Multiple dynamics at the same time


I’m currently working on orchestrating a piece, and in the original I find two different dynamics at the same time in the same instrument. There are hairpins that tell the dynamics bar by bar, but at the same time there’s a “p poco a poco cresc.” that tells you how to play the whole page.

Is there anyway to do this in Dorico? At the moment, it seems that the dynamics cancel eachother out.


You can mute one of them so that it won’t affect playback.

It’s not that. I can’t even write two different dynamics in the same part at the same time.

Ah sorry, I misunderstood. Dorico should be able to import a hairpin and a dynamic at the same location from a MusicXML file, or let you create them at the same location. Can you attach the file here or PM it to one of us?

Enter it as “p<” in the dynamics popover, then change the appearance of the hairpin by way of the ‘Gradual style’ property to be text, and then add the “poco a poco” modifier using the right-hand Dynamics panel.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough. What I want to do is have both the text poco a poco cresc. and the hairpin at the same time. As in the attached file.

  1. Create a hairpin of the appropriate length.
  2. Select the hairpin and switch on the ‘poco a poco’ modifier in the Dynamics panel.
  3. In the Properties panel, switch on the ‘Suffix’ property and set ‘cresc.’ as the text in there.
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Kind of similar my problem here:

Mendelssohn i.e. writes “f sf” under the same Note. How can I do this? Either f or sf appears, but not both at the same time/place.

Thanks, that did work!

Unfortunately you can’t easily do this just yet, because Dorico will try to be helpful and replace the one with the other, as you’ve found. We will come up with a good way to sort this out in due course.

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Any update on that :slight_smile: ?

You can put dynamics wherever you like, using the caret. Place an f on the beat and an sf a semiquaver/16th later.

What does one suppose Mendelssohn meant that to sound like?

The notation is logical enough, if you read sf as an accent on the first note of the forte passage.

I don’t know if “>” marks for accents were commonplace by Mendelssohn’s time. Using symbols instead of text for articulations (except for staccato dots and dashes) took a while to catch on. Beethoven never used them, for example.

That’s what I suspected, and being a non-urtext transcriber, I’d just write an accented forte (but I do realize others have other priorities they need to follow.)

Mozart often notated ‘accents’ but he didn’t use accent symbols, either. He notated them as fp and mfp. Despite the fact that both usually mean an accent, using only the symbol would remove an important aspect of the musical intention.

Related to this older thread, how I can I achieve the following, with multiple dynamics and hairpins, a notation that is actually perfectly clear, albeit not often seen:

[As an aside, it is a delight to be able to set all the microtonals in Dorico very easily.]

Place one set of dynamics whichever usual way you like.
Then invoke the caret, type Shift-D to launch the dynamic popover, < or >, then Alt-Enter (you won’t see anything yet), then use the arrow keys to get to wherever you need the hairpin to end. Either type ? to tell Dorico to end the hairpin there or, if there’s an ending dynamic, type Shift-D p (or whatever) Alt-Enter.

Using Alt-Enter rather than Enter makes the dynamics voice-specific.

@pianoleo This is outstanding.

But, before adding the bottom line hairpin, I could group dynamics on the top lines, and now they do not align when grouped.

[Ignore the accidental collisions, to be fixed later.]

Hmm. I couldn’t give you a definitive answer to that one, without actually throwing your material into Dorico. If they won’t group, can they be aligned? (Align dynamics is an Engrave mode function; it doesn’t do anything in Write mode). Does it work if you swap around the set of dynamics that are global vs voice-specific?