Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. Suddenly or strongly accented. Used chiefly as a direction.
  • n. A sforzando tone or chord.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A tempo mark directing that a passage is to be played with a strong initial attack
  • n. A passage having this mark
  • adv. played in this style
  • adj. describing a passage having this mark

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Forcing or forced; -- a direction placed over a note, to signify that it must be executed with peculiar emphasis and force; -- marked fz (an abbreviation of forzando), sf, sfz, or �.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In music, forced or pressed; with sudden, decided energy or emphasis: especially applied to a single tone or chord which is to be made particularly prominent. Abbreviated sf. and sfz., or marked ⟩, ∧.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an accented chord
  • n. (music) a notation written above a note and indicating that it is to be played with a strong initial attack

Etymologies

Italian, gerund of sforzare, to use force : s-, intensive pref. (from Latin ex-; see ex-) + forzare, to force (from Vulgar Latin *fortiāre, from Latin fortis, strong; see fortis).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Italian (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It must have been true also of works such as the often passed - over Second Symphony, whose jagged first movement about seven minutes of music, not counting the repeat of the exposition contains the indications forte, fortissimo, sforzando (reinforced, strongly accented), forte - piano, or sforzando - piano at more than 260 points, and the instruction "crescendo" at 17 points.

    'The Ninth'

  • Anna Zubrzycki, the company's co-founder, lends Lady Macbeth a steely determination, but relies overmuch on sforzando by which odd phrases are intemperately bellowed.

    Macbeth - review

  • The coupler being brought on and off by a pedal, sforzando effects could be produced, or the first beat in cadi measure strongly accented in the style of the orchestration of the great masters.

    The Recent Revolution in Organ Building Being an Account of Modern Developments

  • Hope-Jones has also recently invented a means of controlling the swell shutters from the manual keys to a sufficient extent to produce certain sforzando effects.

    The Recent Revolution in Organ Building Being an Account of Modern Developments

  • The difference between _sforzando_, _rinforzando_, and

    Music Notation and Terminology

  • It is because of misunderstanding with regard to this point that dynamic effects are so frequently overdone by amateurs, both conductors and performers seeming to imagine that every time the word _crescendo_ occurs the performers are to bow or blow or sing at the very top of their power; and that _sforzando_ means a violent accent approaching the effect of

    Essentials in Conducting

  • In each wind instrument I have defined the scope of greatest expression, that is to say the range in which the instrument is best qualified to achieve the various grades of tone, (forte, piano, cresc., dim., sforzando, morendo, etc.) — the register which admits of the most expressive playing, in the truest sense of the word.

    Principles of orchestration

  • Page 187 capacity for provocative utterance; he knows how to get a touch of bellicosity into the most banal of doctrines; he is forever on tiptoe, forever challenging, forever sforzando

    Prejudices : first series,

  • The rapid figure in the second measure is for solo violin, heard softly against the sustained interval of the diminished ninth, but the final G natural is snapped out by the whole orchestra _sforzando_.

    A Book of Burlesques

  • The energy, superhuman energy, of the thing is amazing: the storm throbs in the forest: one feels the pulse of the storm-god; the sforzando shocks and shrieks add to the terrific wildness of the scene.

    Richard Wagner

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