Piano Stave Dynamics

Hi there

I have searched this forum and hope that I haven’t missed something about this…

Is there any way to stop dynamics attaching them selves to ether one hand or the other of a piano part? I like to write by default so that dynamics in the centre of the piano stave apply to both hands. Then in special cases I like to separate them only.

When I enter a rest in first beat of bar in the right hand and add a note in the theft, the dynamic appears under the left hand, which means when the right hand comes in a beat later, I have to input the same dynamic again for clarity. I have found that inputting dynamics on rests is not a very effective way around it.

Any key commands or pop-over techniques available would be very welcome!

Perhaps a function to collate piano dynamics and then separate them when needed is what I am looking for.


Hi Robby,

That’s not how it’s expected to work. See photo.

You’re writing in the music, then adding a dynamic to the rest in the RH? It should always appear between the staves. Are you using Shift-D for the dynamics popover?

As Dan says, you should find that dynamics always go in below the staff you selected, so if you select a note or rest in the right-hand staff, the dynamic will be added below the right-hand staff and then centred between the two staves. Adding a dynamic to the left-hand staff will show it below the left-hand staff. If you want a dynamic added to the right-hand staff to appear above the staff instead, you can adjust its placement using the ‘Placement’ property, which you will find in the Properties panel.

Hi Dan and Daniel, thanks for your replies.

Yes I do use the dynamics pop-over box to enter dynamics, and I currently use the process of adding dynamic to rests in the right hand.

I think the issue arrives when I want to move an item after I have written it using the ALT and arrow keys: I use a lot of this method to move musical items around including dynamics, and it is a great feature of Dorico, but in a double stave instrument it takes more steps than usual:


For example in the screen grab I have attached, If I wand to move the existing dynamic in the right hand to the rest in first part of the bar using ALT and the left arrow key, the dynamic jumps to the previous bar instead. Tis forces me to delete it and enter a new dynamic with the popover

Could a feature be added where rests are included in the jumps (when using ALT and Arrow keys) for dynamics on double stave instruments? This would be a great time saver


You can use Ctrl+Alt+right arrow to move by the grid instead.

Ah brilliant thats what I have been looking for. Thank you for that, and also for the amazing 2.2 update, truly fantastic!

Hello! How to adjust different dynamics for left and right hands? For example, VSTi does not play piano for the left hand and forte for the right hand together, the dynamics uses values of the lower stave.

If the voices are all on the same MIDI channel (which I expect is the case for the current standard keyboard instrument) you should not expect different volume on different staves of the piano (unless you use hidden accents as a work-around).

One option (now that brackets are available) might be to create you own composite keyboard grand staff with different instruments, both set to piano sounds but on different MIDI channels and set to the appropriate Expression Map for piano to fake a piano part. If that does not work, you might have to create independent hidden staves and copy the left and right hand notes to them for playback.

This is so far not possible, as far as I know.

Here is what I would offer. Just hide the names of the instruments via the Setup instrument name dialogue (change the name to a space or such).
pianoStavesSample.dorico.zip (385 KB)

If you use a piano VST that has velocity based dynamics (as defined in the expression map), then you can specify dynamics per voice (select a voice, specify the dynamic and end the popup with Alt-Enter rather than just Enter).

This technique does not work for NotePerformer (as the dynamics for that VST are based on a continuous controller), but does work for most other VSTs that use the default expression map (e.g. Steinberg HSSE, Pianoteq, Garritan CFX, Vienna Synchron Pianos, etc.)

Thank you very much!

Any idea when will this be possible? Having different dynamics on different hands simultaneously play back.


Read dbudde’s post above. It works now for almost every VST keyboard instrument except NotePerformer, and that is a limitation of NotePerformer, not of Dorico.

I am also voting for implementing different midi channels for upper and lower system in a grand staff, I write a lot for accordion and the notation in the treble system goes down and interfere with the bass system, see picture

With the vst plugin I use I can set different midi channels for left and right hand.
Daniel, do you consider implementing this function for grand staff?

Regards Ulrik

Yes, it will be possible in a future version to specify different channels for different voices, which is equivalent to being able to specify different channels for different staves.


So could those different channels could have different instruments assigned to them?. For example, the wood block in this example.
Wood Block.jpg

I’m sure that is the reason for having separately assigned channels for each voice. Once one can assign a separate MIDI channel, all sorts of options open up.

Great news, thanks!

Any news as to when will this feature be available? Thanks!