Different Dynamics for different voices

• Aug 12, 2013 - 19:48

Hi I am wondering whether it is possible in a score with two voices (in the treble clef of a piano score, for Example) that voice 2 be made softer in dynamics/volume than voice 1, in order to bring out the melody?

for an example, I am referring to Chopin's Tristesse Etude (op 10 no 3), where there are 2 voices played by right hand but the melody (voice 1) is more significant than voice 2

I understand Musescore is primarily for notation, not playback; I am wondering if this is possible


You can also click on the note in the voice you want to change and double click the dynamic in palette. If the voice is 2, the dynamic will look green.

In reply to by EmFresh

I tried this, and it showed up as green, but it changed the volume for both voices.

I also tried selecting all of the voice 2 notes, then adding the dynamic. It added a separate one for each note, and still applied to both voices.

Reading up this page (2013, so maybe depreciated), with each v2 note selected I tried changing the note property, only to find there's no "note property" option. There's note styles, which is all about how it looks.
Even the Element Inspector can do a ton of stuff about what the notes look like but nothing about the dynamics.

Additionally, if I have a v2 note selected, then try to drag the dynamic across, it will only snap to v1 elements, as shown here:
v2 dynamics.png

After 45 minutes I cannot find anywhere to change the dynamics for an individual note or voice without affecting the other voice(s).

In reply to by captdaf

The reason is that currently it is not really supported to have voices on the same staff use a different MIDI channel. This means that indeed dynamics influences at least the full staff.

It *might* be possible if you manually edit your score mscx file to use a different channel for the 2nd voice; but no guarantees (untested afaik) at this point.

A more tedious approach is to put in the dynamic, and then compensate on the notes of the voice that doesn't have to be affected by it by selecting those notes (use selection filter or RightClick → Select → More…) and then in the inspector set their Velocity value to whatever the value of the dynamic you wish to be in effect for those notes is.

In reply to by captdaf

You can change the dynamic for a single note in the inspector. Click a note and notice the velocity is zero. This tells MuseScore to use the last dynamic. If you change this number, the velocity you enter will be applied to that note. This can be extended to a selection in a single voice.

There are a couple of ways to select all of the voice 2 notes in a section, but I'll show 1 at the moment since it works for all of versions 2.x. Use the selection filter (F6) and uncheck all voices but the one you want to apply the dynamic to. Select your range and open the inspector if it is not already open (F8). Press the button that says notes. Toward the bottom of the window is the velocity setting. In your sample above you wanted to set the dynamic to mp, which is a velocity of 64. Change the velocity to 64 and it will be as though voice 2 were set to mp. To make it visually look like you did this, you will have to use staff text. You can type the dynamic (mp in the example) and look at it in the inspector. Set the style to Dynamic and it will make it italics and place it in the same spot as the other dynamics. For some reason it does not apply the bold to it though, so you will need to do it yourself.

I did a simple sample with these instructions using a violin playing an F-C chord and you can hear the dynamic switching between the two notes. alternating F and P.

Attachment Size
dynamic test.mscz 4.16 KB

In reply to by mike320

Thank you for this.

I selected one of the notes and set the Velocity to 60, (default was 0, as you said) and it got significantly louder.
I changed it to -15 and it's noticeably softer, which is just what I wanted. :)

It's weird, even changing the text to Dynamics and bold it doesn't look the same.
The Dynamics text isn't "bold" except maybe naturally.
Both text styles say they're the same font but look quite different. Least of my troubles, though.

In reply to by captdaf

For aesthetic purposes I would prefer the text to be the same. I realize this is of minor concern to you, but others may want it to look the same. The difference is the use of the dynamic from the palette rather than text. When entering text press F2 to open the special characters. Click the Musical Symbols tab. Click Dynamics in the list to the left and all of the dynamic symbols will be there. If your staff text is not already size of 12 points then you will need to change it. This is the default size for dynamics.

In reply to by mike320

Oooh, nice find with the special characters. :)
It is ever so slightly different on my screen, but only distinguishable because they're side by side:
mp vs mp.png

I had gotten around it by adding in a regular mp dynamic, then using the element inspector to change the velocity of the mp back to 80 (mf) so voice 1 was unaffected.
The mp itself does nothing except mark where voice 2 has been manually softened (although only to 75 rather than 64).

Try doing what I do:
Adding Accents!

It is easy to do, & is probably better than individual note edits!

Surprised why no-one mentioned that!

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