(sfz) sforzando

The hut on fowls legs (Baba Yaga), score for 9 movement of Pictures at Exhibition, suite for piano by Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881)
De Agostini / A. Dagli Orti / Getty Images

Meaning of Sforzando

Sforzando (sfz) is an indication to make a strong, sudden accent on a note or chord. Sforzando literally means subito forzando (fz), which translates to “suddenly with force.”

The effect of sfz may be interpreted and explained in both dynamics (volume) and articulation. Sforzando can be written as a note-accent that appears in sheet music as an upside-down V symbol (observe at the bottom of the sheet music pictured).

 

Musical commands similar to sfz include:

  • subito forte (sf)
  • subito fortissimo (sff)
  • subito piano (sp)
  • sforzando piano (sfp)

 

Not to be confused with smorzando or (rfz) rinforzando.
 

 

Pronunciation of Sforzando:

sfort-ZAHN-doh   (the s blends with the f)
 

**Commonly Mispronounced: ess-four-zan-doh

 

Synonyms:

  • sforzato (It)
  • accent prononcé; soudainement renforcé (Fr)
  • mit plötzlicher Betonung; verstärkt (Ger)

 

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More Italian Music Commands:

▪  : "from nothing"; to gradually bring notes out of complete silence, or a crescendo that rises slowly from nowhere.

▪  decrescendo: to gradually decrease the volume of the music. A decrescendo is seen in sheet music as a narrowing angle, and is often marked decresc.

▪  delicato: “delicately”; to play with a light touch and an airy feel.

▪  : very sweetly; to play in a particularly delicate manner. Dolcissimo is a superlative of "dolce."

▪  Staccatissimo:   a small wedge or straight comma above a note that creates an exaggerated staccato; a very brief note.

 


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Reading Key Signatures:

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Learn About Enharmony:

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