Importing Musicxml files from Sib, no instrument changes...


I’ve got some troubles importing a score using musicxml from Sibelius. It’s a big band score with lot’s of instrument changes in the woodwinds. For some reason instrument changes doesn’t migrate at all. Besides that there’s something weird happening. It’s a massive amount of work to find all those places where instrument changes occur, and change to the right instrument. Is there a better of doing this?


What happens if you import the MusicXML file back into Sibelius? (Not a typo!)
Do the instrument changes appear?

If not, it’s a problem with the way that Sibelius is spitting out MusicXML files.


Haven’t tried that. I’ll check that immediately!

I tried to import the musicxml file back to Sib and the file looked really crazy. I also tried to make musicxml file from both Sib 7.5 and Sib 8 with same weird result.

I can understand that some things don’t translate well, like instead of 1 and 2 ending, I have several Open and Last X. But I don’t understand why instrument changes are left out. Isn’t that suppose to work?

Anyone with an alternative way of doing this? One I come to think of myself is to create separate staves for all instruments doublings and fix that after importing to Dorico. Maybe that’s the way to do it!?

You could certainly separate the staves out in Sibelius. Then when you import into Dorico you can literally drag the instruments from separate players into one player (for example flute/piccolo will show as two players; just drag the piccolo to the Flute player in setup mode) and Dorico will figure out the rest.

In Sibelius I would try not to use the built in File>Export>Music.xml Route.
Instead install the ‘newest’ dolet plugin for music.xml and go to HomeTab>Plugins>Export MusicXML
The resulting file will be significantly better.

Thanks! I’ll check the dolet plug-in.

Thanks k_b!

The dolet plug-in worked so much better. There’s still the problem with instrument doublings that doesn’t show, but everything else looks better.

Sibelius itself may embeds an older version of Dolet in its File menu, hence the necessity of installing the standalone Dolet plugin to Sibelius.

Update: The above is misinformation. See Daniel’s reply below.

I can’t quite remember what approach we took back in the old days at the other place towards exporting players with multiple instruments in MusicXML. The problem is that MusicXML doesn’t encode doublings in a semantic way, so there’s no direct way to represent it. I suspect that what happens is that you simply get all the music for all of the instruments exported on a single part, and there’s no indication in the MusicXML file at all that any instrument changes are happening.

If you can be bothered, your best bet would be to unpick the file in Sibelius before you export it, i.e. manually add new instruments for all of the doublings and then cut and paste the music from the original staff to the new separate instrument staves. Then once you’ve imported that into Dorico, drag the doubling instruments from their separate players onto the desired destination players, which will of course then create the necessary instrument changes automatically.

Not that it really matters, but this is misinformation: Sibelius has never included a version of the Dolet plug-in. The MusicXML export from Sibelius’s File menu is a built-in feature developed by the Sibelius development team, not by Recordare/MakeMusic.

Thanks for the correct information.

Due to this fact, Dolet is a better choice since it is provided by the company (MakeMusic) who made the standard of MusicXML format.

Not necessarily. Dolet is written using the ManuScript scripting language so it doesn’t have direct access to the score. The built-in MusicXML export has access to everything. But both exporters have their own strengths and weaknesses. My own advice would be to try exporting with both and see which one gives you a better result for a specific score.

More misinformation, not that it really matters. MusicXML was developed by Michael Good’s company, Recordare. Dolet precedes Recordare’s takeover by MakeMusic, though admittedly the most recent version of Dolet for Sibelius was released after Recordare was taken over by MakeMusic. I believe Michael Good is now Vice President of MusicXML Technologies for MakeMusic.

Thanks! That’s what I ended up doing. So much faster and easier when in Dorico. One more thing that doesn’t import is use of different mutes in the brass sections. Very strange, that should be an easy thing. Chords works, with the exception that some of the chords get random doublets.

Playing techniques in general are not imported from MusicXML either. Again this is at least partly due to the fact that encoding these things in a semantically satisfactory way in MusicXML is difficult, so there is often a mismatch between what an application does on export and what another application might do on import.

Even so, we are far better off with XML import capabilities than without them. :smiley:
Thanks for including them in Dorico.