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Recently Iíve been beginning to think dynamics are a pretty big deal. While dynamics donít have the formal possibilities of pitches, they are nonetheless one of the tools composers have to articulate development and contrast.
Iíve been noticing recently as well thereís a lot of music in which dynamic contrast does not factor. This was brought home to me by a (great) big band concert I went to Tuesday night; while the music was harmonically and rhythmically very sophisticated, it was pretty much all the same dynamic. This goes for loads of pop music as well. Minimalism, too. And, of course, Bach.
A lack of dynamic contrast signals for me a lack of musical contrast in general. After all, dynamic contrasts work most effectively in concert with textural, rhythmic, and formal changes. While I canít quite bring myself to castigate composers for not writing enough dynamics Ė that seems a little arbitrary Ė Iím wondering: whoís got dynamics these days? Who do you turn to for great crescendi and diminuendi and sforzandi?
posted by David Salvage