Original author(s)
  • Andrew Dodman
  • Michael Eastwood
  • Stefan Fuhrmann
  • András Kéri
  • James Larcombe
  • Paul Walmsley
  • Graham Westlake
Initial release19 October 2016; 6 years ago (2016-10-19)
Stable release
5.0 / 24 May 2023; 2 months ago (2023-05-24)[1]
Operating systemmacOS, Windows, iOS (iPad)
Available in9 languages
List of languages
Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
TypeScorewriter (Music notation)
LicenseProprietary software
Websitewww.steinberg.net/dorico/ Edit this at Wikidata

Dorico (/ˈdɒrɪk/) is a scorewriter software; along with Finale and Sibelius, it is one of the three leading professional-level music notation programs.[2]

Dorico's development team consists of most of the former core developers of a rival software, Sibelius. After the developers of Sibelius were laid off in a 2012 restructuring by their corporate owner, Avid, most of the team were re-hired by a competing company, Steinberg, to create a new software.[3][4][5][6][7] They aimed to build a "next-generation" music notation program, and released Dorico four years later, in 2016.[3]


The project was unveiled on 20 February 2013 by the Product Marketing Manager, Daniel Spreadbury, on the blog Making Notes,[8] and the software was first released on 19 October 2016.[9]

The program's title Dorico was revealed on the same blog on 17 May 2016. The name honours the 16th-century Italian music engraver Valerio Dorico (1500 – c. 1565), who printed first editions of sacred music by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Giovanni Animuccia and pioneered the use of a single impression printing process first developed in England and France.[10][11]

The iPad version was released on 28 July 2021; it was the first major desktop scorewriter application to be made available on a mobile platform.[12][13] It offers most of the functionality of the desktop app.[14]


Dorico is known for its stability and reliability in creating aesthetically pleasing scores[15] and its intuitive interface.[16] User feedback influences Dorico's feature design, and the development team actively use the forum and Facebook group.[17][18]


Reviews have claimed that Dorico has become more efficient than other notation software.[19][20] For example, a signature time-saving feature is its automatic creation of instrumental part layouts.[20] Another signature feature is its automated condensing, where it combines multiple players' parts onto a single staff, such as for a conductor's score.[21][22]

Dorico is known for its automatic condensing. In this conductor's score, Dorico has condensed instruments into one stave such as Oboes 1 and 2.

Keyboard input

Dorico natively supports note input entirely from the computer keyboard without the need to use the mouse.[23] It also supports MIDI input from a piano keyboard.

SMuFL music fonts

Main article: SMuFL

The Standard Music Font Layout (SMuFL) standard was created by the Dorico development team at Steinberg.[24] It provides a consistent standard way of mapping the thousands of musical symbols required by conventional music notation into a single font that can be used by a variety of software and font designers.[25][26] It was first implemented in MuseScore, then in Dorico's first release and in Finale.[27]

