Notation Express for Dorico is available


Today at NYC Music Services we’re happy to release Notation Express for Dorico. Just like its Sibelius counterpart which we created last month, Notation Express for Dorico is a fully customized profile for the Elgato Stream Deck console that makes powerful features easy and fun to use.

The Dorico flavor of Notation Express is chock-full with more than 300 commands, all of which are just a touch or two away and organized intuitively.

Within minutes of releasing Notation Express for Sibelius, people were asking if we’d produce a Dorico version. I’m very happy that the wait is over. I hope it’s been worth the wait, for while Notation Express for Dorico retains the familiarity and general layout of the Sibelius version, it’s been totally re-programmed from scratch for Dorico and contains many features unique to that program.

I’ve got expert Dorico user Leo Nicholson to thank for that. Leo devised the Notation Express Dorico layout and key commands, and programmed the Stream Deck profile to make it work with Dorico — a feat which required thinking in many dimensions.

Notation Express is powerful, but it’s also visually appealing with its beautiful icons, just as you’ve come to expect. It adopts the red border scheme for subfolders used in the recent Notation Express for Sibelius update, so it’s easy to drill down and use everything that’s packed into it.

Whenever possible, we’ve tried to make what you see on the Stream Deck reinforce what you’re seeing in Dorico. I’m particularly pleased with the popover icons, right down to the flashing cursor.

Installing Notation Express for Dorico is done in a matter of minutes, after which you’ll be ready to go. Whether you use Dorico exclusively or need to switch between Dorico and Sibelius, you’ll find it easy to use and a boost to your productivity.

The Notation Express profile is based on the default Dorico shortcuts, although many more have been added. If you use the default Dorico shortcuts, you can continue to use them just as before, and also use Stream Deck. If you have modified the default Dorico shortcuts, you can either modify them to work with the Notation Express profile, or easily change the shortcuts in the Notation Express profile to match yours (making sure that they don’t conflict with other shortcuts in use).

As always, you can still create your own profile to use in addition to Notation Express, and switch between the two (or buy another Stream Deck and run two side-by-side!).

Notation Express for Dorico is available from NYC Music Services for $29. It should go without saying that you need to have the Elgato Stream Deck console in order to use Notation Express, but we’ll say it here anyway.

Be sure to purchase the correct version for your operating system (Mac or Windows).



  1. Bill

    Good show Philip!

    Now… just need Notion and Overture :)

    1. Philip Rothman

      …and some sleep :-) Thanks, Bill!

  2. Waldbaer

    Aaaahh, I see filters at one finger tip, want to have this! Damn, how I hate it to go through all the parts of my finished big band arrangements and select and hide the chord symbols where not soloing… and it’s always slowing down the app the more I have selected, so the more often I select the filter, the better it goes, but this filter is completely buried in the menus, so it will take at least three seconds each time…

    I’m really thinking about buying this, even if it’s about 200 bucks for cross-platform support (including the hardware). Maybe you could think about bundle prices? I’m not talking giving away multiplatform for free, but a little discount would be nice. :-)

    BTW: Do you know about (iOS/Android) apps that have similar functionality? Real buttons are nice, but I mostly don’t need them and on the road, it would be much easier to just plug my phone into the computer and have everything at hand than carrying another device. And of course it would cut the price if you don’t need the extra hardware… just thinking.

  3. Michel HERR

    Hi Philip,

    Excellent work, this will be very useful for power users.
    Any plans for Finale (after some sleep) ?

    Congratulations for your blog and many thanks.

    1. Michel HERR

      Or is it impossible, because Finale doesn’t have keyboard shortcuts for all menu items ? I have read that this is a condition to program the Elgato Stream Deck, a shortcoming that only Keyboard Maestro (Mac) can “fix”.

      1. Philip Rothman

        Michel, yes, you’ve answered your own question correctly :-) Finale doesn’t allow the user to program global shortcuts in the same way that Sibelius and Dorico do, at least not yet.

        1. Michel HERR

          Thanks for the confirmation !

  4. Cody A Hallenbeck

    Does this, or can this, be used to make microtonal accidentals easier to input? I have 94 microtonal accidentals defined in most of my scores and inputting them is a little slow–it’d be great to have a touch controller with, say, the 10ish most often used defined.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Cody: I’m not sure if this is fully possible in Dorico, as I don’t think the microtones are accessible by keyboard shortcut. It is possible in Sibelius, although we haven’t included microtones in Notation Express, but you could program them in.

