This chapter will introduce
the notion of Dynamics and how to use them in Harmony-Melody.
The sound made by a musical instrument can be louder or
softer. On a piano, for example, the sound will be louder when
the performer hits the keys hard than when he touches them
In musical computing, this notion is called note
In Harmony-Melody, a note velocity can vary from
0 (no sound at all) to 127 (loudest note).
There are several ways to change note velocity:
The actions above permanently change the velocity
value of a note.
Changing the velocity of a single note:
on the note and edit its velocity numerically.
Changing the velocity for the whole selection
range: select a group of notes and choose
You can then set the velocity of all notes in the selected range to a
subtract or add a value to these velocities...
Editing staff velocities graphically: switch
the staff to velocity editing mode by clicking on the Edit velocities
to the left of the staff. Click on the red curve to edit graphically
velocities of notes in this staff.
Some note effects also
permanently alter the velocity value of a note, for example staccato.
Dynamics can then change the played velocity
of a note. These do not permanently change the velocity value of a note
in the score, but only the way the note is played.
These options are grouped in the "Dynamics" palette.
A dynamics indicator applies to the staff it is
drawn on, and remains active 'till the end of the staff or the next
indicator, if any.
You can also set dynamics to apply to the whole
score. It is then recommended that you group all these global dynamics
in the first staff of the score.
To set a dynamics indicator, select it in the
Dynamics palette, and click on the score: it is inserted into the
Double-clicking on the object enters edit mode
and enables you to change its settings. Here is what this kind of
object looks like in Harmony-Melody:
There are two types of dynamics indicators:
Indicators like the one on the left increase
or decrease the force (velocity) of played notes. They are called crescendo
and decrescendo. The velocity will change smoothly from the
of the symbol to its end. When inserting such an item into your score,
the mouse button depressed and drag
to extend the item's scope.
Indicators like the one on the right set the notes'
volume. The played velocity will remain increased or decreased until
dynamics indicator is encountered. The symbol is an abbreviation of its
||Note: The actual note velocity is
really changed by a dynamics indicator, only the audio output (or
export) is altered.
To edit a dynamics indicator, double-click it. Here
are the settings you can change:
Dynamic strength: from 0 to 500%. This ratio
is applied to the actual note velocity when played. Values below 100%
decrease the played velocity of the note (note output volume will be
values above 100 will increase the played velocity of the note (note
volume will be higher). In the case of crescendo or decrescendo
you can set the ratio of initial to final volumes.
You can define whether the indicator actually acts
on notes, or whether it is only a graphical symbol.
You can define whether the indicator acts on the
staff it is inserted in, or on all staves of the score.
- The displayed text can
be changed. Input the text to be displayed in
place of the regular dynamics symbol. You can use the following
patterns: $p to display the "p" dynamics
symbol, or $f, $m, $z. The $x pattern will display the default text for
this type of symbol. For example, "$x the second time" will
display "ppp the second time" if
the dynamic is a "ppp".
- Times: a
dynamic can be set up to activate only at given repeat
counters. Remember, to repeat a part of the score several times, use
break symbols and barlines.
For example, you can define a set of bars that will be repeated three
times, the first time "fortissimo", the last one "pianissimo".
By specifying a velocity of 0 the 'n'th time, you define a Tacet. This allows you to mute an
instrument at a given repeat count.
regular use, when a dynamic is included in a repeated part, the
velocity is set to the ratio defined for that dynamic each time.
If the "cumulative" mode is activated, at each repeat the ratio will be
applied on top of the previous one. This allows you to define a
"Repeat and fade" section, for example: apply a decrescendo from 100%
to 80% on a set of repeated bars and
activate the cumulative mode.
You can apply any dynamics
strength ratio to any dynamics item. However, it is recommended that
keep some coherence within a score, for readability.
For example, avoid defining
a Pianissimo louder than a