Really interesting video which is well worth watching

Some of you may like to see this video, all about the process of going from MuseScore 3 to MuseScore 4.

For what it is worth, I don’t think it is a Dorico Killer, although it does do several things much better than Dorico. But I can’t see any reason now why you would use Sibelius over MuseScore - which is free. Certainly, for the apps which use what you might call the “Sibelius metaphor” of empty bars which already exist and are waiting to be filled (as opposed to the Dorico metaphor of barlines being a tweak for readability; the reason why I primarily use Dorico), I can’t see the monetary value in Sibelius for the vast majority of composers. Music producers, maybe not so much.

Warning for the humourless: This video contains some good natured piss-taking of Dorico. Mostly stuff which is richly deserved, like the daft toggling-of-tick-boxes-which-you-then-have-to-toggle-separately and so on.

Anyway, here it is:

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It would be more richly deserved if it hadn’t been significantly overhauled in Dorico 4, which, y’know, it has been. Try double-clicking on the text to the right of the checkbox, or if it’s a property with a textbox, try double-clicking on the textbox itself.


Oh, yeah -you’re right. Totally gone.

[Adding characters because a post can’t be blank]

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Makes a nice clicky noise, but not a lot else.

… but not gone. So still a valid target for a bit of pisstaking, then.

Mountains and molehills, but ok.

For the record, I enjoyed the video.

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Crazy how much MuseScore 4 looks like Dorico.

That is funny : I commented a thread that dealt about that problem (and I requested that it could be fixed) to say how much I enjoy that it has been fixed, like two days before MuseScore 4 was released…

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I’m not sure. I mean, it has a dark theme, but it works in a very significantly different way. I actually prefer the way Dorico works, albeit I reckon MuseScore have done a damn fine job of optimising they way that their way works.

The absolute bottom line for me is that Dorico does bar lines and note values just right. Sure, it brings up a slightly different set of problems, but they are a more manageable set of smaller problems which don’t affect me as much.

One thing I certainly don’t miss having to do is all that deletion/hiding of rests in voice 2, 3 and 4. Or having to turn lots of tied notes back into single notes. Or having to create staffs for an entire piece just for the benefit of 2 bars of full SATB rather than S+A / T+B.

I will accept a reasonably large quantity of daft duplicated toggle switches and checkboxes, or dropdown lists which have a toggle to switch them on, when the first option is “don’t do anything differently” for that level of flexibility.

What is evident at the moment is that Finale and Sibelius simply can’t keep up with Dorico in terms of intelligent decision making to result in beautiful and legible engraving. MuseScore, to be fair, is also there or thereabouts with V4.

Which problem?

Oh totally. I love the Dorico workflow. I do hate Dorico pickup measures, and the ease of visibility in MuseScore for part modifications is cool, but I’m sure there are a bunch of tradeoffs. Still, amazing to see MuseScore make such a huge leap forward. Finale and Sibelius should be shaking right now.

And they took no little “inspiration” from team Dorico’s work. :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

(Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery [and hypocrisy].)


Tanta **it posts on the internet and gets a job in software (his words). Now he’s learning that making software is really hard. Next lesson will be he’ll find that you only really figure out to do it after having done it once - ideally you get to start over from scratch at that point.

Hey, sounds like the Dorico team, minus the **it posting :slight_smile:

That :wink:

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Apologies, I’m about to get on my hobby horse about the Properties panel. Again.

There is no duplication, and it’s not daft. It’s also not difficult to understand the benefits: the toggle switches allow you to see at a glance which properties are overridden and which are not; it allows you to remove the override for any individual property with a single click (instead of either resetting all of them or manually setting it back to the old value); it’s also just as often helpful for the default value of a property to be the current effective value as it is to be something else (a property overridden to the current effective value won’t be undone if you change the option that the property overrides).

If a property has a checkbox in addition to the slide switch, it’s because it’s important that the property can be overridden to its “off” state as well as to its “on” state. The slide switch and the checkbox communicate and allow you to control different things. Again, to reiterate, the slide switch tells you whether the property is overridden; the checkbox tells you the value of the property. Where properties don’t require the ability to override them to be “off” as well as “on”, you get only the slide switch.

There. Is. No. Duplication.

We wouldn’t go to the effort of building a user interface element like this if it served no purpose. The slide switch provides important information about state, and it provides important functionality in terms of allowing you to override or remove an override for a property.

If you can think of another way of achieving all of this functionality without requiring a separate user interface element to both communicate the overridden state and to allow you to make or clear an override, please let me know what it is. (You can’t suggest things like mere changes of colour or typography as such distinctions are not sufficient for users with accessibility needs.)


Funny, I had just glossed over the Tantacrul induced controversy about it and didn’t realize until I read this that it’s because it always made perfect sense. Without it you have to have a ‘restore defaults’ button or something, but you wouldn’t have a clue as to what you had changed from the defaults and whether it was worth a restore. It also gives confidence because at a glance you know whether you did anything special (and maybe a poor choice).

As a programmer I always thought ‘restore defaults’ was a lazy cheat, because its easy to just restore from an ini file and stick the button in there, could do it in a single function. Harder to have individual defaults stored in each element as Dorico does it.

Maybe why people complain about it, because so few programmers make the effort, so their not used to it.


Er… yeah. That’s the whole point of the video - how he and his team had to unpick much of MuseScore 3 to create MuseScore 4.

As for the “posts on the internet and then gets a job in software” - um, no. “Works for Microsoft as a designer, then gets another job as a designer, using his skills as a composer as well” is closer.

… did you in fact watch the video, or did you just go “I hate Tantacrul” and then turn on the Ad Hominem button?

I love Dorico - I think it’s excellent. I am always baffled by people who think “I love x” has to mean “and I hate everything else in the field”.

Er … yeah. I watched most of the video, and have seen his previous ones since way back. Didn’t know he had previous design experience in design - but so? I don’t hate Tantacrul, but he’s hardly the last word in design, but since he makes persuasive videos which become influential, shredding the competetion it’s a problem to criticize him? Hardly …

OK, can I rephrase the question to make sure I understand (not being sarcastic - I just want to make sure I have this correct).

So,lets take this example:


As it is currently formulated, it means “make the notes whatever size the situation demands”

In this format:


it means “override the default, and make it normal size regardless of the situation”

and in this format:

it means “override the default to cue size”.

In addition, it is your intention that anyone clicking on individual notes can see really quickly, at a glance, that it has been set to, say “Cue”, as distinct from just happening to be a cue note, hence the slide switch.

Now, your next point is that you can’t just change the colour or size of the font or whatever to make the changes “pop” because that plays havoc with accessibility settings - so if I were visually impaired, or colour blind or whatever that would end up having to write an individual accessibility rule for every individual button which would be an inefficient nightmare.

If I have it right, then so far so good (if not - please feel free to correct me!)

But, to me, solving the problem by making me toggle a slider means twice as much work for every override I want to make, which slows me down compared to your competitors. And makes me duplicate clicks, so whilst each setting has it’s own individual meaning, there are two separate controls needed to produce each meaning.

So why not:
1: have radio buttons for the slide switch / checkbox combos? As in:
becomes three radio buttons with legends “default”, “split stem” and “unsplit stem”

2: have a “default” option in a drop down menu, so in the “scale” menu, add the option “default” to the list?

I also don’t understand why we are not allowed to suggest mere changes of colour or typography as a potential solution - after all, that’s how you are doing it at the moment, albeit you are also moving a 3mm circle 3mm to the right. Could that not be accommodated by making some little heiroglyph appear and disappear to the left of the dropdown depending on selection as per:

That would seem to meet the requirements without needing extra input from the user?