Platform-Independent Documentation
The documentation applies to the operating systems Windows and macOS.
Usage of Musical Terms
This documentation uses American terminology for musical items throughout the documentation.
In our documentation, we use typographical and markup elements to structure information.
How You Can Reach Us
On the Help menu you find items linking to additional information.
First Steps
This chapter helps you to get started with Dorico.
Getting Around
The following sections give you an overview of the user interface and introduce you to how Dorico is structured.
Starting a New Project
After getting a first impression of the Dorico user interface you may want to get started with inputting your own music. In this section, you learn how to set up a new project.
Writing Music
Once you have set up your project, you can start writing music.
Dorico Concepts
The following sections give you an overview of the design philosophy as well as concepts on which Dorico is based.
Design Philosophy
Key Musical Concepts
In order to work efficiently with Dorico, it is important to understand the conceptual model of the program.
User Interface
The user interface of Dorico is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible while keeping all of the important tools at your fingertips.
When you start Dorico, the Hub opens. The Hub keeps you up-to-date with the latest information and assists you with organizing your projects. It consists of the News section and the Projects section.
Dorico provides a project window and floating windows.
Setting up Your Workspace
Dorico enables you to set up your workspace according to your working style.
Setup Mode
In Setup mode, you can determine the players and instruments for your project. You can also create and manage flows and set up layouts.
Project Window in Setup Mode
The project window in Setup mode contains the default toolbar, the music area, and the status bar. It provides panels with all the tools and functions that allow you to create players and assign instruments as well as to specify the layouts and flows for your score.
Before you start writing music, you must specify the players that will play one or multiple instruments.
If you add an ensemble in Dorico, multiple players are added to your project at the same time.
You can assign instruments to solo and section players as well as to ensembles.
A group is a collection of players.
Flows are separate spans of music within your project, for example, movements or songs.
Layouts define how the music in a flow is presented.
Write Mode
In Write mode, you can create your music. You can input notes and insert notations into your score.
Project Window in Write Mode
The project window in Write mode contains the default toolbar, the music area, and the status bar. It provides toolboxes and panels with the tools and functions that you need to write your music.
Note Input
There are several ways to input notes.
Engrave Mode
Engrave mode allows you to manipulate and modify every item in your project. You can determine how the pages of your project are formatted for later print or export.
Project Window in Engrave Mode
The project window in Engrave mode contains the default toolbar, the music area, and the status bar. It provides panels with all the tools and functions that allow you to format the pages, systems, and properties of individual notations in your score.
Master Pages
Master pages in Dorico allow the same formatting to be applied to different pages in different layouts.
Frames allow you to position your music, additional text, and graphics anywhere inside the margins of a page.
Properties in Engrave Mode
In Engrave mode, you can edit notes, notations, or parts of them individually or globally.
Print Mode
Print mode allows you to print your layouts or to export them as graphic files.
Project Window in Print Mode
The project window in Print mode contains the default toolbar and the print preview area as well as panels and sections that provide all the tools and functions that allow you to prepare printing or exporting your layouts.
Printing Your Layouts
Exporting Your Layouts as Graphic Files
Printing/Exporting Multiple Layouts
You can print or export several layouts at the same time.
Layout Page Arrangements for Printing/Exporting
Dorico provides several page arrangements that you can use for printing/exporting your layouts.
Handling Page Sizes and Paper Sizes
Dorico handles page sizes and paper sizes differently.
When printing/exporting your layouts for publication, you can include typical annotations. Publishers and printing bureaux can use these to identify and register the printed image correctly or to embed the exported graphic file into a desktop publishing application.
A space is a measurement of distance, based on the size of a staff. In Dorico, many properties are measured in spaces, such as the positions of articulations or dynamics.
The stems of notes and chords may be directed upwards or downwards, depending on the conventions of music engraving.
Accidentals show that the pitch of a note has been altered so that it does not conform to a prevailing key signature.
Articulations are markings that are drawn above or below notes and chords. Articulations tell a performer how to attack a note or how long a note should be relative to its notated duration.
Time Signatures
Time signatures indicate the meter, and apply to all bars from where they first appear until a subsequent change of time signature is found. Meter describes the rhythmic pulse of music, its division into beats and bars.
A tie is a curve that joins two or more notes of the same pitch. It represents a single note with the duration of all the tied notes combined. A performer will play the notes as one note without re-striking it.
In Dorico, the term lyrics is used to represent all text that is sung by singers.