Friday, February 28, 2014


The musical term “forte” means in a loud forceful manner.  I would probably tell my orchestra to play “Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee” in a forte mindset.  That tune is meant to be played loudly and forcefully, and joyfully also.

If my house was on fire, I would probably use a “forte” voice, maybe even a “fortissimo” voice.  “Fortissimo” simply means ‘even louder than “forte”’.

I've know a few “forte” people in my time.  They were simply loud, often even very loud. 

My Mom would have declared my drums as “fortissimo” when I first got them.  Poor Mom, God rest her soul.

There is a time and place for everything – even “forte” and “fortissimo”.

Choose … wisely!
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, February 24, 2014


“Dolce” in musical terms means “sweetly and gently”.  If you think of Brahms’s Lullaby you would immediately grasp the meaning of “dolce”.

You were probably “dolce” on your first date with your mate.  Hope so at least.  In a job interview you generally want to be “dolce”. 

If you work retail, you generally want to treat your customers with a “dolce” like attitude.  Now that does not always apply to used car salesmen however.

My grandkids all demonstrate “dolce” in their behavior – even the boys.  But of course, they are perfect grandkids. 

I love being around “dolce” people, don’t you?

Come hang around me sometime.  I’ll give you a slice of “dolce” and you will like it!

Let’s be sweet and gentle out there, you hear?
P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ad Lib

Carolyn and I have a deep appreciation for jazz.  We even have a small jazz combo that gets to perform a couple of times each year.

In jazz you will hear the term “ad-lib” tossed about.  “Ad lib” means we get to make stuff up. 

Do you ever ad-lib in your life?  Do you ever begin a day with no agenda, no plan, and no schedule and just do the next thing that you think of?

Sometimes that can be fun.  Carolyn and I have often started out on a day-time date with no destination in mind.  We just wanted to discover.  We were in an ad-lib mode. 

Some of life’s best moments come from ad-lib.

Sometimes … it is fun to put the maps away and go explore.


P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, February 17, 2014


“Ritardando” is a musical term that simply means “to slow the tempo gradually”.  It is often found at the end of a phrase of music and often found at the very end of a piece.  It is a conductor’s way of lingering a little longer with a particular passage.

Ritard (the shortened version) is a good thing in life sometimes.  There are moments when we should savor the experience – like our wedding day, or an incredibly delicious dessert.

When Carolyn and I visit Hawaii I plan to have a bunch of “Ritardando” moments.  We are going to suck the very marrow out of every moment of our Hawaiian experience.

Have you ever had a “Ritardando” conversation, one in which you wanted it to never end?  Then you know the value of going slowly, savoring and sapping up every moment of life.

Oh yes.  It is a good idea to “Ritardando” at busy intersections and traffic lights.  Just a bit of free advice there.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Grand Pause

Have you ever had a grand pause?  In musical terminology, a grand pause looks like this.

It simply indicates that all the music stops when this appears in the music, and it will last as long as the conductor wishes it to last.

In life, a grand pause is as simple as …

A longed-awaited vacation
A three-day weekend
A visit from a favorite relative or college friend
A two-hour nap

Grand pauses are good for us - in music and in life.  They add to the anticipation of what is to happen next.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, February 10, 2014


“Piano” is a musical term meaning “played or sung softly”. “Pianissimo” is its first cousin and that means “play even softer”.

Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven begins at the dynamic level of “piano”.

When I use music to help fall asleep, it generally needs to be “piano” in volume. 

The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl this year.  Seattle is being touted as one of the noisiest crowds at a sporting event.  Don’t go to a game expecting to be soothed and calmed.  You won’t hear “piano” at a Seahawks game.

Ah, but after the game, when you get back home, put on your happy pants, slip into your favorite chair or sofa, and play whatever music brings a “piano” moment for you.  Just before dozing off, be sure and change to some “pianissimo” so you are not awakened from your dreams.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Friday, February 07, 2014


The Baroque era would be a fine example of the ‘embellishment period.”  They were famous in architecture for lots of curly-cues and adornments in an effort to make a building more attractive for the day. 

In Baroque music, you will hear lots of embellishments.  These include trills, a series of a few notes as a before thought when the main passage is sung or played.  Some famous Baroque composers include:  Handel, Bach and Vivaldi.

I embellished my wardrobe once by purchasing a pocket watch.  I also have a fine collection of neckties that act as embellishments.

I love it when Carolyn embellishes herself for our special date nights.  She looks stunning.

Resumes are sometimes embellished, as are facts in the newspaper. 

And with that I’ll stop.  You mean we can’t believe everything we read these days?


P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time

Monday, February 03, 2014


Diminuendo in music means “a gradual decrease in loudness”.  A diminuendo adds color, interest, and beauty to a musical passage. 

I've had a few diminuendo moments in my life.  Once, I arrived early for a church music job while the other music guy was still there.  He was scheduled to direct the choir in one more presentation and then he would be gone.

I found myself having to play a diminuendo passage for that weekend.  He was in charge and it was his last moment to shine.  My role was to step aside and allow him his final moment in the spotlight.

Sometimes we live out loud – sometimes we diminuendo. 

Ah - knowing which is needed – that is the art of living a successful life.

P Michael Biggs
Offering Up-Moments
One Moment at a Time