Hairpins are symbols used to indicate gradual changes in volume in the score. There are two kinds: crescendo (getting louder) and decrescendo (getting quieter).
Add a hairpin
- Select a range of notes or measures;
- Use one of the following shortcuts:
- <: to create a crescendo hairpin.
- >: to create a diminuendo hairpin (decrescendo).
Alternatively, use one of the following options:
- Select a range of notes or measures, and click a hairpin in a palette (double-click in versions prior to 3.4).
- Drag and drop a hairpin from a palette onto a staff line.
Adjust length and height
Enter edit mode on the hairpin. Then click on the end handle that you want to move:
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:
To fine-tune the horizontal position of an end-handle (without changing playback), 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.
To change the height of a hairpin:
- Adjust the lower handle at the mouth of the hairpin (e.g. the blue square below):
Cresc. and dim. lines
In addition to hairpins, there are cresc. _ _ _ and dim. _ _ _ lines with the same function in the Lines palette. You can adjust the text, if desired, in the Text Line Core section of the Inspector.
To turn a hairpin into its equivalent text line:
- Select the hairpin and, in the Hairpin section of the Inspector, select the appropriate line from "Type."
From version 3.1, a hairpin can be cut, copied and pasted just like a text element: see Summary of cut / copy / paste commands.
For versions prior to 3.1, you can only duplicate a hairpin: see Copying lines.
Edit hairpin properties
Properties of the hairpin can be edited in the Inspector, as follows:
- Element: Edit the Y offset to change the height of the hairpin above or below the staff.
- Line: Edit line properties such as color, line style and thickness.
- Text line core: Add text and set text properties.
- Type: Change the type of hairpin: crescendo, decrescendo or text.
- Circled tip: Tick box to activate.
- Height: The width at the mouth of the hairpin.
- Continue height: The width of the hairpin at the end of a system, before it continues to the next system.
- Placement: Set hairpin above or below the staff.
- Dynamic range: Specify whether hairpin playback applies to a staff, part (default) or a system.
- Velocity change: … across the span of the hairpin; from 0 to 127. This (in contrast to note playback velocity) directly controls MIDI velocity absolute values, so to go from a piano at 49 to a mezzopiano at 64, enter 15 here. The value is added for crescendo and subtracted for diminuendo hairpins.
- Use single note dynamics (as of version 3.1): When checked (default), allows the hairpin to change the dynamic of a single note if the instrument supports single note dynamics.
- Dynamic Mode (as of version 3.1): Set the method used to change the dynamic: Linear (default), Ease-in and out, Ease-in, Ease-out, or Exponential.
Playback of hairpins
By default, a hairpin always affects playback when it spans a series of separate notes. In addition, for instruments supporting single note dynamics (e.g. strings, brass etc.), playback is also enabled across a single note or series of tied notes. (Note: Prior to version 3.1 hairpins only affected playback between notes, not that of single or tied notes.)
A hairpin only affect playback if there are appropriate dynamics somewhere before and after the hairpin. For example, a crescendo between p and f dynamics will affect playback; but a diminuendo between p and f will be ignored. And if there are 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).