News roundup: Dorico crossgrade, Finale plug-ins, MusicXML meeting, tablet apps


Can you think of a better way to celebrate both Pi Day and a New York City snowstorm than by doing a roundup of the recent news in the world of music notation software and technology?

Dorico crossgrade deadline extended

If you’re still on the fence about whether not to purchase Dorico, you have more time to fence-sit. The deadline for purchasing a competitive crossgrade has been extended to June 30, 2017. Originally set to expire on March 31, this offer is available for registered users of Sibelius, Finale, or Notion at a substantial discount off of the $560 retail price.

The Dorico crossgrade costs $280, and if you qualify for educational pricing, the price drops to $160 — a savings of $400 off of the retail price.

A 30-day free trial with no restrictions continues to be available to anyone.

Read our coverage of Dorico’s release and the first, second, and third updates to the software so far.

Finale third-party 64-bit plug-ins

Jari Williamsson’s freeware plug-ins for Finale are the best things you can add to boost your Finale game. My favorites are JW Change, JW Polyphony, and the cheekily-named JW Yada-Yada Tremolo — a “Seinfeld-type of plug-in,” according to Jari, because you run it and, yada yada yada, your tremolos look like they should.

But Jari’s plug-ins don’t work in Finale 25 because they’re not 64-bit, making it a drag to work in that version if you rely on his useful tools.

Late last week we received a progress update courtesy of Michael Johnson, MakeMusic’s vice president of professional notation. Michael noted that “life without these plug-ins has been difficult – even for us. Two critical groups of the Peaksware organization, Alfred Music Publishing and our SmartMusic Repertoire Development, rely on these and other third-party plug-ins to develop content.”

Without committing to a specific timetable, Michael said that the MakeMusic team had been in communication with Jari and will provide “help and support to Jari to lighten the burden [of the 64-bit migration]. Fortunately for us, there is a brief break in Jari’s schedule that will allow him get to back to the plug-ins and finish the migration.”

Update: On March 16, Jari released the first batch of 64-bit plug-ins for Mac — 17 in all.

In the meantime, two other excellent Finale plug-in suites have been updated for Finale 25: Robert Patterson’s plug-ins (the Patterson Plug-in Collection and Copyist’s Helper) and Tobias Giesen’s TGTools (officially in beta 10 as of this writing, but from personal experience it is quite stable).

MusicXML Community Group meeting at Musikmesse

The annual in-person meeting of the MusicXML Music Notation Community Group will take place on April 7, 2017 at 2:30 pm at the Musikmesse fair in Frankfurt, Germany.

According to today’s announcement by co-chair Michael Good, the agenda will have two main topics: the status of MusicXML 3.1, and discussion of some possible next steps forward with MNX, a project for a next-generation music notation standard. SMuFL 1.2 will also be discussed.

I had the chance to visit with many of the key players in the MusicXML community a couple of months ago at the 2017 NAMM show. In addition to being some of the brightest and best people in our field, they also know how to have a good time, so if you attend the meeting, you won’t be disappointed.

Komp beta testing begins

Speaking of NAMM, when I was there I visited with the developers of Komp, who were previewing their forthcoming iOS music notation app that uses handwriting recognition.

They’ve recently begun beta testing and are inviting musicians that own an iPad to sign up at their web site to be considered for the beta program.

No release date or pricing has been set yet, but we’ll continue to keep tabs on Komp’s progress.

NotateMe 4

NotateMe, an existing tablet app for iOS and Android devices by Neuratron, was quietly updated to version 4 recently. According to Neuratron, the updates include a “next generation handwriting recognition engine” and “hundreds of improvements and fixes making NotateMe even easier to use, more streamlined and intuitive.” The iOS version also sees support for Apple Pencil and iOS multitasking.

NotateMe was first released in 2013 and costs $40, with an option in-app $29 purchase of PhotoScore.


  1. Composer

    Does Dorico read/Import Sibelius files?

    Does Dorico permit easy use of VST’s (I have East West Quantum Leap Platinum Plus Pro, Symphonic Choirs, Solo Violin, Voices of Passion & more!

    I also have Kontakt 5, can Dorico also easily implement those sound files?

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