Dorico Dynamic insertion question

I am trying to enter a dynamic shown below.

When I click on the first note, command click the last note, press shift+d the popover opens. I enter mp<f. As a result the f is carried over into the next bar.

I specifically chose the the last note, why does Dorico add the dynamic under the first note in the next bar? I am a little unsure of the program logic as to why this is done this way. (see video link below)…


I’ve been wondering the same thing.


When you create a dynamic, the end of the dynamic is actually the end of the last note you select. You can see that if you create a hairpin that ends on a “long” note in the score.

So, the hairpin extends up to the end of the selection, and the final dynamic mark (the “f” in mp<f) goes under the note after the selection, unless the selection is followed by a rest or it is at the end of the score.


Thanks for explaining that. I understand the part about the hairpin, and the hairpin part makes total sense to me. And I guess I could live with that answer. But it would take me time… retraining the way that I think of things.

In my mind if I have a crescendo from piano to forte, the forte doesn’t happen till the last note. Therefore, the note preceding the end note should be slightly less than forte. Which is why I select the first and last note. To select the note before is a thought process for me that I’d have to think harder about from now on, when adding in crescendos/diminuendo/etc.

It also seems to be different from other dynamics as well. If I add just a f to a note, it places it under the note, not the note after it.

Like I said, if that is the logic, I could live with that. It would take some time to get used to it though.

Here is an example of it placing the dynamic after a note that is followed by a rest. And this is not quite what I would expect, if this was the end of the piece.


Dorico is doing the right thing there: you’ve put the forte marking at the rhythmic position of the rest, but you don’t want the rest to be played forte; rather you want that gesture to finish forte (you could say that the end of the note itself should be forte). The end of that note and the start of the abutting rest are precisely the same moment in time, but it’s more correct to move the dynamic to the left so that it is positioned at the end of the note rather than at the start of the rest.


I understand the point you made. And while I understand it logically, I am struggling with it from an input method.

Is Rob correct about the hairpin following through the note, therefore adds the marking after it? So I need to end the dynamic a note before?

It really is different for me. Probably as a percussionist, hitting things, often times without sustain. So where I hit the dynamic is on the attack of the note it is notated under. I believe this is where I struggle with this concept.


+1 for “this is a VERY strange concept”, from an input perspective. It might make sense when looking at it from the playback side, but…
When there are 4 quarter notes in the bar, and I want “p” under the first one and “f” under the last one, I want to select the first and the last note to make it happen. That’s a no-brainer to me where I don’t have to think about it at all.

I understand that this is certainly different than in other programs. We may well be able to tweak this in future such that perhaps if you are entering an immediate dynamic along with a hairpin, we interpret the input to mean that you want the final immediate dynamic to arrive at the same position as the last selected note, though a hairpin on its own would go to the end of the last selected note. I’ll think about it.

Different, yes. I’m just not sure if it’s really better :wink:

Thanks for evaluating our feedback!

That sound good Daniel.


Is there a way to end the hairpin at an orange hashmark partway through a sustained note?

Maybe it is worth thinking about. I am not necessarily for a change. But I am certainly not against one. I just have to adjust my thoughts about it.

In hearing the explanation though, it makes me wonder… do we have the perception we do because we have seen it done incorrectly so often?


I think it’s the shift in mindset from “what does it look like on the page” to “what does the notation actually mean”.

Performers have always had to figure out “what does it mean”, even if the engraver (or even the composer) never really gave that question much thought! Maybe Dorico (unlike other notation software) is pushing the question back to an earlier link in the complete chain from composition to performance.

I think this is how you do it (but I don’t have Dorico open in front of me at the moment to be certain):

Press Return to enter Note Input mode.

Position the caret where you want the hairpin to begin and type <

Position the caret where you want the hairpin to stop and type ?

Yes, that works; and I can enter a dynamic mark after it.

I am afraid it does not work with a french keyboard… In help menu, I tried Key commands to see whether it was written somewhere, and did not find your keyboard binding, even with an English keyboard. They are in the table DoricoKeyCommands edited by a power user, though.
I tried the same with slurs (caret placement, press s, new caret place, maj+s) and it does not work either. What am I doing wrong ?
[edit] I have just understood that the procedure with slurs only works when inputting notes, not for an edition after the notes have been already written. Is it something eager to change ? Or is there a way to add slurs in engrave mode without using the mouse ? Thanks in advance for the tip !
[new edit, for french fellows] I can start a hairpin within the position of the caret, pressing < or >. Then I position the caret where I want the hairpin to end and press shift-/ and it works perfectly.