• Jun 15, 2020 - 20:14

Why do crescendo lines stop doing anything if you put a dynamic after (not even in the same bar)?


They don't.

But they either need a good reference for volume before and after (by means of dynamics) or have their velocity change set explicitly.

In reply to by Arpicembalo

It doesn't. Straight from the instruments.xml default definition:

      <Articulation name="staccato">
      <Articulation name="marcato">

In reply to by Arpicembalo

As you can (perhaps not so clearly) see from the definition above, while a staccato shortens the note to half its duration, a marcato will shorten it 2/3 of its duration.
In addition a marcato will also make the note playback a bit louder than normal.

Yes, it's still shortened. No it isn't shortened as much as with a staccato.

In reply to by Arpicembalo

I believe it is done that way to be able to differentiate between a normal marcato and the marcato-tenuto (which puts the note at 100% duration). At the same time the marcato-staccato put the note at 50% as well (just like a staccato).

One can indeed argue about a good default length for the plain marcato. Perhaps closer to 85% instead of 67% would make more sense (keeping in mind that full note length is actually 95% for some instruments).

I myself am not knowledgeable enough to make the call either way, so I'm hoping some people with more musical background can weigh in as well.

In reply to by Arpicembalo

As far as I know, unscientifically speaking, marcato usually means a combination of accent and staccato, but more accent than accent and less staccato than staccato. or no staccato at all, but on most occasions, I tend to play the notes shorter when interpreting marcato, even if I don't realize it. So I can understand the gate time value of 67 for marcato, but I believe marcato should have a higher velocity value than accent.

Actually, instead of focusing on more reasonable default values, the more important thing is to allow customization of these values in the inspector or piano roll or somewhere else. Maybe it is already planned for MuseScore 4?

In reply to by Howard-C

From my Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music "Marcando; Marcato (It.). Marking; marked, i.e. each note emphasized; marcatissimo is the superlative."

I guess there are many ways to emphasize a note including making playing it louder, or playing it with a more rapid decay, or making it shorter to make it stand out from the following note, or using a different technique to give the note a different timbre (e.g. changing embouchure or position of the bow or striking position of a drum or applying pedal on a piano ). As with most musical terms, the interpretation depends on the context, the instrument and taste.

Moral: If you want your music played nicely, put it in front of a good musician. Don't expect a computer to have been programmed to make consistently good decisions about context, instrumental technique, and taste.

In reply to by Howard-C

Yes, one can consider the computer as an instrument that needs to be played by applying customizations to notes to suit circumstances. But defining an algorithm that identifies the circumstances and makes the appropriate customization is a hard task. The debate about whether a marcato note should be x% or y% of the full length (or whatever other emphasis is applied) doesn't address how to decide when it should be x% or y%. The context will differ from measure to measure and so should the decision.

Tweaking notes manually in a sequencer is to my mind the equivalent of playing an instrument. The sequencer "player" is doing the interpretation, identifying the context and applying their choice of customization. Trying to get software to do the tweaking (which is what is being discussed here) is unlikely to achieve anything as good.

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