Graphical shapes are often used to express a gradual
change in pitch or dynamics. Graphical shapes are also used for instruments that support a
A crescendo marking can be expressed with two lines
beginning from a single point opening up into an angle. The length of the lines depend on
how long the crescendo should take effect. A crescendo means to gradually get louder over
a marked period of time.
The decrescendo, or diminuendo, has the opposite effect
of the crescendo. The two line are angled and converge to a single point. The length of
the lines also depends on how long the decrescendo should last. A decrescendo means to
gradually get softer over a marked period of time.
A line or a squiggly line may represent a glissando.
The beginning of such a line is placed on the right side of the starting note head. The
line is extended to the left side of the following note head. A glissando may either go up
or downwards. It is played by gilding quickly over a series of notes.
Pedal markings can also be represented with lines
taking the form of brackets. The down pedal line is a vertical line that is immediately
followed by a horizontal line indicating the pedal to be held. The release pedal is also a
vertical line placed after the horizontal line. The up and down pedal is often marked with
two diagonal lines.