Is There Standard for Placing Dynamics or Expressions Above or Below Staff?

• Jun 24, 2022 - 23:25

I am wondering whether there is an industry standard to place dynamics or expressions above or below the staff?


A little further clarification:

Dynamics, including hairpins and descriptions like "cresc.", below, unless--as Jo-jo stated--it's a vocal line.

Tempo markings, including "rit." and "a tempo" etc., and expression markings like "dolce" or "Comme un rossignol qui aurait mal aux dents", always above.

In reply to by wfazekas1

I wish there is an industry standard, but from a piano score published by Oxford University Press, I see one expression marking is above the treble staff in one measure, but another is below the treble staff in another measure. Both are for the treble staff not the bass staff. It seems that whoever edited the score can put the markings either above or below a staff, wherever it fits.

In reply to by jian_li

This is the current standard; however, in reprints of 19th c. scores (or deliberate attempts to recreate them exactly), you might see otherwise. Composers will still write "diminuendo e rallentando"--for which the proper placement is not clear--although a good editor will discourage it.

Take a pic of the score in question.

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