What are dynamics?
Learn about dynamics and the composers Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky.
This lesson includes:
- two videos
- two activities to help with learning
Dynamics are how loud or quiet music is.
Watch this short film to find out more about dynamics and hear how the composer Tchaikovsky used it in his music.
Dynamics are used to create different feelings in all kinds of music.
For example, a rock song like Song 2 by Blur has very quiet guitars first and then it changes to have really loud guitars.
In classical music, orchestras can play quietly or loudly. In Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, the music starts very quietly but it gets louder and louder to a big climax which includes cannons exploding!
Special words for dynamics
Italian words are often used for dynamics in music:
- Pianissimo - very quiet
- Forte - loud
- Fortissimo - very loud
- Diminuendo - gradually getting quieter
- Crescendo - gradually getting louder