MusicXML Problem...bug?

Hi Steinberg friends,

Please see my video, I have a serious MusicXML export problem:

Any advice…thanks guys

I’d send the file to Daniel and let the development team unravel why you can’t generate and uncompressed MusicXML file; you should be able to generate an uncompressed XML file. XML issues have been brought up a few times here on the forum…but I can’t say I’ve felt that it is a priority in the Dorico-sphere. (In fact, IIRC a few posts suggesting that MusicXML is someone else’s problem.) It has been a big drawback for me as other (more mature) products do exchange of scores better, IMHO. It is particularly devastating to anyone who has music production pipeline that goes from Dorico to anywhere but sight-reading performers.

For now, MIDI is your most sure movement out of Dorico, but you’ll need to recreate almost all the the notation other than the notes.

Just a wild guess: maybe it has something to do with the Ê character in the file name. Try removing it and see what happens

I suspect Anders might be right, and there are some problems with extended non-Latin 1 characters in the current version of Dorico that you should find are fixed in the forthcoming update.

In the meantime, if you rename your flows and layouts so they don’t use any accented characters, you should be able to export your MusicXML files without any problems.

Hello Daniel…any my other mates!

Oh, I HAVE tried that route already by renaming the file and title etc. It has nothing to do with that…BUT…I think I HAVE the bug caught! Here it is:

  1. The First song I did which I exported via MusicXML was “Note-entered” in Dorico…and then exported via MusicXML to open in Sibelius. THAT WORKED.

  2. The Second song…I EXPORTED it from Finale as a MusicXML (which Sibelius could open)…BUT I opened Finale’s MusicXML export in Dorico because Dorico is now my Notator of choice. Dorico opened Finales XML file just fine! I reworked some stuff in this medley…and removed one song and replaced it with another song etc. I saved this Dorico Project File successfully. THEN I EXPORTED this reworked file from Dorico to be IMPORTED into Sibelius for my Baritone singer to rehearse, BUT as you have seen, Sibelius AND Finale AND Dorico do NOT want to IMPORT the Dorico-created MusicXML file.


When one IMPORTS a MusicXML INTO Dorico and then EXPORT it as a MusicXML, Dorico messes up the XML file! NO other Notation Software…EVEN Dorico (who created the XML file) will NOT import this XML file.
But, if you enter the music (as a new Dorico project) in Dorico, AND THEN EXPORT it as a MusicXML file, ALL other Notators will open it…even Dorico!


You can import a MusicXML file into Dorico and work at it and then save it in Dorico’s project file format *.dorico for printing or EXPORTING it to a PDF…BUT NOT MUSICXML!

Cheers for eers!
Hans :slight_smile:

This is a problem for me. The common scenario, a colleague wants to give me a piece (usually notated in Sibelius since only a few are still using Finale) for me to work on. While I can get it into Dorico (with varying results), there is a high risk I can’t get it back to him as a Sibelius file since the route back into another form is problematic.

A trick when Dorico’s MusicXML export is being fussy to export which has been met with some success (I don’t have 100% batting average with this one) is to start a brand new Dorico project and layout staves identical to the the project that is being troublesome. I then cut and paste one staff at a time to the new project, exporting the new project one staff at a time. I then re-assemble the project from exported XMLs in the other program that my colleague (in his obvious insanity) wishes to use. It’s a workaround that can save most, if not all of a problematic project, but it isn’t fun.

Another, alternate “escape” that I have used when MusicXML fails from Dorico is to send the whole thing to PDF and using a music scanning program (I have a couple) to recapture most of the piece. This can be problematic, but with a sharp eye an a bit of touch up can save a trapped piece.

If all else fails, it’s out to MIDI and then recreate the notation (fortunately I’m pretty fast, but it does mean lots of extra work.)

Ideally, MusicXML should be tested against the other players in the market to ensure a level of acceptable portability–that’s whole point of an exchange format. (Yes, yes…I know…a very provocative statement.) It would enhance Dorico’s opportunities to take share away from incumbents if prospects transitioning knew they could freely move back and forth. For my own work, which now almost always starts in Dorico, this is becoming a lower priority problem, becoming closer to non-existent after 1.2 is released; however for workflows where I need to work with others that have not caught the Dorico wave, or programs where I need to do additional work, it remains an ongoing concern.

Hans, I politely disagree with you.

I’ve just taken a Sibelius file (1), exported it to MusicXML (2), opened it in Dorico, transposed it up a tone in Dorico, exported THAT file to MusicXML (3). File (3) opens fine in Dorico, Sibelius 8.5 and Finale 25.

Files attached as proof.
Files 1 2 and (54.6 KB)

I think the issue is that it doesn’t always happen. For me, it’s usually related to complex orchestral pieces and usually happens after I’ve been editing for a bit (at least an hour or two of corrections, additions, new staves, re-arrangements, etc., etc.)

