Hairpins do not change loudness mid-note.

• Sep 24, 2020 - 14:48

The fact that hairpins do not change loudness mid-note makes sense for a couple of instruments for example the piano or plucked strings.
However, many Instruments CAN vary their loudness mid-note and they often do. Violin, Viola, Cello, Contrabass, Singers, and wind instruments for example.

Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to get this dynamic to work in Musescore.
I read this ( article and activated "Use single note dynamics" but this
still produces a quiet sound that doesn't get louder at all.

Attachment Size
MuseMixer.png 62.62 KB
MuseSynth.png 39.41 KB
tEST.mscz 3.82 KB


In reply to by bobjp

Not sure how to do this. I googled and followed these steps:

Set up MuseScore to play back Single Note Dynamics (SND)

Firstly, the Soundfont used needs to be able to respond to MIDI CC (Control Change) 1, 2, 4, or 11 messages—this is the case with MuseScore's native SoundFont, MuseScore_General_HQ, for example. From MuseScore 3.1 onwards, SND playback is enabled by default.

If, for whatever reason, you need to (re)enable SND playback of the SoundFont:

1 Display the Synthesizer : View→Synthesizer;
2 Click on the Fluid tab, and ensure that the first soundfont listed is MuseScore_General_HQ;
3 Click on the Dynamics tab. Set "Dynamics method" to "Default (Single note dynamics and velocity)"; and "CC2" to "CC2 (Default)";
4 In the "Advanced settings" section (Dynamics tab) click the button marked “To Expressive”;
5 Click "Save to Score".

(which can be found here:
All those things were enabled by default though. Not sure where to find "the Expr. version" of instruments.

In reply to by Mraco_o

Open the mixer (press F10), select an instrument and towards the top left of the mixer will be a "Sound:" field with a dropdown next to it. If it doesn't have expr in the name then click it and choose the expressive version. If it does say expressive then attach your score because there are a few obscure things you can do to turn it off.

In reply to by Mraco_o

The problem with finding the expressive sound is that you need to have MuseScore_General_HQ.sf3 as your fist sound font (if you don't aleady). Next, when you set the sound in the mixer, click the drop down then start by pressing Home so you will start in the first soundfont (which shoud be the one I mentioned). Violin (1) is in the second sound font you have loaded and the sound font you used has strange mappings, it came up a xylophone on my computer. Violin with nothing next to it is the first sound font (sound font's start numbering at 0).

Now there is something I can't find that's keeping the dynamic from working. I set it up on my system so it should work. Perhaps @theotherjthistle (who wrote the SND code) or someone else can look at this and see what's happening.

In reply to by DanielR

As I said in a previous comment, I can't find "Expr."-sounds.
There's only
1. Cello
2. Celeste
3. Cello (1)
4. Celesta

And unfortunately, I can't hear any crescendo. I also can't see the amplitude rising when watching the Synthesizer while the score is played.

In reply to by mike320

Nice, it worked! "Cello Expr."s showed up and the crescendo works perfectly. Thank you!

Any idea why a worse Soundfont is used by default? Or does MuseScore_General_HQ.sf3 have other downsides? Also, why is this the only SF where mid-note dynamics seem to work?

In reply to by Mraco_o

Hey, I've created a similar problem and I have no idea how to fix it...
On measure 59 of the attached score, I wanted to make a crescendo (originally, it was meant to be n to mf, that didn't work either).
It just doesn't work. The Cello stays on ppp loudness and I have no idea why. The SF is the correct (HQ) one, single note dynamics are enabled everywhere and I use the Expr. Cello.

(To test, just use the mixer to play only the cello; this gets rid of the distracting violing&piano.)
Any ideas what could have gone wrong?

Attachment Size
Awesome Anime Music.mscz 20.45 KB

In reply to by Mraco_o

It's because the "fff" isn't an actual dynamic, it's just text attached to the crescendo. In order for this to work, you'd also need to set the velocity change explicitly on the hairpin. Or, better, remove that text using the Inspector and add the dynamically normally, from the Dynamics palette.

Probably you tried using the hairpin from the palette with the built-in dynamic. This is for show only, it doesn't affect playback. It was included early on in 3.0 development and in my opinion should have been removed before release, but anyhow, don't use it if you want playback to work and don't feel like setting the velocity change explicitly.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

What i think i did is: I inserted the ppp, then added the crescendo, then marked the crescendo and clicked fff in the palette.

> It was included early on in 3.0 development and in my opinion should have been removed before release
I agree, this is quite confusing, at least for a new user that expects the things to do something if they aren't disabled/hidden.
Sounds like a possible feature-request to me.

Also, ty, separately adding the dynamic worked!

In reply to by Mraco_o

Here's what I did;
Measure 59, delete hairpin. This also deleted the fff associated with it.
Measure 60 add fff to note in beat one.
Measure 59 add hairpin. Dynamic works.

Personally, I add dynamics first, then hairpins.
It seemed as though you wanted the fff to be near the end of beat 4 in measure 59. But, technically the whole note in measure 59 doesn't end until the downbeat of measure 60. That's why I placed the fff there.

In reply to by DanielR

I would suggest, that, that simply placing the fff directly under the first note of the next measure is going to say precisely the same thing to a musician, and will do it less confusingly, and with less work. The only time one should need to play games like this is it you want the crescendo to reach full volume before the next measure and then immediately change to a different (e.g. lower) dynamic,.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This notation (fff at the end of the whole note) has legitimate uses that is not playing games. If the entire orchestra has a crescendo that ends on beat 4 of the measure and most of the orchestra has shorter notes that make notating this natural, using DanielR's method is the way to notate it so the cellist knows to watch the conductor for when the crescendo ends. In a cello solo this would not be a good notation. Use the right notation in the right place.

In reply to by Mraco_o

It seems to me that in the given example, putting the fff at the end of the measure would mostly make sense if the downbeat of the next measure were not fff. Sure, there are cases for wanting the volume to be full before the down beat. But it really depends on how the music is written. Musicians and conductors are not stupid. It's their job to reproduce the composers' wishes without too much hand-holding. And just what are the composers' wishes? Hard to tell, sometimes. I see scores with so many markings that it's hard to see the notes.

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