what is the best alternative to MusicXML export from Dorico?

I have a 150 page Broadway score that I need to export (sadly!) to Finale, unless I can convince the orchestrator to switch NOW to Dorico (I’m sure he’ll switch later when he has time, and after I “get on him” more :slight_smile:)…I’ve tried MusicXML export from Dorico but (as already discussed on the forum), it’s sadly lacking at present (especially in terms of capturing things like System Text, which my score is full of as it’s largely rap-lyric based, with text printed above the music bar by bar, etc.).

My question: is there ANY other (perhaps) pdf to musicXML conversion program (for Mac) that anyone would recommend that might do a better job than Dorico MusicXML export? I’m especially trying to find a way to not have to re-type all of the system text (which is again pretty much the entire score), since Dorico does do a decent job of exporting actual notes with their musicXML export. But so far nothing I’ve tried properly captures music text in a way that is faster than my re-typing the entire score. Thanks for any thoughts!

  • D.D.

There is an app called PDF to Music Pro, which claims to produce decent results from a PDF (it reads the vector data for the lines, curves, and fonts, rather than ‘reading’ the graphic image that they produce).


You can try a demo, to see if it will improve matters. However, I suspect that even so, it will need clean up work so that you might as well do it by hand.

Thanks - I actually tried that first. The PDF to Music Pro program SEEMED to have an “understanding” of the elements captured when viewed and selected WITHIN its application. However, when subsequently exported as MusicXML and then re-imported back into Dorico to test it, the results were a bit of a mess, unfortunately, and still no dice with it’s ability to recognize System Text…There may simply not be anything that can do this at present, sadly…(until Dorico adds better MusicXML functionality, which I know is on the to-do list for down the line)…

  • D.D.

You need to test how Finale imports the MusicXML from “PDF to Music Pro”. Dorico’s MusicXML import is irrelevant.
edit: obviously I meant Finale, not Sibelius…

Finale Notepad is free, and should import your MusicXML and display it identically to the other versions of Finale.

But you won’t be able to edit the file in Finale Notepad to fix any missing items, unless you want to lose the will to live :slight_smile:

OOPS - I forgot Notepad is windows-only, and from your signature you are a Mac user.

Musescore has very good MusicXML support, and is also free. If you don’t have anything else that will read MusicXML, you could try viewing your file in that.

Surely Dorico will convert the raw note entries to XML and they’ll appear when opened in Finale. That’s all most orchestrators need, along with a printout of your Dorico files. Since your orchestrator’s Finale XML output will be able to translate to Dorico fairly well, you should be set except for some cleanup.

Might be worth considering, but I’ll admit I know nothing about your project.

Thanks, but as I was saying above the main concern is converting a tremendous amount of system text without having to retype it - you are correct, though, that the note export itself isn’t bad when exporting Dorico and musicXML…

I just figured that Dorico’s import was comparable. The client is using Finale (which I don’t own, and my trial has expired), so I did just try re-importing into Sibelius. Bottom line: still no “useful” dice. Looks like the only “real” method would be to export MusicXML from Dorico to get at least the notes over, and then have Dorico open on one screen and Finale on the other and manually cut/paste ALL the system text (ugh)…(OR convince them to switch to Dorico NOW so they can use my nicer-looking Dorico-produced scores :slight_smile:)…

  • D.D.

You can also try and use Photoscore Ultimate on the Dorico pdf output. It works rather well on such a clean output — you can even create an easy to read layout with a custom score. But the limitations to Photoscore will remain (less limitations than the actual xml export from Dorico though).

PDFtoMusicPRo definitely exports the text to MusicXML, though it probably won’t be attached to the bars when it is imported. It’s just stored as “credits” text items in the header section of the MusicXML file.

However Finale 2014.5 ignored all the text in the MusicXMLfile, even the titles, which seems strange (but I’m not going to try to find out why!)

Demo score in Dorico, printed to PDF, converted by PDFtoMusicPro, imported into MuseScore:

(Note, Musescore screwed up the bar rests for some reason, but hey, nothing’s perfect!)