To increase gradually in volume, force, or intensity

"Crescendo" is an Italian musical term that translates to "growing" or "increasing". It is used as a dynamic marking in music to indicate a gradual increase in loudness or intensity of sound over a specific passage of music.

"Crescendo" is a dynamic instruction that guides performers to gradually play or sing louder as they progress through a musical phrase or section. It is represented by the symbol "cresc." in the sheet music. The opposite of "crescendo" is "decrescendo" or "diminuendo", which indicates a gradual decrease in loudness.

When encountering a "crescendo" marking, performers gradually and smoothly increase the volume of the music from the starting dynamic level to a higher level indicated by the composer. The rate and intensity of the crescendo can vary based on the composer's intent, the emotional context of the music, and the instrument being played. Performers need to ensure that the increase in volume is controlled and balanced, allowing for a seamless transition.

"Crescendo" markings can be found in various contexts within a piece of music. They can apply to a single note, a short phrase, or an entire section. Composers often use crescendos to build tension, emphasize important musical moments, and create a sense of climax within the music.

It's important for performers to interpret crescendo markings with musicality and sensitivity. In general, crescendo can add depth and emotional impact to a performance, guiding the listener's attention and enhancing the overall expressiveness of the music.

Example of Crescendo

What Is A Crescendo In Music?