Scoring Express Dorico templates now available from Notation Central

IMO it’s more theater and not much studio, unfortunately I’m disappointed because studio templates is what I needed. At least a full orchestra template for a studio orchestra should have been there, applying to a full orchestra results in too much work to fix up. Also no front pages? For media music there’s all sorts of ancillary information as I mentioned above - asset number, (game) title, cut scene, durations, relevant personnel etc.

Not that I’m an expert but this is the kind of information I need to document/communicate to the rest of the team in the score, a time code track also of course. Anyhow of course I can pick and choose what to bring in, but I’m looking for a drop in with some tweaking, doing that will be as much as doing it all from scratch anyhow, but with guidance on the small niceties.

Constructive feedback I hope, if I was writing for theater I’m sure I would have been satisfied.

All good points and things to consider for the future, with my appreciation for that perspective.

I do think, however, that what we’ve done is much more than just guidance on the small niceties. Even if you just pull the settings that we use for the parts, I think you’ll find your output much improved and saving you loads of time there and making the parts much clearer and easier to read. It’s understood that your particular ensemble may not match one that we’ve preset in the templates, and of course it’s impossible to provide a custom template for every single permutation. But the brilliant thing that the Dorico team did with the Library Manager for Dorico 4 is that you can set your own instrumentation as a template and still pull in all of the other Scoring Express settings to beautify your document.

For the value it’s pretty amazing and when you dig deeper to see what Leo has done in all corners of the settings, I think you’ll really enjoy both the time saved and the improvement in output quality.

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Hi @SampoKasurinen.

  • 9 templates are in the chamber set.
  • If you choose “use fonts recommended engraving options”, it depends what you consider important :slight_smile: Perhaps try with and without to see which looks better to you. It also depends how much or how little thought the font designer (in this case MakeMusic) has given to those settings.
  • The chamber templates are fully compatible with the iPad version, with the exception of the chord symbols, which use custom fonts we made to improve their appearance in Dorico. So those won’t appear quite the same on iPad. We would certainly be very happy for the Dorico team to add those to the iPad version, but for the user, loading custom fonts on iPad is more difficult than on desktop. This is less of a concern with the chamber templates, where chord symbols are less commonly used, in any case. (The Jazz and Theatre & Studio templates make more use of custom text fonts, but not the chamber templates)
  • You could definitely use the engraving and notation settings in the chamber templates for orchestral music. Naturally the page size and layout settings will need to be adjusted in the score. But all of the part settings, including the layout options, could be used just as well for orchestral music as for chamber music.

Just for clarity: with the exception of the “handwritten” jazz templates (which use Petaluma), the theatre and jazz templates use custom text fonts for just about everything (Arimo and Tinos mostly, with a sprinkling of Gothic A1 for bar numbers) so aren’t currently well-suited for Dorico-for-iPad use.


Congrats @pianoleo and @Philip_R

These look really nice and I will be picking up the jazz template for sure.

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First of all, huge enormous thanks to everyone here for the support of Scoring Express, and also to the Dorico team, who has implemented many features small and large over the past few months that coincide very nicely with what we’re doing.

I thought I would address a few items that seem to come up.

Regarding North American vs. ISO page size, yes, it would be easier if we all used the same size around the world. :slight_smile: We want to avoid having duplicate templates for just this issue, but we are cooking up some ideas about how to make it easier. In the meantime, using our pay-what-you-wish PDF Batch utilities could help quickly scale PDFs to a different size, if you don’t want to make the adjustments directly in the Dorico files.

People are understandably asking about orchestral and larger size ensembles. It’s definitely on the radar. One issue here is (in addition to it being a heavier lift) how to carefully consider what to do regarding condensing, hiding staves, etc. There are so many variables that trying to distill them into a template or a suite of templates needs to be considered. Also, if you use other software, you know that this is handled very differently there, and part of the goal of Scoring Express now is to achieve a certain consistency if you work in Sibelius or Dorico or Finale - so certain other considerations are in play there.

That said, you can still get very good results with those types of ensembles and our templates, and Leo’s actually made very good use of them in larger orchestral projects already. “Templates” are actually a bit of misnomer - I like to say “Scoring Express is much more than just the templates.” I understand a user may not see their particular instrumentation represented in the templates. I’ve found that adding or deleting instruments is something most users can do very easily. Indeed, all of the software platforms already provide a large number of templates with many instrumentation variations.

