advantages of Dorico Elements 2.2 over Musescore 3


I’d like to understand please what are some of the advantages of Dorico Elements 2.2 (the ELEMENTS\cheaper version) over Musescore 3?
what can one do with Dorico Elements that can not be achieved with Musescore 3?

also another question please off topic is it better to wait for the release of Dorico 3 Elements at this point of time?

thank you very much!

  • Emmanuel

It depends on what you need to do. If you want to have an intuitive user interface, to get work done fast, to create beautiful scores right out of the box, and if you don’t need to edit full orchestra scores (Elements has a limit of 12 instruments per score, see also, give Dorico a try.

You get more control over the output with the Pro version (because Engrave mode is only available in Pro), so there may be many things that Musescore allows you to do that Elements won’t.

But you should rather be asking what features you need and check out which software works best for you. Dorico has a 30-day (?) free trial, use it.

If you can’t find a feature you need, just ask in this thread (preferably after doing a Google search, because many questions of this sort have already been asked and answered), and we can tell you if it’s possible already, only possible in Pro, or maybe scheduled for a later version.

look through these videos

and see if you prefer these mechanisms to how musescore works.

If you do, then get the trial.

It’s hard to say whether you should wait for Dorico Element 3, because (1) nobody except the development team knows what is going to be in it, and (2) nobody except the development team knows when it will be released. And quite likely, (3) not even the development team know all the details of the answers to (1) and (2) yet!

The only thing we do know is that it isn’t going to be released “soon” (whatever “soon” means…)

I guess you won’t get a detailed comparison of Dorico Elements and Musescore 3, because most Dorico users aren’t going to be using Musescore as well, and also because many Dorico users who hang out a lot here don’t know exactly what is in Elements, because they use Pro.

So get the free trial of Dorico (Musescore is free anyway) and compare them for what YOU want to do.

thank ye for your replies, I do have both Musescore 3 and Dorico elements trial period I only have about 20 days left to try, I feel like because I don’t have proper experience with Musescore nor with Dorico Elements I CAN’T judge which one works for me better… the problem for me is there’s only 30 days trial and when I have free time I try to quickly grasp how to work with the software in order to evaluate whether the workflow works for me or not… if there was a torrent which would enable me to take my time and learn the software right without pressure and then decide whether to buy it or not would have been better for me but these do not exist for this software for some reason… how is one suppose to learn to use a brand new program from scratch in a 30 days period and also judge it’s capabilities at the same time? maybe if one uses all these 30 days to just spend them on the software without a life other than that… that is why I was hoping to hear from experienced users of both programs, people who could already share their knowledge on the differences between these and specifically the advantages of the propriety software over the open source.

personally I come from a very simple and basic program called Noteworthy Composer, I keep hearing “intuitive user interface” with reference to Dorico and even sometimes Musescore, but both of them DO NOT feel INTUITIVE for me, why because I’m not experienced with them, in the old Noteworthy Composer I can just type in notes quickly delete notes change notes add delete things easily not worry about how many bars I have or not, it feels to me much more ‘intuitive’ and I can focus on the music I want to compose or work on rather on semantics… it doesn’t produce as beautiful scores as can be achieved with Dorico or Musescore though, but for me the inexperienced user it feels more intuitive and fast than either Dorico or Musescore (unless I record straight from the keyboard in Dorico which I appreciate that feature)

Dear Emmanuel,
Adding notes, deleting notes, moving things with Dorico is as simple as… learning some keyboard shortcuts. So this requires some “minimal” learning, which I find absolutely fair, given that we’re talking about a very complex program (suited for a very complex task, editing real scores).
Can you tell us what system you use, which country keyboard? This might help us help you :wink:

Here’s a very useful resource :’s%20Guide%20to%20Dorico.pdf?dl=0

If you’re French, here’s my translation of that guide :ébutant%20dans%20Dorico%202.2.10.pdf?dl=0

thank you this manual is helpful for me, I doubt I’ll master it in my remaining 20 days trial though… still need more input from experienced users hopefully of both the free Musescore 3 and Dorico Elements although I understand people who use Dorico will probably not bother to try Musescore… maybe if someone who had Musescore first and ‘upgraded’ to Dorico could comment on why and whether they are satisfied with their move. thanks again

I moved from a different “simple” notation software (Capella, pricier than Dorico Elements, cheaper than Pro) to Dorico, and I have never looked back. Yes, initially, inputting notes appeared a little more involved than simply placing notes, but as soon as I saw that Dorico thinks musically and wants you to input your music and leave the notation to Dorico, I was convinced that this is the way to go. Now, with MIDI input, I’m faster than ever and my scores look nicer than ever without (and this is crucial) my having to tweak the score for hours. It just looks beautiful. The development team really “gets it”. In fact, I have found several engraving errors in published music that Dorico got right automatically when I entered the notes.

Also, the user interface is well structured and (once you get the philosophy behind it) very intuitive. I hardly ever need to consult the manual. Compare that to other programs (check out Tantacrul’s YouTube channel Yes, a few things are difficult to do, but they are so worth the time learning.

That said, I personally would not like to restrict myself to Elements for some projects, because Engrave mode can be very helpful in some situations. But unless you buy Dorico with an education licence, there is an upgrade path to Pro which is even cheaper than buying Pro directly.

Waiting for Dorico 3? I wouldn’t want to. There are not many things you can’t do now, so unless you have some extremely extravagant scores to notate, you probably can do them in Dorico (at least in Pro where you can “abuse” some formatting tools).

I wish I could see a video of you working with the software so I could appreciate this magical intuition you are talking about… it does sound nice what you are saying but I’m really stuck at the basics and note input doesn’t seem to me to be quick for instance say I put an E but it’s the wrong octave I have to use a combination of three keys to change that and then to remember which three keys is up and which down, if I have a passage which goes aAgAfAeA (lower capitals second octave) like with a pedal note A something which looks simple takes a lot of effort for me… can you speak about your expereience with Musescore 3 if you have any in comparison to the cheaper Dorico Elements version? thanks!

Dear Emmanuel,
You can change the keyboard shortcuts as you want. If alt-ctrl-up/down arrow is too much hassle for you, do as some experienced users on this forum : if you have a num pad on your keyboard, set this octave jump to -/+ on your pad or whatever feels natural… By default, I think no key from the num pad is used (Dorico has been developed with laptop keyboard in mind). You can set the octaves on the fly (but it’s another combination of notes, ctrl-pitch for lower, alt-shift-pitch for higher), but if you have created an octave jump that suits you, it can be faster to enter the note and then move it (and sometimes, you don’t have a choice, if the interval between two adjacent notes is too big.)

Emmanuel, I second what Marc said. +/- on the number pad is the way to go.

Bring specific questions like that one to the forum, and you’ll get specific answers… often in just a few minutes. We’re here because we’ve gotten on beautifully with Dorico, and we want to help others have the same experience.