Crescendo/Diminuendo feature

• Dec 7, 2016 - 17:10

I just realized that there is a new feature that actually allows you to program in crescendos and diminuendos. It's GREAT!

If you haven't tried it, the way it works is that you highlight the measure(s) over which you want the change in dynamics to happen and then you select either "cresc." or "dim." from the "Lines" menu. Make sure to put a dynamic marking at the point where you want the crescendo or diminuendo to end. You can increase or decrease the distance over which the change happens either by selecting the marking and pressing Shift-arrow key (left or right), or by clicking on the little square and dragging it to where you want it.

This makes a huge difference in the quality of the playback so, thank-you to everyone who helped develop this.


To be clear, though - all 2.0-based versions have supported crescendo/diminuendo playback as far as I can recall - that is, it's been there almost two years now. The only thing "new" (with 2.0.3) for crescendo/diminuendo is that there are now also simple text lines (cresc......) instead of just the hairpins(<). But nothing about the new text lines works any differently from the hairpins that have supported playback since the original MuseScore 2 release. There have been no recent changes to how crescendo works for playback.

BTW, dragging the handle to increase the length of a line is *not* a good way to do things, except to make very small adjustments. MuseScore needs to know what note the endpoint of the line should actually be attached to so it continues to display / print properly if the score is ever reformatted in any way - anything that affects which measures are on which lines. That also includes generating parts. Think of dragging as for fine-tuning the visual appearance only; shift+arrow is the correct way to actually change the logical length of the line. not just hairpins, but all lines - trills, voltas, ottava, etc.

I want to be sure I understand - are we talking about cresc/dim on a SINGLE NOTE? I had understood that a "note" in MS is characterized by a pitch, start time, duration, and a single velocity value that determines only a CONSTANT amplitude for the note. IIRC there was some discussion once about defining an amplitude "envelope" that would provide for sforzando effects, etc. - is this still in the works?

In reply to by dhfx

There is no released version of MuseScore that can playback crescendo or diminuendo on a single note. As far as I know, it's something that has been worked on for a future release, but as yet isn't ready, not even in an experimental nightly build. Not sure of the current status, I guess probably it's not out of the question for 3.0.

In reply to by reggoboy

I don't think there is any way to do what you want. You can do it with repeated notes; but, actually, the increase in volume happens incrementally. In other words, if you have 8 quarter notes, each one will be a little louder, but the volume doesn't change over the duration of the note. So, there is no way to get a long gentle swell on one note tied over several measures.

Marc is probably going to chime in to say that I am totally wrong about this. You should listen to him, not me.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for the feedback!

Yea, it's a bit of a hack, and the jumps in dynamics are audible, but it's probably better than what I have :-)

To be clear, the only thing done was to break the ties, and the hairpins started doing their job?

Since I've made changes to that file since you got it, I want to do the update in my original, then add the slurs, and call it done for now :-)

Hello, me and my teacher were wondering whether there's a feature like "gradual velocity increase/decrease or scale" which enable us to enter velocity values of the first note and the last note we want, and then, after putting the dynamics and hairpins, it automatically adjusts the velocity values of the notes in between?
Or do we simply have to enter the velocity value of each note manually? I read a previous forum note that in previous versions there was a plugin for it but there no longer is for current version. We would appreciate receiving your reply and take it as a positive contribution for improvement.

In reply to by dhfx

Yes :) You are right!
Modern keyboards have two sensors vertically underneath.
Simply: It measures the time elapsed between the first sensor active and then the second sensor active (microseconds).
What determines sound power isn't the key pressing force, but the key pressing speed (vertically).
That's why it's called velocity.

Attachment Size
velocity.png 4.55 KB

In reply to by Jake Sterling

More specifically, though, this is the standard term used in pretty much all MIDI-based music software and hardware. Goes way back to the 70's and 80's when the first keyboard synthesizers were hitting the market. Many early models had no way of controlling volume - each key was an on/off switch only. Ever since the first "touch sensitive" keyboards started appearing, "velocity" has been the technical term for measuring how hard you hit the key, because it really is literally measuring how fast the key is depressed. So the MIDi standard chose that term as well, and therefore pretty much everyone who uses MIDI in any way does too.

When I was transcribing non-digital scores into MuseScore, I encountered many times a crescendo/decrescendo hairpin is placed on a single note. Moreover, often a hairpin starts/stops not right on a note in the score but either somewhere between two notes or while a long note is playing. As someone mentioned, this is renderable by placing hidden notes on a different voice and also by changing the length/position of the hairpin manually. But, it seems that doing so has no effect when playing the score in MuseScore. Also, although it is suggested to place dynamics marks properly around hairpins, a dynamics mark is placable only on a note on the score (although the visual position can be altered). If dynamics marks are required, there is a need to place dynamics between notes. Since it is not common for scores to have so many dynamics marks around crescendo/decrescendo, they have to be hidden, too, in order to keep the score visually tidy. This is cumbersome. As it seems that it is common for composers to write scores in such ways, is it possible for MuseScore to accomodate them and yet play the music properly? Is such feature coming in the future release? Thanks.

In reply to by yoichi123

Yes, this is sort of thing being looked at for MuseScore 4.

However, the workaround you mentioned using multiple voices actually should work for playback. You just have to be sure to set the velocity change for the hairpin, or add a dynamic between them, so MuseScore knows how much crescendo you want.

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