  5. Paul Nicholls

    Hi Phillip, I have just bought the Dorico version of Notation Express. While a lot of it is excellent to use, I really feel you missed some essential aspects of Dorico, those parts that make it very powerful and also parts that make hard to remember its multitude of multi key commands and many options. I can not give you a complete critique here but I feel you need more sub folder/menus with the many options for editing a single element all placed in the same location. First of all many of these edit possibilities are spread over various pages and second you have not put together all the elements needed. For example, in note editing, the enharmonic respells, +/- 1/2 step, whole step, Octaves, move left/right by grid, increase/decrease by grid, double/half note value, should, in my opinion, all be available in the same location. When they are grouped together, Dorico feels really powerful to use, its very very impressive. I feel that some of this power is realized in your version because of the sub menus with the red enclosures uses this grouping of elements and you have some of them included there. I feel that there is a serious lack of editing options of this type for dynamics. Dorico I find is really tricky for repositioning and editing of dynamics that have already been input and you really need the group/ungroup dynamics command close at hand to use. So these are my initial comments and I hope these suggestions might be included in an update.

  6. Paul Nicholls

    Further to the question of dynamic editing, you have a panel for formatting that seems to confuse what you do in Engrave mode with some of the most important elements needed for dynamics. So its evident that group/ungroup dynamics, link/unlink dynamics, and align and remove from a dynamics group are all in this location but this stuff is essential to how we work with dynamics in Dorico. They all should be a sub menu of the dynamics page along with all the subtle commands need to extend, shorten, or move the location of the dynamics, none of which you are created buttons for but which I find hard to remember in Dorico and sometimes tricky to make work properly. To me all these dynamics elements have very little to do with the Engrave mode system and Frame formatting topics on this Formatting page (although its great to have commands set up for these repeatedly used features at at this location). I do like having the Fermatas on the articulations page but since the Schoenberg stress/unstress symbols were made available in Dorico I have started to use them in my scores (although I really have to explain what I mean by them to musicians playing my music). In this regard, I believe that many Jazz and some classical composers would like to see a sub page in the articulations panel also have space for Jazz articulations. I am mostly a classical writer but in some of my music I really want musicians to use bends and I think it is good to validate some of these ideas in music rather than going done the straight path of the tried and worn.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Paul, I really appreciate your comments and ideas, all of which will be considered for the future. It was a challenge trying to figure out what to include while still keeping the layouts manageable! There are more than 300 actions programmed into Notation Express for Dorico, but the possible permutations available would stretch into the thousands, so many of them are not included.

      Another challenge was to decide how to organize the layouts, and again there are many approaches. One consideration was, for users switching between Sibelius and Dorico, do we try to keep the layouts relatively consistent or strictly follow the convention of what each program does? For instance, you’ll notice that we took the “Dorico” approach by grouping clefs and octave lines together in Notation Express for both Dorico and Sibelius, even though they’re completely separate items within in the Sibelius program itself. On the other hand in the Articulations category we included items that aren’t strictly “articulations” in Dorico (downbow, upbow, fermatas). In the end we settled on an approach that should work for most users even if they only use Dorico or only use Sibelius.

      I do recognize it’s a one-size fits all approach, but the great thing about it is you’re not locked down — you can freely modify the Notation Express profile to suit your own needs and add any commands if you wish, re-order icons, etc.

      And we will consider adding other items in the future, particularly the jazz scoops and falls, which I agree would be nice to have in a future update for both the Sibelius and Dorico versions. Thanks a lot for the feedback.

  7. Heiko Petersen

    I use Dorico in German with a German keyboard layout. Will I be able to adjust all the shorcuts for the German verison? Would be very interested to try it.

  8. Dmitriy Kuznetsov

    For some reason Notation Express both for Sibelius and Dorico stops working after computer is restarted. I can switch menues but all commands don’t have an effect on notation software. I thought it’s a problem of Stream Deck software. But all my other profiles work fine. Did anyone else encounter such a problem?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Dmitriy. Just making sure that you have the application set correctly in the Stream Deck app, in Preferences > Profiles > Application? Perhaps try switching it to “None” and then back to the correct application (Sibelius or Dorico)?

      1. Dmitriy Kuznetsov

        Hi Philip.
        Thanks for you reply. Sadly it did not work. So far only re-installing Stream Deck app (in Repair mode) helps. But it’s kind of annoying to re-install the app everytime I switch on or restart PC, isn’t it?

