Importing XML workflow and Odd Time Signature/Meter Behavior

I’m trying to develop a workflow for importing scanned music as XML into Dorico. The logistics of this is daunting, at least to me. If someone has a suggestion for shortening the workflow, I would appreciate it.

When I import the XML, and then begin to correct mis-recognized key signatures in some staves, other staves are affected as well, which I don’t want, as the other staves have properly recognized key signatures.

As of now, I create a new project, add the proper players (a band score), set the key signature, then I go back to the old project (where the imported music is), transpose that music to sounding pitch (the band score is in transposed pitch), then copy the transposed music, part-by-part, into each stave of the new project.

But that isn’t the odd behavior…
I’ve attached an image. I gave the music a 4/4 time signature, but at least one of the measures appears to assume a 3/4 meter. I’ve not been able to correct this. (Note: The image is of a B-flat Clarinet part, hence the B-flat red flag with no key signature.)

If you’re going to use a part-by-part workflow, I wonder whether you might be better off scanning the music part-by-part as well, if you have access to the parts as well as the score? My guess is that with a larger staff size and less other visual clutter on the page, the scanning software might make a better fist of interpreting each part than it does the full score.

When you want to change the key signature in a single staff, you can do so either by holding Alt when you click the key signature from the panel into the score, or if you use the Shift+K popover, use Alt+Return to confirm the popover.

For the bar with the wrong number of beats, it looks to me as if a rest has been removed there somehow: you might want to try switching off some or even most of the options on the MusicXML Import page of Preferences, as doing so will make the imported result closer to what you would have got if you had input the music directly in Dorico, rather than trying to preserve all the beaming and other specific information from the MusicXML file. I suspect that for some reason the scanning program has missed a rhythm dot or similar in that bar, and then has inserted a hidden rest to make the bar add up. You may find that selecting the half note and opening the Properties panel, then switching off the ‘Ends voice’ property if it is set, brings the rest back.

If not, please attach the project here and we’ll take a look and see if we can figure out what’s up.

jamag, which scan program do you use? I use PhotoScore Ultimate and I find, that I get the best results, when I try to correct all the errors in PhotoScore before exporting to MusicXML. Also I often do, what Daniel suggested: Scanning single parts and than combine them in Dorico.

Thanks for your prompt and patient replies. I do not have access to individual parts unfortunately.

I tried using Photoscore Ultimate but got very poor recognition. The original, a PDF score, was received digitally as a PDF file and imported to the scanning program digitally. The original PDF had extremely fine lines for staff lines and bar lines, and the window in Photoscore that shows the original image oddly showed symbols, such as quarter rests and quarter note heads, that seemed “hollow” or faded in the middle. I presume that either the faded symbols and/or fine lines in the original, caused the poor recognition. I also tried using image programs to thicken and darken the lines in the original, which I was able to do, but the poor recognition did not improve. (I realize this isn’t a Photoscore forum. Just trying to fully answer the question asked.)

What I haven’t tried is actually printing out the scoring and “re-scanning” it from a physical printout. …and I will try that.

Since Photoscore was not giving a good result, I tried an iOS app called “Music Scanner”. I got much better recognition, exported as xml, airdropped to my Mac, and imported to Dorico. The Dorico file attached is of 2 pages of the score. (I also attached the XML file. Both files are compressed in zip format. Note: I mistakenly called the PDF file “XML”. I corrected the name to “PDF file by jamag” and re-uploaded it.) There are a number of misrecognitions, which is to be expected, but many all are subsumed within the meter in an expected way, except…Notice measure 4 of staff three “Piano 3,” a whole rest. The bar line seems out of place. When I click into that measure, no rhythmic grid is shown over the rest. When I attempt to assign a 4/4 meter at the beginning, the meter issue doesn’t seem to correct. Oddly (and probably a separate issue), the 4/4 symbol only appears in a few of the staves, on Piano 3, 9, and 15. I would expect the time signature to appear on all the staves.

In scanning, I sometimes find an extra rest at the end of the measure making the measure “too full” of rhythms. I tried “remove rests”, but that just seems to hide the rest, not delete it.

I’m beginning to think, as others have suggested, that it’s best just to enter the music “by hand” in Dorico, presuming some proficiency in note entry. Or, scan the music in but delete the music in the measures that are far from the original, and re-enter just those measures. But that will still be difficult to do without the meter issue being resolved.
PDF file by (73.4 KB)
XML file by (73.4 KB)
Dorico xml import by (1.42 MB)

To be honest, I’m thinking it’s usually better to re-enter. The more I do, the faster I get. I remapped a couple strategic key commands and it’s going pretty quickly.

Dear Dan,

I was quite surprised by what you write about Photoscore Ultimate… I own it and use it very often, so I gave it a try : perfect recognition (at least at first sight — no rhythmic problem), and I just had to check all key signatures. It was a matter of two minutes to get this file (please remove the .zip before opening in Photoscore):
PDF file by (429 KB)
I am wondering whether you have Photoscore’s last version (8.8.6 I think) and if you used the best resolution (>350dpi) when prompted before reading.
Hope it helps !


I think you meant “Dear jamag” (since I was the one complaining about Photoscore’s recognition, or lack thereof).

And so…

“I do hereby resolve…to try ALL the resolutions…before resolving…that PhotoScore cannot resolve the scan…into a fine and resolute document.” :blush:

IOW, Photoscore recognized quite well with the “<350” resolution.

Thanks! :mrgreen:

Dear jamag,
Indeed, my post was destined to you, sorry for the mess…
I confess I do not understand the rest of your reply, but hopefully you found a nice way to use Photoscore (which is not a bad tool, even if not perfect yet…)

@MarcLarcher: No worries on the rest of my reply. I was just making fun of myself.

On an XML import workflow:

Now that Photoscore is working well for me (now that I’m using it correctly), I’m wondering if anyone might share about their workflow for getting a transposed ensemble score into Dorico using the scanning method.

Here’s mine:

  1. Presuming a digital PDF, open PDF in Photoscore.
  2. Make corrections as possible in Photoscore.
  3. Import XML into Dorico.
  4. Confirm Dorico is showing concert pitch.
  5. Per part, check instrument transposition and where necessary, select all the music in the part and transpose to concert pitch, usually without transposing key signature.
  6. Per part, check/correct key signature in the individual part and make other corrections for accuracy and appearance.
  7. Per part, change instrument to the assigned instrument in the score.
  8. View Transposed score and check outcomes.

I experimented with trying to assign instruments (transposing instruments as well) in Photoscore before exporting xml. However, I got unexpected and confusing results when importing into Dorico which still resulted in me changing instrument names and transposing the parts after they were imported into Dorico.

Dear jamag,
No problem.

I use that workflow, except I still sent the file to Sibelius and export into XML through the Dolet plug-in. I have not tried direct XML export since last version — I have not found any History version, nor received any notification of the last update from Neuraton, that’s when I realize how well they communicate at Steinberg. Maybe the problems I used to have are gone…
I think all the improvements we need (better instrument recognition, instrument transposal) should be implemented in Photoscore, but I doubt they ever will… Even if the software recognizes the notes very well, it’s still poor for lyrics and offers limited support for instrument recognition : you have to enter your list, and then apply the right instruments to each system, which can be very time consuming, because it’s all with mouse, there are no keyboard solutions available for this task. But I realized it’s worth doing it because then it’s really fast to work in Dorico.
I should probably send this post to their feedback & support team.