Dorico Notation SoftwareDorico Notation Software ♪
Dorico, the brand new music notation application and scoring software for professionals from Steinberg. The next-generation standard scoring application for composers and musicians.

Dorico Notation

Dorico NotationNaturally, Dorico allows you to originate both the conductor’s score and parts for individual players from the flows of music in your project as individual layouts. Changes made to the music in one layout are automatically reflected in any others in which that music appears, while allowing complete independence in terms of page and system appearance between every layout.

Accidentals and key signatures

  • Automatic cautionary or courtesy accidentals (including between voices, between piano staves etc.)
  • Comprehensive choice of accidental duration rules (e.g. common practice, Second Viennese School, Modernist etc.)
  • Support for arbitrary numbers of Equal Divisions of the Octave (EDOs)
  • Support for accidentals from triple flat to triple sharp in 12-EDO
  • Support for quarter-tone accidentals in 24-EDO
  • Optionally display cautionary accidentals in parentheses
  • Key signatures up to seven sharps or seven flats
  • Custom key signatures, including mixing sharps and flats
  • Support for custom accidental systems, using custom symbols and any number of EDOs as pitch delta
  • Key signatures can apply to all instruments, or only one instrument as needed


  • Eight standard articulations, grouped according to type: force (accent, marcato), duration (staccatissimo, staccato, staccato-tenuto, tenuto), and stress (stress, unstress)
  • Articulations are automatically positioned, including appearing only at the start or end of a tie chain as appropriate for articulations affecting the attack or release portion of a note
  • Articulations cannot be applied in invalid combinations on the same note or chord (e.g. staccato and staccatissimo)
  • Automatic placement of articulations (on the notehead or stem side), with options to specify which articulations should always be positioned above the staff
  • Automatic placement of articulations relative to slurs, ties, and tuplets

Barlines, brackets and braces

  • Insert and delete barlines at any rhythmic position, giving unprecedented freedom to create music in free or irregular meter
  • Normal, double, final, start/end repeat, dashed, short and tick barlines, including automatic final barline at end of flow and automatic double barline at changes of key
  • Choice of thin-thick-thin or thick-thick designs for coincident end and start repeat barlines
  • Comprehensive options for the design and spacing of barlines
  • Automatic instrument bracketing and bracing, according to four different conventions (none, small ensemble, orchestral, wind/brass band)
  • Optical adjustment of brace shape based on distance between braced staves, for superior appearance

Bar numbers

  • Display bar numbers at the start of every system, every n bars, or every bar (either centered in the bar or centered over the barline)
  • Control the frequency and appearance for each layout independently
  • Choice of square or circular enclosure for bar numbers
  • Optionally vertically align bar numbers across the width of the system
  • Optionally additionally show bar numbers below the bottom staff of the system
  • Change bar numbers at any bar, including changing the way bars are numbered (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4)
  • When a bar is split across a system or frame break, the continuation bar number is shown at the start of the new system in square brackets
  • View options to show bar numbers on every bar in page view and galley view to aid navigation


  • Automatic determination of stem direction for beamed groups, and for whether beams should be horizontal or slope up or down
  • Automatic vertical snapping of beams to valid sit, straddle or hang positions relative to staff lines, including optionally also snapping to similar positions outside the staff
  • Override default beaming, e.g. joining notes into a beam, or splitting one or more notes from a beam, etc.
  • Flexible cross-staff beaming, including the ability to force beams to appear either above or below the top or bottom staff, or in situations involving more than two staves, between a specific pair of staves
  • Automatic avoidance of beam corners for complex rhythmic patterns in beams between staves
  • Automatic choice of the appropriate number of secondary beam lines in complex rhythmic groups, creating groups equal in duration to the beat grouping or subdivision
  • Comprehensive support for beamed rests, including allowing rests at the start and/or end of a beamed group, or only in the middle of the group, and choice of how many beam lines should extend over rests
  • Optional automatic stemlets for beamed rests, including editability of individual stemlet lengths in Engrave mode
  • Rests within beams automatically move vertically to avoid undue lengthening of the stems of notes within the beam
  • Thickness of beams is automatically adjusted when rotated (for sloped beam groups) to ensure the same optical thickness at all angles
  • Comprehensive options for determining the desired beam slopes, including separate controls for normal and narrow spacing, and for grace notes
  • Beamed groups of grace notes also snap to valid sit, straddle or hang positions
  • Automatic determination of fractional beam directions (e.g. for dotted rhythms in compound meters), with ability to flip direction
  • Optional automatic widening of beams on 32nd/64th notes to allow a wider range of valid sit, straddle or hang positions
  • Fanned or feathered beams, including the ability to change the direction of the fanned beam within the same beam group

