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1A decrease in loudness in a piece of music.‘the sudden diminuendos are brilliantly effective’
- ‘He makes them dance for his pleasure, and you hear their breath come and go, in the swell and subsiding of those marvellous crescendos and diminuendos which set the strings pulsating like a sea.’
- ‘The children's phased tambourine crescendo and diminuendo near the start was astonishing, like a leaf opening and then curling - James Blades, doyen of postwar percussionists, couldn't have managed it better.’
- ‘A note of melancholy swelled to a crescendo, then, dissipated into the breeze with a diminuendo.’
- ‘His first diminuendo also impresses in that his playing doesn't lose its heroic character, simply because he's gotten softer.’
- ‘In either case the two notes will typically be slurred and played with a diminuendo.’
- 1.1A passage to be performed with a decrease in loudness.
- ‘He (and every other conductor so far) has problems with shaping the final chorale, rushing both the climax and the closing diminuendo.’
- ‘Conclusion comes in a diminuendo where the piano accompanied by the harp slowly melts into silence in a long arpeggio.’
adjective & adverbMusic
(especially as a direction) with a decrease in loudness.[as adjective] ‘the diminuendo chorus before the final tumult’
Decrease in loudness or intensity.‘the singers left and the buzz diminuendoed’
- ‘Soon we were working on cycles: playing that C# very loud and then slowing diminuendoing to a whisper and holding it angelically pure.’
- ‘Soft chords formed a suspended background for loud attacks that took an eternity to die away, and the aptly titled ‘Ten Thousand Shades of Blue’ diminuendoed into ambiguously bittersweet dissonance.’
- ‘Like it says on the videos on this site, playing quietly or diminuendoing on the low notes is difficult, there's a risk of the notes splitting.’
Italian, literally diminishing, from diminuire, from Latin deminuere lessen (see diminish).
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