Tutorial: Typesetting choral Preces and Responses in Dorico

Daniel Spreadbury

In this post I’m going to share the procedure to put together a performing edition of a set of Preces and Responses, based on the text of the Book of Common Prayer. The Preces and Responses are part of the choral evensong service in the Church of England and in Episcopal and Anglican churches around the world. They make an interesting case study for Dorico because they consist of a series of short versicles sung by a cantor, each one followed by a response sung by the choir, and this is an ideal fit both for Dorico’s multi-flow and page layout features.

The particular set of Responses I am going to produce is by William Smith, an English composer from the first half of the 17th century. The Smith Responses are often sung with a setting of the Lord’s Prayer written by Robert Stone, since Smith’s setting includes only a simple chanted version. I will be including Stone’s setting of the Lord’s Prayer in my performing edition. If you want to follow along exactly, you could use Sjouke Bruining’s edition on CPDL as a source: this edition uses the original note values, but I am going to halve the note values in my performing edition, as this reflects modern practice more closely.

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Dorico showcase: BBC Proms Inspire winner Sam Rudd-Jones

Daniel Spreadbury

This post is part of a series that aims to shine a light on projects in which Dorico has played a part. If you have used Dorico for something interesting and would like to be featured in this series, please let me know.

We like to say that Dorico is the future of scoring software, and it is really gratifying to see a new generation of composers using Dorico to help bring their musical vision to life. Lincolnshire-based young composer Sam Rudd-Jones is still at school, but last year his work Angry won the Upper Junior category in the BBC Proms Inspire Competition 2016, which garnered him an opportunity that many more established composers will envy: a commission from the BBC for another piece, to be conducted by Rumon Gamba and which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s flagship contemporary music programme, Hear and Now, this past Saturday. I caught up with Sam to find out more about the commissioned work, Opposites Attract, which he produced in Dorico.

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Dorico showcase: From Seattle to New York with Elizabeth Lain

Daniel Spreadbury

This post is part of a series that aims to shine a light on projects in which Dorico has played a part. If you have used Dorico for something interesting and would like to be featured in this series, please let me know.

At the beginning of April, a unique concert took place at Gallery MC in New York City, staged by Listening to Ladies, a collective founded by composer and visual artist Elisabeth Blair in 2015 on Facebook as a means of highlighting musical works by women composers. Since then, it has expanded into a daily online showcase, a podcast, and also a concert series, of which the concert in Manhattan is a part. The concert, presented in association with wind, brass and percussion ensemble Vent Nouveau, featured 10 works by women composers, selected from more than 200 scores submitted by over 140 composers.

Among those composers is Elizabeth Lain, who describes herself as a “composer, performer, rock oboist, and urban mermaid”. If that’s not a description that makes you want to find out more about an artist, I don’t know what is!

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Dorico showcase: Choral music from a cathedral city

Daniel Spreadbury

This post is part of a series that aims to shine a light on projects in which Dorico has played a part. If you have used Dorico for something interesting and would like to be featured in this series, please let me know.

Chichester is a cathedral city in Sussex, on the south coast of England. With its cathedral dating back to the 12th century, it is one of dozens of similar cities around the United Kingdom with a long history of religious devotion, and religious music. Chichester Music Press is a publishing house founded in the city, run by Neil Sands, a composer, singer, organist, programmer, music typesetter, and, of course, proprietor of a publishing house!

Chichester Music Press’s catalogue already contains two works typeset in Dorico, so I wanted to find out from Neil how he has found using Dorico for publishing so far.

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Dorico 1.0.30 update released, with over 120 improvements

Daniel Spreadbury

We are pleased to announce that the third maintenance release for Dorico, version 1.0.30, is now available as a free update for all existing users (including users of the free 30-day trial version). This update doesn’t add many major features – though we are working on several, as described in my most recent development diary update – instead focusing on fixing bugs (of which more than 80 have been addressed in this update alone), but we have made significant improvements in a couple of key areas, specifically in playback, and in the handling of rests.

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Dorico showcase: Ljova’s Clarinet Quintet scored in Dorico

Daniel Spreadbury

This is the first of a new series on Making Notes that will shine a spotlight on projects in which Dorico has played a part. If you have used Dorico for something interesting and would like to be featured in this series, please let me know.

Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin is a violist and composer of some renown. Having been born and spent his formative years in his native Moscow, he moved with his parents to the United States in 1990 at the age of 11. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree – his father is the prominent composer for Russian film and musical theatre, Alexander Zhurbin, and his mother is poet, writer and journalist Irena Ginzberg – and he started his studies on the violin at the age of four. Showing great promise through his childhood, he graduated from The Juilliard School of Music in New York, and has since forged a very successful career as both composer and performer, with dozens of works for the concert hall, the stage, and the screen.

Ljova’s latest composition, his Clarinet Quintet, was premiered in San DIego, California last week, and it was his first work completed in Dorico. I caught up with Ljova to find out more about the work, and about his experience of putting it together in Dorico.

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Development diary, part 16

Daniel Spreadbury

We are preparing to release the next Dorico update, version 1.0.30, which focuses on improving playback, fixing bugs, provides new tools for working with rests, and adds a few other small features. At the same time, we are also working on the next update, which is still a little way off, but which will include some features that are larger in scope. I thought it would be fun to write a new instalment in my fabled development diary series giving you a bit of insight into what we’re working on.

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Come and see Dorico in Los Angeles on 17 January

Daniel Spreadbury

Next week, I will be travelling across to California, both to attend the NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center, and to give a demonstration with question and answer session at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, in association with the Society of Composers and Lyricists.

Dorico and Cubase Pro 9 at the American Film Institute

Along with my colleague Greg Ondo, Field Marketing Manager for Steinberg in the US, who will be showing off the amazing new features in the recently-launched Cubase Pro 9, I will be presenting Dorico in the beautiful auditorium of the American Film Institute, from 7pm on Tuesday 17 January, to be followed by a drinks reception (as a result, attendees must be over 21 years of age).

The number of tickets is strictly limited to the capacity of the AFI’s auditorium. Attendance is free if you are a member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists, but because the event is very likely to be a sell-out, a limited number of tickets are available to students and non-members for $20 or $35 respectively. There is even the chance to win a full retail boxed copy of Dorico or a copy of Cubase Pro 9 in a raffle at the event.

If you would like to attend, act quickly to secure your ticket via Eventbrite.

I am really looking forward to meeting members of the professional music community in Los Angeles, and to answer your questions about Dorico in person.

Dorico at The NAMM Show

If you can’t make it to the event at the AFI on Tuesday, I will be in Anaheim for the NAMM Show on Thursday 19, Friday 20, and some of Saturday 21 January. I will be giving a short Dorico presentation at 12pm on each of the first three days of the show, on the main stage in Yamaha’s booth in the Elite ballroom in the Marriott hotel, which adjoins the Anaheim Convention Center.

If you would like to meet up during the show, although I will be in a number of meetings it should be possible to meet up, so please do get in touch if you would like to say hello or would like to discuss anything Dorico-related.

Come and see Dorico in Milan, Italy on 13 January 2017

Daniel Spreadbury

Two weeks into the New Year, a special Dorico event will be held at the La Scala Theatre Academy, or the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, in the heart of Milan, Italy, on Friday 13 January 2017 from 6.30pm.

The evening’s events will include a presentation of Dorico by Steinberg product specialist Franco Fraccastoro. A short concert will be given by the Ensemble Giorgio Bernasconi Accademia Teatro alla Scala, directed by Maestro Marco Angius, and Franco will also be discussing Dorico with Maestro Marco Angius following the performance. There will also be a chance to have your questions about Dorico answered by Franco and other Steinberg staff in attendance (though I will not personally be in Milan, as I am travelling to the US that weekend). Refreshments will be served upon arrival.

If you would like to attend this event, please register for a free ticket via Eventbrite. We look forward to seeing you there!

Dorico 1.0.20 update now available, with new arpeggios and other improvements

Daniel Spreadbury

Following hot on the heels of the version 1.0.10 update, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the second Dorico update, taking the application to version 1.0.20. This update is of necessity more limited in scope than the first update, since the team had only a few weeks since the last release to work on it, but it contains a number of significant improvements and quite a few bug fixes.

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