Reaching out to our Finale- (and Sibelius-) using friends.

ok thanks!

Also I tried again but with exporting using dolet. This time it transferred over the tempo. But still stripped pizz / arco. Dorico REALLY needs to not do this, it adds all sorts of problems to make sure we get them all back in the right place etc etc. I feel like I’m banging my head against a wall this is about the 5th time I’ve complained about that problem.

Playing techniques will never be accurately conveyed using XML, and this isn’t Dorico’s fault.

I understand that playing techniques in Sibelius are just text.

But Dorico needs to stop making this our problem when it’s perfectly capable of fixing it. Even importing it as text would be 10000% better because at least then I would know WHERE I need to put them back in. Stripping is insane. Eventually they will discover I’m right about this and fix it.

Have you explored the import options? There is the option to import text objects. Might work.

Now my previous comment about “that’ll never happen” may end up sounding a bit silly. Who knows.

I’ll take a look thanks for the pointer

I turned on importing text items. Made no difference. Turns out it’s not exported as text but directions.


SURELY Dorico can make use of this. It’s not like pizz is some arcane never-seen directive.

Just to hammer home the point. If I had to send you the MusicXML and you were going to use Dorico to edit it, you’d be royally shafted, you’d have no way to know what should be pizz or arco unless I sent you a PDF as well or something.

And even if I sent you a PDF as well, you’d have to spend a large amount of time making sure you didn’t miss any, because you’d need to do that manually.

It’s really an unfathomably bad decision to strip these.

The Dorico developers should easily be able to program it to interpret certain text indications as playing techniques. So arco and pizz. text being interpreted as techniques properly is entirely doable from a programming perspective.

The only challenge though is if the original file has something else in the same text block as the arco or pizz., for instance “unis., arco” it should split into two playing techniques, unis. and arco. What if one doesn’t exist as a playing technique? When do you fall back on system text?

Those challenges can be solved by the programmers (I have no doubt about it) but it just takes time and priority vs. other things.

Part of my motivation for this thread is to wonder if there are any specific things that might be done to hope potential users through this period of fog. I know I experienced that and I bet almost everybody here did. But they just powered through it.

Is there anything that could be done to make that mental shift easier?

yes, even if a “it’s too hard to interpret” result is to just display it as text, this is possible to recover from, whereas stripping it creates a logically impossible situation as you remove information without telling the importer.

And if Dorico wants to encourage people over from Sibelius etc, these customers want to be able to bring their legacy work with them, and this is MusicXML, this should be a top priority feature to get right.

There are so many great videos etc. that I don’t think any more materials are needed. Temper their expectations so that they know what is in store in terms of switching. They stand to gain a lot but only if they if they put enough time and effort in - it is going to take a lot more than they think. You can put together the best “here is how to do what you do in Sibelius in Dorico” or “here is how to do what you do in Finale in Dorico” documents you want. It is going to take time for end users to adjust even if you do that.

You don’t have to give hypotheticals. I import XML almost every day, including string scores that had already been previously bowed. :wink: I get it, it’s a bummer.

When Dorico can do everything I can now do in Finale, as easily, and with better results, I will switch. Unfortunately that is not the case yet. Maybe Dorico 4. Maybe never. Meanwhile, life must go on.

Well, to be fair, I doubt it is a case that somebody decided to strip out or ignore those items just to be mean-spirited or proprietary. I think you (and others) have made great points about the difficulty of mapping MusicXML’s presume structure to the more abstract (and powerful) structure that Dorico uses. I think you also make a good point that some clever programming could map at least the most common items into a highly usable form as the XML is imported into Dorico.

But that takes time, and therefore resources that must be prioritized.

V1 was about getting a functioning program in place.
V2 was about getting the bare essential that a majority of writers needed.
V3 is about enabling large score, guitar tab and a whole bunch of really useful foundational items that couldn’t be tackled earlier.

