Playback Loop, Dear Dorico Team stop Ignoring that feature

Indeed but you can improvise during the repeated playback (or find the right sounding counter point as Dich wanted) on the top instrument in your score and even record what you play when are satisfied with the “practice” runs. It remains a workaround how ever.

Just hit the “space”.

  1. Space stops playback - and cursor stops too.
  2. Space starts playback from cursor-position.
    (On my danish keyboard) - Good luck.

I did not know one could select notes and then press P to have it start playback at that point. If you press P again, it pauses, but then another press of P starts again at the highlighted note. That gets me very far into how I would want to repeat a sequence while composing.

But if there was another method to create repeats where you maybe highlight a bar or section and then press one key, and then it repeats until you hit ESC or the same key, that would be very helpful I think…

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I don’t think this has been mentioned in this thread: “Shift + Spacebar” is like P, but it restarts playback from the last place playback started from instead of from the current selection.

With that I can select a starting point, use P to play from there, stop the playback, edit random stuff, and instead of using P to play again, use “Shift + Spacebar” to play from the original playback point again.

The limitation I’ve found is that “Shift + Spacebar” plays all the staves. It does not seem to remember if you had selected only a few of them for playback. Using solo/mute tracks in the mixer can work around that, though that is extra steps.


Continuing the discussion from Playback Loop, Dear Dorico Team stop Ignoring that feature:

I’ve been wanting for the loop playback since Dorico1. It is a central feture to my workflow. From creation to arranging to mixing. I have never met a musition that doesn’t loop when they create. When was the last time anyone ever set down at instrument and created a peace of music on the first pass. Maybe Mozart

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“We know not the times or the season…”

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I think it is safe to say that the team is, ahem, aware of the request. (re: June 6)

Perhaps you have not met many musicians?

I doubt even Mozart did that. But I fail to see how that connects with looping? Dorico (like other notation programs) supports many alternative workflows.


He’s quite known for that. It seems his brains were quite remarkable in that he could elaborate all the music of a whole piece in his head before copying it to paper, but that’s clearly OT. If you’re interested in those matters, I’d recommend « Le Cerveau de Mozart », by Bernard Lechevallier.


My sources disabuse that theory. But not going to get into a discussion here.

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I know we are wandering here, but I once watched a man improvise a triple fugue live in concert. He honest-to-God found a way to combine three different fugue themes at the end, after having fugued each theme separately first, and double fugue-ing the first two themes (a feat in its own right). It was nothing short of mind-blowing. This would have been a feat even if it had been worked out before hand, let alone done on the fly!

That was the day that I learned that some musicians truly operate on a different level from us mere mortals.


I agree strongly with what @Martin_Kennedy wrote:

For me, looping wouldn’t often come in handy during composition, but I’d love to have it for production and playback. When I’m trying to get the strings to sound just so, for example, it’s rather annoying to have to come away from whatever interface I’m using to tweak the sound (Frequency, Reverence, Kontakt EQs, et al.) just so I can have the passage that I’m playing repeat in Dorico. Adding repeat notation is a hack that shouldn’t be necessary.

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And I disagree equally strongly!

Dorico (IMO) is not, and should never be, a DAW. If you want to expend effort tweaking sound, then use an appropriate tool. If you want an efficient way to create notation for real people to play, nothing (currently) can beat Dorico.


Oddly enough, I can do an awful lot of tweaking with dynamics, instrument choice, choice of articulation.

:yawning_face: This is just another form of the same “X is a notation program!” mantra that the wardens of single-responsibility music composition software have been spouting for decades. Some of us here will remember it from the Sibelius forums of old.

It’s really too late to stick with that vibe, don’t you think? Dorico has a mixer in it, the mixer supports effects processing, the application boasts virtual sound staging now, etc. etc. Progress has happened and continues to happen; the trajectory of the software has clearly rocketed away from any notion of playback as some kind of afterthought.

Some of us will never hear our compositions played by real musicians. I’m immensely grateful that Dorico offers us a way to achieve alternative satisfaction – damn the snobs.


For sure, although purely out of love for the craft, I never throw down any notation simply to satisfy playback. Despite the fact that I don’t expect a human to play it, everything on my page is there strictly with the human player in mind. (Besides, who knows? Maybe I’ll get lucky some day.)

Dorico has proven competent enough (really, well more than competent enough) that I can nearly always achieve the sound that I want without having to do that sort of thing.

I know that this is OT but I find it curious that we look upon a classically-trained musician’s ability to improvise well as being something relegated only to the talented few, whereas in past eras and all the way up until the 20th century, all musicians could improvise. Mozart was mentioned but his contemporaries, including Haydn, Salieri and Beethoven were excellent improvisers. Same with the baroque composers (Bach and Buxtehude could improvise fugues, Händel and Scarlatti had improvising competitions), as well as the great pianists of the 19th century (like Chopin, Liszt and Thalberg). It’s known that at such piano recitals the first notes the audience heard were by no means the first notes of the opening piece on the programme. Pianists always preluded, sometimes extensively. It’s really too bad that this ability, which was common in the past, has largely been abandoned. The lack of ability to improvise can encourage a ‘letter of the law’ approach to printed music as opposed to a ‘spirit of the law’ approach.


I’d say it was entirely routine for composers of old to compose directly onto paper, because they had been schooled in harmony and counterpoint so thoroughly. I doubt that Palestrina and Victoria needed to sit at an organ to write 5-part counterpoint.
For something like Tallis’s 40-part motet, Spem in alium, playing it would have been no help at all, given the lack of 40 fingers, and the extent to which the voices crossed over each other.
For the more chordal music of the 17th century: you knew what harmonic development you wanted, and you could work out how that would fall across the parts.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be perfected on the first pass, but I dare say you wouldn’t need to play it, to see what needed improving either.

(I had to sing a terrible piece last week, and you could clearly “see his hands on the keyboard”, just by looking at the distribution of the voices…)

Dorico is becoming an appropriate tool for that too and I admit I like that. In any case, it’s Daniel’s decision to make, not ours :wink:


I will continue to advocate for the advanced engraving features ahead of the sonic features.