Dynamics and direction are literally a Godsend to a performer. There is so much in a song and if you get really picky you could analyse every word and every possible feeling that could be associated with them. Style and dynamics as expressed through these classical Italian words are thankfully very common. As you grasp their meaning you will find even singing in different countries with different styles or different groups of people easier. So read on to expand your musical knowledge and your Italian repertoire with these helpful directives.
Dynamics and Style darling! The finishing touches to your vocal masterpiece!
Step 7. Dynamics and Style
Here is where you can begin putting your own interpretation, feeling, and emotion into the music. Now that you have technically mastered the song, you need to convince your audience that you feel the emotions in the lyrics. If you sing your song in a wooden way, no matter how technically perfect it was, your audience won’t respond. To get the applause you deserve, believe what you’re singing … feel the song’s message in every inch of your body … and use dynamics and style to your advantage!
Dynamics refers to the volume of a piece of music. Some dynamics may actually be written into the music
These Italian words indicate very loud through to very soft
Fortissimo (ff) forte (f) mezzo-forte (mf) mezzo-piano (mp) piano (p) pianissimo (pp)
A song should never be sung at the same volume from start to finish. Just as a monotone voice is uninteresting to listen to, so a song with no dynamics can become boring quickly. Usually, a musical phrase will begin smoothly, build to a climax on the highest pitch or most important lyrical emphasis, and then finish with less intensity.
In order to build your dynamics, look at the “climaxes” in the music. You may want to sing the song on an “ah” sound again, while trying to get a feel for places where the music could increase in intensity, speed up or slow down. Think about the meaning of the words and put in the appropriate musical emphases in order to best express them. You may want to try several different musical emphases to see what you think best gets the meaning of the song across.
There are so many things to remember when singing a song! This is why it is important to mark the sheet music with these “notes” to yourself to remember how you intend to sing each musical phrase.
There are additional notations that add interest and intensity to a song:
Accelerando (accel) gradually faster
A tempo back to the original tempo
Ritardando (rit) gradually slower
Sforzando (sfz) strongly accented
Crescendo (cresc) getting louder
Decrescendo (decresc) getting softer
Diminuendo (dim) gradually becoming softer
Tacit silent, cut out
Style will enable you to sense the emotions of each word or musical phrase.
Although you can use the English terms, you may find the following Italian words useful.
Affettuoso tenderly, with feeling
Morendo dying away
Bravura with spirit
Con Fuoco with fire
These are only a few of the stylistic terms which may be used in a piece of music. To make it more complicated, you may even encounter French or German words.
Once you have marked your music score with all these notes to yourself, try singing the song once again, adding dynamics and style to the rhythm and notes that you have already practiced. Sing with intensity; sing with feeling!
Good Work, by now your confidence and ability should be reaching new levels. Now its time to step out of your comfort zone and make a real statement. See if you can remake an old song. Sounds harder than it really is, and we will show you how in the next lesson. So keep a look out for it!
Another Singorama Success Story!
Out of Order
You may find that all this exploration of dynamics and style has inspired your musical tastes in a certain direction. Maybe its, Pop, Opera, Classical,Rock and roll, Jazz or Rock. You may find yourself leaning towards certain types of songs, fast, slow, fun, happy, sad. All this is great for your development as a musical performer. With Singorama 2.0 we show you different styles and genres of music and what types of voices and performances can be best suited to them. So take a look today. It could be the defining ‘lightbulb moment’ where your aspirations are realised as you explore the different genres and styles available.