Niente circle size


I have, for a while now, been thinking that the circle indicating niente in crescendo/diminuendo hairpins looks a bit small.
I’m concerned that there’s a chance that musicians would overlook it (or in the case of the ill-willed ones, at least comment on it being small).
Is there any way to increase the size of it slightly?

There isn’t at the moment, but I agree that it could possibly stand to be a bit bigger. I’ll have a think about it.

If it’s important for you, and if you feel brave enough you could open Bravura in a font editor and scale the glyph yourself. But you haven’t got that from me… in case you blow up everything.

I agree with this. It’d be great to have an option (perhaps under “Advanced” in that section of the Engraving options) to re-scale the circle.

I looked in Kurt Stone’s Music Notation in the Twentieth Century for an authority on niente-circle notation, but he only discusses the use of n. Maybe the circle post-dates his book (which is 1980).

Also, I miss another standard niente sign: the italic ø. (Very practical in that it cannot be mistaken for a harmonic or an open string.)

Rune, you can easily edit this yourself using the Music Symbols editor. Set it once for all future projects.

Thanks a lot, Dan! Is that done by clicking the star symbol (Save as Default) after having edited?


Also strongly agree that the niente should be bigger. And actually I was told by an LSO player that the nientes can be hard to spot and players usually prefer ‘pppp’. BUT, if a niente circle is bigger, then I guess players will play them more confidently. Nientes in Dorico are so small that they’re probably not useful at all.

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It didn’t seem to occur to anyone, but in the same way you can change the niente-circle for the ø, you can also make it bigger. I.e. there is, and has been for a long time, an option for making the niente-circle bigger with the music symbol editor.


@Aasmund thanks - this is just what I want. A great capability to be able to customise this.

The default niente circle diameter is far too small by any standard. If your eyesight is not strong, its almost invisible.

I too find the circle too small to be easy to read.

I would also like an additional style, that is the barred circle (ø).


Sorry for necroing this thread.
I’m trying to make the little o bigger, which works, but I’m also trying to pull it away from the tip of the hairpin. The o shouldn’t touch the hairpin at all (based on every example so far that I’ve come across of this notation).

How would I go about leaving a bit of space between the tip of the hairpin and the circle?
Using the “offset” does move it, but it seems to pull the end of the hairpin as well.

Is this what you’re looking for?


Go to Library>Music Symbols, select Niente (for hairpins) in the left column, delete the existing glyph, then add a space character (U+20), the niente glyph (U+E541) and another space character. In the example above, the Y-Scale of the niente glyph is set to 150.00, and the X-Offset of the niente glyph and the second space character is set to 1.50.

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ah, thank-you.

odd that I can’t simply move the niente circle over. oh well! the mysteries of computer programming strike again :slight_smile:


ok, I have NO idea how to identify these “U” characters you are referencing.
I can’t find anything with a U+20. where would that be?

actually, I can’t seem to figure out how to add multiple characters.

Probably the simplest way to add a space is to go to the Text tab rather than the Glyph tab, and add a space in the Enter text here box, then click Add Text.

In the Edit Music Symbol dialog, click on Unicode in the right column, then in the From box, type U+20 and press Enter twice. The space character should now be the “glyph” just below the word From. Click on the space character, then on Add Glyph at the bottom of the right column. Now press SMuFL in the right column, click on Range and select Dynamics. The niente glyph should follow the hairpins in the list of glyphs. Now click on the niente glyph and then on Add Glyph again. Repeat the earlier steps to add another space character.

I think a niente circle too far away from the hairpin may be interpreted as a harmonic at first sight (at least by me).
IMVHO, niente as a dynamic feature is overrated anyway. For most instruments and instrumentalists, a simple pp will yield exactly the same result.


Well, this thread isn’t exactly about the validity of niente…

I agree the circle should connect to the hairpin. Or I’ve used n.

no one’s asking for “too far away”.
I’ve only seen niente circles be detached from the hairpin in scores (in my experience, thus far… so maybe I haven’t come across every publisher’s notational preference for this).

However, a tiny break between the hairpin and the circle will never be misinterpreted as a harmonic, particularly if the hairpin/niente tends to be below the notes. The circle for the niente also is quite a bit smaller than that for a harmonic.