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Rinforzando vs Sforzando #2164660
10/10/13 11:52 PM
10/10/13 11:52 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
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Renjer Offline OP
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Renjer  Offline OP
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I'm becoming slightly confused about the difference between rinforzando (rF) and sforzando (sF). As far as my understanding goes, sF would mean a sudden accent, and is rather similar to the accent sign.

I read on wikipedia that some composers used rF to mean "play slightly accented until the next change of direction". Then there was another website that said rF means a slight sF.

In my opinion, I guess rF is the same as sF.

What do you think?

Last edited by Renjer; 10/10/13 11:53 PM.
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Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2164685
10/11/13 01:46 AM
10/11/13 01:46 AM
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jeffreyjones Offline
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Typically, sforzando applies to a single note or chord which should get extra emphasis, and rinforzando applies to a passage which should get extra emphasis. So they are very similar terms but are used in different ways.

Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2164745
10/11/13 07:02 AM
10/11/13 07:02 AM
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The Hound Offline
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I made a thread about this a while ago. From the reading I did I'd more or less agree with jeffreyjones. Sforzando only applies to the note/chord it is written under, whereas rinforzando remains in effect until the next dynamic marking.


Working on:

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No.15 in D major, Op.28 ("Pastoral")

Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: jeffreyjones] #2164864
10/11/13 12:23 PM
10/11/13 12:23 PM
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New York
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Originally Posted by jeffreyjones
Typically, sforzando applies to a single note or chord which should get extra emphasis, and rinforzando applies to a passage which should get extra emphasis....

That seems like the best way of describing the difference that I've ever come across. I 'sort of' had that idea, and I remember the other thread 'reinforcing' it grin (pun! pun!) ....but I don't recall coming across such a simple and clear and convincing description. I'm buying it. (Main difference from the above, I think: "rinforzando" doesn't necessarily continue completely till the next indication.)

Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2164902
10/11/13 02:35 PM
10/11/13 02:35 PM
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jeffreyjones Offline
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I should write a music dictionary.

Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2164970
10/11/13 05:40 PM
10/11/13 05:40 PM
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Dolmetsch online also emphasizes that rinforzando can also be applied to a phrase or passage:

- Sforzando: (Italian) or sforzato (Italian), stark hervorgehoben (German) , forcé (French), en forçant (French), forced, forcing, strongly accented, a direction that may be applied to a chord or to a note, sudden loudness

- Rinforzando: (Italian) or rafforzando (Italian), strengthening, verstärkend (German), en reforçant (French), a sudden increase in volume, either on an individual note or chord or throughout a phrase or passage



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Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2164996
10/11/13 06:42 PM
10/11/13 06:42 PM
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Bedfordshire, UK
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The Hound Offline
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The Hound  Offline
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Bedfordshire, UK
I think my source for it meaning to play that way until directed otherwise came from this page. I wouldn't claim it to be the gospel, but in any case I've often found it to be functionally the same as playing with emphasis for the phrase/passage (as new dynamic markings often follow anyway).

Last edited by The Hound; 10/11/13 06:42 PM.

Working on:

Beethoven - Piano Sonata No.15 in D major, Op.28 ("Pastoral")

Schumann/Liszt - Widmung
Re: Rinforzando vs Sforzando [Re: Renjer] #2188446
11/26/13 04:59 AM
11/26/13 04:59 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
new york city
camaysar Offline
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camaysar  Offline
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new york city
Hi everyone. Rinforzando indeed can apply either to a single note or a group of notes. Whether it is one or the other must be determined by the context and placement. Antoine Marmontel, in his "Art Classique et Moderne du Piano" (1876) compared rinforzando to an underlined word in elocution.

Rinforzando should be less stressed than sforzando. Many examples exist that show this distinction clearly, as in the last movement of J.L. Dussek's sonata op. 64 "Le Retour Paris" (1807). You can find the music on IMSLP. In fact, Dussek used rinforzando more than any other composer. His music is a mini-course in rinforzando! Personally, I believe that when rf is applied to a group of notes, the player should feel free to do whatever he/she likes to underline the music, whether that be crescendo, poco meno mosso, ritardando, tenuto, or just more "squishy". Context will point the way.

Rinforzando is not used as much these days. Its "golden age" was in the early 19th century, when the pianoforte (fortepiano) was still a new and developing instrument, with new expressive possibilities. Many editors, when issuing a new edition of an early work, replace rinforzando with either a sforzando or a crescendo. Marmontel, the man who gave such a good description of rinforzando, did this! This diminishes the imaginative possibilities for expression by pianists, and is not a constructive practice. However, others who came after Marmontel, such as the Farrencs in their "Trsor des Pianistes", remedied this by following early editions, and keeping the rinforzandos.

Last edited by camaysar; 11/26/13 05:08 AM.

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