Dorico release date announced: October 19, 2016


Steinberg announced that Dorico, its music notation and scoring software four years in development, will be available in one week, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

In a press release today, Steinberg’s product marketing manager, Daniel Spreadbury, said: “Putting this first release into the hands of musicians worldwide is a huge moment for our team, and it’s only the beginning. Dorico is already remarkably capable, and we will continue to build on its foundations to make it better and better.”

Ben Timms, the company’s head of research and development for Dorico in the UK, added: “I’m immensely proud of what our fantastic team has accomplished in creating Dorico. We’ve seized the opportunity to reimagine how notation software should work in the 21st century and the results you can achieve in the first release of Dorico are truly amazing.”

The Dorico product web site is fully active, with details about the program’s workflow, notation, layout, playback, audio, printing, and exporting capabilities. The web site targets specific user groups such as composers and arrangers; engravers, publishers and copyists; teachers and students; and media musicians. It explicitly courts users of existing software, specifically Sibelius and Finale, in a “How Dorico is better” section.

A screenshot of the Dorico web site, today
A screenshot of the Dorico web site, today

At the site and also on the Dorico YouTube channel, Daniel narrates a 90-second promotional video running through Dorico’s highlights.

As previously announced, pricing will be 579 € including VAT, or $579.99 for US customers, for a full professional license. Educational pricing for qualifying teachers and students will be 349 € including VAT ($349.99 USD), and a crossgrade offer for qualifying Sibelius and Finale users will be available for 299 € including VAT ($299.99 USD) for “a limited time”.

A 24-page feature list goes further in-depth with highly specific information regarding all aspects of the program, including:

  • Input and editing
    • Note input tools
    • Alphabetic input
    • Step input using a MIDI keyboard
    • Mouse input
    • “Unprecedented freedom”
    • Copy and paste
    • Navigation
    • Options and Properties
  • Notation
    • Accidentals and key signatures
    • Articulations
    • Barlines, brackets and braces
    • Bar numbers
    • Beams
    • Clefs and octave lines
    • Dynamics
    • Grace notes
    • Holds and pauses
    • Instruments
    • Lyrics
    • Multi-bar rests
    • Notes and noteheads
    • Ornaments
    • Playing techniques
    • Rehearsal marks
    • Rests
    • Slurs
    • Staves
    • Text
    • Time signature and meter
    • Tremolos
    • Tempo
    • Ties
    • Tuplets
  • Layout and formatting
    • Layout types
    • Page setup
    • System layout
    • Vertical spacing
    • Page layout
    • Graphics
  • Playback and audio
    • Audio engine
    • Included plug-ins
    • Mixer
    • Score interpretation
    • Playback control
    • Play mode
  • Import and export
    • MusicXML
    • Audio export
    • MIDI
    • Printing
    • Graphics export
  • Workflow and utilities
    • Windowing
    • View types
    • Localization
    • Included documentation
    • Key commands
    • Scripting language

In the features document, it is noted that:

Because [Dorico] is brand new, it does not yet have every feature necessary for every kind of score. Dorico will receive a number of updates in the coming months that will be free to existing users, adding new functionality. Some of the functionality that is planned to be added in these updates includes:

  • Chord symbols
  • Repeat ending (1st, 2nd time or volta) lines
  • Fingerings
  • Jazz articulations
  • Rhythm slashes
  • More flexible unpitched percussion notation
  • Improvements to playback and support for third-party virtual instruments

As we reported last week, Steinberg announced its press events in London and Vienna, which we now understand to be launch events, coming immediately before and after the October 19 release date.


  1. Bob Ross

    One thing to note…that potential cross grade purchasers will have until March 2017 to receive the reduced price….nice touch Steinberg!

  2. Bob Ross

    Just in time NOT to renew my perpetual Sibelius plan that expires on 3/22/2017….some kind of Karma?

  3. Bill

    Seems like a pretty underwhelming response in the various forums considering this earlier-than-expected release…

  4. Thien Bich Hoang

    I have been falling in love with Sibelius for a long, long time. Now, a pretty lady Steinberg is coming, that make me filling confusing. I really don’t want to say goodbye with my dearest S ! Oh, oh, …Dear Sammy, would you do some things for help ?

  5. Max Tofone

    I feel that the cross-grade price for Sibelius and Finale users should be extended much longer… other companies have cross-grade pricing from competitive notation software on all the time.

  6. Carmen

    Hope this doesn’t sound like a silly question, but what is VAT? The price refers to “$349.99 including VAT”, etc. I’m a decades-long Finale user; I know VST but never heard of VAT before.

    I just want to make sure I’m aware of any limitations, because the cross grade price from Finale apparently does NOT include VAT, whatever that is.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Carmen: It’s value added tax (generally not used in the US).

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