Updated 4 years ago
This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 2.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Hairpins.

    Add a hairpin

    Hairpins are line objects. To create a hairpin:

    1. Select a range of notes or measures;
    2. Use one of the following shortcuts:
      • <: to create a crescendo hairpin.
      • >: to create a diminuendo hairpin (decrescendo).

    One-measure crescendo

    Alternatively, use one of the following options:

    • Select a range of notes or measures, and double-click a hairpin in a palette.
    • Drag and drop a hairpin from a palette onto a staff line.

    Adjust length

    1. Double-click on the hairpin to enter edit mode. Then click on the end handle that you want to move:

      Crescendo shows handles and anchors in edit mode

    2. Use one of the following shortcuts:

      • Shift+ to move the end handle, and its anchor, right by one note or rest.
      • Shift+ to move the end handle, and its anchor, left by one note or rest;

      This method of extending or shortening the hairpin maintains playback integrity and allows it to cross line breaks:

      Crescendo anchor extends to the next note

    3. To change the position of an end handle without changing the position of its anchor, use the following shortcuts:

      • to move the handle right by 0.1 sp.
      • to move the handle left 0.1 sp.
      • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+) to move the handle right one sp.
      • Ctrl+ (Mac: Cmd+) to move the handle left one sp.

      Note: The commands listed in step 3 are only used to tweak the final appearance of the hairpin (e.g. see image below): they do not change its playback extent nor do they allow it to cross line breaks. If you want the latter, use the Shift+ or Shift+ commands instead (step 2).

      Crescendo visually extends beyond anchor point

      Note: The "Reset" command (Ctrl+R (Mac: Cmd+R)) will undo these small adjustments, but will not undo anchor changes.

    Cresc. and dim. lines

    In addition to hairpins, there are cresc.   _     _     _ and dim.   _     _     _ lines with the same function in the Lines palette. To change the text (e.g. to cresc. poco a poco, or decresc. instead of dim), right-click on the line and choose Line Properties....

    To turn a hairpin into its equivalent text line:

    1. Select the hairpin.
    2. In the Inspector, set "Line style" to "Wide dashed."
    3. In the Inspector, select the "Text line" checkbox.

    Hairpin playback

    Crescendo and diminuendo lines only affect playback from one note to the next: they have no affect (currently) on the playback of a single note or a series of tied notes.

    By default, hairpins will affect playback only if dynamics are used before and after the hairpin. For example, a crescendo spanning notes between p and f dynamics will cause a dynamic change on playback. However, between any two successive dynamics only the first appropriate hairpin will have effect: a diminuendo between p and f will be ignored; of two or more crescendos between p and f, all but the first will be ignored.

    A hairpin may be used without dynamic marks, by adjusting "Velocity change" in the Inspector (values in the range 0 to 127).

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