap with a short video demonstration of different dynamics on the violin:

You might also find this printable worksheet useful (courtesy of to make certain you recognise the dynamics in your own music.