Hairpin and dynamics position adjustment in score and parts

When I input a dynamic or a haripin I invariably have to move it vertically (dynamic) or vertically and horizontally (hairpin) in the score. If this is done globally, when I change to the part I find I have to work on the positioning again. If I adjust the score locally, I still have to adjust the position in the part.

Am I doing something wrong?


Could you share some pictures of the sort of adjustments you find yourself making? There are a lot of global settings under Engraving Options > Dynamics which might save you a lot of time. Also, at least for the vertical positioning, you can Group Dynamics in Write mode, or Align Dynamics in Engrave mode, with the same graphical effect of making them align horizontally.

edit: did a quick check, dynamic positioning offsets will just propagate like any other property when either you toggle Set local properties: Globally or propagate properties manually, as long as you do it from within Engrave mode.

The adjustments required vary. For instance the horizontal start and end of the hairpin is often not where I set it, and the vertical adjustment of these and dynamics depends on the pitch of the note, and whether the tail is up or down. I already set the global options as you suggested.

What do mean by propagate properties manually?

If you need the hairpin to start or end earlier/later in time, ie on an earlier or later beat, then rather than dragging the endpoints left and right, change their rhythmic positions: you can use a combination of moving and lengthening/shortening. Dragging behaviour for dynamics is linked to noteheads, but key commands let you move dynamics to other positions

I’d recommend double-checking the minimum gaps in Engraving Options, as there are separate settings for minimum distance from the staff vs minimum distance from other items, like down-stem notes or low/high notes outside the staff. These are different.


I still feel we need a bit more context to correctly determine the best approach here. Regarding horizontal positioning for example, are you quite sure the ends of the hairpins are attached to the correct rhythmic positions? The more semantically sensible your input is, the more Dorico can do a good job positioning things automatically. And positioning offsets are a very brute-force method—being absolute numbers, it isn’t guaranteed they make sense in another layout.

Selecting one or more items, then choosing Propagate Properties from the Edit menu to copy any overridden properties to every layout that item appears in.

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(info about propagate properties here)

Also information about local vs global properties here.

Well now. Are you specifying the right place? Are you saying that Dorico does not respect your choices? Can you be more specific about the problem?

Many thanks for replies.

Here are two good examples, in each case with with local properties set Globally:

  1. In page view of score, select from first note to second rest and add hairpin with popover:


Extend hairpin:


View in part. Hairpin is extended further, and needs one shot of Ctrl+Alt+<— to fix:


In the example given, you may not think it is a big deal; but it is certainly problematic in melodies involving a mixture of crotchets, quavers and semiquavers.


  1. Insert cresc poco a poco with dashes (in score).

Go to part, which doesnt have the dashed line. I have to add it in properties.


Graphical offsets are measured in spaces (which you’ll see measured in the Properties panel for the X/Y offset properties). The number of spaces required in the part might well be different than the number required in the score.

However, if you want this hairpin to end not at the start of the crotchet beat, but more like an eighth afterwards: set the rhythmic grid to an eighth, and rhythmically lengthen the hairpin by an eighth. That way, it semantically lasts that duration and Dorico will show it ending an eighth after that note in all layouts, no graphical offsets required.

(Don’t be misled by the default dragging behaviour of dynamics: you can definitely move and lengthen/shorten them to rhythmic positions other than noteheads. The links in my previous reply tell you how.)

Gradual dynamic with dashes: if you input this directly from the popover (i.e. you didn’t change the gradual style using properties afterwards), then I think it might indeed not “count” as an override of your default settings in Engraving Options, regardless of your property scope. This is where propagate properties (linked in my previous reply) comes in: propagate from the score to the part.

If you want all gradual dynamics to look like this (i.e. you’ll never show hairpins, or you will have considerably more dashed lines than hairpins), change the Engraving Option to whichever style you’ll use most.