Notation improvements?

Hey everyone !

So, just finished watching all the videos for v5 new features, and despite it seems a huge work and that many of them were being asked for a while like scrubbing, dragging notes, instrument creation, am I the only one feeling the focus has been more on sound/playback rather than notation ?

I mean : instrument editor, scrub playback, groove agent, pitch contour, stage/space templates, that’s 5 out of 7 videos about playback and just 2 about notation improvements (unless more are coming?).

I was really hoping for improvements for instance on the guitar notation segment (handling bends, harmonics, dead notes, chord diagrams, etc…), are they not being showcased or are they not at all existent ?
I was hoping for improvements to engraving mode as well like the way it handles text, flows, etc… but no sign of that.

The only sound/playback improvements I was really hoping for (although I’m very happy with those that came) and waiting for since the beginning is to be able to loop segments at will and with options to choose to accelerate/decelerate by either bpm increments or percentage of bpm (like in guitar pro) every n repeats, because it’s a wonderful tool for practising, but still not here.
Metric modulation with swing notation and playback, same…

I’m not dismissing at all the work done by the team, I know it’s huge, but knowing that it is before all a notation software, I don’t feel that excited about the improvements to justify upgrading when so many essential things are still missing (and I know for each person what’s essential will differ as we all have different needs, but some of them are really found in all softwares whereas some new features announced are just “bonuses” for me).

Anyway, still congrats to the team, I guess I’ll just wait 5.2/5.3/5.4 update to see if I upgrade from 4 but right now I don’t feel I need/want to, despite being very excited about the announcement.



See my review here (and Dorico’s own Version History document) to see a list of the improvements, enhancements and fixes to notation.

Tip: Tempo Marks are things that can now be suppressed on a specified repeat.


May I also refer you to the final few paragraphs of my own blog post:

You should know by now that a major release like Dorico 5.0 is only the beginning of the story. Looking back at the release of Dorico 4.0 in January 2022, it was followed by no fewer than 10 releases over the following 15 months, each of which added useful new functionality along with other improvements. You can expect future Dorico 5.x releases to follow. For starters, we expect the instrument editor to evolve, and we are working on further ideas to improve the expressiveness of playback, and we have something exciting up our sleeves for the second half of this year.

We hope that you will find lots of valuable and enjoyable new features in this update. We have worked very hard over the past several months to build these features for you, and almost all of them have been implemented in response to requests from our users. We know that for every request we have met in this release, many more are going unmet – but rest assured that they are not ignored. If your own specific wishes have not been addressed in Dorico 5.0, we hope that you will nevertheless find many of the improvements that we have delivered to be useful, even if at first glance you think they aren’t for you.

If you’re not sure whether Dorico 5 offers enough of what you’re looking for in this current release, please feel free to wait and see what the coming updates bring. A trial version will be available in a few weeks to allow you to try out all of the features of Dorico Pro for yourself, and in the meantime you can always try out Dorico SE to get something of a flavour of the new features. There’s no obligation to buy the update today, though to those of you that do, you have our gratitude. And please continue to spread the good word about Dorico to everybody you know – word of mouth recommendation is the most powerful tool we have for reaching new Dorico users.


I would place the Instrument Editor squarely in the notation feature category, shifting your balance to notation 3 : playback 4.


Thanks for your reply Daniel ; yeah I’m sure as usual it’s just the beginning of a bigger journey, I guess I’m not just the target audience for v5.0 and I’ll wait until the next updates (anyway I’m broke at the moment so at least this will not be part of a compulsive instant purchase :sweat_smile:)

Good luck to you and the team !

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The other two are Live note editing and Multiple item creation. I’d say both of them, while certainly not playback-related, are also not strictly about notation. There’s nothing in there which couldn’t be notated before. The latter of these may actually save me quite a bit of time and RSI, which is the main reason that I did, in fact, take the upgrade. Presumably, Live Note Editing is mainly in here to appease the Tantacrul crowd—it will come as no surprise that I disabled that immediately.



There are a bunch of engraving improvements too if you read through the version history. Here are a few I’m sure I’ll find useful.

Group cut time the same way as common time

Chord symbol alignment

Rest alignment

I think the new ability to use ottava lines in the score, but not in the part is a great improvement too! I can save vertical space in a score, but still give the player what they need to see in the part, like this Flute excerpt:

The new leading capability and Alt+X unicode input seem like pretty useful text features too.


Yeah, I did too LOL!

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Playback improvements are welcome on my end. I kept my mouth shut and waited patiently during the figured bass stuff :slight_smile:


As someone who really needed figured bass, I appreciate your patience! That’s the issue faced by the team at all times: You have to distribute BOTH joy and disappointment. I’m also happy to keep my mouth shut and offer my patience as your immediate playback needs are being met.


Hey! I’m using that! :slight_smile:

… and I will keep my mouth shut about the current update :wink:

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