Clefs and octave lines

  • 22 clefs (including octave clefs, soprano, bass, baritone, sub-bass etc.)
  • Size of clef changes can be adjusted in Engraving Options
  • Clefs are automatically spaced immediately to the left of the note, rest or barline before which they appear, minimizing rhythmic spacing distortion in other instruments
  • Octave lines transposing up or down by 1, 2 or 3 octaves
  • Octave lines can include corners and angled lines to closely follow contour of extremes of pitch
  • Notes encompassed by octave lines automatically transpose by the correct number of octaves
  • Choice of positioning options for the left- and right-hand ends of octave lines, including alignment with noteheads or accidentals at the left-hand end


  • Immediate dynamic changes, gradual dynamic changes (e.g. hairpins, cresc., dim.), dynamics of force or intensity of attack (e.g. rfz, sfz), and combined dynamics (e.g. fp, mp-f)
  • Automatic modifiers for dynamics, e.g. poco p, molto ff, meno p
  • Support for extremes of dynamics, e.g. dim. al niente, fff possibile, and up to six levels of piano and forte
  • Display niente for hairpins either as bold italic n or circle at the closed end of the hairpin
  • Gradual dynamic changes can be displayed as hairpins, text instructions, text followed by a line, or hyphenated over the length of the change (e.g. cre……scen……do)
  • Choice of solid, dashed, or dotted hairpin appearance
  • Automatic messa di voce hairpins (e.g. a crescendo and diminuendo over a single held note), with adjustable inflection point
  • Dynamics affect rhythmic spacing, so dynamics on successive notes do not collide, and hairpins are always drawn at an appropriate length, not appearing so short as to look like an accent, or not to draw at all
  • Immediate dynamics are automatically optically centered on the note or chord to which they apply, with any modifiers before or after the dynamic proceeding to the left or right as appropriate
  • Successive dynamics that abut are automatically grouped and moved vertically as a single unit to avoid collisions with notes
  • Dynamics are automatically placed above vocal staves
  • Choice of separator for combined dynamics
  • Adjust each segment of a dynamic split across several systems independently, including control of aperture and angle
  • Hairpins drawn as polygonal paths rather than simplistic angled lines for superior appearance of dashed hairpins, and for a perfect join at the closed end

Grace notes

  • Input grace notes with any combination of note durations
  • Simultaneous grace notes on multiple instruments are spaced against each other, to ensure perfect alignment
  • Comprehensive spacing of grace notes in multiple voices on the same staff
  • Split grace notes around barlines and changes of clef
  • Easily tie grace notes to normal notes at the primary rhythmic position
  • Adjustable scale factor for grace note size
  • Adjustable rhythmic spacing ratio for grace notes
  • Automatic placement of slurs between grace notes and normal notes, and within runs of grace notes, with comprehensive options to control placement
  • Automatic determination of stem direction for grace notes, including for multiple voices on the same staff

Holds and pauses

  • Choice of seven types of fermata (very short, short, normal, long, very long, plus short and long fermatas used by Henze)
  • Curlew pause used by Britten (to denote a pause in only some instruments)
  • Choice of four types of breath mark (comma or apostrophe, tick, upbowlike, or comma combined with fermata)
  • Choice of four types of caesura (normal, thick, straight or curved)
  • Adding a fermata to a single note automatically creates the appropriate fermata on all voices across all staves, placing the fermata on the appropriate note or rest in every voice
  • Fermatas can be positioned on barlines
  • Fermatas are automatically placed above or below the staff as appropriate
  • For multi-voice instruments, e.g. piano, choose whether a fermata should appear in all voices, or only for one voice on either side of the staff, or only once in total
  • Caesuras are automatically aligned across all staves, and insert a small amount of rhythmic space
  • Breath marks are positioned before the note, with options determining their precise positioning relative to notes
  • Automatic collision avoidance for holds and pauses


