Gradual dynamics (hairpins) with square brackets

When creating a critical edition, it is modern fashion to use square brackets. It has not always been like this but it is something that has become quite a standard in the last 20-30 years.
The only reference I’ve found here is this old topic, but I am not writing to try to push the team in any way. I would simply like to know if there is a way for the user to access the hairpins as lines and add a square bracket at each end.
When fiddling with the Line Editor, I have found only the filled wedge, not the hairpin.

As I’m sure I’m far from the first to have this issue, I would like to ask you if you could share your ideas on how to work around this current limitation.

Thanks a lot!

I don’t think there’s a way, no.
It occurs to me that if you’re not using ( and ) brackets for hairpins in this project, you could swap out the parentheses in the Music Symbols Editor like so, which would give you square brackets rather than round ones, just for hairpins:

Brilliant, great!
Yes, I don’t use parentheses for hairpins.
Thank you!

For context, I changed the size to 110% because it looked too small, and will possibly increase it further. Then I noticed that the “Offset” coordinates have no effect on the distance between the hairpin’s end and the symbol.
If one finds the parentheses too close, then there seems nothing one can do?

There doesn’t seem to be an Engraving Option for this.
There’s a fudge, though, which is to add a blank text space to the Music Symbol. In the case of the left parenthesis you’ll need to put it to the right of the square bracket; for the right parenthesis you’ll need to put it to the left of the square bracket.
The blank space gives you an anchor that isn’t the hairpin itself: if you shunt the left bracket to the left you’ll find that the left edge of the hairpin moves with the left bracket. If you also shunt the text space to the right you’ll find that the gap between bracket and hairpin is increased.

It doesn’t matter what font style you use, though I guess if all of your font styles are subject to change then you could just grab an empty Glyph from any text font; that way these changes to Music Symbols will be portable to other projects and/or templates.


I definitely think there should.

1 Like

edit, seeing as this is confusing people: the post to which this post refers has been edited, so what follows is no longer particularly relevant.

I’m not sure that there’s any point in
a) a poll
b) a picture of what you’d like it to look like.

The user interface is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to actually programming the thing.

As to the poll, the development team have previously said they’ll get to it at some point. They will, when the relevant developer gets through all of the more urgent things. Polling for support isn’t going to make any difference to if or when that happens.


I’ve been away a few hours and I believe I’ve missed something.
Who added a poll to my topic? I certainly did not…
I also specified in my post that this is not to put pressure on the devs, especially since you gave me a solution that takes … erm … 2 minutes to implement?

@hamsandwichnow has now edited their post to remove the poll and screenshots, but now that you’ve asked, it’s only going to confuse things further if I remove the references to them from my previous post…


I don’t understand what this is. Picture?

There’s an example of a hairpin with square brackets in the second post (my first reply) in this thread.

If it’s something else you don’t understand, it’s because another user has edited their post. It’s not worth worrying about.

For the records, I’ve been able to make the left bracket work, but the right bracket is shortening the hairpin instead of moving to the right.