Hide or delete short names of instruments etc.

  1. I can’t seem to find a way to hide or delete the short names of instruments, specifically I don’t mind ‘Guitar’ showing on the first system (although it would be nice if it didn’t, since solo music usually has what the instrument is on the cover etc.), but thereafter there’s no point in Gtr. appearing when it’s a solo or a part on its own.
  2. Is there a way to clean up time signature and beaming assumptions in an imported score from a music xml? Forcing note values doesn’t seem to make much headway against the power of long-dead barlines. I know about the issues with old strangely formatted music xml and am prepared for disappointment here.
  3. Is there a way to make the spacing of notes in senza misura more flexible, so that there aren’t widows/orphans of beam groups poking around the extremities of systems?
  4. I can’t seem to change the spacing between systems/staves. I think I’ve found a layout option to do this but it doesn’t seem to be responding. So far I also haven’t managed to find how I can resize staves. I tend to want to cram as much music on a page as possible for my own use, to minimize page-turns.
  5. opt-cmd-s seems to need to be pressed twice to force a system break. Possible bug?
  6. So far I’ve not managed to open old MIDI files.

Mostly I’m all right with the programme, remembering too well the clunky learning curves of earlier notation software. I do hope–and I’m surely not alone in this–that I’ll be able to eventually import my very numerous old scores here, via music xml or MIDI, some of which would greatly benefit from the reduced workflow possible with Dorico. In the the meantime I see the programme as a current composition tool, which rôle it seems to fill quite nicely; and as a swift, intuitive way of making even older handwritten scores legible and useful, so already thanks for that.j

I’m on a late 2013 iMac running Sierra with 8GB RAM

  1. Use the Staves and Systems page of Layout Options.

  2. Select the notes and do Edit > Reset Appearance to undo their MusicXML-obtained properties.

  3. You can use the various formatting commands in Engrave mode to insert system breaks etc. where you think they should go.

  4. You can’t manually adjust the distance between staves and systems yet, but it’s in progress at the moment and will be possible in the first post-release update. In the meantime, the options on the Vertical Spacing page of Layout Options are what you’ve got.

  5. This is indeed a bug.

  6. If you have problems with MIDI files, perhaps you could zip them up and attach them here so we can look into it.

trumpmin0.mid.zip (17.4 KB)
Here’s a MIDI file which might be emblematic of the majority of my old scores. Encore was and is quite buggy with music xml files, but MIDI files have mostly made it into other programmes not unknown to you.
Thanks for a very swift response, Daniel.j

There may be a work-around for this–though not an easy or predictable one. I notice when I create a frame for a single system of music, adjusting the bottom of the frame seems to affect the staff spacing (potentially disastrously). I have not tried linking such frames to handle multiple systems (I am putting separate flows into each frame).

Is it possible for you to quantize that MIDI file before you try to bring it into Dorico, John?

The original file has lame attempts to do grace notes, which I tried to fix, and also passing it through Sib and trying some quantization there (not called that). I’ve tried a few things now. I suppose it could be a result of poor parsing of grace notes, which occur in a number of spots in this score? This isn’t urgent for me (seeing as I notice you looking at this in the middle of the night) right now, more a proof of principle. It is worth stating that the original was entered by discrete step-entry, rather than any attempt to capture a live performance on any of the staves; however Sib 7.5, through which I tried to filter a copy of it, adds its own rather wonky ‘live performance’ nonsense, which I’ve never managed to effectively turn off, and the code for the original Encore programme underwent some changes too, in order to be able to work on modern computers (both Windows and Mac: it might be worth mentioning that all of these earlier scores were done in earlier versions of Windows, in Encore and then Sib 1, and that I now do all of my music work on Macs). I await further instruction or requests, however re-iterating that this isn’t a matter of urgency for me right now, so much as something I’ll want to look at in a year or two, by which time all of these teething troubles will be history.j

FWIW I imported the MIDI into Finale and exported it as MusicXML. No changes to the Finale default options for import, so you could probably do better than this if you know what you want it to look like

Unlike opening the MIDI in dorico, at least it “looks something like a score” - though starting from MIDI you will always lose the dynamics marks, etc.

Good old Finale, with which some of these files were also encoded (Finale d seems to ring a bell?), back when I wanted to convert a lot of Encore files into Sibelius (don’t know about this one) back in the day, when it was the only (convoluted) route. The peculiar tuplets are a surprise (the original has none in this section) but it’s at least appearing, and much of the original notation is reproduced. Daniel has already commented on the original music xml specification being written by the same person (?) who worked on Finale.
Thanks for adding to our fund of knowledge here, Rob. I can’t help feel that different notation programmes’ handling of grace-notes (some later on in this piece) might be what’s hanging up conversions, not to mention slurs, which early Finale and Encore gave wildly different but equally ennoying results with. Oddly, some more recent music xml bundled with the latest version of Encore (not really a ‘version’ so much as the old programme modified to run on modern compiters) does convert but in both Sibelius and Dorico shows peculiar artifacts of timing and spacing. I’ve also been unable to open music xml from the iOS version of notion, but a friend has had good results importing from the OSX version of Notion.
(I work in a library attached to a university music school, so I have access to people with lots of different approaches, and the appropriate software, as well as what I’ve bought over the years, in case anyone’s wondering—but I haven’t used Finale—the first notation software I used, on Macs—since around 1991). (Sorry to be long-winded: worse than members being grumpy?)

