Notation Express released for Musescore; updates to Sibelius and Dorico


At NYC Music Services we’re excited to announce the release of Notation Express for Musescore. Notation Express is the profile for the Stream Deck console or Stream Deck Mobile app for iPhone (purchased separately) that puts powerful notation software features at your fingertips. In the past year we’ve released Notation Express for Sibelius and Dorico (as well as super-sized versions for the Stream Deck XL console).

Now that we’re nearing its first anniversary, it’s time to welcome Notation Express for Musescore to the party.

It’s organized similarly to Notation Express for Sibelius and Dorico, but it’s been completely custom-programmed to work with Musescore along with many features tailored specifically to Musescore.

That’s not all — today there are significant updates to all the other flavors of Notation Express too. Everyone with an existing Notation Express profile for Sibelius and Dorico, in both the 15-key and XL configurations, will get improvements that add features and take advantage of the latest software releases.

We’ll get to all of that here, but let’s first have a look at the newest member of the family.


If you use Notation Express for Sibelius or Dorico already, you’ll feel right at home with the Musescore edition. Indeed, Notation Express is designed both for users of a single software platform and those users — like myself — that find themselves switching between several platforms regularly.

Clefs, octave lines, articulations, dynamics, technique and expression text, system text, metronome and rehearsal marks, tremolos, beaming options, and lines are applied easily, as you’d expect, and organized similarly to their Notation Express counterparts in the other notation software platforms.

The most common barline variants are available, as are repeat barlines and endings. Adding, deleting, and inserting bars, repeat structures and more are all easily accessed.

The Notes screen makes it easy to switch among Musescore’s methods of note input: step-time, re-pitch, and insert.

There’s a Visibility and Formatting screen that is specifically designed for Musescore’s methods of score formatting, including the use of spacers and frames, all available at the touch of a button.

There’s so much more in Notation Express for Musescore — more than 250 commands packed into the profile — ornaments, jazz articulations, view options, playback controls, and arranging tools.

Installation is easy; if you don’t have it already, you must first install the Stream Deck desktop software from Elgato. Then you either plug in your Stream Deck or pair your iPhone that is running the Stream Deck mobile app. (The Stream Deck console and the Stream Deck mobile app are separate purchases made by Elgato.) Then, you simply run the Notation Express installer to install the Musescore custom shortcuts and workspace, and load the Notation Express Stream Deck profile.

Finally, when you launch Musescore, you select the Notation Express workspace that will appear, and you’ll be ready to use Notation Express!

Notation Express for Musescore is available for both Mac and Windows and costs $29. It requires the latest version of Musescore (3.4.2 or higher) and is not recommended nor supported on earlier Musescore versions. See the end of this post for more information.


We were working on the Notation Express updates over Valentine’s Day, and we were feeling the love for Sibelius and Dorico users, too!

Users of the 15-key Notation Express for Sibelius configuration will notice a new subfolder in the View & Options folder (previously just View) which brings more than a dozen new features that were previously only available in the XL version, including handy zoom buttons, options to hide or show the Transport, Ribbon and Keypad, easy access to Engraving and Note Spacing Rules, and more.

There are a bunch more new features for XL users.

The following Sibelius functions make their way to Notation Express XL for the first time:

  • Add/Remove Instruments
  • Copy
  • Cut
  • Focus on Staves
  • Paste
  • Paste as Cue
  • Paste Into Voice
  • Reset Note Spacing
  • Select Graphic
  • View Object Rulers
  • View Staff Rulers

If you’re running Sibelius 2020.1, there’s now a new Tie into notes button which supports that brand-new feature.

Because we could, we’ve built out a Keypad & Keyboard grid to replicate the numeric keypad and other keys not easily found on laptop keyboard layouts.

We’ve done some housekeeping in the XL Notes folder. The arrow keys that were previously there are now found in the new Keypad & Keyboard layout, and the staccatissimo and marcato articulations have been removed (they’re still present, as ever, in the Articulations folder). In their place you’ll find more commonly-used tuplet functions as well as the addition of diatonic and octave up/down buttons to complement the chromatic ones that were already there (renamed “semitone”).

