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since its use as a nuance is extremely sweet and touching." And endless examples occur in Handel of long crescendi and diminuendi without its expression being marked in the scores.[1] Another kind of crescendo and diminuendo on the same note was very common in the time of Handel, and his friend, Geminiani, helped to set the fashion. Volbach, and with him Hugo Riemann,[2] has shown that Geminiani used in the later editions of his first Violin Sonatas in 1739, and in his Violin School in 1751, the two following signs:

Swelling the sound [\]

Diminishing (falling) the sound [/]

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As Geminiani explains it, "The sound ought to commence softly, and should swell out in a gradual fashion to about half its value, then it should diminish to the end. The movement of the bow should continue without interruption."

It happens thus, that by a refinement of expression, which became a mannerism of the Mannheim school, but which also became a source of powerful

  1. M. Volbach has noticed in the overture to the Choice of Hercules, second movement: piano, mezzo forte, un poco più forte, forte, mezzo piano, all in fourteen bars. In the chorus in Acis and Galatea, "Mourn, all ye muses," one reads forte, piano, pp.—The introduction of Zadock the Priest shows a colossal crescendo; the introductory movement to the final chorus in Deborah, a very broad diminuendo.
  2. H. Riemann: Zur Herkunft der dynamischen Schwellzeichen (I.M.G., February, 1909).