D4.1 MusicXml export: Tenor parts (treble clef 8va basso) exported one octave too high

When exporting an example containing tenor part notated with treble clef 8va basso to musicxml, the resulting part seems to be generated one octave too high. Examining the musicxml reveals that the sounding tenor middle c is actually exported as


instead of


Any ideas or workarounds?

This is because Dorico’s default Tenor instrument is a ‘transposing’ instrument that sounds one octave lower than written pitch.

The alternative is to use the ‘other’ Tenor instrument (“Sounds as written”) in the instrument selector. However, you will then have to turn on “Respect Ottava Clefs” in Notation Options.

Of course, your workaround is just to change the value in the XML.


Thank you, Benwiggy!
To turn on “Respect Ottava Clefs” in Notation Options solves the case for me.

Thanks for your solution!
In my humble opinion the ‘respect ottava clefs’ should be the default setting though, or at least when exporting mxl, because it’s also default behaviour is musescore, finale and openmusicsheetdisplay for instance. It would make the exchangeability better, what musicxml is intended for.

You can of course click on “Save As Default”, and they will be.


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I think part of the reason that it is not the default setting is that programs like MuseScore will add 8va clefs automatically to octave transposing instruments like piccolo and double bass to clarify their transpositions. This is more of a modern practice and can be thought of almost as a “parenthetical” octave clef which should be taken as if the octave clef wasn’t there. If this setting was the default, it might cause these parts like piccolo parts and double bass parts to incorrectly be shifted by an octave. It’s not always obvious for software to tell the difference between octave clefs that should take effect compared to octave clefs that should be ignored.