  • Nearly 300 built-in instrument types, covering woodwind, brass, strings, pitched and unpitched percussion, voice, keyboards, guitars, etc.
  • Add instruments to your project quickly with the keyboard-driven instrument picker, including easy choice of instrument variants (e.g. different transpositions, or showing different clefs in the full score and instrumental parts)
  • Automatic instrument changes for doubling players, with automatic text instructions both immediately following the last note played on the first instrument and at the entry of the second instrument
  • Quickly create common groups of instruments, e.g. single woodwind, SATB choir, using the provided preset ensembles
  • Move instruments between players
  • Create groups of players and instruments, which are uniquely numbered within the group
  • Automatic choice of the appropriate preset patch in HALion Sonic SE 2 for each instrument in the project


  • Unlimited number of lines of lyrics both below and above the staff
  • Optional line of translated lyrics for each primary line of lyrics, with italic font style
  • Optional chorus line, automatically vertically centered in the middle of the height of all active primary lines of lyrics
  • Automatic positioning of hyphens between syllables of the same word, and lyric extender lines for melismatic syllables and words
  • Adjustable alignment for each lyric syllable (left, center, right)
  • Automatic verse numbers
  • Elision slurs below elided lyrics
  • Non-breaking spaces and hyphens to allow multiple syllables or words on a single note
  • Support for Japanese lyrics (one ideograph per note, with automatic elision when more than one ideograph is present, and automatic ideographic hyphen for melismatic passages)
  • Sophisticated interaction of lyrics with rhythmic spacing: the horizontal position of lyrics can be adjusted automatically in order to minimize the impact of lyrics on rhythmic spacing, while still maintaining clarity of text underlay
  • Automatic vertical collision avoidance for lyrics

Multi-bar rests

  • Automatic consolidation of successive bars rest into multi-bar rests
  • Multi-bar rests automatically break at changes of key, time signature, tempo, and at rehearsal marks
  • Width of multi-bar rests scales according to the number of bars contained within them
  • Automatic “tacet” multi-bar rests, including “tacet al fine” for a multi-bar rest that extends to the end of the flow
  • Choice of H-bar or old style (consisting of appropriate rests of different durations) multi-bar rests, including specifying the threshold at which old style multi-bar rests should become H-bar rests
  • Multi-bar rest numbers are automatically centered between the staves of grand staff instruments such as piano, harp, organ, etc.
  • Choose whether single bar rests should be displayed with an H-bar or a normal bar rest, and whether or not the number 1 should appear
  • Comprehensive options controlling H-bar appearance and width, number positioning, spacing adjustments

Notes and noteheads

  • Note durations from 1/1,024th note to maxima (32 quarters)
  • Up to four rhythm (augmentation) dots
  • Unlimited number of simultaneous up- and down-stem voices per player, with comprehensive collision avoidance and sophisticated voice ordering algorithms
  • Automatic determination of the most appropriate way to display notes of any duration, considering the prevailing meter and the rhythmic position of the notes or chords within the meter
  • Automatic stem directions according to pitch and number of active voices, including automatic calculation of stem directions for notes on the middle line of the staff based on musical context
  • Automatic stem shortening for high and low notes in multiple voice contexts
  • Automatic shortening of ledger lines for runs of very short notes, and for notes with accidentals
  • Fully editable stem lengths and ledger line widths in Engrave mode
  • Automatic diagonal split stems for close-position or cluster chords with altered unisons
  • Choice of notehead types, including regular and larger sizes
  • Automatic display of note name and pitch inside noteheads for educational materials
  • Per-notehead adjustment of stem attachment point for flawless connections between noteheads and stems even at extreme magnification
  • Options for positioning rhythm dots, including how to handle rhythm dots on up-stem unbeamed notes (lengthen stem, use short flag, or move rhythm dot)


  • Glissando lines attach to notes at either end, and follow changes in pitch
  • Glissando lines automatically avoid collisions with rhythm dots to the right and accidentals to the left
  • Glissando lines between notes at the same staff position with different accidentals, or notes on adjacent staff positions, are specially positioned to ensure they show the direction of the glissando
  • Glissando lines affect rhythmic spacing, to ensure they are not drawn too short
  • Multiple glissando lines between successive chords will only show gliss. text on the topmost glissando line
  • Comprehensive Engraving Options controlling the design and placement of glissando lines
  • Turns, mordents and trills are automatically positioned relative to notes and chords, and can display accidentals above and/or below as necessary
  • Trills affect rhythmic spacing, to ensure that their wiggly lines (if shown) are not drawn too short
  • The wiggly line following a trill can change speed, e.g. from slow to fast, or fast to slow
  • Ornaments can be positioned inside or outside the curvature of the slur as needed

