Dorico 5 Most Wanted

Well done on the Dorico team for a fantastic update - great price and features. Lots of useful small changes and fixes, and some definite improvements to work flow and ease of use (IMO).


What’s on everyone’s wish list for 5? Here are mine:

  • Comprehensive choral condensing
  • Alignment and snap features in Engrave Mode
  • in-line manual Spacing changes
  • Music frame stylesheets
  • Layout folders in setup

And I don’t know how you’d do it in a useful way, but I had the thought that it would be neat to combine different characters from SMuFL fonts if e.g you loved Bravura but wanted the clefs from I dunno, another font…

Love to hear other people’s!

Edd :slight_smile:

(Stealing myself for litany of “too soon!” comments)


You know how to make a development team happy!!! :sunglasses:

Ach this is not for them so much - also far better IMO than simply moaning about the features that I wish had appeared in 4

You can of course already use any of the notation groups that have their own font style - Dynamics, Figured Bass, etc. And change any individual items in the Music Symbols Editor.

And now in D4, Dorico will ‘fall back’ on Bravura for any missing glyphs in another font. (And you can set which font is the fallback.)

Having different Font Styles for Clefs, Articulations, Ornaments, etc separately might be over-egging the notation pudding.

I do have a list of things I’d like to see (I keep a little Notes file and add to it whenever I come across something), but I’m going to keep my powder dry for the moment.


Yes that’s what made me think of it. Keeping a notes file - dedication to the cause!

I’m not sure I completely understand what you mean by this – do you mean “staff spacing changes”, indicated by signposts, in a similar fashion to note spacing changes?

Yep that’s the bunny.

Well this will make the team happy maybe - I think I’m good. Sure, snapping frames in engrave mode will be great, and I’d like to see Roman Numeral analysis for the times I use it, oh and of course Cubase integration is probably the biggest. But the only things I really need are just the TBD items for 4, namely Tempo track and multi-CC lanes.

I’ll continue upgrading each and every one, and will enjoy/appreciate every new feature, but D4’s got me covered. Including ways I didn’t know of, such as Library Manager. I shied away from settings because they were so intimidating, now knowing I can so easily reset them has opened all of that up.

So yeah D4 has all the features I need, with the usability to get the job done comfortably. I’ll transition to a quiet forum member who doesn’t ask for anything :grin:


Hi everyone!

My 2 choices for inclusion in Dorico 5 (or 4.5) is fermatas that playback as fermatas, and string glissandi that sound like glissandi (Noteperformer can do this in Sibelius). As a matter of fact, I would like to see all the Noteperformer articulations supported in Dorico. This is what keeps me with one foot in the Sibelius camp.



Give folks a foot, they want a yard. Give them a yard, they want a pool in it.

(It’s sayings like this that make me bemoan the move to metric.)


A system of note entry which is somewhere between real and step entry.

Where recording begins wherever the caret is placed and starts when the user plays their first note - and recording stops whenever the user doesn’t play for a whole beat according to the time signature (at which time the caret returns to immediately after the last beat where any note existed). The user then manually navigates to the next beat to contain notes. I believe this method of entry helps reconcile two things in conflict:

  • the need for the user to be thinking about what to enter as they go along

  • the hope in the case of many users that their composition play back as elegantly as possible.

Read on for detail about how it could work.

  • Before the user enters data there could be a visual flashing of the tempo in some form (hearing the metronome before the recording can clutter the composer’s “inner music” - it does mine).

  • The user could press a key to make the metronome sound if desired or have a metronome constantly sound if that is their preference. The user can start recording at any point in their score (by positioning the caret) although it would need to be at the start of a beat.

  • There would be no count in (again if someone wants one they can have it. For complex time signatures I suppose it would be necessary).

  • Recording would commence when the user hits the first MIDI note or if the first part of the first beat being entered starts with a rest the user could hit the space bar (or a designated MIDI note) to indicate that recording should commence.

  • Once recording commenced the metronome would then sound each beat (although not the first beat) although with simpler time signatures maybe it could be possible for it not to - Dorico then analyses the music for likely beats.

  • Recording automatically ceases when the user stops playing for a whole beat (and by that I mean a beat that has no music within it - so if the rhythm to be entered at the start of a 4/4 bar was quaver, quaver rest, quaver, quaver rest, the recording would only cease after the entire third beat of the bar was empty of notes.

  • Once recording ceased it wouldn’t mean that the caret was in the example just outlined at the start of beat 4. It would instead return to the start of beat 3 ready for further input. - And what if the user wants to have a rest for beat 3 and begin entry at the start of beat 4? Just press the right arrow as you do currently to move through beats and bars.

  • Dorico would automatically complete bars with rests as it does now.

