Mezzo Piano (MP) – Literally "half" quiet, moderately quiet
(Pronounced met-soh pee-an-oh)
We can remember this if we deal with each word separately.
Mezzo (M.) – Half
To remember what mezzo piano means, use the following mnemonic:
They met to sew (mezzo) exactly half way between their houses.
Note: Mezzo is the Italian word for "half", "middle" or "medium" and is often abbreviated to M.
Now we can learn piano:
Piano (P.) – Quietly
Note: Piano is Italian and in music it means play quietly.
The tiny mouse played the piano so quietly so that she didn't wake anyone up.
Note: often abbreviated to P.
Now we can put the definitions of mezzo and piano together as
Mezzo = half piano = quiet
Mezzo piano = half quiet
Examples of mezzo piano in a sentence
The classical pianist rarely ventured above the level of mezzo piano: he didn't like his music to be very quiet or very loud.
Some music is so powerful that it never has to be played louder than mezzo piano.
To conserve her voice, the opera star did not sing above mezzo piano for several consecutive nights.