• Interesting... so in theory somebody could use this feature to produce a convincing playback and claim it to be his own performance?

    • Or her own... But this update just came out so I don't think it relates to your particular issues!

    • Haha it's not that serious to be called my "issues". 😅 It was just an interesting possibility that I thought of.

      There's also the interesting issue of whether a composer ought to invest in a perfect mock-up that 100% reflects his intentions, or settle for likely imperfections in a real performance. In the former case one can resort to things like lines that are unplayable by a real instrument, but creates the sound you have in mind. Or instruments that only exist digitally. How far is one willing to go to achieve perfection? Or is the human factor the deciding factor in a performance?

    • The question is essentially metaphysical.  One view, which might be called the Platonic, is that what a musical composition "really is" is a definitively pefect peformance which exists in the composer's mind, and which is the template by which any individual realization of that ideal must be judged.  The other view, which could be called structualist, is that what a musical compositions "really is" is all performances of it together, recorded or human peformed, or even as heard in imagination, and that while any of these manifestations may be judged better or worse according to the taste of the listener, none can be called more or less perfect by reference to some ideal archetype of it, since no such thing exists in any meaningful sense. If you take the former view, machine generated music is a Good Thing because it can achieve a permanent form as close to the composer's intention as possible; under the latter view, computer music is a Bad Thing because it claims a spurious validity for the same reason.

      Those of us who compose for human performance of course must take the structuralist view:  a musical composition changes its meaning every time it is heard, just as a word (and this is a truism of modern mainstream academic linguistics, not some eccentric idea of my own) changes its meaning every time it is spoken. No performance is closer to a true performance than any other, which does not mean that no performance is better or worse than another: it means that such a judgement must be based on the human experience of each actual human performance, not on a comparison with some idealized performance.

    • Interesting! I've never really thought of it that way before.

      I'm not sure where I stand on the spectrum of platonic/structuralist.  I compose with a specific sound in mind, a specific intent, which you may say is the Platonic ideal. However, I'm also open, and rather interested in fact, in others' interpretation of my work that may not match my conception of it.  In fact, sometimes I myself am not very clear how exactly a specific passage ought to be interpreted, and I find it quite enlightening to discover how others interpret it.  In fact, sometimes I myself interpret (perform) my own work differently on different occasions. In that way the music becomes a vehicle with which to convey my subjective state at the time. Yet at the same time there's this ideal sound that I strive for.  What does that make me, a Platonist or a structuralist? :-D

    • I think I should leave the question of where on the framework I suggested any particular composer should consider themselves to those composers.  My suggested framework wasn't an attempt to place composers in categories, but was offered in hope that it might help composers (and peformers and listeners) clarify to themselves what they are doing.

      Possibly relevant is Paul Valery's statement that "a poem is never finished, only abandoned," which can also apply to a musical composition or any other work of art.  Maybe the real usefullness of assuming a Platonic perfect performance is to give us a goal for us to create interesting failures to reach.


  • Thanks from a fugue-nerd, but this is probably only useful to the most narrow band of fugue-nerd-clavichordists, as fugue-nerd-harpsichordists, fugue-nerd-organists- and fugue-nerd-virginalists haven't any appreciable dynamic range in a real-world-fugue-nerd-acoustic-instrumental setting.

    The prevailing misconception out there (largely held by those who have never played a harpsichord, virginals, or spinet) is that harpsichords have no dynamic range whatsoever. They do indeed have a range, but it is minuscule compared to the clavichord and piano, which are struck, rather than plucked.

  • there are two sides to this -- the polyphonic voice balancing is now working quite well in general after some changes were made to the defaults (not sure whether my input on the matter helped things here). The other side which is actually what you're maybe referring to specifically for fugal music (which of course in itself doesn't interest me) is the "use rules for contrapuntal music". In my polyphonic but not fugal piano music, it was never of much use when i first tried it but it does seem to work quite well in the "Wohltemperierte Klavier" sample project. At any rate, Dorico is leading the way in trying to add ever more musical intelligence into its playback and I'm sure things will continue to get more refined. 

  •  I had a look at Dorico 5.1 round up (and wasn’t impressed by the creative marketing that it deals with 150 bugs! It says that Steinberg counted on users to do their testing.

    I’m unlikely to upgrade from 3.5 because it hasn’t yet got round to certain requirements like cutaway scores and sorting out the “change voices” with tuplets on the same stave that makes a mess all the way along a staff. I’m only interested in it for engraving  

    I’m not interested in playback, just engraving and printing.

    As it already cost me c £500 for 3.5, (Unless I’ve read the upgrade/update list wrong) it now wants to extort another £430 from me for a few bits and pieces of limited use. Fine for the professional whose scores will need to be printed and read; but for a hobbyist who perhaps hopes to get a performance through one outlet or another it’s miles too expensive. Each finished score has so far cost me £23.80. Very few of these scores are likely to go anywhere. But…the attraction is, should the occasion arise I can extract parts.

    I can’t see myself ever composing with notation software maybe because of the time I’ve spent with pencil and paper. One develops a shorthand. Software is too slow and cumbersome, more like a prison to me: fixed relative note durations, time signatures, bar lines. No chance of quickly dropping to spare staves to notate an alternative (or more) when you want to keep the original just in case. No chance of creating a time line when I can’t decide how long duration I need a sound to be.

    And then, humanising. My sample player has a few quite good features for that although I still find it easier in the daw to vary the dynamics, to get a rubato right, to work slightly off the grid and so on.

    So unless I’m forced to upgrade for some reason I’ll give 5 and 5.1 a miss.



    • The upgrade from Dorico Pro 3.5 to 5 currently costs €159 until Jan 8th so nothing like as much as you were reading. Having said that, the biggest leap forward with Dorico was v3/3.5 without any doubt -- with this playback came alive and useful things like condensing (not for me as I barely use it) as well. v5 has focussed largely on playback which is fine for me with finally emulated gliss. now being possible and the various algorithms for dynamics have made some useful difference and reduced the time required for manual editing in the Key Editor which has anyway definitely improved regarding DAW features since v3. Still, everyone has his or her own gripes about what has not yet been implemented in notation -- my own is that doubling/halving note length still doesn't work properly with triplets -- can it be that hard?.... And filtering is still disorganised and lacks things like being able to choose a note range which is odd at this stage.  These two at least I could do in Sibelius five years ago.

      For notation, the strongest feature of Dorico in my book is that it simply produces decent looking scores with virtually no effort which is what I personally want. Unlike what I was using before. I hardly ever use Engrave mode.


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