Help in transcribing a piece with repeats in Dorico SE

I am a beginning piano student and don’t have a music background. One of the things I struggle with – other than playing the piano :slight_smile: – is to look at a piece of music and realize what it should sound like.

After some research I came across Dorico and what I do to hear the music is transcribe the printed sheet music into Dorico. It’s a bit of work, but I actually enjoy doing so, and it is helping me practice sight-reading as well. I have only used Dorico for a few weeks and am still learning the ropes. The forums and YouTube videos have been very helpful.

My setup is:
MacOS: 14.3
Dorico SE: (Jan 17 2024)

I am including an image of a piece I would like to play, but I am stuck trying to figure out how to transcribe this piece which has two “repeat sections” and each has a pick-up bar.

  • I tried setting it up as two flows, but when the first one ends, there is a considerable pause before the second flow starts. Came across the following question:
    Playback stops at the end of each flow - #5 by dspreadbury
    but I don’t see a Playback Option. Is this something that is only available in one of the paid version? That question is a few years old, so it’s possible that this option has been moved around or the functionality has changed.

  • I also came across the following which describes how to set up multiple repeats: How to Work with Repeat Endings in Dorico – OF NOTE
    However, in this case I can’t figure out how to create the pick-up bar in the second repeat?

Is this doable in Dorico SE? If so, can you please tell me how?

A sincere thank you for providing this free version. It’s a wonderful piece of software!

Hi @alotia and welcome to the Community!

I prepared a short video to explain how to have the desired results in Dorico SE. Hope it helps. If you have further questions, please ask :-):


I don’t think you can split bar 8 in SE. But musically there’s no problem having the second half pickup on the previous system, like this…

I would set the initial 4/3 pickup. Then write all the notes. Next, select the last note of bar 8 and add the repeat barline, and the last rest in bar 16 and add the final repeat, Finally, trim any extra bars you have (shift-b trim). Dorico will sort everything out for you!

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@Christian_R Thanks very much for such a quick, helpful answer. I just tried it out and it worked like a charm!

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Thank you. I followed Christian_R’s method and was able to get going, but thank you for the info. That’s really good to know.

I would approach it as one flow, as it is obviously one contiguous piece. Splitting it is an awkward and counter-productive workaround.
Regarding sightreading: don’t be ashamed to find it difficult as a beginning player. It takes some time and training to develop it. it’s like learning to read (language) as a little child. Tip: try to sing everything, whether you know it or not. Then check what you sing at the piano.