Documenting the documenter: Lillie Harris

Scoring Notes
Scoring Notes
Documenting the documenter: Lillie Harris

If you’re a longtime user of music notation software, perhaps you’ve waxed nostalgic for the old Finale manuals, which came as a set of three bound books, or maybe you have a soft spot for the legendary Sibelius Reference, with its inimitable mix of wit and wisdom. Whether you give it a fleeting glance or you’ve eagerly read every last word, documentation is a vital component of music notation software.

On this episode, Lillie Harris joins Philip Rothman and David MacDonald to talk about this important topic. Lillie is the documentation writer for Dorico, and is responsible for authoring the many pages of text and images that chronicle every detail of the program. That’s a hefty enough task, but in today’s landscape, Lillie must also keep ahead of other ways to access Dorico resources, such as web-based search, official and social media forums, video tutorials, and much more. Lillie tells us all about how she manages to do it all and keep the customer in mind, besides.

That’s because she’s also a composer and music copyist, and relies on the software just like the rest of its users. To that end, she relays her advice for young composers like herself just starting out on their professional journey. Finally, no discussion of software documentation would be complete without a hunt for some Easter eggs, and Lillie serves up one that’s a lot more nourishing than you might expect.


Photo credit: Sarah Spreadbury/Steinberg


  1. Mike Philcox

    Thanks for the great interview with Lillie Harris! Your blog is a wonderful resource.

    If possible, another interview I would love to hear would be one with Arne Wallander of NotePerformer.

    1. Philip Rothman

      Glad you enjoyed it, Mike! We hope to have Arne on in the future.

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