SMuFL'ing 'Graphire Music Press' & Dorico


I was recently emulating Graphire Music Press output in Dorico, so here are some quick PDF tests, one that mimics a bit GMP settings and the other one with default Bravura’s Dorico settings:

GraphMP.pdf (105.5 KB)
GraphMP — Bravura Settings.pdf (124.8 KB)

…still WIP.

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Do you have the original GMP output we can compare those two to?

Only from their website. and some old scans I have had since years ago.

Actually not 100% close but I tried my best to approach it…so it’s still work in progress as I said.

The Notation Software Historical Reenactment Movement! :rofl:

As @Estigy says, we really need to see the Graphire original of the same piece.

From the few examples I’ve seen, Graphire was “quite good”; but I’ve no idea how much work it took to achieve those results, and how friendly the interface was. It’s hard to tell whether they are still in business. (At $895, with no updates for 20 years, I’d hope not!)

The staff lines are characteristically thin, like most first-gen software. The tuplet positioning is largely not as good as Dorico’s (except for the first one the second page). Overall, Dorico’s defaults are better (and even they can be improved). I don’t think it’s necessarily anything we should be aiming for. :laughing:

I don’t like the treble clef: the way the middle line is vertical, not angled.

haha yes of course! what was important for me is to redraw back all the glyphs from scratch in FL8. I might be coming with a new engraver SMuFL font, who knows :crazy_face: :melting_face:

What I like I GMP is the way they shape the Slurs, staff and barlines… the slurs have round corners not like in Dorico.

Yes, you can just start to notice it at 1000% zoom! :rofl:

How are you making the JSON files in FL8 these days? Python script?

You see? :cowboy_hat_face: … a request I asked for a long time.

Well, once I export my design from FL8, I open the font back in FL5 under ParallelDesktop running Windows 11 where I run all my python scripts beside making a JSON file. I sometimes use Glyphs3 for tweaking the glyphs, sometimes FL8 have some bad routines rendering the glyphs correctly.

I remember back in 2000 (or early 2001), I downloaded a trial of GMP (which is no longer available). At this point I had been using Finale for 7-8 years, and Sibelius for 2-3 years. The GMP trial had no real documentation. I found it super confusing, and couldn’t get anything started. However, compared to software at the time, I was super impressed with the way GMP looked in the samples they provided. At that time, $895 was a little too much for me spend on something like that.

About 3 years ago, I went down “the notation software of the past” rabbit hole. While I still think the GMP samples from their website look good, I do feel that Bravura and Dorico’s default look better. It’s not so much in big areas, but really in the nuance. I agree with Ben about the GMP treble clef.

With that in mind, there are a few tings I do like in the font that GMP used. At the time, GMP had a weight to the output that seemed unparalleled at the time.

About the same time, I gave a test of Igor Engraver. I was super excited about the potential. However, at the time I was still at University and the cost was just a little out of reach for me.


i was an early ‘ahem’ investor of GMP - still have a working copy on an old Mac with emulation - at. the time i had been using Finale professionally for about 10yrs - Dorico feels more like a friend i can depend on - rip GMP and Revere

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Talking about prices… IIRC Amadeus Pro was about 33,000 DM, approximately 15,000 USD in the 90s. Later versions were a ‘more reasonable’ 3,000 USD (in the 90s…). A great software but challenging to learn.

Here is a link to a folder of sample files I made using Graphire (most done pre-2000) - as each title suggests, they are knockoffs of already published music - GMP had a lot of flexibility with page layout

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Hopefully this is more of a critique of Graphire than your work, Tom :laughing: , but:

the slurs are crashing into the notes a lot.


The beam angles and stem lengths are consistently not great, either.

The list of ‘former notation software’ is huge, and all of them will have had some capabilities, as well as drawbacks. If I wanted nostalgia, I’d still be using Finale. :rofl:

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Here are two other examples, one with Bravura Settings and the other approaching GMP look:

GRAPHIRA (average GMP Settings).pdf (100.4 KB)
GRAPHIRA (Bravura Settings).pdf (111.6 KB)

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ha… yes. i noticed that after i uploaded. i guess i was too lazy to fix those few spots. there are some anomalies like that where spacing for slurs over or under rolling patterns like those that had to be adjusted manually

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Oh man, that brings back memories.

I wrote my dissertation (orchestral piece) in Graphire Music Press back in 2001. Still have the mac ADB dongle somewhere, but I’d have to dig up a pre-OSX mac from deep in the closet.

The output was really very good for the late 90s. I had a friend working for publishers and they liked it. Wouldn’t accept Finale or Sibelius. (The friend used SCORE professionally, pretty sure it was a DOS only program back then. Output was great, but oof it had a learning curve.)

It’s hard to tell whether they are still in business.

GMP (which is no longer available).

Graphire is available, for $140 at It runs on recent versions of Windows (ask Ernie about your version) but needs an emulator to run on recent Macs. Surprisingly capable and friendly emulators are free at | Home, running OS versions from Snow Leopard to Venture (Sonoma updates are in final testing).

John R.

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A small user group for Music Press is at | Home.

Talking about prices… IIRC Amadeus Pro was about 33,000 DM, approximately 15,000 USD in the 90s. Later versions were a ‘more reasonable’ 3,000 USD (in the 90s…). A great software but challenging to learn.

Was the Amadeus program also sold under the name Vivaldi at one point? IAC, who used it? What happened to it?