Black Friday Sale: Scoring Express Dorico templates from Notation Central

Very common in the theatre world (where songs are typically numbered 1, 2, 3, then if there’s a playout added later it may be 3a etc.) though granted, not so in the studio world.

@pianoleo ,

Would there be any negative ramifications to moving the Scores file into a subfolder on another drive?

Nope. They’re only there for convenience, in case you want to open them directly. They’re duplicated (the templates, not the examples) in the Dorico user settings folder (e.g. the same place as keycommands_en.json, but in a Project Templates subfolder), and they do need to remain there in order to show in the File > New from Template menu and Hub.

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Just be advised, any future Scoring Express updates will install to Documents/Scores as well, but you can move them wherever you like.

Good to hear. Yes, that is typically the case with any piece of software - the fonts only load when you freshly start the application so it’s necessary to run the installer with Dorico completely quit. (Cmd-Q).

A bit of an artificial example here since I backed into it, but here’s a comparison of one of the example files in the Theatre & Studio package using Dorico factory settings vs. the Scoring Express “Rock band + strings landscape” template settings.


Just what I needed to understand, Thank you Leo

Incidentally, I note that if you click the link through to Notation Central, then click on any of the individual packages, then go to the documentation tab, you can view all the documentation (for free). It’s basically a fleshed out version of what I’ve explained further up this thread, with pretty pictures and more detail :wink:

Coincidentally, I also mentioned this in the 4th comment on this thread… :upside_down_face:

They look very nice.
I think it would be nice to see a “before and after”. The Dorico default output is quite good.

I would be interested in an European version (A4, B4, A3) of the chamber template.

I had some questions that came to mind:

-How many different templates actually come with the chamber set?
-If I decide to change the music font and select ”use fonts recommended engraving options” will that override something important? (Lately I have liked a lot to use the ”finale engraver” -font)
-How compatible are the chamber templates with the ipad version?
-Are the chamber templates also meant for orchestral music?


I wonder if printing a 9x12 inches score on an A4 size page using the “fit to page”pdf option should be acceptable. At least for all the occasions where prints are home made, at least for the chamber music templates. Perhaps it is better than reworking the templates.

IMO it’s more theater and not much studio, unfortunately I’m disappointed because studio templates is what I needed. At least a full orchestra template for a studio orchestra should have been there, applying to a full orchestra results in too much work to fix up. Also no front pages? For media music there’s all sorts of ancillary information as I mentioned above - asset number, (game) title, cut scene, durations, relevant personnel etc.

Not that I’m an expert but this is the kind of information I need to document/communicate to the rest of the team in the score, a time code track also of course. Anyhow of course I can pick and choose what to bring in, but I’m looking for a drop in with some tweaking, doing that will be as much as doing it all from scratch anyhow, but with guidance on the small niceties.

Constructive feedback I hope, if I was writing for theater I’m sure I would have been satisfied.

All good points and things to consider for the future, with my appreciation for that perspective.

I do think, however, that what we’ve done is much more than just guidance on the small niceties. Even if you just pull the settings that we use for the parts, I think you’ll find your output much improved and saving you loads of time there and making the parts much clearer and easier to read. It’s understood that your particular ensemble may not match one that we’ve preset in the templates, and of course it’s impossible to provide a custom template for every single permutation. But the brilliant thing that the Dorico team did with the Library Manager for Dorico 4 is that you can set your own instrumentation as a template and still pull in all of the other Scoring Express settings to beautify your document.

For the value it’s pretty amazing and when you dig deeper to see what Leo has done in all corners of the settings, I think you’ll really enjoy both the time saved and the improvement in output quality.

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Hi @SampoKasurinen.

  • 9 templates are in the chamber set.
  • If you choose “use fonts recommended engraving options”, it depends what you consider important :slight_smile: Perhaps try with and without to see which looks better to you. It also depends how much or how little thought the font designer (in this case MakeMusic) has given to those settings.
  • The chamber templates are fully compatible with the iPad version, with the exception of the chord symbols, which use custom fonts we made to improve their appearance in Dorico. So those won’t appear quite the same on iPad. We would certainly be very happy for the Dorico team to add those to the iPad version, but for the user, loading custom fonts on iPad is more difficult than on desktop. This is less of a concern with the chamber templates, where chord symbols are less commonly used, in any case. (The Jazz and Theatre & Studio templates make more use of custom text fonts, but not the chamber templates)
  • You could definitely use the engraving and notation settings in the chamber templates for orchestral music. Naturally the page size and layout settings will need to be adjusted in the score. But all of the part settings, including the layout options, could be used just as well for orchestral music as for chamber music.

Just for clarity: with the exception of the “handwritten” jazz templates (which use Petaluma), the theatre and jazz templates use custom text fonts for just about everything (Arimo and Tinos mostly, with a sprinkling of Gothic A1 for bar numbers) so aren’t currently well-suited for Dorico-for-iPad use.


Congrats @pianoleo and @Philip_R

These look really nice and I will be picking up the jazz template for sure.

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First of all, huge enormous thanks to everyone here for the support of Scoring Express, and also to the Dorico team, who has implemented many features small and large over the past few months that coincide very nicely with what we’re doing.

I thought I would address a few items that seem to come up.

Regarding North American vs. ISO page size, yes, it would be easier if we all used the same size around the world. :slight_smile: We want to avoid having duplicate templates for just this issue, but we are cooking up some ideas about how to make it easier. In the meantime, using our pay-what-you-wish PDF Batch utilities could help quickly scale PDFs to a different size, if you don’t want to make the adjustments directly in the Dorico files.

People are understandably asking about orchestral and larger size ensembles. It’s definitely on the radar. One issue here is (in addition to it being a heavier lift) how to carefully consider what to do regarding condensing, hiding staves, etc. There are so many variables that trying to distill them into a template or a suite of templates needs to be considered. Also, if you use other software, you know that this is handled very differently there, and part of the goal of Scoring Express now is to achieve a certain consistency if you work in Sibelius or Dorico or Finale - so certain other considerations are in play there.

That said, you can still get very good results with those types of ensembles and our templates, and Leo’s actually made very good use of them in larger orchestral projects already. “Templates” are actually a bit of misnomer - I like to say “Scoring Express is much more than just the templates.” I understand a user may not see their particular instrumentation represented in the templates. I’ve found that adding or deleting instruments is something most users can do very easily. Indeed, all of the software platforms already provide a large number of templates with many instrumentation variations.

Where many people need more expert guidance is on things like good font choices, positioning, engraving settings, and all of the many hundreds of settings that we’ve tweaked in Scoring Express, and can be imported into any project, regardless of instrumentation (thank you Dorico 4 Library Manager). So rather than provide hundreds of template files, we whittled it down to between 9 and 11 per package. Even if you just inspect the example files in the package to see what’s there, and make use of some of our custom adjustments and font choices by applying those settings to your files, it’s still very useful. Parts especially are a great way to make use of Scoring Express, since the same settings can generally be applied within a particular style, regardless of ensemble size.

I hope that helps explain a little about what we want to achieve with Scoring Express and the needs we aim to address. Looking forward to seeing how you use it!


Your documentation shows how to add an instrument and then propagate the layout. Would duplicating a player and then using Change Instrument (to a similar but not identical type of player) be a way around having to propagate the layout?

@pianoleo what would you recommend in response to @Derrek ?