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a barely noticeable change in speech intonations, word meanings, or colors.

The term “nuance” is used widely in music, where it refers chiefly to the performance of musical phrases and individual sounds or chords. A distinction is made between dynamic shading and expressive shading. The latter usually is indicated in a musical score by Italian terms; for example, the directions dolce, “sweetly,” and appassionato, “passionately.” The shadings used in the performance of a musical work constitute the way in which that performance is nuanced. The nuancing is determined mainly by the content of a musical work.

The chief nuances for the performance of a work are usually indicated by the composer. These indications are interpreted by each performer in accordance with his or her individual performing style. This, as well as the observance of the composer’s indications regarding tempo, accounts for the different ways in which a musical work may be interpreted by individual musicians, singers, or conductors.

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