Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

Dynamics cannot always be taken literally when a player embarks upon serious study of a particular composition. In fact, what often governs the shaping of phrases through many measures even with composer inserted soft (piano) or loud (Forte) directives, are harmonic rhythm and metrical considerations. So while a set of measures might attach a Crescendo in the score, it might be modified by a harmonic resolution that requires a dip in the intensified journey to climax.

Diminished chords that have chromatic dependency, for example, often fold in or taper into tonics, dominants, or any other sonorities within a scale. They have an organic pull that frequently will not be specifically notated. Same applies to the effect of Meter, and its overall framing through a composition. In 3/8 time, the last beat will be the lightest, unless the composer is bent on a syncopated effect. It would be un-musical, therefore, to hammer away at the end of the measure even within an overall, broad brush FORTE assigned portion of music.

Similarly, passing dissonances and pedaling decisions that aim to avoid blurring, will alter weight transfer over measures, precluding obedience to a fixed FORTE.

Illustrative of the aforementioned, and what can influence a dynamic landscape are revealed in Beethoven’s Fur Elise, tremolo Measures 61-78.

beethoven-fur-elise-stormy-section-1

While the pianist must consider an overall intensification and de-intensification through this section, he will have to understand the effect of harmony, meter, and destination points on his dynamic decision-making. In this endeavor, he must “read between the lines” and create a “musically”-based mosaic of nuances.

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
This entry was posted in piano, piano blog, piano instruction, piano teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics

  1. Pingback: Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics | Henry Tan

  2. Pingback: Reading Between the Lines: Making decisions about Dynamics – Burning Bushes Music

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s