Inputting dynamics with the panel

You can input dynamics and expressive text using the Dynamics panel, both during step input and by adding them to existing notes. You can also input different dynamics into each voice independently in multiple-voice contexts.

  • You can also change dynamics during step input by following these steps when the caret is at the rhythmic position of the dynamic you want to change.

  • These steps describe inputting with the default mouse input preference Create item at selection.


  1. In Write mode, do one of the following:
    • Start note input.

    • Select existing notes across which you want to add dynamics.

  2. In the Notations toolbox, click Dynamics to show the Dynamics panel.
  3. Input the dynamics you want in one of the following ways:
    • To input dynamics for all voices on the staff, click them in the Dynamics panel.

    • During note input, input the dynamics only into the voice indicated by the caret indicator by Alt-clicking them in the Dynamics panel.

    • If you want to add expressive or qualifying text to the dynamics, do not deselect them.

    • When inputting voice-specific dynamics, you can release Alt once you have input the dynamic level, such as .

    • Gradual dynamics have a default duration of a quarter note. You can lengthen/shorten gradual dynamics later.

  4. Optional: In the Dynamics panel, click the expressive/qualifying texts you want in the Immediate Dynamics and Gradual Dynamics sections.


The selected dynamics are input. They are positioned according to your settings on the Dynamics page in Engrave > Engraving Options. Voice-specific dynamics are placed below the staff by default, even if they are input into an up-stem voice.

During step input, dynamics are input at the caret position. Voice-specific dynamics are input in the voice indicated by the quarter note symbol beside the caret.

When you add dynamics to existing notes, immediate dynamics are added to the first note in the selection while gradual dynamics are added across the selection.

  • Some expressive text, such as molto, appears before immediate dynamics rather than after them, even if you do not enter them in that order. This follows the generally accepted practice for expressive text placement.

  • You can also input gradual dynamics by clicking the gradual dynamic you want in the Dynamics panel when nothing is selected in the music area. Then click and drag to input the gradual dynamic and extend it to the length you want.

After Completing This Task

You can move dynamics within dynamic phrases and change the placement of dynamics relative to the staff.