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Dynamics not changing on tied notes

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Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby saintdufus » Thu May 29, 2014 9:25 pm

I'm having a problem: I've got whole notes spread across several measures, joined together by ties. They start off forte-fortissimo, but after a couple of measures I instruct them to change to mezzo-piano.

But there's no change in the volume. I tried putting a decrescendo in, but that didn't work either.

Can anyone tell me why this is happening, and how to fix it? I've had this problem multiple times: tied notes ignoring dynamic markings.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby idiotSavant » Thu May 29, 2014 10:07 pm

I've noticed that I sometimes have to place the dynamics both above and below the staff for them to work properly on playback. Not sure why this is, but if I'm having trouble with dynamics markings this usually takes care of it. It has something to do with dynamic assignment to individual staff voices, but I've never seen anyone from Notion address this problem.
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Re: Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby kmlandre » Fri May 30, 2014 1:58 am

Make sure your dynamic markings are ACTUALLY tied to a particular note and that your hairpins (I myself don't use the cresc/decr markings) are tied to the SAME note as the dynamic marking. And as a general practice, always put a dynamic marking at the beginning and ending of *every* hairpin.

I find that when instruments are ignoring dynamic commands, that's usually the problem.

On the other hand, I've run into a few instances where I need to - for reasons that remain completely obfuscated to me - "redeclare" the clef marking; i.e., if I've got a bassoon that's causing problems, a mysterious "something" gets fixed if I put a new bass clef somewhere on the staff. It makes less than zero sense, I know.

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Re: Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby saintdufus » Fri May 30, 2014 4:18 am

Thank you both for your help.

The problem was solved by Kurt's suggestion of tying the hairpin to the same note the dynamic marking is attached to. Thanks Kurt!

Savant: I used to do the same thing you're doing (putting dynamic markings both above and below the staff). Eventually, I decided the ones below the staff weren't actually doing anything. I now believe that only the ones above the staff actually affect the volume, but if you're finding differently then I could be wrong.
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Re: Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby idiotSavant » Fri May 30, 2014 9:12 pm

saintdufus wrote:
Savant: I used to do the same thing you're doing (putting dynamic markings both above and below the staff). Eventually, I decided the ones below the staff weren't actually doing anything. I now believe that only the ones above the staff actually affect the volume, but if you're finding differently then I could be wrong.


Interesting. I've never dug into it that deeply. I tend to start by placing them below since that's where they usually are in any score I'm transcribing, and as an architect in my "day job" I'm a bit of a nut for graphical precision. So what you say makes some sense.

That would be a nice thing for Admin to clarify.
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Re: Dynamics not changing on tied notes

Postby kmlandre » Sat May 31, 2014 2:40 am

idiotSavant wrote:Interesting. I've never dug into it that deeply. I tend to start by placing them below since that's where they usually are in any score I'm transcribing, and as an architect in my "day job" I'm a bit of a nut for graphical precision. So what you say makes some sense.

That would be a nice thing for Admin to clarify.


My experience has been that both work, though I myself always go below the staff for consistency's sake (except on double-staff instruments). However, that's only true IF the caveats of my earlier post are followed.

Also, I've never tried this intentionally, but I don't know if you can mix the two; i.e., you can't have the dynamic markings below the staff and the hairpins above or vice-versa...

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