Photoscore Ultimate XML -> Dorico = lots of missing notes

I’m trying to open an XML exported from Photoscore Ultimate in Dorico. The resulting file is missing many many notes. It seems like notes in the second voice are there, and most 1st voice notes aren’t. And then the notes stop altogether in one staff (at a seemingly arbitrary point) after a while.

Using midi export is a total mess so that’s not really an option unfortunately. I know I can go via Sibelius to get more predictable results, but if I can find a solution that doesn’t involve giving Avid any money that would be great.

I’ve attached it to this post if that’s of any use. Any ideas gratefully received!

I’m not sure if attaching the file to the post has been successful - I don’t see any attachment?

Whoops, silly me. Here it is:

(Attachment removed because some of it was technically copyrighted material. Can send directly on request)

I tried another export and now this is happening…oh dear:

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I think you should edit the file in Photoscore before exporting xml.
My guess is that Photoscore have lots of errors from the scan.


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Hi jesele thanks for your contribution. I should have mentioned I already spent 3 hours editing the file in Photoscore and correcting all the timing errors. Everything at the Photoscore end looks correct to me.

Ah, ok, then I don’t know I’m afraid.


Create a new score with Piano or whatever and the import the xml.


Thanks Jesper. I’ve tried several different exports from Photoscore and am now able to open it in Dorico (I can’t recreate the strangelayout from the first picture). Unfortunately I still have the problem from the original post; many notes are missing.

The issue seems to arise at bar 79 - halfway through voice 1 just disappears and then I only get voice 2 in the first staff from there on. See picture:

No idea, sorry.


Hmmm well I deleted the second group of voice 1 notes in bar 79 and hey presto it seems to all have imported properly now! So obviously something strange was going on in that bar when moving between Photoscore/Dorico.

Perhaps @dspreadbury might be able to ask a resident Steinberg MusicXML expert to have a look and see what was going on there?

I know you mentioned editing it in photoscore, but are you able to verify that photoscore is exporting everything correctly? Have you tried opening the same file in another program? If you open it in musescore or sibelius and the results are the same, you can verify it’s a photoscore issue, vs. a Dorico one.

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I opened the MXML that caused Dorico problems in Musescore and it imported fine, with both voices showing on staff 1 after bar 79. Seems like it might be a Dorico issue.

Quite probably, if this is the case, but we needed to be sure of this first. Hopefully someone from the team can take a look.

Did you try letting Musescore export its results in XML to see if the MuseScore XML import will open more successfully in Dorico? That sometimes works.


I use Photoscore ultimate quite often, and I think I already described my workflow. It involves exporting to Sibelius, and from Sibelius, export to musicXML. Something went wrong when I tried to get rid of the Sibelius step. It might probably work ok if you use MuseScore instead of Sibelius.
Have you tried this kind of additional step (fwiw, I lose one minute with this step, or even less…)

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I would also suggest to try this route.
I have no experience with musicxml in or out of Dorico, and limited with MuseScore, but the latter seems to do a good job with musicxml. And it is free.

Many things can go wrong with MusicXML. In my experience (which is a bit outdated), the most stable tool for MusicXML import / export is the Dolet-Plugin, but this doesn’t exist for Dorico afaik.

If you are very well familiar with mxml, you could even try to edit it by hand, but that is super-tedious.

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In bar 82 you will have a badly formed tuplet in upstem voice 1. By badly formed I mean something that Dorico does not understand! You will see that the note preceeding causes the ends voice switch to set in properties…
The simple solution is to empty that bar in Photoscore (replace it with a bar rest), re-export and enter it manually in Dorico.

However, I see you have other questionable looking tuplets…
So you may find you just shift the problem further along the score!

When I opened your xml, it had very curious Layout settings. Were these intentional?

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This is what MuseScore says when opening the file linked above.

Measure 75, staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 4/4; Found: 25/24
Measure 75, staff 1, voice 2 too long. Expected: 4/4; Found: 33/32
Measure 79, staff 1 incomplete. Expected: 4/4; Found: 104/96
Measure 276, staff 1, voice 2 too long. Expected: 4/4; Found: 27/24

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Interestingly when I tried what Derrek & Mark have suggested I now can’t import the original xml into Musescore without it creating a horrible mess. It also flags errors in the xml that it didn’t before, so now I think I’m back to thinking the problem is with Photoscore.

However this does highlight the fact that Musecore will flag and detail specific errors in the music xml - it might be useful for Dorico to do the same, especially when the output will be so dramatically affected.

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Yes but in Photoscore they look fine. I’ve noticed though that it sometimes will stack notes underneath each other, so that’s probably what’ shappened here. Although it hasn’t affected bars afterwards in this case.

Most definitely not! That’s just how Photoscore outputs things, I’m not aware of any way of changing these dimensions before exporting. I’m by no means a Photoscore expert though.