Using ChatGPT and the Dorico First Steps pdf's

I’ve been having lots of fun lately with ChatGPT and have come across a handy way of using the Dorico First Steps pdf. I went to then uploaded the First Steps pdf document. The site then “ingested” it so that I could then proceed to ask it any questions I liked on its content. A useful way of learning Dorico I think.


No poop! :flushed:

Lillie, the site has a PDF size limit of 40 MB, is there any way to compress the full manual to under that size?

My First Steps Guide (for 3.5) is 11.5MB so the site took it with no hic-cups.
I asked it “what is the easiest way to change time signature?” and it ansered (after about 1.5 secs delay)

To change the time signature in Dorico, you can follow these steps

  1. Click on the rest where you want to add the time signature

  2. Press Shift-M to open the time signatures popover

  3. Enter the desired time signature (e.g. 4/4, 3/4, 6/8) into the popover

  4. Press Return to close the popover

The new time signature will be added at the rhythmic position of the selected rest, and it will be automatically shown to the right of both the initial clefs and key signature. Keep in mind that you can change and delete time signatures at any time, and Dorico will move barlines and adjust how notes are notated accordingly.


how is condensing used?

Yes, I can explain how condensing works in Dorico. Condensing is a feature in Dorico that allows you to combine multiple staves into a single condensed staff. This is useful for reducing the number of staves in a score, making it easier to read and reducing the amount of page turning required.

To use condensing in Dorico, you first need to enable it for the layout you are working on. This can be done in the Layout Options dialog, which can be accessed by selecting Layout Options from the Layout menu. In the Condensing section of the dialog, you can choose which instruments should be condensed and how they should be condensed

Once condensing is enabled, Dorico will automatically combine the selected staves into a single condensed staff when appropriate. For example, if two instruments are playing the same rhythm and notes, Dorico will combine them into a single staff with both instruments’ notes and stems displayed. If the instruments are playing different rhythms or notes, Dorico will display them on separate staves as usual

You can also customize the appearance of condensed staves using the Engrave mode. This allows you to adjust the spacing and layout of the condensed staff to ensure that it is easy to read and looks good on the page

Overall, condensing is a powerful feature in Dorico that can help you create clear and easy-to-read scores, especially for large ensembles.

1 Like

This LLM AI thingy is like magic - I’ve just put a ChatGPT bot on a website, and not only can it answer any kind of questions about the content of the site (eg summarise this site) but it will also compose melodies - I asked it to compose an 8-bar melody in the style of Bach, and voila, there it was! Or it could write a blog post on why Dorico is the best notation software. Quite extrordinary. (but ChatGPT 3.5 has no knowledge of the world beyond Sept 2021)

Sorry for polluting the forum about strictly non Dorico subjects, but AI does come in handy for learning quickly without spending ages on searching the help files, user guides etc.


Brilliant, I have to try this

Speaking in an entirely personal capacity, I hope you don’t mind me saying that there is literally nothing I will do to facilitate the furtherance of AI. I have absolutely no interest in it, using it, developing it – none. I will not participate.


Gosh Lillie, that sounds like you are pretty ante - how so?

I don’t see the need or the benefit of extending this discussion in the context of the Dorico forum. Let’s leave it there.


Sure :slightly_smiling_face:

No problem. :slight_smile:

This is very awkward.

Dorico will not be untouched by AI, and discussion of AI can surely not be out of bounds.

I find this discussion really fascinating and that ChatGPT PDF reader AI thingy looks pretty cool. Keeping in mind I am a musician, and most definitely not a lawyer, so you shouldn’t really assume anything I’m about to write is legally accurate, there seem to be huge issues with this.

  1. The ChatGPT PDF reader almost certainly is infringing on Steinberg’s intellectual property rights here, as it effectively seems to be an unauthorized “derivative work.”
  2. I don’t know how it works with IP in this situation, but with trademark you can lose it if you don’t enforce it. From page 43 of this US government PDF: “When any course of conduct of the owner, including acts of omission as well as commission, causes the mark to become the generic name for the goods or services on or in connection with which it is used or otherwise to lose its significance as a mark.” Usually people think of Kleenex as the example with this.
  3. As a result, Steinberg really can’t be seen approving this, or even condoning discussion of this, hence Lillie’s strongly worded response. They probably shouldn’t even have continuing public discussion on a Steinberg server, so I’m expecting this thread to soon be locked.

Please don’t misinterpret me :slight_smile: but otherwise I have nothing further to say here.


Also: anything you put into chatgpt gets added to the corpus in some way. A lazy worker plug in some sensitive corporate documents or code, and voilà: your secrets are now public, and anyone and their grandmother can access them through a simple chatbot prompt.


