Section marks that are also re-imported from MusicXML?

Several users asked before for ways to notate popular music section labels (e.g., Verse, Chorus), and the recommended approaches include using rehearsal marks with suffixes or plain text items.

While those approaches seem to work, I am looking for a way that also allows to import MusicXML files with such section labels, and seemingly that does not fully work. In either case, when I export a MusicXML file from Dorico, the section label information is seemingly stored in the resulting MusicXML file (I checked with a text editor). However, when I then try to import the same MusicXML file into Dorico, then some of the information is lost. (I need the MusicXML import, because the file is further processed by some external software.)

When I use rehearsal marks, then the rehearsal mark itself can be imported, but any suffixes or prefixes are not imported, even though these are part of the MusicXML file. When I use text items, seemingly sometimes the import skips some text items, namely text items in the first bar (I tried it with multiple text). Besides, formatting such as borders around the text – while exported to the MusicXML file – are lost when imported.

Any help how I could import section labels from MusicXML files with either of these or some other approach?

Thanks a lot!

I assume you’re not really creating MusicXML files for import into Dorico, so what application are you really intending for your MusicXML files? In a sense, it’s immaterial whether and how Dorico imports the data it exports to MusicXML files – it’s always going to be better to use native Dorico files if you’re originating in Dorico and finishing in Dorico.

What matters is how the application that you’re importing the MusicXML file into handles MusicXML exported by Dorico.

Thank you very much for coming back. I meanwhile found a workaround for me (with some other software).

what application are you really intending for your MusicXML files?

Just for completeness, I nevertheless briefly describe what I am trying to do and my workaround.

I am automatically analysing/processing lots of scores in MusicXML format with external software like music21. To help the analyses/processing, I want to manually annotate certain information like section boundaries with music notation software: open an existing MusicXML file in the notation software, add certain annotations and then again export a resulting MusicXML file. I could use Dorico for annotating section boundaries this way by either using rehearsal marks with suffixes or plain text items, and then read the information that Dorico added to the scores into music21.

However – just to be on the safe side – I would prefer to be able to also reopen already annotated results (possibly after some further processing with other software later) and still be able to read the annotations in Dorico. That does not work with Dorico currently: while Dorico does support saving certain information like rehearsal mark suffixes in MusicXML, it cannot import such information from MusicXML.

My workaround for now is to instead of Dorico use MuseScore. Dorico is far superior to MuseScore in many ways (I would certainly have preferred to use Dorico – if only for all its keyboard shortcuts and pop-overs). Anyway, MuseScore allows to directly set, import and export rehearsal marks with arbitrary text: this is clearly less smart than what Dorico does, but for my specific purposes here, less smart helps me to get the job done.

Bottom line: it would be nice if Dorico could also import from MusicXML all the information it can export to that format. Anyway, I understand of course that my use case is somewhat niche.

1 Like

Why not simply use System Text to make your annotations? Dorico will quite happily export and import text items.