Playing techniques

  • Notations for more than 200 playing techniques, organized according to instrument family, available from the right-panel in Write mode or by typing them directly into the score using the dedicated popover
  • Automatic placement of playing techniques, depending on their type
  • Any playing technique can be drawn with a hooked line or arrow to clearly show its extent
  • Choice of text instructions or graphical symbols where appropriate
  • Automatic choice of the most appropriate appearance based on instrument type (e.g. + symbol for mute on trumpet, con sord. text for mute on violin)

Rehearsal marks

  • Automatic incrementing of rehearsal mark sequence, including responding correctly to insertions or deletions in the middle of the sequence
  • Choice of letters, numbers, or using the displayed bar number as the sequence type
  • Choice of square or circular enclosure, with ability to ensure a fixed width or diameter regardless of the width of the rehearsal mark text or digit, for an improved and more consistent appearance
  • Bar numbers are automatically hidden if they coincide with a rehearsal mark
  • Rehearsal marks at the start of the system can optionally be aligned with the left-hand edge of the system, or positioned to the right of the initial clef and key signature
  • Rehearsal marks are automatically vertically aligned with coincident changes of tempo
  • It is possible to have two independent sequences of rehearsal marks using different sequence types running within the same flow
  • Optionally additionally show rehearsal marks below the bottom staff of the system


  • Rest durations from 1/1024th to maxima (32 quarters)
  • Voices automatically padded with rests, including optional strict counterpoint rules
  • Automatic positioning of rests in multiple voices, including keeping rests within the current beat group aligned, and following the contour of the melodic material in the same voice
  • Automatic consolidation of coincident rests of the same duration in multiple voices
  • Choice of rest types, including old-style (reversed eighth) and Z-shaped quarter rests
  • Fully editable vertical positioning of rests in Engrave mode
  • Automatic division of ranges of rests according to the meter, including options for the handling of fractions of beats in simple and compound meters


  • Comprehensive positioning options for slurs, including collision avoidance with items under their arc, and articulations at end points
  • Multi-segment slurs with any number of independent segments
  • Dashed, half-dashed, dotted and editorial slur styles
  • Choice of flat or curvy slurs for long phrase indications
  • Slurs can start in one voice and end in another, and can follow a voice from one staff to another, e.g. for piano and harp writing
  • Edit shape or position of multiple slurs simultaneously in Engrave mode, with independent editing of each control point on the slur
  • Create grouped slurs across multiple instruments, then edit them together


  • Automatic collision avoidance between staves and items above/below staves
  • Engraving Options to control staff line thickness
  • Any stave can have a different size relative to the current global staff size, with every staff in the system having a different size if necessary
  • Change global staff size at any system or frame break


  • Create text anywhere at any rhythmic position in the music
  • Hierarchical paragraph and character styles for consistent use of fonts and sizes throughout your project
  • Left, center and right alignment
  • Support for font families with multiple weights
  • Control over typographical elements such as leading (line spacing), character spacing, superscript, subscript, baseline shift, etc.
  • Page-attached text frames can use tokens that substitute metadata from Project Info, allowing e.g. the use of running headers and footers
  • Text frames can include fully justified text, and simple tab stops (left, center and right)

Time signature and meter

  • Time signatures with any denominator from 1 (whole note) to 1,024 (1/1,024th), including non-power of two denominators (e.g. 3/6)
  • Alternating time signatures, e.g. fixed alternating pattern of 2/4 6/8
  • Aggregate time signatures, e.g. each bar consisting of 12/8 5/8, divided by a dashed barline
  • Interchangeable time signatures, e.g. each bar uses one of 3/4 2/4 4/4, but the explicit time signature is not indicated on each bar
  • Pick-up (anacrusis) bars with correct rhythmic divisions and rests
  • Open meter, including automatic casting off of music with no barlines
  • Initial support for polymeter (beat lengths coincide, but bar lengths do not necessarily coincide)
  • Automatic beat, note, and rest grouping according to the time signature, including handling of syncopated rhythms, with comprehensive options allowing different settings in each flow


