Dorico 6 must introduce revolutionary features

Sorry to be so vague :grimacing: This other post of mine describes most of it.

From the post you linked to above:

I’ll definitely concur with you on the need for control over the large time sigs, but some of those others are easily possible now. D5 introduced Library / Instrument Families so you can create new Instrument Families and add instruments to them. This is very useful as you can then specify Layout Options / Staves and Systems / System Objects to allow you to control where System Objects appear. Previously I would only be able to specify that System Objects could appear above Woodwinds for example, but now I can create another Instrument Family to have them appear in the middle of the Woodwinds as well if I really wanted:

If you use Instrument Families in conjunction with that Layout Options setting, you should be able to have complete control over where System Objects appear, provided you also want a bracket or brace broken there as well.

The bar number style you show is easy to do as well, but maybe I’m not understanding what you are asking for. Add a 1-line staff to wherever you want the numbers to appear, edit the Bar Numbers (Score) Paragraph Style to look the way you want, then in Layout Options / Bar Numbers specify where they appear in the score, and set a negative value for the Minimum distance setting. This just took seconds to set up:

EDIT: Oops, I meant to have an Invisible Clef on the bar number staves, but forgot to change it. In any case, that’s just another couple of seconds to change.


I’ve just pulled this from a Dorico file:

If the line end caps are too skinny, note they’re editable in one of the line editors…

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Thanks for the replies. I was aware of some of this stuff, but not all. (Straight up didn’t realize I could edit line end caps!) Things I ran into that I don’t believe are addressed here:

  • Is there a way yet to not have system objects above all the staves? (I don’t love the look, but it’s what they do)
  • Creating a 1-line staff above the woodwinds messes up the “treat instruments between brass and strings as single bracket” time signature setting. (I might be doing it wrong—or maybe there’s a solution via a custom Instrument Family?)
  • I’ve made bar numbers as you demonstrated, @FredGUnn, but I’d love separate minimum distances for those “above top staff” and “below top staff” (for a score with, say, bar numbers centered vertically on the top staff and also “floating” below the bottom staff)

This stuff is somewhat new to me, but I wonder if more enhancements could be made to the timecode staff feature, to make it more of a catch-all for technical data (markers, punches, streamers, text directions) that doesn’t really belong to any instruments… :thinking:

How do you get the bar numbers to break the single staff line so that the line doesn’t continue through the boxed bar number?

Okay…So if you set the enclosure type in Layout Options to rectangle, you get a clean intersect with the single staff line…this is not the same as selecting a border for your bar numbers in Paragraph styles, which doesn’t work in the same way.
In my screenshot, I’ve managed to get my staff text above the viola by creating a custom instrument family, but how would I get rid of the tempo marking above my 1-line bar number staff, and therefore get the first two bar numbers to take their appropriate positions?

You can’t get rid of the system text above the top of the system, I’m afraid. There’s certainly a combination of settings that’ll allow the bar numbers to sit below it, though - I have a feeling in my screenshot Bar Numbers are set to sit -24 spaces below the staff (I know Dorico doesn’t actually do that), and probably to not avoid collisions.

Sorry, I’m not in front of Dorico and it was already baked into the file when it came to me - it’s the PAS film scoring template, I believe.

Set them to Align but uncheck Avoid Collisions:

You can also use an Invisible Clef to get rid of the clef. To get rid of the time sig, input an independent time sig that’s exactly the same as the “regular” one, then you can hide it without that property affecting the others.

I don’t have a good “official” solution to the System Object above the 1-line staff issue. It’s a hack, but you can always just drag it off the page:

Sorry, I don’t have a solution for this other than moving them manually. In Finale I would have just set up another “Measure Number Region” with different settings, but AFAIK there’s nothing like that in Dorico. As you discovered, there aren’t additional above top or below bottom settings either. They can be moved manually all in one go though, but of course will still have the same display style as the others:

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Thanks, guys!

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System objects should appear in all parts, but only at set system object positions in the score.

I think there are some rare circumstances that prompt system objects to display temporarily above every staff, but if my memory is correct, this issue resolves if you save, close, and re-open the project.

If you have reliable steps to reproduce this issue, please share the project (or a minimal cut-down copy of it that still demonstrates the issue) here or directly with one of the developers (while I have no coding ability, that can still include me!)

I think Andy meant above the top of the system. At least that’s what the context would suggest: the desire for a bar number/timecode stave above everything else, with the system text directly beneath that stave.

Yes, that’s right, @pianoleo. (Also, I had no idea those PAS templates existed—they look great.)

Thanks, everyone. All my quibbles are minor—can’t wait to see what 6 brings.

Unless I’ve missed a setting, these will always appear above the top staff in the score, regardless of what is actually specified in LO / Staves and Systems / System Objects. If you have a timecode / bar number staff at the top and don’t actually want the system objects there, there isn’t a setting to remove them, is there? I ended up just dragging them off the page, but that feels like a pretty kludgy solution.

We should have much better conversion between programs in the future with the new MNX format under development. I also have a bunch of old scores in Finale and Sibelius that I would want to move over, and am mostly waiting on MNX to do so.

Any conversion service would likely have a price tag associated because a person will still have to be closely involved, and many composers would be hesitant to pay that potentially for some old pieces that never get performed anyway, so I think waiting for MNX is probably the best bet.

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I remember hearing about this years ago, but then had completely forgotten about it. Is it any closer to being adopted by any of the major notation programs?

The specification hasn’t been finalized yet to my knowledge, so it is still potentially in flux at the moment. I suspect vendors aren’t going to start working on implementations until it is at least nearly finalized. I’m not sure if anybody like Daniel has any news on how soon it might be expected for MNX to get finalized as I haven’t heard anything.

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I have never heard of MNX. Sounds potentially exciting! I’ll do some reading about it. Thanks, @mducharme !

There’s still a lot of work to do on MNX, but we are continuing to make good progress. However, it’s unclear whether legacy applications like Finale and Sibelius will ever invest in supporting MNX directly. I hope they will, but it’s not guaranteed.


Even if Finale and Sibelius don’t support MNX directly, as long as Dorico does, I would hope that someone could potentially write a MusicXML to MNX converter (maybe as an open source project) that could be tailored towards converting idiosyncratic MusicXML generated by certain programs to MNX for cleaner import. I could see this potentially working a lot better than direct transfer with MusicXML alone.

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