Could you let us know when Chords Symbols will be available?

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for making such a beautiful program and I have faith in you and your team that Dorico, given time, will be an application to equal Finale and Sibelius in beauty, finesse, and workability.

As partial inventor of Magnetic Layout:
and Dynamic Parts:
. . . the two biggest achievements to come to music composition applications (IMO), having to do with practicality and work flow, I think you’ll tackle the chord symbol issue in time.

When that happens, as 90 percent of my work relies on chord symbols in one form or another, could I (and others that would like to) be notified?

Of course, I will trial Dorico when it is released, and I am sure it will be marvelous.

But I would like to know, as a buyer, when the chord symbols are satisfactory enough for you to include in Dorico.

And if you have a drop-down menu (see screenshot/déjà vu) in the list and the ability for us to make up our own chords easily, and save them to a list, I would almost say 100% I would own Dorico along with Sibelius.

Just as Sibelius pushed Finale to be more intuitive and Finale nudged Sibelius to improve its engraving techniques, I look forward to Dorico putting Finale and Sibelius in a friendly competitive arena.

Looking forward to seeing Dorico in action!!!

Thx Daniel and pls let me know,

“When will Chords be available?”:

Thx Vili, I actually have read that thread. And the program really is amazing if you read the Development Diaries on Daniels blog:

But I had a question amongst all the compliments above. Daniel must certainly be working on steam by now as this beautiful app is about to be released.

My question was, “Could we be notified, preferably by email, when the chord symbols part of this program are added to Dorico?”

Or will I just hear about it word or mouth. (It may mean the difference between making the crossover price or not time-wise.)

If so, who can we send information to for notification. If not, I’ll probably hear about it on the Sibelius Chat Line . . . though there have been months at I time I haven’t frequented it.

Thank you Vili, and Daniel!

Richie, if you sign up either to the newsletter for my blog (the box on the right-hand side of any page at, or the Dorico marketing newsletter on the main Dorico product page (about a third of the way down, then you will receive information about the product as it develops, including news of the initial release and subsequent updates that add new features. We will of course be sure to send out information about what is included in each release.

I too am very concerned about the lack of chord symbols. Music notation is enough of a niche market without alienating the vast majority of it. With two very well established behemoths already in the market, I just don’t think Dorico can afford to cede all the Jazz, Broadway, Pop Orchestra, Nashville, Lead Sheet, and Film/TV work to its competitors and still be a viable player. Additionally, quite a lot of educational and church/religious music relies on chord symbols as well. At the very least, potential customers in those markets will at least want the option to have chord symbols.

Furthermore, initial impressions are hard to overcome, and all of the initial reviews of Dorico are going to state that this is a $600 piece of notation software that can’t even do a lead sheet. Even if chord symbols are added by Dorico 1.5 or something, this initial reputation that it is not suitable for work in all the genres I mentioned above will be tough to overcome.

I personally don’t care about chord playback or recognition, but I really hope the development team reconsiders including chord symbols as a purely visual element in the initial release. Without it, Dorico is unnecessarily eliminating themselves from the majority of the music notation market.

Thx Daniel, I’ve just done so . . . congratulations, it looks very special and quite beautiful!

If you’ve not seen it, it’s worth reading Daniel’s response about Chord Symbols on the Dorico Facebook Group (my emphases).

“Please understand, folks, that the decisions that are made in the course of developing a huge, sophisticated new application like Dorico are not easy, and the trade-offs are very hard to deal with. We do not intend Dorico to be used solely for classical/art music. We absolutely want Dorico to be used for media music, for commercial music, for jazz, for Broadway. But adding features to software takes time, particularly when you aspire – as we do – to only add features that we can make work really well. > We are trying not to include half-baked features in Dorico, and that means taking difficult decisions about what can and can’t be achieved in a certain timescale> . In an ideal world we would have complete feature parity with our competition in our first release, but realistically how could this be achieved in any sensible sort of timescale? Finale and Sibelius both have more than 20 years of development behind them (I even hear that one of those programs had a pretty impressive development team for quite a lot of that time…) and Dorico has three years behind it, with an enormous amount of infrastructural and architectural work in there. > We don’t take the absence of chord symbols and guitar tab lightly – but we also don’t take their inclusion lightly, either> . We want to make the best tool for the job, and doing that will take time. I hope that there will be at least some projects that you will find Dorico is suitable for, even before chord symbols are included.”

I rarely use chord symbols in my work but I appreciate that many do (although I’d question your assertion that the ‘vast majority’ do - maybe in your experience, but certainly it’s the opposite in mine). The lack of their inclusion will, I’m sure, be a ‘deal-breaker’ for many, but hopefully only for the initial release. By the time 1.x comes around with chord symbols I’m sure the positive feedback from those of us who’l have used it by then will persuade many of those broken deals to be repaired. I have utmost faith that it’s the one of the highest priorities for the dev team and I for one would rather they get it right first time than introduce a limited feature that then needs to be changed further down the line.

