Hairpin not working across tied notes

• Dec 19, 2019 - 03:28

I have a note that is tied across four measures, with a diminuendo hairpin, going from mp to ppp.

During playback, the notes stay at mp volume, and do not decrease in volume.

MuseScore tied hairpin.jpg

Am I missing something?

David D.


That should work, using the right sound from the right soundfont and the right synthesizer settings (right here means default), if if doesn't for you, please share thw score

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Attached is the .mscz score. Measures 9 thru 12 is the first example of the problem. The mp volume is held across all four measures. You can prove that the terminating ppp is indeed working, simply by deleting the mf in Measure 13, which then lowers the following passage to a whisper.

Note that this piece is not quite ready for me to publish on MuseScore, because I am still developing dynamics and modifying chords. I will upload it as soon as I am done.

I am using:
OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 58dd23d.
I am using the default sound font and default synthesizer settings.

Thanks in advance, Jojo, for your help with the hairpin problem.

David D.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you Jojo and Dilon. It works fine now, in 3.3.4.

I was reading up on SND in the manual. It looks very versatile, but not as simplistic as I would have hoped. I was hoping for a single swell articulation symbol, optionally with a fixed dynamic level symbol (e.g. ff) in the middle of it. However, I will try to understand the current implementation, which I am sure took you many weeks of cogitation to develop. Thank you.

I am using the extra voice of rests approach, and it is working fine for me, after adjusting the initial hairpin length.

I split the extra voice into two half-rests, assign the first rest to pp and the second rest to f, followed by a pp on the rest in the subsequent measure.

I then click on the first half-rest and select a crescendo hairpin. Instead of its extending only to the next half-rest, it extends to the end of the measure. I then do a diminuendo hairpin for the second rest, and that one displays as expected.

MuserScore Hairpin problem 2.jpg

On playback, before the hairpin length adjustment, of course it does not work correctly.

I then adjust the length of the crescendo hairpin, using shift-leftarrow, and it works perfectly.

MuseScore hairpin problem 3.jpg

But I do not understand why the crescendo hairpin is so long initially, before you adjust it.

Also, notice the placement of the fixed dynamic symbols relative to the hairpins. In the first swell example, the rests are Voice 1, and the melody is Voice 4. In the second swell example, the rests are Voice 4 and the melody is Voice 1. It would make sense musically for the melody to be Voice 1 throughout the piece, but I need to flip it for the swells in order to get the dynamics displacements to line up with each other.

David D.

In reply to by dddiam

The normal way to apply a hairpin or other line is to first select the range you want to apply it to, then double-click the icon or use the shortcut (eg, "<" for crescendo). Then MuseScore knows exactly how long you want it. If you use drag and drop, then MuseScor has to guess, and it guesses "until the end of the measure".

For the specific case of a swell - so the crescendo doesn't even take the full duration of a single note, there may be no easy way to select the range first, so you may still have to resort to workarounds in those cases. But for the majority of hairpins, the method I described works great with no adjustment required.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I understand why you implemented dynamics the way that you did. They are extremely versatile and customizable. Quite sophisticated.

I was impressed when I stumbled over the hairpin dynamic method dropdown list, but now I cannot find it again. Is there anything special that I have to do to get that dropdown list?

David D.

(I am using: OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 7684abe).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Mark. I found it in the Inspector.

I had thought that I had seen it pop up on the Pallet, complete with little envelope curve shapes, but perhaps I remembered wrong.

Also, I see a Pallet choice for "Dynamic+hairpin". What is that for? It appears in the inspector that the mf is only text.

David D.

In reply to by dddiam

The palettes have never had anything but simple icons for adding elements to your score.

Dynamics + hairpin is a convenient way of attaching a dynamic to the end of a hairpin when there is no specific note to attach it to. I guess by "only text", you mean it isn't currently honored by the the playback, but that's not the main point of MuseScore to begin with.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for clarifying these new features. I love them.

I puzzle over why anyone would purchase one of the two cost-prohibitive, commercial music score editors, when MuseScore is not only affordable (even a free version), but IMO superior. MuseScore aggressively develops new, valuable features, provides frequent releases (plus nightlies), and responds quickly to users' questions, problems, feature requests and suggestions. MuseScore involves user input and discussion in determining the next priority and form of features and fixes. Additionally, MuseScore provides a vehicle for users to share their arrangements and compositions.

