Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 21 August 2019


  • Matthias Thiemel


The prominence given to a note or notes in performance by a perceptible alteration (usually increase) in volume (‘dynamic accent’); a lengthening of duration or a brief preceding silence of articulation (‘agogic accent’); an added ornament or pitch inflection of a melodic note (‘pitch accent’); or by any combination of these. The term is also used for any of the notational signs used to indicate that such prominence is required. On instruments capable of immediate dynamic nuance, including the voice and most strings, wind and percussion, an increase of volume is usually the chief element in this prominence, commonly at the start (with a more assertive effect), but alternatively just after the start (with a more insinuating effect, for which one specific term is Sforzando). On instruments not capable of much if any dynamic nuance, such as the harpsichord and the organ, prominence of this type can be given, and an effect of dynamic accentuation simulated, by agogic accents. In principle, any quality that distinguishes notes from their predecessors and successors can produce a ‘subjective’ or ‘perceptible’ accent....

Access to the complete content on Grove Music Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.

Eric Blom, ed.: A Dictionary of Music and Musicians (5/1954)
Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Journal of Music Theory
Musical Antiquary
Muzïkal 'nïy sovremennik
Archiv für Musikwissenschaft
J.G. Walther: Musicalisches Lexicon, oder Musicalische Bibliothec
Journal of Musicology