Dynamics indicate the loudness of the music and can be combined with expressive text to give further clarification about how to perform the music. Dynamics can indicate an immediate change in volume or a gradual change over a specified duration.

Figure 1. A phrase with multiple different dynamics

You can add modifiers to dynamics that can give stylistic direction context alongside the volume level, such as espressivo, which indicates that a passage is played loudly but also with expressive feeling.

While almost all expressive text is written in italics, dynamics such as and use a bold italic font.