Curious how dynamics work in Musescore

• Aug 3, 2020 - 23:48

The Handbook is very vague on this point. I have a midi-transcribed score - the score was originally input using a midi keyboard, not manually entered. When I look at the individual notes in the inspector in the same measure, I see notes that have velocity set as "Offset" and some notes that are "User". It seems random. My understanding is that "offset" means that note's velocity is an offset from the previous dynamic marking. If the offset for notes AFTER the dynamic marking is zero, all the notes will have the same loudness. However, if the velocity is "User", then the dynamic marker does not work - the loudness will be whatever the velocity setting for that note is. Is that right? If this all is true, then I have some questions:
1. How do I efficiently change 100s of notes in my score to "Offset" so that the dynamic markings work? For instance, is there a way to highlight the whole score and go into a menu option to change all the velocities for all the highlighted notes at once?
2. The dynamic markers (ff, pp, etc) are "attached" to a measure in the upper or lower clef (talking piano here). Does that mean the dynamic marker is working on notes ONLY in that clef? It doesn't seem so, but just wondering. I know you may want the bass clef to sound lower (or higher) than the treble clef, so I know you can add a dynamic marker to the bass cleff that is different from the treble clef. But most of the time you want one dynamic marker to affect both clefs. Is that how Musescore works? Or do I have to highlight both clefs if I want the dynamic marker to work on both clefs simultaneously.
3. Is it the same for the hairpins?


When composing for a double staff instrument, it is easier to place dynamics and hairpins on both staffs.
If you want the dynamics to las for both staffs, you must select the dynamic icon, and open the inspector (view - inspector). In the inspector, scroll the "dynamic" section of the window, and under the first setting "dynamic range", you can change it to "system". That should work.


1. Ctrl-A (select all)
2. At the bottom of the Inspector (F8) click the "Notes" filter button
3. Press the reset arrow buttons at the end of the velocity settings (both for type as for value)

It depends on how you've configured them. By default the dynamics apply to the "instrument" as a whole (so both staves for piano). You can set the dynamic range for the marking in the inspector to limit it to a staff where required.

Hairpins work by default for the instrument and by looking at the dynamic marking before them and the one after them. But I believe (haven't tested this recently) that they only look for dynamic markings in their own staff (even when the hairpin itself still affects the whole instrument). So to be on the safe side I'd advise you to always ensure inserting dynamics and hairpins on the same staff as much as conveniently possible (if they are to affect the whole instrument). Note that the dynamic markings doesn't have to be right next to the hairpin, they can be any number of measures away from them and still be "the closest one" found by MuseScore when evaluating the hairpin.
For hairpins though you can also use the inspector to set an explicit velocity change on them, in which case they will ignore (a following) dynamic marking.

For the use case of making a melody stand out a bit, rather than working with (hidden) dynamics, you may consider giving your notes a (small) user offset velocity; either a negative one to the accompaniment, or a positive one to the lead melody.

In reply to by jeetee

You said, "So to be on the safe side I'd advise you to always ensure inserting dynamics and hairpins on the same staff as much as conveniently possible." Did you mean to say, "So to be on the safe side I'd advise you to always ensure inserting dynamics and hairpins on EACH staff as much as conveniently possible."?
Thank you for your response.

In reply to by odelphi231

No, not on each staff of an instrument. The dynamics by default cover the whole instrument.

I did mean make sure that both dynamics and hairpins are attached to the same staff of the instrument to ensure the hairpin is using the correct dynamics for its interpretation.

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