World Languages

Which of the following words means "very soft"? A. Pianissimo B. Forte C. Fortissimo D. Pia

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A. Pianissimo is a dynamics marking in sheet music abbreviated as pp. It means to play very softly or as my conductor refers to it, twice as soft as your neighbor. It is one of the softest dynamic markings usually achieved by alleviating the pressure on the instrument. As a violin player, for me this means, placing my bow closer to the fingerboard and playing breathily. After Pianissimo, even quieter dynamics are Pianississimo (very, very softly), Pianissississimo (very, very, very softly)...up to Pianissississississimo (as soft as possible) which is abbreviated as pppppp.

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