I am doing two projects this week where I have a PDF with a transcription of a pop tune. They were completely literal transcriptions that each go on for 10 or more pages. The performer asked me to reduce this to something more like a lead sheet that would actually be useful in performance.
I don’t know what program generated the PDF, but I suppose it was either Finale or Sibelius. I ran it through the PDFtoMusic Pro app, which does an amazing job of interpreting directly written (not scanned) PDFs and saving as MusicXML.
The first project imported into Dorico. It was pretty messed up with time signature inconsistencies between staves. But I was able to cut and paaste to use most of it. I finished that project in about 4 hours.
Now I am doing the second project – which is similar to the first. The PDF is from the same transcriber. When I open it into PdftoXML Pro, it interprets things quite well, and I can do a realistic playback from within that app. Basically it seems to be 98% intact. I save that to MusicXML. When I open import that XML into Dorico, Dorico just vanishes without any message.
I tried importing the same XML into Finale 25. That imported successfully. It wasn’t perfect. A few measures had the wrong numbers of beats, but all the staves were consistent. Basically it looks pretty similar to the original PDF, minus some text expressions, slash notation and other odd bits.
I exported that Finale file to another XML. I then imported that XML into Dorico. That completed, but it was a complete mess. Staves were completely inconsistent. The file was basically unusable.
As this is copyrighted material, I don’t want to post it here. I will be happy to provide it if somebody is able to research the problems, especially the Dorico crash.