  • Single-note and multi-note tremolos with between one and four tremolo strokes
  • Automatic stem lengthening to ensure tremolo strokes do not collide with noteheads or beams, with tremolos snapping to appropriate positions relative to staff lines to ensure clarity and legibility
  • Choice of appearance for multi-note tremolos: all tremolo strokes touching stems, only outermost stroke touching stems, or no tremolo strokes touching stems
  • Draw a multi-note tremolo with more than two notes/chords for a single tuplet
  • Automatically draw tremolo strokes between notes at least an octave apart, instead of above or below
  • Automatic optical adjustment of tremolo strokes between stemless notes (e.g. whole notes or longer) to ensure they appear centered
  • Comprehensive options for the positioning of tremolo strokes relative to stems, and the insets used for positioning multi-note tremolo strokes between notes
  • Fermatas are automatically centered between the notes of a multi-note tremolo


  • Library of preset tempos, ranging from Larghissimo to Prestissimo
  • Immediate tempo changes, gradual tempo changes (e.g. rit., accel.), relative tempo changes (e.g. più mosso), and tempo rests (e.g. A tempo, Tempo I)
  • Automatic metronome marks for preset tempos with appropriate text formatting
  • Hide either the metronome mark or the text portion of a single tempo instruction independently
  • Show metronome mark in parentheses
  • Show approximate tempos with a variety of appearances (e.g. circa, c., ca.), including ranges of tempos
  • Display tempos to nearest whole number, but maintain more precise internal tempo, ideal for media music applications
  • Gradual tempo changes can be displayed as text instructions, text followed by a line, or hyphenated over the length of the change (e.g. rall……en……tan……do)
  • Display the same tempo instruction with a different appearance in each layout (e.g. between the full score and the instrumental part)
  • Automatic horizontal alignment of tempo marks with time signatures if present, and with the note or rest at the relevant rhythmic position if not


  • Comprehensive automatic positioning of ties, including collision avoidance for rhythm dots, accidentals, glissando lines, note flags, etc.
  • Ties automatically avoid collisions with staff lines both at the ends and at the apex of their curves, with choice of whether to avoid the collision by adjusting curvature or the vertical position of the tie
  • Tie direction (i.e. curving up or down) is automatically determined, but can be overridden on a case by case basis
  • Ties draw correctly between notes and chords that are either side of a change of clef or staff
  • Ties draw correctly between notes in different voices, between grace notes and their primary notes, or between notes that do not abut rhythmically (e.g. for sustained arpeggiated chords in keyboard music)
  • Dashed, half-dashed, dotted and editorial tie appearance
  • More than 50 options for the placement, positioning and design of ties
  • Adjust the shape, position and placement of ties in Engrave mode


  • Create tuplets with any ratio to a given (undotted) note duration
  • Create nested tuplets to any level of nesting
  • Display the tuplet ratio as a number, ratio, ratio with note, or nothing at all
  • Tuplet brackets are automatically hidden if they completely cover a primary beam group
  • Options for whether the tuplet ratio should be shown in the rhythmic or visual center of the tuplet bracket, including automatic optical adjustment for tuplets with rhythmic subgroups in the middle of the tuplet duration
  • Choice of bold or light weight tuplet digits
  • Control over relative size of numbers and notes in tuplet ratios
  • Automatic tuplet brackets between staves for unbeamed notes, with one hook pointing up and the other pointing down, as appropriate
  • Option to force all tuplet brackets to be horizontal, or to allow the innermost tuplet to be angled following the contour of the notes under the tuplet
  • Option to place all tuplets above vocal staves
  • Quickly input a sequence of identical tuplets during note input with tuplet mode
  • Tuplets automatically split into appropriate shorter tuplets at barlines, and automatically recombine into a single tuplet if they end up in the same bar again
  • Tuplets that cross a barline can optionally be notated as a single tuplet instead of being split into shorter ones
  • Deleting a tuplet bracket/ratio leaves the notes behind, automatically unscaling them to their rational durations

All Features marked with are unique to Dorico and not found in any other commercial desktop scoring software

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