Imported instruments [SOLVED]

How does Dorico exactly deal with XML imported instruments from Finale?

For example after an XML import from Finale, Dorico uses (correctly) the exact instrument names from the Finale file.
Let say Violinen 1, Violinen 2, Violoncello and Kontrabass.
These are also the instrument names shown in the “Edit Instrument Names” window from the setup mode and these are the names shown in the field “Editing instrument”.

When I choose the engraving option for “Brackets and Braces” Orchestral I then expect Dorico to create brackets accordingly.
But in this case Dorico does not do it.
Only when I manually “change” the instruments in Setup mode to the appropriate instruments (meaning the same instruments but from within Dorico), Dorico then automatically add the brackets.
I also notice that the octave of the Kontrabass is not right.
Also here only after manually changing the Kontrabass to the appropriate instrument Dorico automatically shows the right octave.

It seems to me that the imported instruments and instrument names have no properties in Dorico and they are only place holder without any signification.
Is it so?
And if yes, why if the imported names correspond to Doricos used names?

During import Dorico tries to match with existing instruments in its own database. If it can’t find a match, it can’t determine what family the instrument belongs to.

Yes, this is what I thought until now but I have the feeling that it is not 100% reliable.

Say you import a staff called Kontrabass.
Theoretically Dorico should know this term as it appears in the Change Instruments list but in fact Dorico does not take care of the right transposition and it is necessary to re-assign the staff to Kontrabass again.

What you mention seems to work for some instruments (with drums it works well) but for some others not, thus my question “How exactly” does Dorico deal with these imported instrument names.

Not sure about Finale, but the Dolet plugin for Sibelius does not export transpose tags unless the score is in transposed view. Does Finale have a similar option?

Until now I found out that Dorico does import correctly what Finale exports, so this is not a matter for me.
What I would like to know is what Dorico exactly needs from the “Instrument Name” to recognize and treat a Kontrabass as a Kontrabass (or any instrument) without additional manual editing.

I guess it is probably safer to always “rename” all instruments after importing even if it takes some times.
I am just curious to know/understand what exactly the mechanism is.

I tend to do a “change instrument” on every imported instrument to acquire the appropriate properties and transpositions for that instrument, then rename it as desired. For some instruments (particularly choral or keyboard), I’ve found it’s best to create a new similar instrument and copy/paste the notes into that – the results will be more favorable overall, and it takes little time to do. You may have to copy/paste keyboard staves individually; some XML imports don’t treat two keyboard staves as a single instrument.

I always redo instrument assignments as well, just to avoid surprises. I also prefer to delete and re-enter most dynamics to take advantage of Dorico’s grouping feature.

XML simply can’t be thought about as automatic. It’s usually a great help in re-creating a score, but I have found it’s rarely (never) perfect.


After doing several tests I think I found out the reason of the issue.

For some reasons I had a few instruments in Finale which were not completely defined.
It means they only had the right instrument name but were not assigned to any instrument category.
They appear as “Unknown” Instrument in the Finale instrument list.
These are the instruments which were not “completely” recognized by Dorico.
Other instruments, assigned to a category, were correctly recognized.

As soon as the instruments were assigned to a category in Finale the xml import in Dorico went flawlessly.
It seems also that Dorico is generous (german: großzügig) with the names and it is able to recognize several variations of the name in different languages.

I would say then that my issue is solved and I have an answer:
In order to be correctly recognized by Dorico instruments must be assigned to a category in Finale, the name alone is not enough.

This is totally OT, but if you’re interested, the slightly clearer rendering of “Dorico ist großzügig“ might be “flexible.” Wenn ich “großzügig” verstehe.

But your English is way better than my German! :slight_smile:

Yes, people sometimes change the Name column in Finale’s Score Manager instead of changing the instrument in the leftmost column. That can often cause problems within Finale, but it almost always affects the XML export.