Dorico at 1: a run of brilliance

In 2012, the music notation world watched in horror as the company who owned the Sibelius music-notation software disposed of its original Sibelius team unceremoniously for a cheaper alternative. None of us were avid fans of this move.

In late 2012, the music notation world watched in capricious glee as Yamaha in a moment of epiphany saw the opportunity to create something remarkable. The old Sibelius guys were brought in, and work began on the next generation of music-notation software.

A year ago this week, the end-result of their labors, Dorico, was released to the world, and it has been an amazing ride and an exhibition of consummate customer service and a textbook example of when a big corporation (that means you, Yamaha) gets it right: delivering quality to the consumer with continued iteration and support-system responsiveness beyond all reason.

Of course, this is software. And yes, it was released a year too soon. And yes, there are still bugs. But I am more-than-able to do my professional work with this product, and after twenty years of using Finale as my principal notation software, Dorico is now my principal music-notation software.

What amazes me about Dorico is how much heavy lifting it does in regard to the innumerable cosmetic adjustments I would have had to make with Finale with whatever project I’m working on. Most importantly, though, is I feel like what wonkiness I find with the product I get the feeling is my fault and not that of the software. That is saying something.

Thank you, Yamaha, for keeping the former members of the Sibelius team intact, and thank you for allowing them to create a fantastic product. Music notation software development has been given a kick in the pants, and I could not be happier. And thanks to Daniel and the team for putting up with us - lol.

No, Daniel, I do NOT want a refund.

Although Steinberg is a part of Yamaha, I think thanks are due in fact primarily to Steinberg: it was the management of Steinberg, not of Yamaha, who had the vision to bring us in and set us to work on Dorico. Yamaha of course support what we are doing, but had it not been for the vision, support and investment of the management of Steinberg, we would not be here.

I’m delighted that you are enjoying Dorico. In many ways we are still only just getting started.

Happy Birthday guys…

I’m stunned by the beauty of Dorico scores. All the design choices for notehead sizes, stem thickness/length, beams etc. etc. are so much more pleasing to the eye than most printed scores you can buy nowadays (which all scream “I have been made by a computer!”). Dorico scores look like they have been engraved by an artist. And you could argue that indeed, they have.