XML import issues [solved]

Hi all,

I have a bunch of symphonic XML files exported from Finale 26 which produces a few typical symptoms when imported into Dorico:

  1. certain instruments are rendered without bar rests.
  2. certain instruments are rendered without bar rests, but only from a certain point in the score for no obvious reason
  3. from a certain point in the score the notes are NOT rendered (all staves), but all dynamics are

The files have been thoroughly checked for errors and inconsistencies in Finale before export, and they import without these errors into Sibelius and Musescore (and back into F.) Re-exporting from Sibelius does not help, Dorico still produces the same errors as if the file came directly from F.

Has anyone experienced these problems and narrowed down on a reason why they happen? I’m rather eager to get to the bottom of it, as a successfull import into Dorico will probably save me some 200 hours of manual layout work… :slight_smile:


Regarding the inconsistent bar rests: turn on the system track. Do you see consistent bar numbering there?

Sometimes I’ve found that an XML import can conflate a whole bunch of bars into “one.”

In that case, I usually have to delete the initial clef, meter, and key signature and re-enter them.

  1. Sounds like a starts/ends voice problem.
    At the point where the rests stop showing, find the last note or rest that DOES appear, select it, and see if “Ends Voice” is checked in the properties panel.
    If so, uncheck it.
    If not, scroll to wherever the next real note/rest appears, select it, and see if “Starts Voice” is checked in the properties panel.
    If so, uncheck it.
    If not, turn on View > Note and Rest Colors > Voice Colors and see if that provides more clarity - it’s probably still the case that one voice is ending and another is then starting, later. You’ll be able to fix it by selecting the later stuff and going Edit > Voices > Change Voice > and setting it to the same Voice that previously appeared.

  2. As above.

  3. Not entirely sure about this one, off the top of my head.

Thanks, gentlemen! I’ll delve into the voice business as soon as I’m back in the studio :slight_smile:

The issue with notes simply stopping being notated in one or more of the parts is almost always because Dorico is choking on a malformed tuplet, which is something we see a lot of in FInale-exported MusicXML files. Other applications have better heuristics for guessing what might have been intended by the encoding and managing to recover from it, but I’m afraid Dorico doesn’t yet have a large suite of heuristics to try to overcome these problems.

Thanks for this info, Daniel.
Tuplets are on my list of suspects too, but now I will feel more optimistic during the hunt :slight_smile:

FInale is well known for having a fairly “laid back” attitude to rhythmic issues, right down to the basics of having the correct number of beats in a bar, or even the same incorrect number on different staves in a score. Unfortunately, the MusicXML specification isn’t so forgiving as the MakeMusic software development team!

Finale’s plugin “check region for durations” used to ignore tuplets, but if memory serves me, they rectified that in one of the more recent incarnations… On the file that caused this thread, I also ran JW Validate, with no concerns. Although the file is loaded with tuplets, none are in fact over- or underfilled, so there must be some variety that confuses Dorico. If I manage to solve the problem with this file, I’ll report my findings here…

It could be a rounding issue with tuplets in Finale/XML that break down into uneven numbers of EVU’s or “ticks” or whatever the software uses.

On a similar subject some weeks ago, I (we!) found that tuplets in Sibelius 6.2 had to be complete, i.e. no hidden elements, and if I remember rightly, two voices on the same staff have to align.

For the record: all the issues listed initially in this thread were due to a single erroneous tuplet in the solo violin part of a 200 bar extended symphonic score… No error checking or validation plugins currently available for Finale will flag these errors, so my thinking they fixed it must have been a bad dream.

Although no property errors were visible or correctable, the voice logic was of course influenced under the hood, because after the bad tuplet, no notes were rendered in the score, and hence the voice logic referred to limbo… BL: coming from Finale? ALWAYS suspect a fuzzy tuplet.

Thanks everyone for chiming in!

Edit: credit where credit is due: Musescore is a great debugging tool for xml issues :smiley:

FWIW, tuplet is the main culprit of BIG BIG mess in S. too. So everytime I import an XML from there and I get very short rests followed by nonsense, I know where to look at :wink:

Well, folks, I’m stuck. I’ve been sent some musescore files to create material in Dorico. It’s filled with tuplets (quite complicated music)… And “some” instruments get this problem : the tuplets are here, but no notes at all! But it does not happen for all instruments.
I tried importing the same xml file in Sibelius and… damned, all notes are there.
Any hint ?

What happens if you import into Sibelius (or better MuseScore) and then export out again?

Exactly the same mess. That’s the first thing I’ve tried (glad to see it’s your first shot too).

I think I’d try deleting the first problem bar in each of the relevant instruments, either in Sibelius or MuseScore, then try exporting as MusicXML and importing back into Dorico. In my experience it’s a little bit like removed rests in Dorico - if you fix (or delete) the bar that it goes haywire, often the rest of the flow will sort itself out.
Also worth trying the Dolet plugin in Sibelius rather than the native MusicXML export.


This is actually what I am doing right now. My first attempt is a failure (deleting in MuseScore), I will try the same is Sibelius, because I remember it gave me some good results in the past. Thanks Leo anyway ! And I wish you a happy christmas !

And a merry Christmas to you and your new family!

1 Like

Well, I’ve been trying many things, and none of them gives me any better result than my first import into Dorico.
Interestingly, when trying to import Musescore’s XML file into Musescore, I get a detailed report of many problems… But ignoring it, the notes are still here (when they are not, in Dorico). Exporting this new Musescore file into Dorico gives no solution at all — and I even get a message “MusicXML validation failed” with a detailed report… I guess I’m going to enter the missing notes by hand.

Leo found the culprit : 7-tuplets had to be removed in order to import a maximum number of notes.