Why is Dorico Pro so costly at $480.00?

I’m hoping that Dorico Pro, selling right now at $480.00 (USA Dollar) will someday come down in price. I had the free version, then Elements 5. I was told that $480.00 IS the discounted price. Hopefully, it will come down around the Christmas Holidays.
Thank you.

Hello @mmm3rdpower ,

Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:

Well, Dorico Pro isn’t a cheap piece of software, that’s true.
Still there are initiatives like the “Summer Sale”, or “Black Friday”, or “Christmas Sale”, where you could get Dorico Pro at discount up to 30% - 40%.
I don’t know what are the Steinberg’s plans for this summer if they are going to launch the “Summer Sale”, and what will, eventually, be included. The last few years Dorico was always there.

Few years ago I have proposed a good idea on how Dorico Pro could become very affordable, even free of charge. It was inspired by MuseScore.com, but nowadays this idea is working perfectly for the Muse Group and MakeMusic, especially after the acquisition of Alfred Music Publishing (by MakeMusic) and Hal Leonard Publishing (by Muse Group).
Currently Finale’s full price is $299, in the past it was about $600. MuseScore was always free, but the Muse Group strategy allowed MuseScore to have an employed development team, and as a result the app became a real competitor to Sibelius, Finale and Dorico, in a short period of time.
Unfortunately Steinberg / Yamaha, as a company, is far behind MakeMusic and Muse Group in their market strategies.
I hope there will be a serious publishing company to be acquired, until Steinberg/Yamaha realize that they should do the same as MakeMusic and Muse Group… Peterson’s Music Publishing is there, and it’s one of the most serious in this business.
Such move will open many new possibilities for the Dorico users. Even reduced by more than 50% of Dorico Pro’s regular price.

Best wishes,

The current regular price is $579, so $480 IS a discounted price.

The reason it is so expensive compared to Elements is just what the name says. It is a professional grade, top-of-the-line product. Elements is a cut down version for those who cannot afford or do not need Pro.

It costs a LOT of money to develop, maintain, improve, and sell professional grade software. All the people involved have to make a living.

Does that answer your question?


In all honesty, I have a hard time seeing how Dorico’s price isn’t justified when considering what it allows you to achieve.

Anyone who has an earnest need to consistently produce high-quality sheet music – which I consider completely independent from genres, production environments and even ‘professionality’ – will have their return of investment within months, if not weeks.


Sibelius Ultimate is £519 to buy outright. The annual subscription is the same price for 3 years.

Professional software in most industries is often at a similar price.


Hi Glenn and Thurisaz

Some encouraging news re: discounts on Dorico Pro. Keep reading!
As for Finale? No way would I ever go back to that software!!!
Thank you.


Yamaha is vastly larger than either MakeMusic or Muse Group, spanning a much wider range of industries than either of them. Their marketing strategy doesn’t involve giving out their most valuable products for free (any more than MakeMusic’s does).

Who on earth is Peterson’s?


Minna, note that if you do have an old Finale license kicking around, you’ll be eligible for the crossgrade, which discounts the cost of Dorico Pro quite a bit further.


An indispensable accessory for the serious composer.


I have Sibelius Ultimate, but I’m enjoying my Dorico; have not decided whether or not I’m going to renew my subscription with Avid (Sibelius).


If your subscription for Sibelius has been at least 12 months, that too can be used to get yourself the crossgrade discount for Dorico.

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Hi @pianoleo and @Paolo_T,

Haha… my mistake… (it happens). :rofl:
I had in mind “Edition Peters”, but I’ve now seen that it was acquired by Wise Music Group…

Leo, I’m pretty aware what Yamaha is as multi-industry corporation.
If the software products are at extremely reduced price, or free, it doesn’t mean they aren’t beneficial enough for the company that produces them, since the accompanying services, as MakeMusic Cloud and MuseScore.com are paid. The access to Alfred Publishing, or Hal Leonard resources is paid as well.
It’s all about strategy. :slight_smile:
If one would like to take the whole advantage of using MuseScore Studio, well he/she has to use MuseScore Com…

Best wishes,

When Finale first reached the market, it cost close to $1000 in the U.S. at a time when the dollar was worth several times what it is today.


“Costly” is such an interesting (and loaded) term. How does real value get translated into $/£/€/etc.…?? Many fine points have already been made, which I won’t repeat.

@mmm3rdpower , I can tell you this from my own personal/professional experience: after using another application for 30 years, conductors, performers, and composers (!) (how often do we compliment one another…???) who see the scores and parts I’ve notated in Dorico are always especially complimentary of how good they look. And I have no special skills — and have only been using Dorico for less than two years!

In other words, the software is so sophisticated that with some degree of study and effort on my part (Dorico videos, manual, and this very generous forum) I’m able to achieve results that inspire admiration. (I can only imagine what our fellow Dorico users who really know their way around are producing…!) [edit: and I don’t mean “admiration” in some silly, fawning sense; musicians actually find it clearer.easier to read.]

To me, that so quickly erased the relatively small difference between my upgrade fee on my old software and the cross-grade fee that @pianoleo mentions.

I have found that Dorico can do so many things either better than or simply beyond what the other could do (Play Mode/piano-roll (“key editor”)/audio-only adjustments, to name just one) that the cost has been well worth it and beyond.

I hope that your “journey” (as the cloying but popular phrase goes) to find the right price-point/cost balance for your needs goes well!


Hi Pianoleo and Paolo_T:

Thank you for your letters of encouragement.
There might be discounts of 30%-40% on Dorico Pro.


paid $1000 for version 1.0 (still wish i saved the boxed manuals) - and there were no free upgrades - by the time 2.5 came about i’d invested at least another $1000 or more

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Hi Judddanby:

Cross-grade would most likely bring down the price of Dorico Pro.
I started with the free version of Dorico this past February. I don’t think I’d go to any other music-writing software.


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It would certainly be a bad move strategically for Steinberg to price Dorico Pro significantly below Cubase Pro.

Hi tom_ginsberg:

You’re right. People developing this software do have be paid.

Anthony Hughes does the best job in explaining how Dorico works.



Hi @ebrooks ,

Well, I wouldn’t agree with you here.

  1. Dorico isn’t a competitor to Cubase/Nuendo.
  • Both apps have different purposes. Just they are in different categories.
  • Cubase is good for recording, editing, midi composing, midi arranging, mixing, mastering. But it can’t produce score sheets at the level that Dorico does.
  • Dorico is perfect for score sheets, composing, arranging, orchestration. But it’s not suitable for recording and editing audio, mixing and mastering.
  1. Service like MakeMusic Cloud, or MuseScore com, could be more useful with Dorico, than with Cubase/Nuendo.
  • Already there are enough platforms where one could sell/buy audio files.
  • The situation in the are of score sheets is still behind the audio. Scorico, by @dan_kreider, was a pretty good idea, but it needs to be embraced and maintained by a serious company, like Steinberg.
  • The additional benefit for the team behind Dorico, and Steinberg, could come from a cloud service… and if the service is attractive enough, it could generate much more income than Dorico itself at it’s current price.

In conclusion, it’s completely incorrect to compare Dorico and Cubase, no matter that they both share many common features.

Best wishes,

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Hi brooks:

I read up on Cubase; sounds very interesting if it has Digital Audio Workshop (DAW)