A quiet word about dynamics

Dynamics. Great word. Comes from the Greek (as all good words do) “dynamikos” which means “powerful”.

Physicists use the word “dynamics” to describe the force that produces movement. Musicians, on the other hand, use it to describe how loudly or softly we play. So does the word “dynamics” mean two completely different things?


Frankly, I’ve played too many gigs where the volume, to quote Spinal Tap, is permanently up to 11. The ebb and flow of the music gets lost in a static, tedious mush and playing becomes a form of competitive sport in which the quietest instrument in the orchestra – yeah you’ve guessed it – is on the losing team.

I’m not going to go on about it. This is just a quiet reminder to all those musicians and conductors out there who don’t understand the law of dynamics.


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