Page 1 of 2

più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 26 Jul 2022, 11:30
by benwiggy
I presume, following Italian, that 'più piano' is quieter than piano, and thus 'meno piano' is louder; and the same is true for 'molto piano'.

I'm looking for a 'warmer mezzopiano than we've just had' instruction. So più mp wouldn't be right, and meno mp seems counter-intuitive and open to rehearsal questions.

It's a lullaby, so I don't want to go mad. Any thoughts?

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 26 Jul 2022, 13:25
by RMK
Doesn't più p mean "softer than the prevailing dynamic", whatever it is?

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 26 Jul 2022, 15:08
by MalteM
benwiggy wrote:
26 Jul 2022, 11:30
[…] meno mp seems counter-intuitive and open to rehearsal questions.
So you probably don’t want to say “less quiet” but “louder”. The simplest solution IMO would be “mf”, but if you want to stay relative, you had to say “più :forte
It's a lullaby, so I don't want to go mad. Any thoughts?
How about “poco più :forte” or even “pochissimo più :forte”?

Edit: Maybe it’s not a question of dynamic only, as you said “warmer mp”.

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 26 Jul 2022, 15:40
by benwiggy
Interesting. I don't think I've ever seen something like 'più f' following piano, but only following something like forte, so slightly overlooked the completely relative aspect.

It's probably safer to use absolute terms. Thanks.

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 27 Jul 2022, 09:13
by Anders Hedelin
MalteM wrote:
26 Jul 2022, 15:08
Maybe it’s not a question of dynamic only, as you said “warmer mp”.
What about espr. or poco espr.? espr. adds something to the character like 'warmth' or 'intensity', and as a rule also to the dynamic level. Fx p espr. practically always is louder than just p, sometimes rather much in fact.

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 27 Jul 2022, 10:51
by Callasmaniac
Or "mp con calore" ?

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 27 Jul 2022, 13:03
by John Ruggero
Anders Hedelin wrote:
27 Jul 2022, 09:13
What about espr. or poco espr.?
+1

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 29 Jul 2022, 16:27
by OCTO
sotto voce --?

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 30 Jul 2022, 01:28
by MichelRE
OCTO wrote:
29 Jul 2022, 16:27
sotto voce --?

I would take "sotto voce" to be "softer than" the general dynamic.

Re: più and meno as dynamic modifers

Posted: 30 Jul 2022, 10:26
by benwiggy
Thanks all. "A lot to think about." I'll probably just say mp for everyone, and trust in a choir's natural tendency to get louder. ;-)