A philosophical problem - stripping unrecognised annotations from musicXML import


I complained about this back in Dorico 1, and it’s still doing it in Dorico 2.

In many of my pieces I have technique instructions such as “solo pizz”, or “tutti arco”.

In Sibelius, these are played as pizz and arco respectively.

In dorico, they are SILENTLY DISCARDED

because the discarding is SILENT, I don’t necessarily notice it until it’s too late. Imagine if you got a new version of your favourite development environment and it randomly deleted bits of your source code when you loaded up your project? This is what Dorico is doing.

The whole philosophy of “Dorico must understand all the annotations in order to import them” I think is highly problematic, there will always be a boat-load of annotations to add code for.

If I have thousands of objects (notes, slurs annotations etc) in my pieces, and I have to manually verify the imported version against the original because things got deleted without telling me, it’s completely unworkable. You guys need a philosophical shift on this, sorry to say it how it is.

NOTHING should be deleted. It was ALL put there for a reason, and just because Dorico can’t figure it out, doesn’t mean it should be deleted. It should be imported, and maybe flagged as unrecognised, but certainly not deleted.

Sorry to shout, but this is extremely problematic.

Just one more point on this.

We need to face facts. Dorico is a NEW program. Many users have been doing notation for a long time, and have a lot of legacy work they will want to import into Dorico.

So what are our options?

  1. Import into Dorico, and spend hours and hours checking nothing is missing and trying to fix it, and maybe you miss things
  2. Re-enter the pieces from scratch into Dorico. Not going to happen
  3. Not use Dorico for that piece at all

It basically comes down to option 3, which means that Dorico can only be used for new pieces. That cuts Dorico’s utility by about 90%.

Proper importing is vital to the product. You guys need to spend a bunch of time (I know you all are working your butts off) on usability testing around importing legacy scores. Deleting stuff silently is completely unacceptable.

Dear Adrien,
Do you use Dolet plug-in to import Xml file from Sibelius? I found it solves most of my problems. Not sure about yours, though. Just an idea. Let me know :wink:

I didn’t know about Dolet, it looks like that’s a Sibelius or Finale plugin? I presume that is for exporting MusicXML?

Or do they have a Dorico plugin for importing?

Dolet was the origin of MusicXML. Michael Good (who turns out to be a distant cousin of mine) created Dolet as a plugin for both Finale and Sibelius, to transfer information from Sibelius to Finale and vice-versa. Eventually Dolet was bought out by MakeMusic (who make Finale) and he joined their staff. MusicXML was turned into an open standard, and Sibelius came up with their own MusicXML export function.

The Dolet plugin for Sibelius is now available free of charge, here: https://www.musicxml.com/dolet-plugin/

It exports MusicXML from Sibelius in a slightly different way to Sibelius’s own Export MusicXML function, and may yield better results.

I’ll take a look.

However the issue of deleting something because you don’t understand it is going to only ever cause pain. I really think Steinberg needs to handle unrecognised stuff differently. It needs to remain in the scores etc, if it doesn’t do anything make it show up red or something, There are way too many variations in use to code for them all.

I don’t expect everything to import correctly, but I don’t expect things to silently disappear either. The burden of manually checking everything after import can be really large and error-prone.