Crescendo and Diminuendo?

• Jun 12, 2024 - 22:55

By default, exactly how much increase and decrease in volume do cresc. and dim. make? Assuming that there are no other dynamic markings in play. Do they do a percentage? An absolute amount? Or what?


In reply to by TheHutch

As I understand it in Musescore they work between notated dynamics. So if you have a p dynamic followed by a cresc. hairpin or line followed by f dynamic the loudness is p until the start of the cresc and then increases until the end of the cresc where the loudness will be f (even if the notated f is some distance further on than the end of the cresc) and stays that way until another dynamic is encountered.

Of course, in published music not every cresc is preceded or followed by a dynamic. What a real player does when encountering such a "bare" cresc, as always depends on the context and musicianship.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Yes, I know all that. The question I'm asking is about the "bare" cresc. or dim. in MuseScore.

Given no dynamic markings at all, a MuS score plays at its mf level. If a hairpin is added to this otherwise "bare" score (that's a good phrasing; I like it :-), how much does it cresc.? How much does it dim.?

And then, the obvious next question is ... Given a dynamic marking at some point before this "bare" hairpin, how much will it cresc. or dim. if there is no following dynamic? (With the dynamic marking before, we know that it will start at that dynamic. How much does it change? And is it a specific numeric amount? Or a percentage amount? Or what?

In reply to by SteveBlower

Sorry, but that happens not to be the case. You'll hear that the score attached CLEARLY changes dynamic level, even though there are no specific dynamic levels specified, only hairpins.

The ZIP file has an .MP3 file exported from the .MSCZ file, wherein you'll hear the same thing.

On an unrelated note, I knew that .WAV files were much larger than .MP3, but I never realized HOW much larger: this .MP3 file of sound lasting 28 seconds is 0.46 MB; the .WAV file of the same sound is 10.00 MB. 22 times larger.

Attachment Size
20240615 1159-hairpins.mscz 22.02 KB
20240615 452.15 KB

In reply to by TheHutch

FWIW, I made a file with a trumpet. No dynamics. After a measure I added a two measure cresc hairpin and a measure later. a two measure dim hairpin. Audacity measured a 5 db difference between the first (and last) measure and the measure after the end of the cresc hairpin.

In reply to by bobjp

So the cresc. hairpin and the dim. hairpin raised and lowered it by the same amount. That's good to know. A percentage increase--for example, 5%--followed by the same percentage decrease would not end up at the same point. (For example, if you start at 100 and increase by 5% then you are at 105. If you then decrease by 5%, you end up at 99.75. Same if you reverse the order.)

So presumably it's increasing/decreasing by some fixed amount. Is it the same amount if it starts from pp? If it starts from ff? Is it increasing/ decreasing by one dynamic level? (For example, from pp it increases to p and from mf it increases to f, etc.) By half or twice that?

This is the question I'm interested in finding an answer to. More a question of the code than one of db. (I was hoping that one of the coders might know the answer off the top of their head, or be able to look it up quickly. If not, I guess I'll have to experiment with MuseScore and Audacity as bobjp did.

In reply to by bobjp

In human-played music, of course you're right. Neither hairpins nor dynamics can be defined. But in computer-played music, they must be defined. The computer has to know exactly how much signal to send to the speakers, just how loud to play. That's what I'm wondering.

It's not important in the least. Just a bit of "'satiable curtiosity". :-D

In reply to by TheHutch


Yes I hear it. That is different to what happens in MU3 and I hadn't tried the experiment before in MU4. A score with "bare" hairpins created in MU3 plays back differently when imported to MU4: MU3 no change in loudness cf MU4 loudness changes. I guess this is a regression and could be reported on Github.

If it is a new feature it may be welcomed by some but one would hope that the effect would be adjustable by the user in the properties panel. However, the playback section is greyed out when a hairpin is selected. Another Github issue perhaps?

In reply to by SteveBlower

That's odd. I don't see the Play Panel disabled when I select a hairpin. I click on a hairpin and click Play and playback starts from the first note of the hairpin. Or do you mean the Playback button under Properties. If so, it's not "grayed out"; it's simply not present. There appear to be no adjustable playback properties for the hairpins ... which is why I asked this question in the first place.

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