Hairpin not behaving

• Mar 5, 2020 - 01:35

When I play this passage in MS, the volume of the piano jumps up suddenly at the beginning of the second measure, instead of gradually where the crescendo is indicated. If anyone can see the reason I'd appreciate it!


Attachment Size
Crescendo.mscz 14.62 KB


I'm not sure why it's doing that, but I managed to fix it by adding another piano marking just before the crescendo. Hopefully that works for you. If not, I can try some more and see if anything makes a difference.

Attachment Size
Crescendo.mscz 14.14 KB

The "p" is on the top piano staff, but both the crescendo and the "mf" are on the bottom staff. They need to all be on the same staff if you want them to be considered together. Otherwise weird things happen.

Ah - thanks.

BTW my reason for the inconsistency is that sometimes attaching things to one staff or the other seems to give better results with auto-placement. If not for that, I’d say knowing the workaround is entirely sufficient - and it’s still very helpful.

In reply to by scott.1

It shouldn't be the case that changing the staff would solve any autoplace problems, at least no any problems not better solved another way. But that's not to say there might be some cases that don't have great solutions. Feel free to post an example and explain the problem. This particular case, though, does seem to be one of them. Everything works perfectly if I delete the "p" on the bottom staff and add it instead to the top.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, thanks. Just to explain, in this example the hairpin sits so close to the lower staff that it sort of disappears into it, and so I'd want to add some vertical separation there. But as the hairpin is attached to the upper staff, the placement offsets only seem to let me move it relatively to the upper staff - the lower staff still "sticks" to it.

My solution in this case has been to move the element to the lower staff (placement=Above). But this is how I ended up with dynamic markings inconsistently attached to either staff. Is there a better way?

I'd stress that there are very few times when I want to outsmart the autoplace logic, and this long-hairpin-next-to-empty-measure case may be too specific to worry about. I just did a score where it happened to come up repeatedly.

Attachment Size
Line example.mscz 7.47 KB

In reply to by scott.1

To add separation in cases like this I'd simply add a Spacer from the palette if I thought it necessary. To me, it isn't needed here at all, though. It would only be confusing to have it closer to the bottom staff if there were something actually going on the bottom staff that you didn't want to crescendo. And in that case you'd need to somehow notate that explicitly anyhow, or else anyone playing it wouldn't realize the crescendo didn't affect both staves.

Placement of hairpins is tricky, as we also try to align with dynamics on the same staff where it makes sense, and sometimes that code is a bit inflexible. Those are the times when I am most looking for workarounds, but attaching to the wrong staff isn't usually the best way. Setting the hairpin to "allow diagonal", for instance, will break the alignment with dynamics while still preserving other aspects of autoplace. That's a little known feature we could probably expose better.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.