Custom transpositions

What’s the best way of creating a transposing instrument that’s not in the list? Sometimes it’s possible to choose another instrument with the same transposition and then change the name, as well as overriding the sound in the list of loaded samples, but what if the transposition doesn’t exist?

This can be done with an XML import. Create the instrument in Sibelius then export it to XML with the Dolet plugin. Make sure transposed view is enabled otherwise it won’t export the transposition.

Yes, that’s the way I’ve been doing it, but shouldn’t it be possible natively in Dorico?

It can’t be done natively within Dorico, but there’s no need to own a competing notation product (at least, not specifically for this). You can export a MusicXML file from Dorico, then edit it in any text editor, then import it back into Dorico. See

Setting it up in the competing notation product is easier but I’m hoping they’ll make this possible natively within Dorico in the next update. When I get into my car, I just want to be able to drive it without first having to bury my head under the hood and switch some wires around because I happen to want the heating at a different temperature than the default one provided by the manufacturer.

Audi probably don’t want you to turn the dial to 40º C (104º F) on the basis that it’s bad for the planet, bad for the heater and bad for you. The fact that you’re transporting a bearded dragon (who likes it warm) isn’t relevant to Audi, because reptiles don’t buy cars.

I can’t speak for the developers, but my gut instinct is that they’re more likely to add individual instrument definitions than a user-accessible instrument definition editor. If what you want is a double bass that transposes a 7th, maybe ask for that.

Transporting dragons at 40°C. is a lot more unlikely than what I’m asking. For one thing, I have a Renault and, while it’s a fairly large station wagon able to transport fortepianos and harpsichords, it probably won’t fit a dragon, even a small one. For another, a lot of recorders aren’t either in F or C, like voice flutes or especially renaissance flutes which can be in almost any key. And then there’s pitch: they can be anywhere from A=392 to A=465 or beyond, and creating a transposition which enables different ones to play a programme with a harpsichord at a fixed pitch can require some creative transposing solutions. This may seem esoteric but there are a lot of recorder players out there, although some might claim that that’s worse for the planet than turning the heating dial of your car up to 40°C. Perhaps a little less esoteric is a double bass in solo tuning (thanks for remembering that!). And I would tend to agree with you in Dorico’s developers’ trying to account for all contingencies instead of allowing users to edit instrument transposition (with all its inherent dangers).

Here there be dragons.

That’d certainly fit in my car. Hell, I could even plug it in and run it while driving (at 40°C.). Just wondering why the Russians developed it. For use in Siberia?

Bearded dragons grow to about a foot long, including tail. I suspect you could fit quite a few in your Renault :wink:


True, and being cold-blooded, they wouldn’t even care about the temperature in the car.

That seems counter-intuitive to me.

(And arguing the metaphor doesn’t change the facts of the case anyway, as much fun as it may be to read.)

I don’t want to sound pedantic but… a cold-blooded animal’s blood adapts to the environment. We warm-blooded types are stuck with 37°C. and can’t adapt (with the possible exception of rehearsal pianists).