(Dorico XL users: You’ll also see the Keypad & Keyboard folder as well as similar changes to the Notes folder, tailored for Dorico.)

In both the 15-key and XL configurations, all Filters now have a blue border to make it easier to distinguish them from other buttons. Here’s the 15-key layout as it looks on iPhone:

There’s even more, but let’s not ignore our friends on the Dorico side…


Why don’t we pick up right where we left off. In Notation Express for Dorico, in both the 15-key and XL layouts, Filters are now colored with an orange border (because that’s what color they are in Dorico). Here are a few of them:

I’ll admit we were rather compulsive about adding filters in Notation Express for Dorico. There were 62 of them before today’s update; now there are 66, with Guitar Bends, Harp Pedals, Horizontal Lines, and Vertical Lines new to the mix in support of the Dorico 3.1 update, and you’ll find them all in both the 15-key and XL Dorico layouts.

Notation Express XL for Dorico sees some more updates.

In addition to the new Keypad & Keyboard folder, there are changes to the Notes folder to accommodate more up/down and tuplet options (see the Sibelius XL updates, above):

A quartet of other new buttons appear: Move to Downstem Voice 1, by popular request (in Modify and Arrange), and Toggle round brackets Toggle square brackets, and Short (top) barline, courtesy of the Dorico 3.1 update (in Noteheads & Harmonics and Bar, Barlines… respectively).

Under the hood, the Mac installers for both Sibelius and Dorico have been improved to more reliably install support files in the user home folder on Mac, and there are a few other goodies, all documented in the version history at the bottom of the Notation Express page at NYC Music Services.

As before, expert Dorico user Leo Nicholson is the wizard behind the curtain of all the latest Notation Express for Dorico features. Thank you, Leo!

Pricing, availability, compatibility

Everything covered here is available now from the Notation Express page at NYC Music Services.

The updates to Notation Express for Sibelius and Dorico and Notation Express XL for Sibelius and Dorico are free for all existing users (I told you we were feeling the love!) Here’s how to get the update:

  • Go to the Notation Express web site
  • Find Order Lookup / Get Updates and click Order Lookup
  • Enter your e-mail address and click Find Order
  • When you see your product listed, click Email me the Link
  • Check your e-mail for a link to the latest update

For everyone else, Notation Express (15-key) for Sibelius, Dorico, or Musescore are $29. Notation Express XL (32-key) for Sibelius and Dorico are $39, and a $49 bundle for Notation Express and Notation Express XL (Sibelius or Dorico) is also available. There is no XL version for Musescore at the moment.

If you want to get Notation Express for multiple software platforms, be aware that each Notation Express profile is a separate product.

Required, of course, is a Stream Deck, or a subscription to the Stream Deck Mobile app for iOS, or, in the case of Notation Express XL, a Stream Deck XL, all of which must be purchased separately and are not included with any purchase of Notation Express.

Stream Deck (and therefore Notation Express) requires macOS 10.13 or later or Windows 10 or later.

Notation Express is built for the latest versions of Sibelius Ultimate (2020.1), Dorico Pro 3 (3.1), and Musescore (3.4.2) at the time of this release. It is not recommended to use it with earlier versions or the “lite” versions such as Sibelius First or the intermediate version of Sibelius, or with Dorico SE or Dorico Elements. It has only been tested on English language setups. It may work with other localization settings, but you may have to modify the key commands, the Stream Deck shortcuts, or both.

Demos of the 15-key versions for Sibelius, Dorico, or Musescore are also available. These are not time-limited, but, as they are meant to demonstrate the concept of Notation Express and not intended for serious work, they only include a paltry selection of all the features that you’ll get upon purchase.

It is totally possible to use multiple Stream Decks or iPhones running Stream Deck Mobile at once, for the same or different notation software programs. You could have one each for Dorico, Musescore, and Sibelius at the same time, or all three with just one program showing different screens!



  1. João Luiz

    Hi Philip! Do you have plans for making a version of Notation Express for Finale?

  2. Philip Whitney

    Not at this time, but it looks like I could use it

  3. Carole Prietto

    No Finale version – darn!!

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