Always, continuously

"Sempre" is a musical term originating from Italian, commonly found in sheet music. It plays a significant role in music performance, serving as a guide for musicians on the specific musical qualities or expressions they should maintain when playing a particular piece of music.

The literal translation of "Sempre" is "always" or "continuously". However, in music, it is used more specifically to instruct musicians to consistently maintain certain musical characteristics or performance aspects throughout a piece of music or within specific musical phrases. These musical characteristics can encompass aspects such as tone, emotion, dynamics, tempo, rhythm, and even playing techniques, for example:

  • "Sempre legato" means to play or sing with a continuous, smooth, and connected style throughout.
  • "Sempre piano" means to play or sing softly and consistently.
  • "Sempre marcato" means to play with a marked and accented style throughout.

"Sempre" is used to provide performers with a continuous guideline for how to approach a specific aspect of the music. It ensures that the intended musical quality remains consistent and prominent throughout the designated passage, contributing to the overall expression and interpretation of the piece.