Inputting dynamics with the panel

You can input dynamics and modifiers using the Dynamics panel, both during note input and by adding them to existing music. You can also input different dynamics into each voice independently in multiple-voice contexts; for example, to give the separate staves of grand staff instruments different dynamics.

  • If you want to input dynamics in the middle of tie chains, start note input, then move the caret to the required rhythmic position.

  • You can also change dynamics during note 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.


      If you want to input voice-specific dynamics, the caret must be active.

    • Select an item on each staff and at the rhythmic position where you want to input dynamics. If you want to input dynamics across a duration, select items on the staff that span that duration.

  2. In the Notations toolbox, click Panels , then Dynamics to show the Dynamics panel.
  3. Input the dynamics you want in one of the following ways:
    • To input dynamics for all voices/staves belonging to the instrument, click them in the Dynamics panel.

    • During note input, input the dynamics only into the voice indicated by the caret indicator by Alt/Opt-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/Opt 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 specified dynamics are input. Unless you input voice-specific dynamics, dynamics apply to all voices on all staves belonging to a single instrument, including grand staff instruments.They are positioned according to your settings on the Dynamics page in Engraving Options. Voice-specific dynamics are placed on the default side of the staff for the instrument type, regardless of the voice’s stem direction.

Adjoining dynamics, or dynamics that were input together or in sequence, are automatically grouped together, both during note input and when adding dynamics to existing music.

During note input, dynamics are input at the caret position. Gradual dynamics are input with a default duration of a quarter note. Voice-specific dynamics are input in the voice indicated by the quarter note symbol beside the caret.

Outside of note input, immediate dynamics are added to the first selected item on each selected staff, while gradual dynamics are added across each selection on each selected staff.

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

    You can add modifiers before and after existing dynamics. You can also hide immediate dynamics later if you only want to show the modifier.

  • Pairs of separate hairpins are treated differently than messa di voce hairpins. For example, separate hairpins each have start and end handles in Write mode, whereas messa di voce hairpins share a single center handle.

  • 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.