The test scenario of import and immediately export is a little unrealistic (I’m being polite here–you haven’t proved your point that Dorico XML import/export is an inherently “safe” workflow. At best you’ve shown a single barely touched file without any significant changes in notations of but three staves and some 32 bars imports and exports.)

While Hans’ warning is a touch overkill (suggesting it never works) it is still an event (failed XML export) that ruins your whole day. What Hans is telling us (and I can confirm) is that if you must rely on MusicXML export from Dorico, in its current form, there is some chance (difficult to assess) where you will not be able to get it out again in a usable. I have suggested a couple work-arounds that have solved this for me on a few occasions (cut’n’paste to a fresh project or pdf-and-scan).

Honestly, the trivializing of other people’s concerns and workflows by the Dorico fanbase is a bit of turn-off. People are so anxious to defend Dorico when there is a problem with the product (and the consenting silence that follows from Dorico’s product team) leaves people with the impression that Dorico isn’t going to be the product for them.

Thank you Traubitz.

To clarify, I disagree with the following statement:


it sometimes works.

I would go so far as to say whether or not you can export a MusicXML file from Dorico that will open in another program has absolutely nothing to do with that project having started life in another application and then being imported into Dorico via MusicXML. Projects made by importing MusicXML are not defective or really in any way different that projects you enter yourself directly in Dorico.

However, it is certainly true to say that Dorico’s MusicXML export is currently a long way from being as functional as its MusicXML import. I hope we will be able to spend some more time in this area in the near future, but there are a lot of competing demands on our very limited time, so I cannot give guarantees about when and what kinds of improvements we will be able to implement.

Traubitz…thank you (and my other friends here naturally), but Traubitz, I thank you for NOT belittling my concern. I am NOT a fanboy of ANY Notation Software…I think I have made this point quite clear on ALL the Forums of the major Notation Software I own. I cannot stand the “Fanboy” mentality, hence my slight overreaction yesterday with a guy on this forum. I DO, however, ALWAYS respect other people and their input as long as they do not downplay my problem as though I am talking nonsense. I am a programmer myself and have been working with computers since many here were even born…starting with the ZX-80. So, Thanks again. I do not IMAGINE to MusicXML problem I’m experiencing. THAT is why I ALWAYS try to prove my problem with a video…which does not lie!

I am sure the guy further up found no problem when HE tried to duplicate my problem, but I wish there was a way I could send you guys my score to look at it. This forum does not allow the file extensions except those of a picture. But, from MY perspective THIS is the path I followed:

  1. The Baritone has a song in Sibelius. I exported as a MusicXML from within Sibelius and imported it into Dorico as he wanted too many work done on this song and I HATE working in Finale!;
  2. Dorico imported THIS Sibelius’ XML without any issues;
  3. I did ALL the stuff my singer wanted in Dorico…because I have to learn this new software and LOVE it!..until…;
  4. After finishing my work on this file in Dorico, I wanted to EXPORT it BACK to Sibelius as I cannot use Dorico on a 2nd machine without an extra license;
  5. I first tried to export this song as an uncompressed XML…but the export folder was EMPTRY…NO XML files were created;
  6. Then I attempted the Compressed MXL option, which DID create 3 files…but they were “broken” somehow [if I can use this term]…see Error Picture; and
  7. Then I tried the MIDI option, but NO! The engraving is a nightmare!

So, my friends…it seems to me that if one IMPORTS a MusicXML created by ANY Notator…even Dorico, work on the file…export it as a Compressed MXL file…NO Notation Software can read the MXL file…in MY experience! THIS picture graphs my problem better…I hope! :slight_smile:
OK, I cannot attach my score etc. so I am sharing 2 files on my DropBox shared folder. Feel free to explore my problem. Here is the link:

Thank you, my friends. Have a blessed week!
Hans Nel

Dear Hans,

You just need to zip the dorico file to upload it on the forum. And if it is too heavy, you can send it to Daniel, with a link to this thread so that he does not waste his precious time to understand what it is all about :wink:

Hi Marc, I just uploaded the file on my DropBox folder and the link is in the post just above your. Thanks for all you have done s far for me. You are great!


By way of atonement I did the copying and pasting to a new file that Traubitz suggested. The attached MXL opens fine in Dorico, Sib. 8.5 and Finale 25 on my machine.
Betlehem se Ster2 - Full score - Flow (14.6 KB)

Nice to know, Pianoleo. That is a good workaround, when the problem comes, before there is a good fix in a future update.

You’re forgiven. :wink:

It’s comforting to know that the panicky kludge I came up with late one night (I had promised to return an updated manuscript to my evil Sibelius colleague the next morning) may have some merit. :slight_smile:

By all means, Daniel. I am sure you guys have prioritized features and fixes…so, we are patient as you guys, who perhaps put four times the working hours are the normal worker in the world, do your thing! I have no doubt that you, your team and the Steinberg guys MUST be tired and look forward to Chrismas!


Thank you everyone and Dorico and Steinberg!
God bless you, all!