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Smorzando

[smort-SAN-do]

Part of speech: adverb

Origin: Italian, 18th century

1.

(music, especially as a direction) in a way that dies away.

2.

(adjective, of music) dying away.

Examples of Smorzando in a sentence

"The cellist alternated between playing loudly and playing smorzando."

"One way for musicians to end a song is smorzando, as an alternative to a sudden stop."

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About Smorzando

Smorzando is a direct translation of the Italian “smorzare,” meaning “extinguishing.”

Did you Know?

In its original Italian, “smorzando” is specifically used to describe putting out a fire (“smorzare il fuoco”) but also diluting spicy sauce (“smorzare il piccante”). However, those two meanings refer to extinguishing a fire completely, or watering down spicy food. By contrast, “smorzando” in music (often noted on sheet music as “smorz”) often has the effect of increasing the intensity of the performance by focusing audience attention on the clarity of dying notes. Piano music is most closely associated with the smorzando effect; the name for a piano’s damper pedal in Italian is “Il smorzatore.”

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