Input into Dorico

To Dorico users,

What method do you find best to input notes and values into Dorico, Midi,By Hand,Keyboard,Keypad,Number or Letter keys directly from a Mac / PC keyboard I would be interested in efficient ways to work with Dorico.


I’d say using a MIDI keyboard to select the correct pitch is optimal. That’s true for any app, not just Dorico.

I agree with Ben. And num pad for rhythmic values (I mean a complete computer keyboard) saves time too. And Stream Deck for more complicated stuff (advanced filtering and playing techniques) or equivalent.

You can do it using the “Alan Silvestri method”: hammer the rhythm in while live recording using whatever device you like, then go back, press “L” (lock note values) and play the melody on the MIDI keyboard at your own pace.

Agree with Marc… that’s my preferred method.

Actually, I’ve been using: “numpad for duration, MIDI keyboard for pitch”, which is fast, but can require coordination (try doing an upward scale of decreasing note values), but I’ve just tried doing Live recording, which works really well. (Much better than Finale’s HyperScribe, if that isn’t damning with faint praise.)
If it doesn’t come out right, you can requantize it to fix any problems.

I enter the notes from a midi-keyboard just using the most common rhythm value of the motif, then go back and slide the rhythms in place with alt, alt-shift arrow (thus the enhancement request for insert mode : )
Those alt,alt-shift arrow keys work great. One a motif is entered, phrased and articulated, combinations of lock-duration and alt-up/dn can quickly adjust variants for other instruments/voices.
It is sometimes effective to ctrl-clk or shift-clk groups of notes and then just hit the keypad-# to change a group of rhythms in one shot. Dorico will instantly re-layout out the music (but you have to be careful if you aren’t at the end of the system when in insert mode).

Overloading keypad+, keypad- with octave transpose is a useful shortcut commonly mentioned.
I also use shift-6 (^) and alt-6 as pedal retake toggles (I use that alot)

I find the mouse is not too good for input; mostly best for lassoing groups of stuff to delete or quickly setting the playhead position.

It is an old “Discover Dorico” dating back to Dorico 1.0 days, but “Hints and Tips When Entering Music with MIDI and QWERTY Keyboards” is worth watching up to 29:20 where it goes into a discussion about laying out pages in Engrave mode and eventually into talking about the upcoming update to Dorico 1.1.

Certainly watching that first half an hour is, in my view, a half hour well spent as it gives a practical demonstration of the various options. The only option not covered in that video is real time MIDI entry, which is a more recent innovation.

Like many, I generally enter notes with one hand on a MIDI keypad (for pitches) and another hovering over the number keys (for rhythms). I have single key shortcuts set to lengthen and shorten notes, which often speeds things up.

One of these days I really must try real-time MIDI input. I confess that I never found it that great in Sibelius, so I’ve somewhat ignored it in Dorico.

Dorico’s Real-time MIDI input in v2.2 is covered, as ever, in one of Anthony’s Youtube videos.**

I am absolutely flying with this method on entry. Though I have to remove the Playback offset from the notes afterwards, to avoid maintaining my behind-the-beat playing in playback.

** (“Do-ri-co tu-to-ri-als with An-tho-ny Hughes… Do-ri-co tu-to-ri-als with An-tho-ny Hughes… Do-ri-co tu-to-ri-als with An-tho-ny Hughes…”)

If I want to modify or build upon a score I have sheet music for, I scan it into Scanscore (, then edit it for any mistakes, then export to Dorico.