As with all of us, I’m still exploring, and will play with this too, now you’ve brought it to my attention. Every piece of software I’ve ever used has had to require work-arounds to get closer to what I want to do: this is a wonderful opportunity for us to have the ear of the developers, as well as curious, knowledgeable tinkerers. Thanks for this Derrek.j

At first glance, the XML import into Dorico looked very similar to what Finale was displaying, except for a few strange things. For example FInale decided to notate the trombone(s) on two staves for some reason, and the second staff seems to have ended up as separate unnamed instrument in Dorico.

There are lots of options in the Finale MIDI import, so that could probably improved if you know what you want to produce - I just used the default settings. For example you can convert short notes into grace notes (and tell Finale how short is “short”), and stop it trying to notate the “exact” rhythms with strange tuplets.

If you have printouts of the scores you could also try scanning them with Photoscore or other apps. If they are in PDF format, PDFtoMusic Pro “looks inside” the PDF to identify the exact location of individual notes and the font characters for different note heads etc, so poor quality printing and/or scanning don’t create errors.

Another development: another score of similar provenance (first imported into Sib and then re-encoded as another music xml)imported as a music xml doesn’t show up anywhere except in Print, and there the parts are visible, but not the full score. Otherwise the by now familiar light blue rectangle of not-being-there in all of the other modes.j

Sounds like a problem with the layouts not having the correct flows and/or players assigned to them. Go to Setup mode and check what each layout says it has assigned to it, by clicking it in the Layouts list and seeing which checkboxes are on in the Flows and Players panel (I’m guessing none).

This happens because of a bug that causes your saved layout options to be applied incorrectly. To stop it affecting future projects, delete the files whose names start with layoutOptions_ that you find in ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico.

The strange thing results from me choosing a trombone patch to stand in for a trumpet sound because I didn’t like the one provided. The second unnamed one is odd though: there ought to be three trombones sharing that staff.
I don’t have any iteration of Finale, and haven’t used it since some time in the 1990s. My current modifications could be done with Sibelius, Encore, Dorico, or Notion for iOS. I do have Photoscore though, which I find clunky; not PDFtoMusic Pro, which however sounds wonderful.
Daniel, I got rid of the ~/Library/Application Support/Steinberg/Dorico files, three of them, but then got the eternal beachball when I tried to open one of these problem files. It loaded the instrument patches into Halion but then stalled at “75%”.
As I’ve said before, this particular issue isn’t urgent for me just now, but I’d be glad to help with any data I can provide to help you iron out bugs in order to enhance Dorico’s functionality, especially when faced by people like me who tend to find unorthodox workarounds for immediate problems without much of a view to future consequences. Of course I’d be happy for any insight which does provide me with a fix, and accept it guilt-free, so long as it isn’t taking you or your team away from more pressing matters.
Thanks to both of you, and to Derrek, for hints and help.j

If you’ve got a problem reopening a project file, unfortunately we can’t diagnose the problem without the file itself. Please zip it up and attach it here and we’ll be happy to take a look.

Here’s the one I was talking about, showing parts but not the full score. There are changes from pizzicato to arco early on, and there may be some odd tuplets closer to the end. Other odd things I’ve noticed recently include that when I want to start a guitar composition and choose that instrument, the default “full score” shows nothing but going to the part gives me the beginning of a score into which I can enter notes.j
Flutall-sib-attempt.xml.zip (108 KB)

John, you’ve attached the MusicXML file, not the Dorico project itself: unfortunately I can’t diagnose any problems with your Dorico project from the MusicXML file you used to create the Dorico project. Certainly your MusicXML file imports OK into Dorico for me, and I’m both able to save and re-load the resulting Dorico project file.

I suspect whatever problem you’re having is caused by the layout options problem discussed earlier in the thread, and if you both delete the layoutOptions_*.xml files from your user data folder and manually re-link the necessary flows/players to layouts in your troublesome project, all will be well.

I’m afraid that removing those layout xml files just results in the spinning beachball and then a force quit. I’ll try restarting the iMac, and see what happens.

Yes, the reboot helped me at least be able to compose. I’ll be able to give this some more attention later on tomorrow. Thanks for this, Daniel.j