Dynamic Markings Above the Staff. Why?

For some reason, when I go to Engrave or export as a pdf, I see some of my dynamic markings (letters and hairpins) have shown up above the staff for no obvious reason. I have to go into Engrave to fix these, or–in some cases–delete them and re-enter.

(On my last piece, I didn’t notice it in time and the editor politely asked me what I was doing.)

Here you can see that the flute dynamics have jumped up above the staff:

This has happened on a timpani line, so it is not necessarily caused by condensing.

Does anyone know what causes this and how to prevent it? If not, I will just have to keep cleaning up the score every time.

Because the staff is condensed, and the only active player is in the up-stem voice with the resting player in the down-stem voice.

It also looks like they’re not grouped (ie the mf isn’t grouped with the mp<), which you may or may not prefer. Grouped dynamics are automatically aligned.

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@Lillie_Harris , Thanks, Lillie. This has happened with timpani before, but what you are saying could be the reason this has occurred with flutes and oboes.

Forgive my stupidity, but how do I group the dynamics? Grouping would help me keep things aligned when I have to move something up or down.

Perhaps you accidentally flipped them, or you were unwittingly condensing your timpani.

Search the manual for “group dynamics” –


Wow! @Lillie_Harris! This grouping dynamics thing is the greatest invention since the treble clef. Thanks!


Lillie’s manual is also great, and I highly recommend reading as much as you can absorb each day. It will greatly enhance your fluency in Dorico. Just be sure you’re reading the latest manual. Documentation for Dorico Pro 5 can be found here.