mp-p

Is there any way to create the dynamic mp-p, f-p, mf-f, etc? It’s quite common in repeated sections, to indicate one dynamic the first time through and another the second.

I can do it by adding a prefix or suffix in the properties pane, but it’s a different font, so it doesn’t look right.

Thanks as always.

You can certainly do f-p etc., but not f-mf or p-mp, i.e. the two dynamics either side of the separator must be opposites: they can’t both be forte or piano. Dorico calls these “combined dynamics” and you can change their separator via Properties.

Is this by plan, or just something it can’t do yet? I’m writing a transcription of an English horn solo, and the accompaniment parts need to do just what I’ve asked about: mp the first time through the repeat and even softer the second time.

That is a common situation in large ensemble music, as is the opposite, an mf-f situation. Will we have that at some point?

Thanks much.

In the meantime, you can input the first dynamic, add the hyphen as a suffix, add the second dynamic at the next rhythmic position (in note input mode, move the caret and type Shift-D), and nudge it over in Engrave mode so it looks like one expression.

Thx, Dan. That’s what I’ve done. I’m just surprised that u can do mp-mf but not mp-p. Hope that’s a temporary situation.

I love Dorico and haven’t come up against this problem myself yet, but why the developers would put these limitations on something like this is baffling to me. IMHO it’s perfectly reasonable to want to create a dynamic marking such as mp-p without having to use the work around. Quite bizarre.

In our defence, combined dynamics are not intended for representing dynamics that change on different passes through the music. They are instead intended for rapid or instantaneous changes of dynamic on the attack of a note, such as fp or pf. In our survey of the literature we didn’t come across these kinds of rapid changes of dynamic from e.g. f to mf or p to mp. So the data structure was designed in such a way that one side of the dynamic would be forte and the other piano. It’s not some great conspiracy to deliberately limit or hobble the program, and I believe the design we came up with is appropriate for the kind of dynamic for which it is intended to be used, though I daresay somebody can provide me with one or more counter-examples from the literature that show an accent that goes f-mf or mp-p or something if they look hard enough.

There is, however, a separate need for dynamics that differ on different passes through the music, and that’s something that Dorico doesn’t yet properly support. Using a combined dynamic for this is really a workaround until such time as we have a proper feature for it.

Thanks, Daniel. I can only tell you that in the concert band world, they are common.

One of the most frequent uses is in marches, which are typically made up of 16- or 32-bar “strains.” While these are, admittedly, usually between different flavors of f and p, it isn’t at all uncommon to see within (vs. between) those flavors.

Sorry guys…I can produce everything with combined dynamics except mf-f - am I too stupid? mp-f works, but not mf-f… :open_mouth:
Please help.

ok…found another thread:
https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=109040

Daniel did explain this further up the thread:

Chiming in simply to add one more user in need of the occasional f-mf, examples provided in existing literature or not.

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+1. Examples of this are encountered fairly often in jazz as well.

Those I think are really not combined dynamics, but instead instructions for dynamics on different passes through the music. Those require another approach, tailored more specifically to the requirement of handling dynamics in repeated sections.

In my mind it is of no relevance that mf and f both are “forte dynamics”. They are different from each other, they have different content and tension. For the music I write, I need f-mf.