Incorrect playback of sfz dynamic

• May 28, 2019 - 21:36
Reported version
S3 - Major

In the attached version 3.1 file, observe that the sfz dynamic in measure 1 causes all subsequent piano notes to be played with a forte dynamic. The sfz dynamic (and similar dynamics) should only affect the note that it is applied to.

Also, in measure 3, observe that, as a result of the sfz dynamic, the violin note marked 'ppp' is not played at that dynamic level. Compare with measure 4 where the piano note marked 'ppp' is played correctly.

Attachment Size
Sforzando_Test.mscz 9.74 KB


It sounded like from a programmer's point of view it was the same issue when used on an instrument capable of SND.

Technically sfz should usually act like a sforzato mark (<) on a note, though there are instances where it is obviously meant as a new dynamic level of forte after the initial accented attack. I've seen cases where there is a p followed by a crescendo to an sfz on one instrument and other instruments enter at that point playing forte. On another occasion I saw the same composer use sfz on the down beat of a series of about a dozen instances of 4 16th notes grouped. This was obviously the first case I mentioned. I've seen this while the dynamic was piano, so the sfz was intended as a stronger accent than a simple < on a note and listening to symphonies confirms that the overall dynamic continues to be piano.

@TheOtherJThistle, I think your implementation generally allows for these scenarios I've mentioned. Like the crescendo followed by the decrescendo with no dynamic mark between, the user must make adjustments in the inspector or use invisible dynamic marks to make these scenarios work properly.

The sfz seems to work properly using cc11 (I haven't used cc2). Starting in measure 4 I changed the test file a little so a user should be able to hear each half note has a strong attack followed by a lower volume, this is the way the sfz dynamic should work. If the user wants a softer dynamic, then the user can adjust the velocity and/or the velocity change.

I do welcome other thoughts.

Attachment Size
Sforzando_Test.mscz 9.27 KB

Basically, this would be possible if we supported 'relative' dynamics. We don't currently. For now, you'll have to adjust the 'dynamic change' property of the dynamic to set it back to piano after the sfz. I'll look into getting this supported in the future.