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Thread: Help on dynamics notation

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    Default Help on dynamics notation

    I've had this problem for quite a while, but never bothered to ask for a solution, so here it goes.

    In Sibelius (I use 5), after putting down a f or any dynamic marking, Sibelius keeps using that dynamic for every note following. My question is simple, how do I stop this? What kind of marking do I put after the f note, so that the next note is 'normal' again?

    I hope this makes sense..;

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    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    I have never used Sibelius but can't you just use an sfz marking or put an accent sign over the note.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I have never used Sibelius but can't you just use an sfz marking or put an accent sign over the note.
    That, and I have absolutely no idea why, doesn't work in Sibelius. It doesn't do anything while playing back when using sfz.

    And that's only delaying the problem. I'd like to have a section p notes (5 or so) and then return to 'normal'.

    Thanks for replying this quick though.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    What do you mean normal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by emiellucifuge View Post
    What do you mean normal?
    Well, if I just input notes, it's in a standard loudness. I'd like to go back to that.

    Like, I ask you to play a C, then a forte C, and then a C like the first one again. Do you understand?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mueske View Post
    I've had this problem for quite a while, but never bothered to ask for a solution, so here it goes.

    In Sibelius (I use 5), after putting down a f or any dynamic marking, Sibelius keeps using that dynamic for every note following. My question is simple, how do I stop this? What kind of marking do I put after the f note, so that the next note is 'normal' again?

    I hope this makes sense..;

    Nevermind Sibelius or any other software. How is this done in pen and paper written notation? I am not aware of any convention for cancelling a previous f, p, or any other dynamic mark.
    Last edited by AmateurComposer; Dec-01-2009 at 03:15. Reason: Clarification

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    Senior Member dmg's Avatar
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    I imagine you don't have a default marking - you have to put the marking for the loudness you want to change to (like if the default is mf, you'd put mf to go back to that)...

    I could be talking out of my posterior, though, as I've never used this program...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmateurComposer View Post
    Nevermind Sibelius or any other software. How is this done in pen and paper written notation? I am not aware of any convention for cancelling a previous f, p, or any other dynamic mark.
    Well, I do remember there being one. I took some lessons a few years ago, we had to sing louder for a forte, and keep it up until a certain mark appeared.

    I have been trying to find the book that I used for those lessons, but seems like it got lost.

    Or I just imagined the whole thing.

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    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
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    Here is what you do: the note you want f, you put f, and the next note you put P or whatever.

    You hide both, and you put a Sfz, not hidden. there.

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Are you composing for midi? Because if you are, you should use a real midi sequencer (Rosegarden is a good free choice) rather than a scorewriter like Sibelius. If you're not composing for midi, but for sheet music and actual performance, then you need to ignore the sounds Sibelius makes. Learn more about music notation instead and realize that what Sibelius plays is only a computer-generated approximation, and shouldn't be taken too seriously.

    The way midi does dynamics is through a thing called "note velocity". I think the default "normal" is a note velocity of 80, which equates to mf. Since a velocity is given at the beginning of each note that's played, most programs don't have any way to do such dynamics as sfz, rfz, or accents without manually changing the actual volume or the note velocity. And for that, you should use a real midi sequencer. Here's a handy chart of note velocity equivalents for standard dynamics, if you decide to use a midi sequencer instead of composing sheet music for performance:

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    Default Midi

    In a real MIDI sequencer dynamics are not only done through note velocity but can also be adjusted using Controller 7 for overall volume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kopachris View Post
    Are you composing for midi? Because if you are, you should use a real midi sequencer (Rosegarden is a good free choice)
    When I click on your link I end up in a site which offer search services. I do not see there anything about MIDI sequencers. If I missed anything please point it out.

    Composing for MIDI? Well, I consider MIDI as a substitute, for whatever it is worth, to the real thing.

    So far, I found a reasonable sequencer in SynthFont (www.synthfont.com)

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    Senior Member Kopachris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmateurComposer View Post
    When I click on your link I end up in a site which offer search services. I do not see there anything about MIDI sequencers. If I missed anything please point it out.

    Composing for MIDI? Well, I consider MIDI as a substitute, for whatever it is worth, to the real thing.

    So far, I found a reasonable sequencer in SynthFont (www.synthfont.com)
    huh. Sorry, the site is www.rosegardenmusic.com instead of rosegarden.org.

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    Senior Member Jeremy Marchant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mueske View Post
    ... In Sibelius (I use 5), after putting down a f or any dynamic marking, Sibelius keeps using that dynamic for every note following. My question is simple, how do I stop this? What kind of marking do I put after the f note, so that the next note is 'normal' again?
    It's nothing to do with Sibelius.
    Simple convention states that a player/singer performs at the dynamic level indicated by the composer in the score until that level is changed by a marking. You have to start with a dynamic level. If that is mf and you then mark f, any performer will carry on at f until instructed to do otherwise. If you want the level to revert to mf you have to say so. This is just editorial good practice. Inter alia, I am a professional copyist and editor, and I use Sibelius.

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    Jeremy is right, of course. You should really have a dynamic marking in the first bar of your piece. Then, whenever you want it to change, you mark that place, and that dynamic stays until you make another change.
    Pretty simple stuff.
    I can't think of something less suited to a computer programme that composing/notating music.
    cheers,
    G

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