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Vivace! Issue #001 -- Just what is a Crescendo?
January 03, 2004

Vivace! lets you in on the secrets of top Choirtrainers, gives you the inside track on getting the most out of working with your Choir ... and keeps you in touch with all that's new on

Just what is a Crescendo?

Issue No.1, January 2004

Have you ever marvelled at the dynamic range of a good choir? From a whispered pianissimo, magical and almost inaudible, to a commanding and dominating fortissimo, with an infinite number of gradations in between. On the other hand have you ever listened to a choir which has no loud or soft and always sings at the same dynamic level? Boring, tedious – ugh!

How do you achieve this variety of dynamic?

You, the Choirmaster, need to study the score of the piece you're preparing and look carefully at the dynamic levels it demands. Does it say forte or fortissimo, piano or pianissimo, mezzo forte or mezzo piano? Is the crescendo from mezzo forte to forte or from mezzo forte to fortissimo ? Is the diminuendo from mezzo forte to piano or from mezzo forte to pianissimo?

The really good conductor takes note of all the subtleties and insists that all the gradations are met. You need a clear idea of how much tone you expect - and then ensure that that's what you get.

Don’t let the music excite you so much that you lose control of the dynamic level! If you do the music will get louder and louder ... and ever more boring. Make sure that there's something in reserve for the climax of the piece. It will need to be overwhelming and it won’t be - unless all dynamics are carefully thought out.

Dynamics are the life-blood of a piece – careful control is essential for a great performance.

What's new on

Have you seen our new Hymns section?

We have Hymns, Catholic Hymns, Gospel Music, and our Top Twenty Hymns! Twenty of the best hymns - of reflection, of sadness, and of joy - sixty in all ... never be short of a hymn-choice again.

Best wishes from
Colin Mawby
and all of us here at - your No.1 Church Music website!

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