That leaves some big areas:

More advanced playback (scrubbing mode, observance of rit/fermata, scoops & bends etc.)
Better DAW integration and/or more DAW-like control over the MIDI
Document interoperability (i.e. better MusicXML import/export)
Hand input (draw notes, articulations. dynamics, slurs, on a multi-touch screen, etc.)
OCR (probably outside the scope of Dorico proper, but hopefully some advanced technologies in the future)

… and probably many others. I’m hopeful V3 is not the last release. :slight_smile:

This is holding it to an impossible standard - have you really worked with Dorico long enough to properly evaluate it as its own entity?

Certainly some functions will be faster in Finale (like the particular fingering things you are doing), but isn’t that made up by time savings in other ways? Dorico is not perfect, but if I held off on moving to it because some other notation software X does function Y better, I would never end up moving. Then I would end up spending more time notating a score than otherwise just because of function Y. That would have to be a function I used all the time and was super critical to me for it to be worth it.

Can you share the top 3 things that you find lacking in Dorico compared to what you can do in Finale today?

I’m not trying to be difficult. It is just that my experience is that with 2 months’ experience on Dorico 2 I was much more productive on Dorico then I had ever been on Finale. I am just curious what kinds of things you see deficient. These are probably not things I do very much.

Yeah I think bummer is a bit of an understatement. For some people it’s a show-stopper. What about a publishing house wanting to move to Dorico, they just couldn’t even contemplate trying to transfer their existing catalog via MusicXML given the work that would entail and the errors that would introduce.

I honestly don’t think that is ever going to be the case that any publishing house will be able to transfer their existing catalogue via MusicXML to another notation software program and have it be readable without a lot of reformatting being done. You’re going to have to continue to have a Finale (or Sibelius) team at any publishing house for revisions of an existing score. MusicXML is not going to be enough.

I actually thought I’d convinced a prominent Broadway orchestrator to switch to Dorico. I had done the entire piano vocal score in Dorico and had - I mistakenly thought - made a convincing case, since the benefits of Dorico should be obvious to anyone who takes a close look. However, I ultimately was unable to continue the job because - I was told - Broadway is ultimately just such a deeply engrained Finale town, and there was simply no practical way (due to Dorico’s weaker musicXML export functionality currently) to be able to work back and forth with the Finale-based orchestrator going forward. They later, in fact, even went so far as to take the pdf of my entire 350 page piano-vocal score I’d done in Dorico and to re-enter it manually into Finale, just so they could continue with what they were familiar with and - having no practical way to work with them further, I (disappointingly!) couldn’t continue beyond the work already completed.

So I’m definitely of the belief that it’s important to ease the transition by having good tools to easily go back and forth - at the least to improve Dorico’s musicXML’s export so it’s at least on parity with its rivals (just as Dorico’s musicXML import already is) - at least until the whole world inevitably makes the switch to Dorico whole cloth :slight_smile:…I’ve already been told this is a high priority so fingers crossed, and in the meantime I will continue to encourage others to switch also and to enjoy Dorico’s new and in many cases revolutionary new features.

  • D.D.


A story I often tell - and which I have shared here before - is that my first notation software was Encore (wild eh!). As I started to write more more and decided to balance my life between performing and writing, I realised that Encore would not fit my needs, and I started looking for bigger software; this was in 1999. I downloaded the trial for Sibelius. After two days, I HATED it. I couldn’t make heads or tails of it, and kept on looking. A few months later, I tried again. That time, the penny dropped and I fell in love with Sibelius and used it for 18 years, while also preaching the Sibelius gospel.

The reason i find my little story interesting, is that Sibelius was famed for ease of use, and I still couldn’t understand how to make it go. Everything takes time. I too find it difficult to go back to Sibelius, which I sometimes used and as xml transfer intermediary from PhotoScore (sometimes it works better that way). So that’s one more thing in your arsenal, some folks out there found switching to Sibelius rough-going way back then. I’m sure it’ the same with Finale. You gotta invest real time. I didn’t “get” Dorico right away either (but I knew early on it was the way to go!)