Definition and background:
The loudness or softness of a composition. The term piano ( p) is used to indicate softness and forte ( f) to indicate loudness. Each of these is augmented if the letter symbolizing it is doubled or tripled (e.g. " pp " - " pianissimo ", "very soft"; " ppp " - " pianississimo ", "very, very soft"). Each is also lessened if proceeded by mezzo (m) (e.g. " mf " - " mezzo forte ", "somewhat loud"). sAlso included in dynamics are the crescendo ("slowly growing louder"), decrescendo ("slowly growing softer"), and the sforzando ("sudden loudness"). Varying intensities of sound throughout a given musical composition. (Piano, Mezzo Piano, Forte, etc.) refers to the relative volumes in the execution of a piece of music
Playing soft to loud on the drums.
Degrees of loudness or softness in a musical performance.
1) The amount of fluctuation in level of an audio signal. 2) In music, the playing of instruments loudly or softly at different times.
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Wikipedia - Glossary of Musical Terminology
Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary
ORB -- Medieval Music Glossary