Pronunciation: for-TEE-see-moe

What is Fortissimo?

Fortissimo is a type of musical dynamic that means “very loud.” It is directive in a musical composition telling the musician to play a part very loudly. Its Italian definition means “very strongly.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Fortissimo means “very loud,” and it is a step louder than forte, which means loud.
  2. It is a notation on a musical composition that is symbolized by “ff”
  3. Fortissimo is relative and does not have an exact measurement.

Understanding Fortissimo

When you strike a drum with a stick very strongly, it creates a very loud sound. Similarly, if you blow strongly on a flute, it also creates a loud sound and therefore explains the etymology of the term.

Because “Fortissimo” is a long word, it is symbolized on a music chart as “ff.”

Not all instruments, however, can be played very loudly. The most commonly used instruments to play a very loud sound include members of the brass family, such as trombones or trumpets.

Related Terms

Dynamics Dynamics is the term that conveys the variation in loudness between notes or phrases in musical composition. more

Decrescendo Decrescendo is a type of dynamic change in a musical composition. more

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