Version history

Version Released Description Ref
5.0 24 May 2023 Improvements across the whole application, particularly relating to human-sounding playback, note input, MusicXML support; more music fonts to choose from. [28]
4.3.30 22 March 2023 Bug fixes, especially for HALion 7 and Media Bay integration. [29]
4.3.20 15 February 2023 Note names shown in Key Editor, ability to specify transpositions for instruments in MIDI import, more support for customizing rehearsal mark formatting. [29]
4.3.11 6 December 2022 Bug fixes and Key Editor improvements. [29]
4.3 15 November 2022 Automatic voicing in notation from chord symbols, DAW-like layout and capabilities in Key Editor mode including ability to show multiple instruments and/or multiple MIDI (CC, Velocity, etc.) views, split notes command, hide notehead engraving property, Play menu available in all modes (previously only Play mode), Keyboard view animated with playback. [29]
4.2 13 July 2022 Reintroduces Percussion editor with improvements to multiple instruments in a percussion kit, simplification of Linked Mode for Key Editor in Write mode, support for copy and paste of Expression and CC for MIDI channels. [29]
4.1.10 22 June 2022 Bug fixes. [29]
4.1 1 June 2022 Reintroduces dynamics editor to Key Editor and improvements to MIDI continuous controller editor; improvements to lyrics input, editing, and font handling; custom colors for layouts, voices, etc.; better support for printing flows. [29]
4.0.31 24 March 2022 "Hotfix" bug fix for 4.0.30 release. [29]
4.0.30 23 March 2022 Restores Tempo Editor to Play Mode, improves Staff labels, fixes for large sets of VSTs. [29]
4.0.20 9 March 2022 Key Editor improvements, Spotlight and Quick Look integration on macOS, misc. new engraving and layout options. [29]
4.0.10 2 February 2022 Bug fixes. [29]
4.0 12 January 2022 Integrated Dorico’s DAW-like Key Editor feature into its Write Mode, fully reimplemented Play Mode (with some feature gaps compared to previous Play Mode), new scopes for Insert Mode, melodic and rhythmic transformations, improvements to transcriptions of MIDI import with workflows for DAW-based compositions, new Library Manager with ability to import and export settings between projects, new Jump Bar tool for accessing any command from a single entry point, adopting new Steinberg Licenser system, instrument filters in galley view, automatic instrument ordering per standard orders. [29]
3.5.12 14 February 2021 Dorico 3.5.12 added official supported for use on Mac computers using Apple Silicon processor architecture. [30]
3.5.10 27 July 2020 Improvements made to Play mode, Setup mode, bar numbers, chord diagrams, condensing, expression maps, figured bass, lines, markers, mixer, music symbols, ornaments, pitch before duration input, playback options, playback templates, playing techniques, rehearsal marks, staff labels, tablature, tempo, text, and user interface. [30]
3.5.0 20 May 2020 Pitch before duration in note input; Enhanced expression maps; Line style editors; Figured bass support; Condensing for divisi and section players; Properties filter; Manual staff visibility changes; Clef and transposition overrides; Use chord diagrams grid; Graphic slices; Making part-scores in Hollywood style; Blank staves support, etc. [30]
3.0 2 September 2019 New condensing feature, full support for guitar notation and harp pedaling, custom playback templates, independent voice playback, velocity and pitch bend editing, Soundiron Olympus Choir Micro choral sound library, Comments feature, harmonics, grouped playing techniques, and multiple-stave entry; improvements to arpeggio signs, auto-save, bar numbers, chord symbols, clefs, dynamics, fingering, glissando lines, lyrics, multi-bar rests, navigation, note input, ossias, page layout, playback, print mode, project info, staff labels, tempo, text, trills, VST expression maps, user interface, installation and licensing, and platform support. [31]
2.2 23 November 2018 Features improved or added include MIDI recording, repeat markers, jazz articulations, tempo track import/export, flow headings, tacets, trills, staff brackets, and an editor for all music symbols. [32]
2.1 10 August 2018 Swing playback, Notehead Editor; improvements to audio export, accidentals, barlines, chord symbols, cues, divisi labelling, filters, flows, layouts, playback, rhythm slashes, staff labels, and video. [32]
2.0 30 May 2018 Support for composing to video, a range of time signature styles, MIDI automation, divisi staves, ossias, additional staves for instruments, rhythmic slashes, bar repeats, playback techniques editor, the inclusion of Petaluma handwritten music font, and support for NotePerformer. Many productivity enhancements and minor additions were also added. [32]
1.2 1 December 2017 Added support for fingering and unpitched percussion notation; improvements made to importing MIDI and MusicXML files, Play mode, Engrave mode, Print mode, articulations, barlines, bar numbers, chord symbols, clefs, dynamics, filters, flows, glissando lines, instrument changes, multi-bar rests, noteheads, note input, ornaments, page layout, pedal lines, playing techniques, rehearsal marks, rest grouping, scaling, slurs, staff labels, stems, tempo text, ties, time signatures, tuplets, user interface, performance, and localization. [33]
1.1 June 2017 New features include chord symbols, support for MIDI output devices, enharmonic spelling during MIDI step input, piano pedal lines, repeat endings, filters, casting off, added fonts, MusicXML import, tokens, troubleshooting; improvements made to editing in Write mode, Play mode, Engrave mode, flows, MIDI import, key commands, editing note spacing, accidentals, arpeggio signs, barlines, beams, brackets and braces, clefs, copy and paste, dynamics, fonts, font styles, instrument changes, key signatures, lyrics, navigation, note input, note spacing, option dialogs, ornaments, page layout, playback, playing techniques, rests, selections, slurs, staff labels, staves, text, time signatures, tuplets, voices, user interface, performance, and installation. [33]
1.0.0 19 October 2016 Initial release version. [33]