      2. Dmitriy Kuznetsov

        I have encounter another issue in Notation Express for Dorico. When I select vocal line and then hit either “Filter All Lyrics” or “Filter Lyric line 1” lyrics become deselected and only notes remain selected. But I need opposite result.

        1. Dmitriy Kuznetsov

          Wow, this is Dorico strange behaviour, not Notation Express. Sorry, false alarm.

          1. Philip Rothman

            Hi Dmitriy. You probably have Deselect Only selected in Edit > Filter. If you hit the “Select/Deselect” button on Notation Express so that the checkmark appears aside “Select” this should set it straight. You might have to press the button twice to toggle it as Notation Express does not know the current state of the filter, it only sends the appropriate command.

            Regarding the other issue. I think it’s a Stream Deck problem since their most recent update. I will continue to investigate and report back.

  9. Dmitriy Kuznetsov

    Thank you Philip.

  10. Hugi Gudmundsson

    Thank you very much for this useful addition to Dorico which is helping my workflow a lot. However I’m having issues with the articulations. Only a few of them work and for instance staccato shows accent instead of the staccato dot. I havn’t tried all the features of the Notation Express but so far this is the only menu/layer that I’ve come across that isn’t working correctly. Is there something wrong with my setup or is this a bug others have had? (I’m using Dorico on a brand new Macbook pro running OSX Mojave)

    1. Philip Rothman

      Hi Hugi, I’ve replied more directly to troubleshoot.

      1. Hugi Gudmundsson

        Thank you so much for the swift reply. It was indeed the keyboard language setting! When I switched back to US keyboard layout it works just fine.

        1. Philip Rothman

          Excellent! Currently Notation Express is only officially for US English keyboard layouts, but both Dorico and the Stream Deck app are completely customizable, so if you need to change any shortcuts to work in your language, you can do so.

          Further, unofficially we have a working German Windows and French Mac version kindly contributed by users, so if you have one of those setups, please contact us after purchase and we will send you your requested version.

  11. Simon

    Is this possible to use on an Android phone, or a tablet (surface pro) running normal Windows 10?

    1. Philip Rothman

      No, not at the moment.

  12. Tom Fort

    Will Notation Express be updates to support the new Stream Deck XL?

    1. Philip Rothman

      Stay tuned :-)

      1. David Wood

        Will the Stream Deck XL version of Notation Express be a separate product, or can I buy Notation Express and expect an 8×4 upgrade in the future?

        I am a new Stream Deck XL owner who is yet to buy Notation Express. I’d be happy with a 5×3 profile for Dorico now, so would like to purchase the current version of Notation Express. However, there is no point me buying Notation Express unless:

        * the 8×4 version will be a free upgrade, or
        * there will be a credit of the $29 cost of Notation Express against the XL version.

        I hope you can reassure me that one of these two options will apply.

        1. Philip Rothman

          Thanks for your interest in Notation Express and congratulations on getting a new Stream Deck XL! One of those two options you mention seems sensible.

          1. David Wood

            Thank you for that assurance, Philip. I expected that you were planning some sort of upgrade path to a version with an 8×4 profile, but wanted to check before purchasing the existing version of Notation Express. I have now gone ahead and purchased Notation Express and wish all involved well with developing an 8×4 profile.

            The Stream Deck XL hardware is brilliant apart from the included USB cable, which worked once and failed (the USB hub port resets when the Stream Deck is connected and the Stream Deck does not power up). I’m currently running with a third party USB-C cable until Amazon UK send me an exchange. I think the failure is at the USB-C end of the cable, but am not going to probe too far as I don’t want to damage any hardware. I hope my experience with the cable being defective is a one-off – but it is something to watch out for. Fortunately the defective cable has not caused any hardware damage.

            It would be worth getting a code signing certificate so that you can sign and timestamp the installer for the key bindings. With User Account Control on, Windows 10 warns quite loudly that the installer is unsigned.

          2. Philip Rothman

            Hi David. Thanks for that report. I hope the issue with the Stream Deck is the exception as well. I will look into signing the installer. It was a low priority since the installer only installs one .json file in the case of Dorico; I did it mostly so users didn’t have to hunt for their AppData folder if they weren’t comfortable. Still, I agree it would be good to have additional assurance it’s safe to run.

  13. Philip Rothman

    For all that have followed this thread and inquired, I’m pleased to report that Notation Express XL is available!

  14. Marc-Andre Perron

    Are there any updates for Dorico 3.5? Thank you!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Soon! Hopefully in a week or so.

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