adjective & adverbMusic
(especially as a direction) moderately loud.
- ‘The feathery pianissimo lightness in the upper strings against the mezzo forte melody lower down is perfectly weighted.’
- ‘Forty sting players - each playing pianissimo - will collectively sound nearly mezzo forte.’
- ‘Although singing most of the time only mezzo forte, his pronunciation is good, his coloraturas flow weightlessly and his piano is clear and sure.’
A moderately high volume of sound.
- ‘Fortissimo is louder than forte and mezzo forte, but don't bang; it'll… destroy the music completely.’
- ‘In Mahler there are unison passages between clarinets and violas in which the clarinets are marked mezzo forte crescendo to fortissimo and the violas are marked fortissimo diminuendo to mezzo forte - all on the same note.’
- ‘It sounds like he has one of those voices that can be controlled at full force, but that becomes unpredictable and unmanageable at mezzo forte or softer.’
- ‘One must differentiate voices within any dynamic, so it follows that supporting lines in fortissimo passages likely will not be played above mezzo forte or forte.’
- ‘In their place are grating, electronic arrangements that never get below a mezzo forte.’
We take a look at several popular, though confusing, punctuation marks.