Inputting dynamics with the popover

You can input dynamics and modifiers using the dynamics popover, 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.


  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. Optional: If you want to input notes and dynamics onto multiple staves at once, extend the caret to those staves.
  3. Open the dynamics popover in any of the following ways:
    • Press Shift-D.

    • In the Notations toolbox, click Popovers Popovers button, then Dynamics Dynamics button.

  4. Enter the dynamic you want into the popover.

    For example, p, p<f>p, or f>.

  5. Input the dynamics and close the popover in one of the following ways:
    • To input the dynamics for all voices/staves belonging to the instrument, press Return.

    • During note input, input the dynamics only into the voice indicated by the caret indicator by pressing Alt/Opt-Return.

  6. Optional: During note input, advance the caret and extend open-ended gradual dynamics, such as p<, in any of the following ways:
    • Press Space.

    • In the Keyboard, Fretboard, or Drum Pads panel toolbar, click Advance Caret Advance Caret button.

    Open-ended gradual dynamics also extend automatically as you continue inputting notes.

  7. Optional: During note input, stop open-ended dynamics in any of the following ways:
    • Press ?.

    • Open the dynamics popover and input an immediate dynamic, such as f.


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, and extend automatically if you included an open-ended gradual dynamic. 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.

  • If you entered a dynamic phrase into the popover during note input, such as p<f>p, each gradual dynamic lasts a quarter note (crotchet). You can lengthen/shorten gradual dynamics and groups of dynamics later.

  • 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 input hairpins and messa di voce hairpins directly, without using the popover.

    • For a crescendo hairpin, press <.

    • For a diminuendo hairpin, press >.

    • For a crescendo/diminuendo messa di voce hairpin, press Shift-Alt/Opt-,.

    • For a diminuendo/crescendo messa di voce hairpin, press Shift-Alt/Opt-..

After Completing This Task

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