I’m positive it is the “vast majority.” What markets don’t use chord symbols? Classical, sure. (Although even classical educators use them sometimes for analysis.) Vocal? A lot of vocal music is either in lead sheet form, or will have chord symbols in addition to written accompaniment so even if you purely do vocal music, this is likely a feature you will need to have as a professional engraver. Is there a major notation market I’m forgetting?

+1…very well said Mark! :slight_smile:

I’m not so sure its the “vast majority” either and I agree with Mark here. Certainly the most VOCAL, here, Ill give you that… :slight_smile:

LOL! I don’t really care if anyone here believes me about where the customers in the notation market are. While I may influence plenty of others in their notation purchases, in the end I’m just one sale. It is sort of silly to discount the marketing departments of Dorico’s main two competitors though, after all, it is their job to know where their customers are and what appeals to their users.

If these links violate the message board protocol, then they can just be deleted, but look at who endorses Finale:

With the likely exception of Jennifer Higdon, all of those musicians require chord symbols. Look at who Sibelius is featuring:

A TV composer and two movies, all of which require chord symbols. The potential sales for notation software are in the genres that these two companies have featured, or they are in education where they are appealing to students who want to participate in these genres, or else their marketing would not be featuring them. In terms of potential sales, there are more sale possibilities among students and faculty of Berklee’s Film Scoring department than the entirety of Boosey & Hawkes. (Full-time B&H employees using notation software anyway.) I’m glad Dorico is talking to B&H, as one of my pet peeves about Finale and Sibelius is that they keep attaching “features” that have nothing to do with quality engraving, but if Dorico is to succeed, they are going to have to produce sales. I’ll stop harping on this after this post, but without chord symbols they really are eliminating the “vast majority” of their potential customers, which will affect sales, which will in turn affect the long-term viability of Dorico.

I really would like to see Dorico be successful, and releasing v1.0 without chord symbols will be detrimental to their chances of success.

Speaking for myself I always take those “sponsored ads” with a grain of salt…probably from when I was younger and Herbie Hanc ock seemed to be EVERYWHERE, saying he used EVERYTHING… :slight_smile:

And please know Im not unsympathetic towards those who do need chord symbols, and want to see them in its initial release…just as others are pushing for what THEY want to see too…

But as theres ONLY a limited amount of features which can be included, and Im guessing these are already decided upon and are either in beta testing or close to it. And to start adding features now, and also have them adequately tested and not completely buggy for the first release might be way more difficult than any of us can imagine.

We’re ALL united and rooting for the COMPLETE success of Dorico, and I hope if theyre not able to get chord symbols in the first release, that they are included as soon as possible after that. :slight_smile:

Thanks Bob

I take more of a “helicopter view” of this (and FWIW I have no interest in chord symbols or guitar tab, but the lack of figured bass might be a “deal breaker” for me…)

Dorico isn’t going to succeed commercially by being “as good as” and “doing the same stuff as” the existing products. It needs a unique selling point, and that appears to be the global concept of how it handles large-scale projects (see the thread on “flows”, etc). That’s not a “Sibelius/Finale vs Dorico” comaparison, but a “Sibelius/Finale + MS Word/PageMaker + Adobe distiller + whatever else you need to stitch together you complete workflow) vs Dorico” comparison.

So maybe that doesn’t look like the specification of “mass-market” product? I don’t think anybody at Steinberg would be surprised at that assertion. But if you add " + your DAW" vs whatever, suddenly the mass market is back again…

Don’t forget Henry Ford’s (alleged) statement: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”.

So whats the deal, are chord symbols still not available? I switched to Dorico from Finale. I couldn’t imagine symbols not being available out of the box.

My focus is charts. When will this happen? All the posts here are a year old already


Chord symbols will come with the next update.

Check this out:

Notice the comment saying “Hello, unfortunately we still don’t have a public date yet, hopefully for the beginning of Q3.”

That would be beginning of July ? I thought it was planned for June, that means some more waiting, but if it is for a better product, I don’t mind :wink:

Dorico 1.1 will be released before the end of June.

Daniel, I guess a specific date for the update release has been determined by now and as such can be shared with Dorico users?

The update will probably be released sooner if Daniel does not have to respond to this kind of request. Just figure that the Dorico Team adheres to the same philosophy as the old Bartles & James wine commercial. To paraphrase: “They will release no update before its time.”

Reminds me of an old Russian joke. Ivan goes to buy a new car. After doing the paperwork, the salesman explains there is an order backlog and tells him the car will be ready to collect on June 15, 2019 - only two years to wait!

Ivan looks in his diary and asks the salesman “Will that be in the morning or the afternoon of June 15?” The salesman says “I don’t know the answer to that - why are you asking?” Ivan says, “Well, my phone broke last year and somebody is coming to fix it the afternoon on that day…”