When you upload Steinberg’s Dorico manual into the the AskYourPDF site, you are basically training it exclusively with material under copyright. I think it’s cool and useful from a user perspective, but Steinberg hasn’t given permission for its material to be used that way, and any answer almost certainly will contain answers that are copyright violations. (I didn’t actually test this, just guessing based on Rob’s result) I’m not surprised Lillie isn’t thrilled about this.

I actually tried using Adobe Firefly for a graphic for my son’s lacrosse end-of-season banquet a couple of months ago. If you aren’t familiar with Firefly, it is only trained on Adobe’s royalty-free image library, so whatever the AI comes up with won’t be infringing on any copyright. Unfortunately, that image library didn’t contain enough images of lacrosse so the AI didn’t really know what a lacrosse stick was supposed to look like, and the results were pretty bad. It only knows what it’s been trained on.

Unless someone comes up with an AI that’s only trained on public domain works, that actually could be a good thing for musicians. No one is going to want AI music, if there’s a chance it contains a copyright violation that could get them sued later on.

Obviously regulations are trailing way behind the tech at this point, but probably won’t be for long. I’m really curious to see how the laws evolve over the next few years because AI isn’t going away, and use of it will only get more prevalent.

There are already “AI” plugins for Dorico though, NotePerformer being a notable example. I’m sure Lillie occasionally deals with that.

Throwing machine learning at problems left and right is a terrible idea (or as a ML expert friend of mine once said: would you like to be responsible for an oil platform blowing up because the bot you sold missed something important?). Sometimes the job of a professional is to say hell no.

From the (not massive) research I’ve done, it seems that these LLMs only use what’s in the public domain (like Steinberg pdf’s for example) anyway, and material where they’ve paid a license to use. I’ve read that there is lots of huffing and puffing going on with the FTC over in the US on how regulation should work (apparently the FTC have summoned OpenAI to be interrogated, but some are questioning whether the FTC even has any jurisdiction, and that it’s up to Congress to decide on what’s what).

Anyway, the genie is out of the bottle that’s for sure. My sister, who uses ChatGPT quite a bit, says she thinks of it as a very capable Personal Assistant. As things stand at the moment, these LLM’s are still dumb machines (but very capable), and the AI community have not yet “split the atom”, to use a physics analogy. When they do, and these AI’s start thinking for themselves, that’s when we need to figure out what to do. It would help of course for there to be a plan of sorts for when that day inevitably arrives.

In the meantime, they are incredibly useful “Personal Assistants”.

Not everything that is publicly available is “in the public domain”.
Steinberg’s online manual is clearly publicly available, but their PDFs clearly have copyright information on the very first page and therefore are not “public domain”. (Also their HTML help pages have a copyright line in the footer.)


These are two examples fed directly into ChatGPT4. Same question about tempo to Dorico and Sibelius (I’ve never used Sibelius so can’t say whether it’s correct or not)

OpenAI must have trained it on this material for it to be able to answer the question. I think the copyright issue is one for the politicians/lawyers, but it has opened a can of worms.

How would I change the tempo of a musical piece in Dorico?

ChatGPT 4 replied

  1. Start Dorico and open your musical piece.

  2. Go to the Play mode by clicking on the Play tab at the top of the screen.

  3. In the Play mode, select the Tempo option located in the Time track on the left-hand side.

  4. To add a new tempo, you can either click on the ‘+’ symbol on the Time track or simply click where you want the new tempo to start on the Time track.

  5. A box will pop up on the bottom where you can set your new tempo. Enter your desired tempo in beats per minute (bpm).

  6. Press Enter or click out of the box to apply the new tempo.

  7. If you want to edit an existing tempo, simply click on it in the Time track and change the bpm in the box at the bottom.

  8. After you’ve made the changes, save your project.

Remember that you can also specify tempo changes in the score itself, using the text tool to write instructions such as “Allegro” or “Adagio”.

Same question to ChatGPT4 but for Sibelius

How would I change the tempo of a musical piece in Sibelius?

ChatGPT4 replied

Changing the tempo of a musical piece in Sibelius involves following these steps:

  1. Start Sibelius and open the piece of music you want to modify.

  2. Click on the “Notations” tab that is located in the upper menu.

  3. In the notations menu, you will find “Tempo text”. Click on it to add a tempo marking.

  4. Now click on the score where you want to place the new tempo marking. A text box will appear on the score.

  5. Inside this text box, enter the value of the new tempo you want. You can specify this as a note value equals a number, such as quarter note equals 120.

  6. Once you’ve entered the desired tempo, click anywhere else on the score to apply it.

Remember, the new tempo will apply from the point you’ve placed it until the end of the piece, unless another tempo marking is placed later in the piece.