Dynamics are symbols indicating the relative loudness of a note or phrase of music. They can be found in the Dynamics palette in either the Basic or Advanced workspace.
Additional dynamics are available in the Master Palette (Shift+F9).
Note: if you wish to adjust the overall playback volume of the score, use the volume slider in the Play Panel, or Synthesizer.
Add a dynamic
To apply a dynamic to the score, use one of the following methods:
- Select a note and click a dynamic symbol in a palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4).
- Drag a dynamic symbol from a palette onto a note.
To create a crescendo or decrescendo, see Hairpin.
The default dynamic of the score is mf (mezzoforte)—set at MIDI velocity 80 (out of 127). Depending on the dynamic governing a particular section of the score, velocity (and the resulting loudness) may be less than or greater than this.
To edit the velocity of a dynamic
- Select the dynamic and, in the Dynamic section of the Inspector edit the Velocity value—higher for louder, lower for softer.
To adjust the range
Note: Range = the staves in the system affected by the dynamic.
- Select the dynamic, and in the Dynamic section of the Inspector, choose an option from "Dynamic range". The default is "Part," which means that all staves for a particular instrument will be affected. "Staff" limits the effect to the staff attached to the dynamic. "System" means that all staves in the system will be affected by the dynamic.
To change the placement (above or below stave)
- For a single dynamic mark: select the dynamic, and type X to flip the placement or use the Inspector, see below.
- For all dynamic marks on a stave:
- Right-click on one dynamic, then choose Select > All Similar Elements on Same Stave
- In the Dynamic section of the Inspector choose the required option Above or Below from "Placement"
- For all dynamic marks in the score:
See above, then use the "Set as Style" button of Inspector
Customize a dynamic
Dynamics can be edited just like any other text object. Special character shortcuts can be used to add the following symbols:
- Ctrl+Shift+P (Mac: Cmd+Shift+P): Piano p.
- Ctrl+Shift+F (Mac: Cmd+Shift+F): Forte f.
- Ctrl+Shift+M (Mac: Cmd+Shift+M): Mezzo m.
- Ctrl+Shift+R (Mac: Cmd+Shift+R): Rinforzando r.
- Ctrl+Shift+S: Sforzando s.
- Ctrl+Shift+N (Mac: Cmd+Shift+N): Niente n.
- Ctrl+Shift+Z (Mac: Cmd+Shift+Z): Z z.
You can also edit the velocity and range etc. (see above). If desired, you can save the result for future use in a custom palette.
Single Note Dynamics (SND)
As of version 3.1, MuseScore supports single note dynamics. In addition to editing the velocity, you can also edit the velocity change in the inspector. Entering a number into this field will change the velocity of the note by approximately that amount after the initial velocity is played. A negative number can be used to lower the volume after the initial note and a positive number will make the note play louder after the initial volume. See links (below) for further details.