Niente markings

Niente markings at the start/end of gradual dynamics indicate that the dynamic either increases from, or decreases to, silence.

This effect works very well on strings and singers with vowels, but it cannot always be played literally. For example, singers with words beginning with consonants cannot begin from silence, nor can reed and brass instruments, as they have to achieve a certain air pressure before a note sounds.

Musical phrase with a niente hairpin

Niente markings can be shown in the following ways, depending on the gradual dynamic style:

  • For hairpins, niente markings can be shown as either a circle, or the letter “n”.

  • For text gradual dynamics, niente markings appear as “dal niente” for crescendos, and as “al niente” for diminuendos.

You can input gradual dynamics with niente markings in the same ways as inputting other dynamics. You can also add niente markings to existing gradual dynamics.


Figure 1. Circle niente marking
Figure 2. Letter niente marking
Figure 3. Niente marking alongside a text gradual dynamic