Dorico Crashes with Music XML on Import

I’m checking out Dorico SE and contemplating crossgrading, but I’m getting a bunch of crashes when trying to import Music XML. I’m pretty sure I used SmartScore MusictoXML to create the xml files, which open fine in other notation software, but crash Dorico. Are there known issues around MusicXML or other known incompatibilities that generate crashes? You’d think if Dorico couldn’t decipher something in the XML it would bypass whatever was causing the issue and attempt to import everything else without crashing.

Note: while I’d like to share an example file, this is scanned notation from commercial scores (so copyrighted material).

Have you tried unchecking some (or all) of the XML import options to try and narrow down if it’s a particular element that’s causing it?

Hi Dan, thanks for the reply. I just went into preferences and unchecked all the boxes. No difference. Still crashes when trying to open or import.

Funkybot, can you please zip up the MusicXML file(s) that are causing the problems and attach them here?

Dorico handles MusicXML produced by apps like Finale, Sibelius and MuseScore better than the MusicXML produced by some other applications, which can have their own interesting idiosyncracies. Of course Dorico should not crash when it encounters a malformed MusicXML file, but we’ll need to see the actual MusicXML files in question to see what is actually causing the crash.


Hi Dan, I’d love to, but I’m pretty sure I’d be violating copyright by doing posting the files. These are things like piano+voice scores of Neil Young songs (or other pop/rock recordings). Things like that where I had sheet music, scanned it, want to bring it into notation software to clean it up and get a nice digital version of the score for myself (fair use).

When I bring them into Notion for example, there’s some odd characters, text placed in odd places, and the occasional extra beats in a bar, all of which require manual cleanup, but they don’t crash. I’d like to use Dorico for the cleanup and playback instead. Perhaps I can send you a file directly, but definitely want to respect the authors and don’t want to post a link.

You can send them to me at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de.

Thanks. Sent!

I’m trying out SE as well to get a feel for what Dorico has to offer. I have very familiar with Sibelius. XML files AND .midi files are crashing for me as well. Files generated by the App version of Notion on my iPad. These files open fine in ProTools. Dorico recognizes the file, starts the import, asks if I want it to create all new players, then crashes. It doesn’t matter which option I choose, it still crashes.

Welcome to the forum, Marlborough. The same advice I gave to Funkybot I give to you: please either zip up and attach one or two of your troublesome MusicXML files here, or email them to me at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de, and we’ll take a look.

Thanks Daniel. I’m a long time musician, but very new to forums. Not sure how to add a file here so I’ll send to your email. Thanks.

Hi Daniel,
I had the same problem. By importing the MusicXML file into Finale 26, then exporting the file as another MusicXML file again, Dorico can import the file. How about comparing the two MusicXML files?

Allow me to repeat myself for the second time in this thread:

…please either zip up and attach one or two of your troublesome MusicXML files here, or email them to me at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de, and we’ll take a look.

For your information, Dorico 3,1 crashes with Smartscore Xml, file as it has been said, but not in Dorico2.

I really do hate to sound like a broken record, but in order to investigate and potentially fix these problems, we need the actual MusicXML files that cause the crash.

I’d like to, but don’t have compression tool(MacOS).
May I send you a raw small MusicXML file?

Try just adding the suffix “.zip” to the end of the file name and see if that lets you attach it.


If you’re on macOS, you most certainly do have a compression tool: simply right-click the file or files you want to add to a zip archive and choose Compress from the context menu.

Adding .zip to the end of a MusicXML file won’t work, because an XML file is not a zip file. (A compressed .mxl MusicXML file, on the other hand, is a .zip file, so you could upload one of those by adding .zip to its filename.)

I appreciate your speedy feedback to the Update for XMP import.
But one problem.
DORICO seems to ignore undefined texts typed on manually (e.g. titles, composers, expressions).
Older Dorico handles them as texts assigned to the nearest measure. or staffs.
Is that related to the XML import crash?

Make sure you have the ‘Text items’ option activated on the MusicXML Import page of Preferences.

Ups! I see the Preference option for the 1st time, now.
Thanks very much.