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Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900$
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Clive Brown

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198161653

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198161653.001.0001

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The Notation of Accents and Dynamics

The Notation of Accents and Dynamics

(p.59) 3 The Notation of Accents and Dynamics
Classical and Romantic Performing Practice 1750-1900

Clive Brown

Oxford University Press

Most 18th-century composers indicated accents sporadically, expecting the performer to supply appropriate accentuation. This chapter considers the growing range of accent and dynamic markings and their meanings. It seeks to show how the same marking might mean different things to different composers and in different places at different times. Italian terms and their abbreviations are discussed. These include: forte and fortissimo, forte-piano, sforzando, and rinforzando. The growing range of signs, sometimes synonymous with these Italian terms and sometimes with their own specific meaning are also investigated. These include staccato marks as accents, the ‘hairpin’ (>), the petit chapeau (^), the short messa di voce (<>), various forms of horizontal line (with or without associated dot), and a few rarer signs.

Keywords:   accent, dynamic, signs, crescendo, diminuendo, messa di voce, forte, fortissimo, forte-piano, sforzando

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