Hats off and great appreciation to the MuseScore development and support team, which includes both MuseScore staff and active community participants.

Thank you!

David D.

In reply to by dddiam

Yes, but as Jeetee said, there NO pro features in the desktop software. The desktop software is completely FREE and only free.
The pro features concern the sharing platform and the mobile app used in link with that sharing platform. Perhaps it was already perfectly clear for you, then sorry for having insisted, but that's to avoid confusion by future readers of this thread.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Friends, I'm having the same playback problem with a hairpin. Musescore 3.6.2, on Ubuntu 20.04. Default soundfont is Musescore_General.sf3 (I downloaded the current one available from this website.) The synth settings are correct. Just no diminuendo on playback. I've tried different bowed instruments as well with the same results. Dynamics work as expected on untied individual notes. Thanks for any help

Attachment Size
test_hairpin.mscz 6.17 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for checking it out. I notice in Linux that the default /usr/share/mscore3-3.2/sound/sf3/MuseScore_General.sf3 is a link to /etc/alternatives/MuseScore_General.sf3 which is a link eventually pointing to /usr/share/sounds/sf3//MuseScore_General_Lite.sf3. Could it be an issue with MuseScore_General_Lite.sf3? Tonight I installed MuseScore_General.sf3 from this website to my ~/Documents/MuseScore3/SoundFonts folder which Preferences defaults to, and set it in the synthesizer but no different behavior in playback. Is anyone using Linux able get a dynamics change during playback across tied notes? Is it an issue with 3.6.2x? I also tried it with MScore 3.2.3 but it behaved the same.

In reply to by George Khouri

Your hairpin extends to the end of the last note,


The piano dynamic applies from the start of the last note. The hairpin never "sees" the dynamic, it just passes it by. If you move the end point of the hairpin to the start of the last note it works as expected but the last note is p throughout without diminuendoing. Like this:


If you want the diminuendo to extend through the last note you would need to either

a) add a measure and put the dynamic in the next measure or

b) use a second voice to allow you to end the hairpin and position the dynamic as close as you like to the end of the note - like this

test_hairpin 2.mscz

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes but the hairpin stops in the correct place visually but the endpoint has been displaced from the end of the final note to look like it applies until the end of the penultimate note. If you don't want that final note to start p don't add a p to it! If you instead you want the next note to be p then put the p on the next note. Just write exactly what you mean rather than hoping a player will interpret it how you haven't written it.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Agreed. This is how MuseScore works. I discovered this some time ago. I am more concerned with playback. If you want the diminuendo to continue through a long note, you need a little trickery. Or, as above, have it end before that note. Playback will work and players will figure it out. That's what they do. It's easy to forget that hairpins must beset up to end with a dynamic.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Well, it very clearly is a diminuendo from f to p, no reason to not play it that way

I guess dragging hairpins can be considered similar to dragging volta lines (with no regard for anchor points).
I've seen bewilderment in these forums as someone writes: "Well, the volta very clearly extends over 2 measures, no reason to not play it that way."

In reply to by SteveBlower

Thanks all for your replies. So yes, if I move the hairpin to the end of the 3rd tied measure, playback behaves on my Linux system as well. A couple of issues: In the past I've written some large orchestral score with MS. I have had to change/re-write some passages for the sake of proper playback, which can lead down a skewed path. In my example, as Jojo says, "the intention is obvious." So what if my example is the last 5 measures of the piece, and I want the diminuendo to continue through the end of the the last tied note (which is my intention)? The Tchikovsky example wouldn't work, because I'd have to either add another measure to the piece, or break up the last whole note into smaller values tied together. Not pretty, Thanks again Jojo and Steve

In reply to by George Khouri

That Tchaikovsky example was just what I had on my music stand today. That usage where a short note is tied to to allow a final dynamic to be added as the "target" for a hairpin is very common. Having the dynamic on a final long note would imply that the dynamic on the final note is held for its whole duration and a conscientious player would play it that way. MuseScore is a conscientious player!

In reply to by George Khouri

The way I would do this is add the final dynamic to the hairpin itself (via the Inspector), and then set the velocity change for the hairpin manually (also via the Inspector).

The intent may have been obvious in this very specific example, but it isn't necessarily in other cases where a dynamic marking is placed at some arbitrary point in the middle of a long note. In fact the more common interpretation might be that it is intended to show an intermediate dynamic.

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