The result of one take could be as little as one note lasting a beat or many lines of music, depending on whether or not the musical passage was interrupted by whole beat rests. Since the recording would cease wherever there was a rest for a complete beat it becomes important to consider what length a beat should be. Up to this point for the sake of making myself more easily understood I have used the term ‘beat’ instead of the term that is nearer - “minimum record length”. If a user was recording a passage in 6/8 at a faster tempo the program could determine automatically that the minimum record length was a dotted crotchet or in the case of a very slow tempo it could choose to make it a quaver. The program could automatically set it based on assessment of the time signature and the tempo and it could be displayed on the transport bar.

To assist in entry being notated as accurately as possible the user could have a palette from which they can specifically say that particular rhythms will not be present. And of course Dorico will do what any music notation app seeks to do - ensure that it rightly interprets when the user intends rests to exist and when not.h

Finally, as part of adding this new feature - I suggest no longer have each entry type be its own silo. Just have a single entry options window in which the user chooses:

  • whether they want to enter to time

  • whether they want to enter to a metronome

  • whether they want the metronome to flash

  • whether they want real time entry to continue through rest beats or stop

  • whether note entry will be with a music keyboard or a computer keyboard

  • whether - if entry is not to a metronome - the user wants to enter rhythm values using a numeric keypad - or just the up and down arrow keys (which would change the rhythm value to the next highest or next lowest value).

  • whether particular rhythmic structures are included (for example swing or not) - and choosing the smallest size of note and rest.

Better handling of choral condensing is my #1, by far. Almost all the work I do in Dorico is for choirs, and needing to set manual condensing changes almost every single system is getting pretty old. That, and needing to delete lyrics from certain parts in order to get unisons to condense properly without duplicating lyrics, it’s just a hassle. I’ve posted about some of the early vocal music features I’d like to see, too, like handling for incipits and ambituses. I’m sure Daniel is well aware of many of these issues, since he’s a choral guy, too!

Of course, not to be ungrateful, Dorico 4 is incredible! The jump bar and library manager were worth the cost of the update alone! I’m delighted with the new release, just always eager for more features for choral musicians :sweat_smile:


And all that choral condensing handling would translate very well into musical theatre too, so that’s a big one for me as well!


I must admit that, considering that these two have been brought up so many times, I had assumed they would make it it to D4. Perhaps when NotePerformer 4 comes out (and I don’t know how far down the development path it is), then Dorico will finally support it properly. It’s the brass glissando I particularly miss. The whole area of articulation playback support and Expression Maps has rather missed out this time round but of course not everything could be included and I’m quite sure they’re on the radar.

Devil’s advocate for a moment: Why not write Choir parts just the way you want them to appear, since the singers all read from score anyway? The primary use case of Condensing is so that instrumentalists can still have their separate part layouts without the full score having to show separate staves. Though the Team have said they want to work more on choral condensing, I don’t really feel hampered by the current capabilities.

That is spelled “steeling”. :slight_smile:


Ooof! Low blow. Right in the spelling! Should have known better than to post incautiously in a forum full of typesetters!

Choral condensing - the trouble is no solution is quite right at the moment - divisi isn’t right, and causes wrong clefs. condensing doesn’t work well for choral music. Using groups of players and hiding staves just seems like the “wrong” way to use the program and it’s a great shame to not have a satisfactory “intended” way of doing it. For my money, divisi is the closest we have to being useful in this respect, but in the various discussions on it Dan the Dorico man has been insistent that condensing is the way it’s supposed to be done, but even he admits that it’s not up to scratch yet. I’d love to have The Answer - the definitive way to do choral music in Dorico the way it is Supposed to be done….

The issue is during composition or arranging, the user doesn’t know how they’ll want it to look in the end. Choral layouts are very flexible; sometimes SATB choir is best written on a grand staff, sometimes on 4 staves, and if there’s divisi it might be best shown on anywhere from 4-8 staves. Singers are used to seeing the layout change from system to system (in some styles), so ideally I would like to input the music on 4 staves, then adjust the layout after all notes are input based on the amount of space available and d how complex the musical material is. Like @eddjcaine said, in theory condensing should be the tool we use to handle it, but it doesn’t handle choral parts very elegantly.

One thing I’m really looking forward to in a future release is gliss playback for keyboard and keyboard-like instruments (vibraphone, marimba, xylophone, etc.) that isn’t chromatic. These need white-key gliss and black-key gliss playback. I’m certain that the dev team already realizes this and that it’s simply a matter of waiting for this to rise to the top of the priority list. Harp gliss playback in Dorico is absolutely wonderful, especially when adjacent strings are set enharmonically equivalent for things like pentatonic scale glisses, and I’m looking forward to something equally stellar with respect to keyboard and keyboard-type instruments.

1 Like

I’d mostly agree with Mark’s Advocaat.

Divisi works pretty well, doesn’t it; now the Tenor clef crisis has been resolved? I would use separate Sop and Bass staves, rather than the Choir reduction instrument.

Also, choirs hate scores with changing topography, and you can bet that Nigel’s going to sing the same staff line on the next page unless it’s really well sign-posted; and even then, he’ll still get it wrong in the first rehearsal.

1 Like