Please help me transfer my score from Nuendo to Dorico

I am able to get the score pretty close to what I want in Nuendo, but when I export it into Dorico it shows up with the bass clef (left hand) whole notes split into 8th notes with straight lines connecting them to the treble (right hand) notes.

I’m sure there must be a simple fix for this but I am unable to find it after hours of searching. I am new to this and would really appreciate any help to make my Dorico score look like my Nuendo score.

I tried the XML export/Import option because when I try to import the MIDI file into Dorico it shows up as a flute instrument, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to change it to a piano staff. Is there a way to change the default midi instrument on import?

Here are links to the exported Nuendo Score PDF, the exported Dorico score PDF, the XML file, and the MIDI file.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Nuendo PDF

Dorico PDF



You’re better off with MusicXML than MIDI.
After you’ve brought it into Dorico, go to Setup mode (if you’re not already there), click the disclosure arrow to the right of the Flute player in the left panel, then right-click on the Flute instrument and go Change Instrument. Search for Piano and hit OK.

Does that get you where you need to be?

I was able to change the instrument to piano thanks to your help, but the chord notes are still split up into 8ths with lines connecting them to the melody notes.

It also doesn’t follow the staff midi note split point that I set up in Nuendo - so that the left hand is on the bass staff and the right hand on the treble staff.

I’ve attached a screenshot of what it looks like after changing the instrument from flute to piano.

I suppose I need to spend a few days watching tutorials and reading the manual, I just thought that what I wanted to do was pretty simple…

OK. It looks like Nuendo is spitting out MusicXML that’s all on one voice (or layer, or track, or channel, or whatever Nuendo calls it). I’m not quite sure how you go about fixing that in Nuendo, but it’s easily fixable in Dorico.

In Write mode, click on the top stave just after the 4/4 time signature - this should highlight all the notes in this bar. Then Shift-click after the final minim/half note in the third bar (or alternatively go Edit > Select to End of Flow).
Then right-click anywhere on the page, or go Edit (these menus are very similar) and go Voices > Change Voice > New Up-Stem Voice.

For more complex scenarios along these lines, you may find some of the items on Edit > Filter (such as Top Notes in Chords) useful. Note also that at the top of the Edit > Filter menu there’s a Select Only/Deselect Only setting that reverses the behaviour of all of the Filters. That can be really useful if you want to, for instance, move everything except the top notes into another voice.

You’re right Leo!

If you do the same thing in Sibelius (import xml), it imports correctly without having to fix it. I wonder why this works differently in the two programs … any idea?

Well in that case, Peter, I’m wrong!

I note that if I import evo2slo’s MusicXML file into MuseScore 3 and then export from there as a new MusicXML file, Dorico renders it correctly.

I’m not sufficiently au fait with MusicXML to know why Dorico’s getting confused with evo2slo’s file.

The MusicXML file from Nuendo explicitly assigns every note to Voice 1, and to either Staff 1 or Staff 2.

I guess the issue is the Dorico treats voices on multi-staff instruments differently from Sibelius and MuseScore. Voices in Sib and MS are numbered “per staff” but in Dorico they are numbered (internally) “per instrument.”

You need a “language lawyer” to dissect the MusicXML specification and decide exactly what “Voice” and “Staff” are intended to mean in MusicXML. (And from past experience, it might not be specified in sufficient detail to answer the question!).

Presumably the MusicXML exported from MuseScore uses a different method of specifying which staff/voice the notes are on, and Dorico interprets that the same way as it was intended.

For the OP’s benefit: the big advantage to Dorico handling voice numbering per instrument rather than per staff is the vastly improved functionality when working with cross-staff notation. In Sibelius, for instance, you can’t achieve the result Dorico’s given you without graphical workarounds.

Oh … that explains a lot. I initially tried to fix it by selecting the top notes and then pasting them on the top staff.

That what you would do in Sibelius, but it doesn’t work that way in Dorico, and now I know why. Interesting.

Aren’t there two types of MIDI files, one which exports everything as one track and another with splits up the tracks (MIDI0and MIDI1?)

Did the OP perhaps export the wrong type from Nuendo (if Nuendo gives one the choice)?

I’ve paid no attention the MIDI file at all, Derrek, only the MusicXML.

I sent the XML file to someone with Presonus Notion and it opened fine in that program. He exported it as an XML from Notion and that imported fine into Dorico. I never would have thought of that method on my own, so thanks all for the helpful input!

I’ve got a whole bunch of snippets like these that I need to process, so now I’ll have to figure out the best way forward. The main reason I chose Dorico was because I assumed it would have good integration with Nuendo.

I can’t find an option to export MIDI from Nuendo in a way that splits up the tracks. I have a bunch of MIDI tracks in one project so I am exporting them one at a time by soloing each track as I export it. Dorico has an option to split the staff point at a specific note when importing the MIDI file, but I can’t find a way to tell it to import the MIDI file as a piano instrument. It always treats it as a flute for some reason. I guess because it’s seeing it as a single voice.

Indeed there are (Format 0 and Format 1). Actually there is a Format 2 as well, but (thankfully, considering how complicated it is) it never caught on.

However almost nobody uses Format 0 (everything merged into one track) any more. It was useful back in the day of hardware MIDI devices, because all the data in the file is sequential time-order so you could play the file by just stepping through the data items. A few MIDI keyboards with “built in” MIDI recorders might still use it.

Format 1 is the “obvious” format to use in a DAW or notation program, since the data on each track or staff is a separate “chunk” of the file and there is no limit to the number of chunks, unlike Format 0 where you can’t have more than 16 different instruments.

Unless your playback uses General MIDI (which is more or less obsolete) there is no data in a MIDI file which explicitly specifies what instrument each track should use.

So any MIDI import software has to make a guess based on things like the track name. If Dorico can’t find any clues, it has to create some instrument (since all the music in Dorico belongs to an instrument) and the default is Flute.

If you can name the tracks as something like Piano in Nuendo, instead of the name of the VST instrument you are using in Nuendo, or just “Track 14” or whatever, that might help.


It is possible to export this example from Cubase properly (Nuendo ought to be the same). I think the issue is that you are using “Split” staff mode in Nuendo score editor instead of “Polyphonic”. When I tried with Split staff mode and exported MusicXML, I got your first result which was incorrect. When I changed the piano to “Polyphonic” staff mode and exported MusicXML again, it was correct. Please see the image below.

That worked! Thank you!

I wonder why this works differently in the two programs … any idea?

Yes. People think that MusicXML is an app that should behave the same no matter what calls are being made to it. This is not correct.

Think of it like a giant toolbox. How it works depends upon how it’s integrated into an app by the development team. No two apps use the same feature set implemented the same way as far as I can tell.

I sent the XML file to someone with Presonus Notion and it opened fine in that program. He exported it as an XML from Notion and that imported fine into Dorico. I never would have thought of that method on my own,

That is how I use Notion 6. Its MusicXML handling is very good. I use it generally to clean up Sibelius for export into other notation apps but sometimes, I do my final rendering there. The way it handles VIs makes it worth every penny of the $79 crossgrade (you have to write them for that price and coupon).