Elements of Music: Dynamics

– Hello, today we are
going to look at dynamics. Do you know what dynamics are? In music, dynamics are
the differences in volume that you can hear. Some sounds can be soft and quiet. Can you whisper “quiet” very softly? Copy me. Quiet. Other sounds can be very loud. Can you repeat the word “loud” after me? One, two, three Loud! Wow, that was so loud my ears hurt. In music, we use special Italian words to describe how loud or soft a sound is. Let’s compare them. A very soft sound is called pianissimo. Pianissimo sounds very much like this. It’s very quiet. Can
you clap along after me? That was very quiet, wasn’t it? A sound that is a little bit louder, but still soft, is called piano. No, not that kind of piano. A piano dynamic sounds like this. Clap along after me. A loud sound is called forte. Forte sounds a bit like this Can you join in? And an extremely loud sound
is called fortissimo. Fortissimo sounds like this We are now going to take
a look at some students that will be clapping different dynamics. It could be pianissimo,
piano, forte or fortissimo. Have a listen and think about
which dynamics you hear. Do you know what that was? That was fortissimo. Which dynamic was this? That was forte. Can you guess what the
dynamic was this time? That was piano. Which dynamic was this? That was pianissimo. Were you able to identify which dynamic was used for each child’s clapping? Now in music, a song might
get louder over time. This is called a crescendo. I can play a crescendo on this drum. If you look at the crescendo symbol, we can see, that from left to right, the space between the
two lines gets bigger as the sound gets louder. Have a listen. The opposite of a
crescendo is a decrescendo. A decrescendo is when music
slowly becomes softer over time. Let’s look at the symbol for a decrescendo from left to right.
You can see how the distance between the two lines gets smaller as the sound becomes quieter. Have a listen. Now let’s see if we
can tell the difference between the two. We’re going to watch the
students again and they are going to either clap a
crescendo or a decrescendo. What I want you to do is draw
in the air with your finger whether you think it is a
crescendo or a decrescendo. Was that a crescendo or a decrescendo? That was a crescendo. What about this one? What did you think that was? That was a decrescendo. Well done! Can you think of why we might use different dynamics in music? Some songs are very bouncy and jumpy and are often played loud
to highlight the mood, like a marching band or a pop song. But some songs are sad,
or slow, and these songs are usually played with soft
dynamics, like a lullaby. Wow, those are a lot of
dynamics we have looked at. So remember, the dynamics
in music refer to the volume of the sound from
pianissimo to fortissimo. I wonder if you can
sing your favourite song with different dynamics?

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