How to achieve <> single-note dynamic?

• Jun 3, 2019 - 23:06

I’ve got vocal scores where a whole note is to start in piano, get (much) louder towards the middle and back down to piano. I can’t find the appropriate dynamic for this even though 3.1 is supposed to have single-note dynamics.


You must use a second voice. Put rests in that voice that will line up the dynamics where you want them. Add your dynamics and make the rests invisible. You then get both good playback and layout.

In reply to by BSG

Without a reference to the metric position at which the crescendo ends and the diminuendo starts it is not possible to decide and be sure that it will always be right. The human player/singer may decide corectly from context, style, etc. but the software needs that information.
One possibility would be to provide a new combined line <> in which the center position could be edited and the software could take the relative length as input data to decide where to finish the crescendo and start the diminuendo .

In reply to by fmiyara

One major roadblock to this is that dynamics are based upon being attached to a note. What you are asking for is for the dynamic to be attached to a point in time like a tempo change. This would require a new method for choosing where to anchor the dynamic. This is a fundamental change, while not impossible, it would no doubt be a lot of work to change this, especially since no staff or note items are defined this way.

There is someone actually working on redefining dynamics so they can apply to voices as well as staff, part and system at the moment, and I'll point them at the discussion for consideration.

In reply to by mirabilos

Some time next week I'm going to make a How to.. related to SND and I'll include this in it. I think that is the proper place to put those instructions. I will also update the manual to point to the How to... so people who actually read the manual will know that it's there. My goal for the How to... will be that we'll be able to simply point people to that for answers to questions such as this and questions like why don't my hairpins with no dynamic marking between them work? Currently, I think all of this info could be put together from the manual, but a one (web) page explanation is easier to comprehend.

It is already perfectly possible without any need for second voice or anything else. You have to use three notes of same pitch connected with a slur so they are actually a single note. Then attach the dynamics, the <> and it works. I can take a screenshot when I'm home.

In reply to by mirabilos

(The first comment is misplaced, please find it below with the figure of "bad practice". I can only edit posts, but not relocate or remove.)
Bildschirmfoto zu 2019-06-04 23-46-50.png
This is not only the best notation practice, but also the way it actually works impeccably without jumps, repeated attack or whatever. Use tied notes.

In reply to by Ludwig van Benteuer

Your examples with ties are not what you normally see in printed music. The dynamic marks are usually below a whole note in this situation. The discussions in this thread have centered on making it look and work right in MuseScore.

Anyone is welcomed to notate it the way they want so you are welcomed to do that in your own music.

In reply to by mike320

Eh, why would I use a tie?


This works just well on the whole note, no need to tie half notes for it. (See the hidden pauses.)

But while writing this example, I found in the Inspector that there is a new drop-down that has “Ease-in and out”[sic!] as option… is this perhaps what I want? (But definitely with a 𝆒𝆓 symbol, which does not currently exist.) Also, what do the others do? Save for experimenting, there’s no documentation on it…

In reply to by mirabilos

Good questions about the dropdown. That's part of the reason I'm not doing the How To... today. I want to understand these new options.

There reason to use the tie rather than the slur starting in version 3.1 is that it will be treated as a whole note (previously the slur was necessary to get any type of dynamic change), while slurs will treat and sound like individual notes with a slight pause between them. I recommend using a whole note with invisible rests starting in version 3.1.

In reply to by Ludwig van Benteuer

Bildschirmfoto zu 2019-06-04 23-31-01.png
In the figure you see the bad notation practice: there is no information on when does the crescendo end and the diminuendo start. Furthermore, there is also neither information on the starting dynamics (is it pp? Is it mf?) nor on the dynamics after the crescendo (p? ff?) nor after the diminuendo. I don't see a reason either for this to work or for someone to actually write this on the score. But if you want even though (well, you may want to be a bit subjective and let the interpreter do it the way she/he wants ;-) ), it's easy to write this on MuseScore using a < and a > and resizing them. And the playback should be feasible if they implement what I suggested on the SND request page in the forum: to give the end user the freedom to edit CC messages as he wishes in the Piano Roll like we can do with normal velocities.

In reply to by Ludwig van Benteuer

Besides from the dynamics belonging on top of the stave (in vocal writing) and much closer, the performer is expected to be able to handle this (and his Kantor is responsible to manage it in choir).

In MuseScore, you can enter the desired dynamic change in the Inspector.

This is good practice, common practice, and works well.

The "Dynamics" page in the handbook says that you can put a positive or negative value in "Velocity change" to raise/lower the volume respectively. Not only have single-note dynamics not worked at all, but you can't even put a negative value into "Velocity change"! Not sure if this is where to post this comment but this is the only place I found.

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