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Meet Dorico, coming in Q4 2016

Daniel Spreadbury

At the Major Orchestra Librarians’ Association conference in Helsinki, Finland this past weekend, I was honoured to be invited to give a presentation on our in-development application, and we chose this event to reveal the name, expected availability date, and provisional pricing information for the project we’ve been working on for the past three and a half years.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that Steinberg’s new scoring application will be called Dorico, and it will be released in the fourth quarter of 2016. If you’re interested to find out more about the name and how it was chosen, read on.

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music-stand-stage

Development diary, part 13

Daniel Spreadbury

Since the last diary instalment just before Christmas, another three months has very nearly sped past, and as winter finally gives way to spring here in London, we can reflect on the progress we have made over the dark and cold months now behind us, and look forward to the work that still lies ahead.

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write-mode

Development diary, part 12

Daniel Spreadbury

It’s been a long time since the last entry in this diary, and as the year draws to its close, I know there is an appetite for news on how our project is progressing. I hope this update will bring you some festive cheer and excitement for the year ahead.

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A detail of an engraving plate. Image courtesy of the library of the University of Illinois.

Development diary, part 11

Daniel Spreadbury

After the last instalment’s detailed discussion of beam grouping and sloping, today’s development update is going to focus on some of the issues around laying out a page of music, in particular working in the horizontal dimension, including casting off and justification.

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Watch Daniel on the SoundNotion podcast… again

Daniel Spreadbury

Very nearly two years since my last appearance on the SoundNotion podcast, hosts David MacDonald, Nate Bliton and Sam Merciers invited me to return this past weekend to give an update on how things are progressing. In the hour-long conversation we covered a wide range of topics, including how our new application can help with building an understanding of music theory as well as music engraving, and a variety of new tidbits about what we’ve been working on… plus how much older (and in my case, how much beardier) we all look two years on from our last conversation.

You can watch the podcast on YouTube, listen to the audio via the SoundNotion web site, or if you would like to listen to new episodes of SoundNotion weekly, search for it in your podcast application to subscribe. Enjoy!

Steel beams, yesterday.

Development diary, part 10

Daniel Spreadbury

As a wise man once said, there are as many rules of music engraving as there are music engravers. This is a joke, of course, but perhaps only half of one: although there are certain aspects of how music notation should be presented that more or less everybody can agree on, there are many more that provoke lively debate.

One of these latter areas is beaming; specifically, the placement of beams relative to stave lines, and the amount of slant or slope that should be applied to beams given notes of different pitches, the amount of horizontal space occupied, and so on.

Advance warning: this post goes into a lot of detail about subtle aspects of engraving practice concerning beam placement. Engraving nerds only need apply.

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wrapped-present

Development diary, part nine

Daniel Spreadbury

As the year draws to a close, thoughts naturally turn to the events of the past twelve months, and indeed to the promise of the year ahead. For us, the past year represents a lot of forward progress on our project, but the year ahead will bring more milestones on the road towards the release of our new application.

A year ago, we were around nine months into the development of the music engine at the heart of our application, but really had no functional application to speak of: we had a test harness that could display only (unbeamed) notes and rests imported from MusicXML, but nothing in the way of interaction. Over the past year, we have chosen and adopted a new application framework, introduced the basic editing loop, built the skeleton of a functional application, developed our step-time input method, added grace notes to our music model, added ties, articulations, ledger lines, time signatures, key signatures, clef changes, accidentals, beams, and so on, and so on.

We are still building up the core of our application’s functionality, but our approach remains to focus above all on quality, rather than speed. If our application is going to be worth the time and attention of professional composers, arrangers, engravers, copyists, and teachers, then it must not only have a critical mass of features, but it must also have both a more efficient workflow and a faster path to excellent results than the tools professionals are already using. That’s a high bar for us to meet, but we are determined to clear it.

Don’t get me wrong: we are going as fast as we can. But we are committed to developing an application that will redefine the state of the art in scoring software, and that can’t be done overnight.

Enough with the ghost of Christmas future. Let’s talk about the ghost of Christmas past – what we have been working on since the last instalment of this diary at the end of September.

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pencils

Development diary, part eight

Daniel Spreadbury

As summer gives way to autumn here in London, it’s time for another update on our progress. As the photo above shows, there is great satisfaction to be gained from lining things up just so. In this post, I’m going to discuss two of the areas in which we have expended tremendous effort in ensuring our automatic engraving produces as many of these moments of satisfaction as possible.

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A treble clef, in Glyphs, yesterday.

Development diary, part seven

Daniel Spreadbury

It’s been almost three months since the last instalment in this series, so it’s high time for another update on our progress. In this update, as promised I will share some information about our music font, Bravura, and the project we have been leading to standardise the layout of music fonts, and some insights into how we are going to build the user interface for the new application.

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An accidental, yesterday. Courtesy starrise on flickr.

Development diary, part six

Daniel Spreadbury

In the last update, we started discussing some of the individual engines that are under development to handle atomic notation and engraving tasks, and I described the engines for note and rest grouping, and positioning rests in multiple voices. Let’s take a look at another couple of little engines that could.

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