SFFF for easy usage ??

• Dec 7, 2020 - 02:22

I know we have SF and SFF, but I have trouble trying to make an SFFF

I want there to be a sudden, yet very loud accent in my piece, and I have had this problem for a while.

Just something to throw out there.

If someone DOES know how to add an SFFF, pls tell me

Thanks !!



  • Add an SFF to your score
  • Double click the SFF and press end so the cursor is at the end
    press ctrl+shift+f to add an F to the end of the dynamic and press escape to exit edit mode
  • Open the inspector (F8) and find the Velocity field towards the bottom, you may need to scroll.
  • Set velocity to 127 and and velocity change to a negative number. Assuming you want to return to FF you would want to set it to negative 15 (127-15=112 which is the velocity for FF).

you can press ctrl+shift and drag the dynamic to a palette for later use.

FWIW, though, I would not resort to inventing non-standard dynamic markings just to have accents. Use a standard marking for the benefit of human musicians reading your score, and then if you happen to not like the computer-generate playback, just use the Inspector to tweak it.

In reply to by mike320

Yes, a small percentage of composers have done this. And I'm not chastising anyone. Just trying to provide the useful information that this is not common and that most composers would do this differently, so one might wish to take that into consideration. The OP can then choose to do things the more common or less common way as they see fit, but at least they now both ways exist and also how to do it either way.

In reply to by mike320

At this point, strictly personally, I don't mind pointing out the differences between these markings on a philosophical as opposed to a practical level. I see scores for big groups where the composer has (again, in my view) over marked the score. There are so many instructions on how the composer wants the notes played that sometimes it's hard to see the notes. I get it. It's all about the "composer intent." They certainly have the right to mark their scores the way they want. What is the intent of sf (or sfz, many sources define them the same)? As a brass player, if I'm playing a passage at ff, and I see a sf over a note, what do I do? Do I play the note at a softer volume? Or suppose the same scenario with a passage played at forte. What does sf mean in that case? At 160 bpm minute, is it possible to play 16th note marked sff differently than one marked sfff? What is the practical upper limit of how many f's you can add to the marking? If you've already marked a note sfff and you want a later note to be accented even more, how many f's can you add?
Again, we are free to mark our scores any way we want. Have at it. For myself (if anyone is interested, though probably not) I would rather rely on compositional technique (poor as that may be, in my case), marking the score reasonably, and allowing the conductor and the musicians do their job. That last is a biggie for me. The composer and the composition mean nothing by themselves. Computer playback is another topic entirely.

Just my thoughts:)

Just because it's been seen in scores doesn't mean it is universally understood. Or necessary. Or even a real thing. Publishers tend to do what they want. And they have ways to type set it. What does a sudden ,very loud accent even mean. I feel like it is easier to just stick an excessive dynamic in a score than it is to compose something that doesn't rely on an excessive marking. Instrumentation matters. Compositional skill matters.

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