Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

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DrLeonard
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Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by DrLeonard »

Is it possible to have different dynamic marks in the treble and bass clefs of a piano score? e.g. mf in bass, p in treble? Experimenting with this I have not discovered how to do it. Perhaps it requires using different voices and channels? -- Thanks.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by Merv »

Yes. I posted clear instructions for how to do this in a previous post from sometime back. But I’ll be damned if I can find it. I’m afraid it’s a memory thing – my memory, not the computer's memory. The procedure is very simple. Give me a day or two and I’ll search the archive.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by Merv »

I finally found the old thread that showed how to do it. I C&P'ed it for you...

Both staves of the Grand Staff are considered by Overture to be one track. Regardless of where the dynamic is placed within the area of the Grand Staff both staves adhere and respond to the dynamic entry regardless of which stave has ownership of the dynamic so you should not be concerned about which stave has ownership of the dynamic.

However, if you want your bass line to respond to a different set of dynamic instructions separate from the treble line, you could assign two channels to your piano track (V1 Ch1 + V2 Ch2) and then change your bass line to voice two. Both staves of your Grand Staff will then operate independent of each other regarding dynamics so long as the notes of your bass line are entered in (or changed to) voice two. I was wondering therefore if this is why you want a particular stave to have ownership of a dynamic. It doesn’t happen often in piano scores, but it does happen. If this is the case, the correct placement of the dynamic would be above the Grand Staff (for the treble line) and below (for the bass line). But in most piano music the dynamic is placed between the staves of the Grand Staff and in Overture ownership of the dynamic is immaterial because you’re dealing with one track as opposed to two.

If you have low lying notes and articulations in your upper stave that are crowding your score, you could separate the staves of your Grand Staff to make room for slurs, ties, dynamics and hairpins. Unlike working with ruled paper in the old days, modern notation software is very flexible and will format to accommodate those unusual situations that crop up from time to time.

Right or wrong, this is my interpretation of how Overture works, and it serves me. This is not to say that there are no other techniques and perhaps easier ways to do this.

I posted an Overture file to illustrate how to do it
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DrLeonard
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by DrLeonard »

Thanks, Merv. However I may already use both voices 1 and 2 in the bass line because of note values, e.g. I may have a quarter note and two 8th notes being played simultaneously in the left hand at the same dynamic. To get a different dynamic for either of these, or for something else, would I need to go to voice 3 and set a separate channel for it?
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Dean Krommydas
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by Dean Krommydas »

DrLeonard wrote: Mon Nov 07, 2022 5:59 pmTo get a different dynamic for either of these, or for something else, would I need to go to voice 3 and set a separate channel for it?
If you're trying to get your dynamic markings to trigger separate things simultaneously, yes.

If I am understanding you properly...and you want your bass line quarter note to be... say pianissimo.... and your two eighth notes in the bass line to be mf, and whatever notes in your treble line to be forte...and you want the dynamic markings to indicate and handle all that simultaneously... yes you would need 3 voices.

Sounds kinda messy tho...probably need some more specifics but if you're trying to use dynamic markings to change the loudness or softness of a few notes on a piano grand staff....just to get the desired playback effect...this may be where the velocity conversation from the other thread might be useful. You simply adjust the velocity values for those notes...and minimize the use of what I'm assuming you mean mp/f/ff or whatever dynamics along with the use of so many voices...all for what I am still assuming is one piano.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by DrLeonard »

I think my issue has more to do with a phrase or figure (not an individual note or two) I want to be played at a different (say louder) volume than what the other notes in the clef are being played at. For example, the lower base line may be playing a countermelody to some other instrument in the larger score, but I don't want the other piano notes to be at the same volume. By the way, I found a crude way to do this, as far as making notes louder is concerned: have those same notes played in another voice at the same time, but made invisible. That causes them to sound louder than the rest of the notes in the track. But there's no way to notate this for an actual "live" performance.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by Dean Krommydas »

Yes...this does seem a bit crude and I'm still thinking the same about using 3 dynamics and channels on your piano track...although I'm still not 100% what you're doing/wanting there.
DrLeonard wrote: Fri Nov 11, 2022 9:29 pm For example, the lower base line may be playing a countermelody to some other instrument in the larger score, but I don't want the other piano notes to be at the same volume.
The first quick thing I'd try is CNTRL select (or lasso) the exact notes you want louder (independent of all others) in the piano line and raise the velocity values for just those notes. CNTRL Y = Set - Key On Velocity - Pick your # and experiment.

Then I might select the exact notes you want louder and hit CNTRL + 1 or 2 or 3 - to put those notes onto a different voice and assign it a channel to control the CC or dynamics for them independently. Then...they would not be doubled.

Some of what you're saying now sounds related to mixing and balancing the piano with other instrumentation. If true...that returns to being a combination of your CC controls, volume levels, and velocities.

If you want dynamics to do this like we were discussing earlier, you simply assign the dynamics on that voice/channel, and sure... you can hide any extra dynamic markings if you have too many.

Whatever you do...it's usually a combination of CC and velocities that should get the job done for you less crudely.

If working within the context of your score, I'd ensure all other instrumentation is in fact at the desirable levels....and then start working fresh with the piano line. Remove your invisible/doubling or mute it and hang onto it if you want it as a reference. If most of your piano line is good and it's just this one phrase, then remove all dynamics and settings in that phrase and start fresh there working to adjust the levels with CC controls and velocities until you get it where you want.

If the whole thing is confusing, open a new project and just work with the piano alone, write the phrase and work with it until you think it's doing what you want - and then apply that logic in the context of your score.

If none of this is helpful...feel free to share your score or phrase with more specifics.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by DrLeonard »

Thanks, Dean, for your help. I will note this for future reference and play around with your suggestions later on. Meanwhile, I am trying to complete my current piece of music (a Sonata for Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano) and send it to my instructor for review.
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Re: Dynamic Marks in Piano Score

Post by Dean Krommydas »

No problem Dr. Leonard, best of luck with your current piece.
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