volume (dynamics) is one way to create interest
in a song. Another way to create interest
is by changing the way each note is played.
Look at the figure above. In the first measure,
a dot is added over the top of an F
note. This dot is called a "staccato"
marking. This marks tells the player to
strike the note sharply (very short and
abruptly). In the middle measure there is
a short line (dash) drawn over the top of
an F note. It is the opposite of
"staccato." This line is called
a "legato" marking. This mark
tells the player to give the note a dull
strike and hold the note for its full value.
In the last measure, there is an arrow-looking
symbol drawn over the top of an F
note. This symbol is called an "accent"
mark (sforando accent). This mark
tells the player to strike the note harder,
not shorter or longer, just harder.
of these marks are called "Articulation"
marks. Someone may ask you to "articulate"
a note using one of these methods described
above. And, you will now have the knowledge
to know what it is they are talking about.