Have you ever run into this problem with "retroactivity" of dynamics?

• May 12, 2023 - 13:30

I keep bumping into it again and again. It has happened many times on many instruments and I have even reported it more than once on GitHub, but it looks like it's only my problem. So I decided to ask this question here just to check and see if it's MuseScore's problem or is it my personal "glitch".

The problem is that I see that dynamics posses a kind of retroactive force. You add a new dynamics on some instrument in, say, measure number 101 and it starts sounding differently then not only on measure 101, but also in some measures earlier, like in measure 25. I must admit it is rather annoying because each time I add some new additions at the end of the piece, I have to re-listen to it in its whole entirety just to make sure that nothing has changed.

Is it only my problem or has it happened to you as well?

If it's not my own problem, then why is it happening? Is it like MS4 is trying to automatically balance out all the dynamics of all instruments throughout the whole piece or something?


Can you post a link to the specific GitHub issue you are referring to? I'm aware of at least specific issue involving horns where dynamics do seem to apply retroactively.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

– Here is one:

Can I ask you one unrelated question?
You said here (in the chat box to the composer of the piece):

“You elected not to repeat the exposition I see, which makes sense, I always found that kind of artificial, especially in more Romantic works”

Does that mean that repetition is a bad practice in music writing and I’d better avoid doing that in my peices? I am a bit puzzled because I see repetition used quite often in classical pieces, for example, in Tchaykovsky’s “Nutcracker” and that doesn’t sound artificial to me.

In reply to by innerthought

I can reproduce the issue with the score you added in that issue, so I have commented there.

Regarding repetition - it's not a bad thing in itself. Personally, when repeating a section, I still tend to prefer there to be some variation in the arrangement - different voicings or orchestrations or whatever - but there are are certainly forms where exact repetition make more practical sense. Especially dance forms. I was really speaking specifically of sonata form and the literal repetition of the exposition. For simple early classical sonatas where the exposition is only 32 bars long or whatever, fine, but in larger works where the exposition itself already contains significant development of material, to me, I've got the themes in my head already and am ready to move on to more development. Shorter attention of modern audiences, perhaps.

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