Hairpin handles

• May 28, 2019 - 23:32

What determines the default placement of hairpin handles? In the score I'm working on every hairpin has its right handle displaced to the right of its anchor point. I can't work out what setting is determining this offset. For example, I have just added a crescendo hairpin, double clicked on the hairpin and this is where the right handle is being placed: Screenshot from 2019-05-28 23-25-30.png . I really want the right handle to be place vertically under the right anchor point. Of course I can do this manually, but I'm having to make that adjustment for event hairpin I add.

Another annoying quirk is that if I add a dynamic after the hairpin the the right handle is shifted right. Is there a way to overrule that behaviour?


Hairpins, by default extend to the end of where the note is played. This is normal in some forms of music. If you don't want that, then you have to adjust every one. The one you show seems to have the left end moved one way or the other also, the end is between the two 8th notes.

To avoid the right end adjusting, you can put the dynamic in another voice, but that has a lot of bad issues, so I don't recommended this.

In reply to by mike320

That's a pity. It looks like this behaviour was introduced sometime between 2.1 and 3.0. Interesting you say it's normal in some forms of music. It's certainly not normal in the music I play and typeset. One issue with this is that it can make the score look very untidy especially when the hairpin extends almost to the barline.

Can you explain your issue in more detail? The behavior in MsueScore 3 is absolutely standard, it's how virtually all published music is produced, how all engraving guidelines recommend, etc. If you want the crescendo to stop before the last note, then simply end it with the previous note. Ending at the last note is required by the rules of music notation to end to the end of the note's duration. If you wish to have the crescendo stop at some point after the start of the last note but before the end of its duraiton - which would be exceedingly rare - you can do so manually. but under normal circumsatcne, either end with previous note or with the last and in both cases the hairpin extends to the end of the duration of its end note.

So, you shouldn't be adjusting anything manually here, you should simply be ending your dynamic at the appropriate note. In your example, what is shown is 100% correct. To see why this is crucial, change the last note to a half or whole note, and think about what you would be implying if you did not extend the hairpin to the end of the duration.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Also, the be clear: this has not changed since 2.3.2, not sure it was ever different. Here is 2.3.2:


and 3.1:


I really doubt you'll find many published examples violating this as a rule. Maybe here and there in tightly spaced passages where the engraver subjectively feels that reducing the density would be helpful?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I see dynamics stop below notes all of the time in symphonic scores. This is not true in every score, but enough that I can understand why someone might want this as an option.

When I see this, unless the purpose is obviously to change the point in the measure where the dynamic change ends, I leave the MuseScore default without adjusting it. Everyone understands this notation so I personally don't normally worry about it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

To be clear I don't want the hairpin to end before the note to which it applies, but with 3.0.5 the hair pin is ending after the last note to which it applies. That's didn't happen in ms 2.1. The example you quote above is fine, but that's not happening when I have more complex rhythms. For example:
Screenshot from 2019-05-30 22-21-01.png
I selected the 2nd crotchet thru to the last quaver. I would have expected:
Screenshot from 2019-05-30 22-22-56.png
I only get this if I adjust the right handle. One never sees the hairpin displaced so that it crosses the next bar line in any quality classical music edition. I defy you to find an example in Baerenreiter, Henle, Breitkopf, HH Edition etc.

In reply to by richardm999

You should indeed be getting what you show in the second example. If you have some specific case where that isn't working right, please attach the actual score, not just a picture. I just entered a similar passage myself and got exactly what I expect:


The only case you should see a hairpin ending across the barline is if there is an end dynamic on the first note of the next measure, and that dynamic is unusually far from the barline because of, for example, an intervening key signature. This is, again, standard practice, and you'll see Gould specifically calls for this, and I see this practice followed pretty consistently.

In reply to by richardm999

Hmm, actually, if I look at your example more closely, I see the start point is off too. This suggests to me that maybe you have defined a horizontal offset in your style settings. Get rid of that and the problem with the end point being displaced goes away. I suppose maybe you did that deliberately because you want the hairpin to align with the right edge of the note rather than the left? That is not standard, either. Maybe you did that by mistake while you were experimenting?

This does lead to the thought that I could imagine someday providing additional style settings for default offset for the start and end points individually.

In reply to by richardm999

I've found it - it's the X offset that's wrong and somehow set to 1.5 in the style settings. Not something I've knowingly altered. I think I've been got by another 2.1->3.0.5 conversion issue. After the pain of upgrading to 2.1 I decided not to upgrade until there was enough in a new release to make the transition pain worth while.

In reply to by richardm999

Glad we found it! But for the record, this wouldn't have changed automatically in any conversion from 2 to 3. What's more likely is you changed the offset of one hairpin - either by dragging it or using the Inspector - then saw the button with the "S" on it next to the offset and wondered, "hmmm, I wonder what this does?" :-) It's the "set as style" button, takes the current settings and makes them your new defaults for the score.

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