Where many people need more expert guidance is on things like good font choices, positioning, engraving settings, and all of the many hundreds of settings that we’ve tweaked in Scoring Express, and can be imported into any project, regardless of instrumentation (thank you Dorico 4 Library Manager). So rather than provide hundreds of template files, we whittled it down to between 9 and 11 per package. Even if you just inspect the example files in the package to see what’s there, and make use of some of our custom adjustments and font choices by applying those settings to your files, it’s still very useful. Parts especially are a great way to make use of Scoring Express, since the same settings can generally be applied within a particular style, regardless of ensemble size.

I hope that helps explain a little about what we want to achieve with Scoring Express and the needs we aim to address. Looking forward to seeing how you use it!


Your documentation shows how to add an instrument and then propagate the layout. Would duplicating a player and then using Change Instrument (to a similar but not identical type of player) be a way around having to propagate the layout?

@pianoleo what would you recommend in response to @Derrek ?

I’ve just tried it, and it’s definitely a no. Doing that will create a new part layout that follows different Layout Options. I think it’s supposed to pick up the saved default Layout Options (the user library) but, at least according to the Library Manager, it’s picking up an odd assortment of Layout Options that match none of the existing part layouts in the project, nor the factory settings, nor the user library!

@Derrek Do you have a good reason for not Propagating Part Formatting? I’m pretty sure the documentation tells you to tick the first tickbox but not the second, which should propagate just the Layout Options without affecting casting off.

@dspreadbury if you have a moment to try exactly this, I’d be grateful: open the Theatre MT Rock band + strings landscape example project, duplicate the Bass player, compare (via Library Manager) the Layout Options for the new Bass 1 layout against BASS layout, Factory and User. Many thanks!

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No, @pianoleo , I was not trying to avoid propagating the format, I was looking for a (lazy) shortcut to avoid propagating separately. :smiling_imp:

If you haven’t done any system formatting, you could also:

  1. Add new player.
  2. Duplicate layout of old player.
  3. (With duplicate layout selected) uncheck original player and tick new player.
  4. Delete redundant part layout automatically created when adding the new player.
  5. Drag new layout to the right place in the list.

I’m not sure that this is any quicker, but it’s definitely a method I use in different circumstances (e.g. for using a formatted Hn. 1 layout as a blueprint for Hns 2-4.)

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This was money well spent. Thanks for offering this.


Yes! ISO-sizes please! :slight_smile:


Congratulations, Leo (and others)!

Does the use of the new Scoring Express Dorico templates require Dorico 4 ? For better and worse, I’m on a wonderful Windows 7 machine, and am therefore stuck with Dorico 3.5

Officially, yes. Dorico 4.1 is the first version we officially support.

Unofficially, the files should open fine in 3.5, but with the following caveats (at the very least, and off the top of my head):

  • Lyric Engraving Options may be squiffy
  • Ditto for slurs

Other than that, the big thing is you’re a little on your own without the Library Manager, but if you’re used to the ≤3.5 workaround of starting projects from an informally-designated “template” then the process with these templates is unchanged.

If modifying the players (and thus the necessary part layouts) you’ll probably need the old trick of saving an existing part’s Layout Options as default, then setting the new layout’s options to the saved defaults.

Thanks for the quick reply, Leo – I appreciate it.

By this, do you mean simply saving particular setups to be used as self-made “templates” (tho’ having the usual .dorico file extensions) – and if so, saving each of the Scoring Express Templates that way?

Yes. The installer saves these templates to Documents/Dorico Projects/Scoring Express [flavour] for convenience - they’re just Dorico projects.

They’re also saved to the Dorico 4 Project Templates folder, but that shouldn’t cause you any problems. You just don’t have access to the convenient hub method of filling out the Project Info, time sig/key sig/number of empty bars.

Thanks, Leo!

Happy to see that you are the person behind these templates. As for the fonts on the iPad I’ve read that there are some apps that allow you to install extra fonts. Will this be a viable option?
The three packages will install the same fonts?

My understanding is that Dorico can’t currently access third-party fonts on iPad; I seem to recall this being a Qt limitation. Sorry!

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