  1. ^ "New in Dorico 5". Dorico. 24 May 2023. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  2. ^ Cliff, Tony (1 December 2019). "Tech Reviews: Dorico Pro 3". Music Teacher Magazine. Rhinegold Publishing. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  3. ^ a b Kirn, Peter (17 May 2016). "This is the next-gen notation tool from original Sibelius team". CDM Create Digital Music. Archived from the original on 2 August 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  4. ^ Stevens, Alex (21 April 2016). "Applied Theory". Rhinegold. Archived from the original on 18 May 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  5. ^ Rogerson, Ben (22 February 2013). "Sibelius team working on new Steinberg notation application". MusicRadar. Archived from the original on 24 April 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  6. ^ Wherry, Mark (February 2017). "Steinberg Dorico [Preview]". Sound On Sound. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  7. ^ Shapey, Rachel (18 February 2019). "Interview with Dorico creator, Daniel Spreadbury | icancompose.com". Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
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  9. ^ Spreadbury, Daniel (1 November 2016). "Dorico is available now, first update coming November". Dorico. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  10. ^ Spreadbury, Daniel (17 May 2016). "Meet Dorico, coming in Q4 2016". Dorico. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  11. ^ Wright, Katy. "Steinberg announces new scoring software". Rhinegold. Archived from the original on 14 September 2018. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  12. ^ MacDonald, David (28 July 2021). "Dorico arrives on iPad". Scoring Notes. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  13. ^ Di Prodo, Yuri (30 July 2021). "Dorico, l'app di Steinberg per comporre musica con iPad". Macitynet (in Italian). Archived from the original on 30 July 2021. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Steinberg Dorico for iPad review". MusicRadar. 18 November 2021. Archived from the original on 18 November 2021. Retrieved 22 November 2021.
  15. ^ Wills, Dale (1 May 2022). "Tech Reviews: Dorico 4". Music Teacher Magazine. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  16. ^ Fellows, Simon (24 March 2022). "Best music notation and composition software 2022: composing, transcribing and educator tools for every level". MusicRadar. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  17. ^ Cap, Andrew Noah; Gibson, Douglas; Kretlow, Florian; Lapalme, Claude; Nicholson, Leo; Partridge, Ian; Rothman, Philip (5 September 2019). "Dorico 3 changes the score". Scoring Notes. Archived from the original on 5 January 2020. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  18. ^ Vanacoro, Matt (22 October 2019). "Review: Steinberg Dorico 3". ask.audio. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  19. ^ Deller, Tony (7 February 2019). "What's the score?". Rhinegold. Archived from the original on 14 June 2021. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  20. ^ a b Nowakowski, Mark (February 2020). "Steinberg Dorico 3". www.soundonsound.com. Archived from the original on 23 January 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  21. ^ Kretlow, Florian; Lapalme, Claude; Nicholson, Leo; Partridge, Ian (5 September 2019). "Dorico 3 feature: Condensing". Scoring Notes. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  22. ^ Hess, George (1 November 2019). "Steinberg's Dorico 3". School Band And Orchestra Magazine. Archived from the original on 27 February 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2021.
  23. ^ Palmer, Ellie (20 January 2020). "Dorico Pro 3 overtakes scoring rivals". Pianist Magazine. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  24. ^ "SMuFL: Standard Music Font Layout". smufl.org. Steinberg. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  25. ^ MakeMusic, Inc. "Finale User Manual: SMuFL". Archived from the original on 29 June 2021. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  26. ^ "SMuFL | Standard Music Font Layout". SMuFL. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  27. ^ "Software with SMuFL support". smufl.org. Steinberg. 18 May 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  28. ^ "New in Dorico 5". New in Dorico 5. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
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