Importing MusicXML from Sibelius

imported a violin & piano piece from Sibelius into Dorico – odd distinction

– in the violin part, none of the tuplets or grace notes survived the import, also only one voice was imported;

– in the piano part, all tuplets and all voices were imported.

Is that anything I can control for in the future? Spent all day fixing tuplets and secondary voices in the violin part (it’s a big job)…

thank you!

hmm should i have changed the violin part to a “piano” before exporting the XML from Sibelius? that could have saved me a day of fixing tuplets and adding secondary voices back into the score…

@Elljay hello,
The problem could be Sibelius related. The MusicXML isn’t among the strengths of this application.
I would recommend to do the following tests in order to investigate where the problem is:

  1. Try to import the MusicXML file into MuseScore and check the result.
    Here is a link to the latest portable version (you don’t need to install it):
    MuseScore 3.6.2 Portable Download
  2. You also could try to import the MusicXML back to Sibelius, in order to check how the import function works.
  3. Try to re-create few bars of the piece (at least 4 - 8 bars) in MuseScore and then export the project as MusicXML. After that import the file to Dorico.

You also could take a look at Dorico’s Edit > Preferences > MusicXML Import options, if something there could be helpful. :slight_smile:

Best regards,

You might also try exporting from Sibelius using the Dolet plugin, which is now free. See

great suggestions, thank you both. I installed Dolet and, lo and be hold, exporting XML from Sibelius via Dolet worked well for for keeping tuplets and secondary voices in the violin part, as well as text techniques like pizz and arco.

Here’s the strange thing – when I re-exported via Sibelus’s own MusicXML interface (not the Dolet plugin), just for fun, I no longer experienced the errors I had before. Tuplets, secondary voices, techniques, exported perfectly… I changed nothing on the Dorico side…

a) did I just have a buggy export the first time around?
b) did installing Dolet plug-in somehow also update Sibelius’s own internal MusicXML superpowers?

Thank you!

I don’t believe that installing the Dolet updates Sib’s MusicXML superpowers. I did try it out once to deal with a recognised Sibelius issue where double accidentals repeated within the same bar produce the wrong note. The Dolet did seem to fix that but to be honest I prefer using the Sibelius plug-in “respell uncommon accidentals” which eliminates all double accidentals and thus the problem at one stroke (things can always be later respelled in Dorico for grammatical accuracy if desired).

A number of people have had good results with the dolet but I found overall, it was rather unpredictable and if anything harder to troubleshoot. But mostly these days, the only persistent problem with Sibelius XML export is gradual time changes – they often overlap the next fixed tempo assignment and have to be shortened manually. Some tempi simply go missing. The dolet doesn’t fix this sort of thing. I suspect that Dorico itself since 3.5 is importing SibXML better than previously as I haven’t come across your sorts of issues except perhaps grace notes but generally when I’ve had issues there, it’s not that they’ve been missing but rather that the playback has been incorrect which most often was user error in not notating them carefully enough in Sib . which doesn’t distinguish properly between appoggiaturas and acciacituras in playback whereas Dorico does.