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Diminuendo VS Morendo #1231552
07/14/09 04:57 PM
07/14/09 04:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
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Minnesota
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Ebony and Ivory Offline OP
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Anyone know of differences?



It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
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Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Ebony and Ivory] #1231573
07/14/09 05:42 PM
07/14/09 05:42 PM
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Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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Dimenuendo just means to get softer. Morendo means "dying away."


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Ebony and Ivory] #1231574
07/14/09 05:43 PM
07/14/09 05:43 PM
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Decatur, Texas
Studio Joe Offline
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According to Verginia Tech. Morendo is an instruction to gradually reduce both volume and tempo.

Diminuendo gradualy reduces in volume.


Joe Whitehead ------ Texas Trax
Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Studio Joe] #1233021
07/17/09 03:59 PM
07/17/09 03:59 PM
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Mount Vernon, Georgia 30445
Varcon Offline
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morendo, moriente, I., Dying away; diminishing in volume and speed

diminuendo, I., diminishing gradually in loudness.

Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Varcon] #1233256
07/18/09 08:21 AM
07/18/09 08:21 AM
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Ebony and Ivory Offline OP
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Interesting. I asked this because one of my dictionaries says Morendo should decrease speed as well as volume, and the other only says decrease in volume.



It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Ebony and Ivory] #1233260
07/18/09 08:37 AM
07/18/09 08:37 AM
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keystring Offline
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If you imagine a living creature dying, it would get quieter and quieter, and slower and slower as life ebs away. I'm wondering: do you (anyone) slow and quieten to simulate this sense of death, or do you feel the sense of dying and end up slowing and quietening?

In the RCM tome it's under "style of playing". This includes words like:
cantabile, dolce, con fuoco, morendo, dolente, scherzando, and of course sotto voce wink


Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: keystring] #1233481
07/18/09 04:12 PM
07/18/09 04:12 PM
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Arghhh Offline
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From Boris Berman's Book "On Piano Playing", it depends on the composer what the term means.

Here's a couple examples:

Schubert - decrescendo = get softer; diminuendo = slow down and get softer (Note: because this was mentioned in the book, that indicates to me that this is not the norm, but it may be so for other composers too)

Brahms - sostenuto = pull tempo back
Chopin - sostenuto = sustain the melodic line


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Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Arghhh] #1233515
07/18/09 05:27 PM
07/18/09 05:27 PM
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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How about "smorzando"? Doesn't that mean "dying away" as well?

I think it all depends on the context--the composer, historical period, and location in the composition. If I see "morendo" 20 bars from the end vs. 5 bars from the end, I would play them differently. A lot depends on the performer's feeling.

Aren't we just splitting hair in this thread?


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Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: AZNpiano] #1233532
07/18/09 05:51 PM
07/18/09 05:51 PM
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Minnesota
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Ebony and Ivory Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Aren't we just splitting hair in this thread?


Yes we are a bit. But when I have a student ask me a specific question like that, I want to give her the most accurate answer and not just posture.



It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.
Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: AZNpiano] #1233589
07/18/09 09:44 PM
07/18/09 09:44 PM
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northern California
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Barb860 Offline
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
How about "smorzando"? Doesn't that mean "dying away" as well?

I think it all depends on the context--the composer, historical period, and location in the composition. If I see "morendo" 20 bars from the end vs. 5 bars from the end, I would play them differently. A lot depends on the performer's feeling.

Aren't we just splitting hair in this thread?


Based on the varying responses, no.
Interesting that people have a slightly different "take" on musical terms.


Piano Teacher
Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Barb860] #1233607
07/18/09 10:29 PM
07/18/09 10:29 PM
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 13,837
Iowa City, IA
Kreisler Offline
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I don't think it's splitting hairs at all. I actually think it's quite significant. These aren't just musical terms, they're Italian words, so let's have a look at what they really mean:

Diminuendo simply means "decreasing." The sound gets smaller.

Smorzando, or smorzare means to "extinguish" or "muffle."

Morendo means "dying away." It comes from the Italian word morire which means "to die."

Isn't that so much more interesting? If we reduce music making to "oh, that's one of those words that means get softer," then we do ourselves a great disservice. It robs music of its poetry and power.

If I were writing a book and wanted to describe someone walking away, I could write:

"And I watched him become smaller as he walked down the long hallway and out the door." (Diminuendo)

"He walked down the long hall, and I watched as his image became muffled by the distance between us." (Smorzando)

"He turned, and as he walked through the door, I felt the emptiness of the hallway, like the eyes of a person whose life has left them." (Morendo)


Music MEANS something. It's not just an exercise in pushing a bunch of buttons the right way at the right time.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed
Re: Diminuendo VS Morendo [Re: Kreisler] #1233732
07/19/09 09:15 AM
07/19/09 09:15 AM
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Minnesota
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Ebony and Ivory Offline OP
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Ebony and Ivory  Offline OP
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Nice post Kreisler!!
Love the analogies.


It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

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