Annual Notation Software Survey

Recommendations concerning notation and publishing software in a non-partisan environment.
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benwiggy
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Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by benwiggy » 15 Aug 2019, 17:02

The website "Composer's Toolbox" has released its annual notation software survey, which makes for interesting reading.

https://composerstoolbox.com/2019/08/06 ... -software/

The data's not well-presented, but there are some interesting facts.

48% of Sibelius users surveyed are thinking of switching to another program; 87% of them are considering Dorico. 23% of Finale users are thinking of a switch, with 86% considering Dorico.

Reasons to leave Finale are first and foremost "Bugs". Curious that "Changes/updates made to software that are not desirable" beats "Not enough features". There have hardly been any major changes in 10 years - and not that many features either!

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David Ward
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by David Ward » 16 Aug 2019, 06:18

I suspect (but I may be wrong) that the switch from Sibelius to Dorico seems less daunting than the switch from Finale.

As long as Finale remains functional, I suspect I'll stick with it despite the many frustrations. I suppose if no professional copyists/engravers were willing to work on composers' scores in Finale, I might be forced to change; but I think we are a long way from there.
Finale 25.5 + F 26.1 now installed on one computer
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Schonbergian
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by Schonbergian » 16 Aug 2019, 20:25

Dorico also fixes more un-fixable issues with Sibelius's notation than Finale's, and to my knowledge the design philosophies are more similar as well.

benwiggy
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by benwiggy » 17 Aug 2019, 12:11

I've not used Sibelius at all, but former Sib users do point out that Dorico's philosophy and interface are considerably different. "Forget everything you know" is a common phrase on the Dorico forum.

I'd say that Dorico fixes every problem with Finale's notation that would regularly trouble me; though of course everything in Finale is fixable: it's just more work.

I can appreciate that for many, they can achieve the results they want with Finale, and the need for change is minimal.

Schonbergian
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by Schonbergian » 17 Aug 2019, 12:41

What I meant by that is that Finale is more of a tweaker's software, whereas Dorico is focused on giving you the best possible experience out of the box and generally behaving more like a computerized engraver than a music notation tool.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by John Ruggero » 17 Aug 2019, 15:04

According to the article, Finale seems to have a new lease on life, with a lower attrition rate this year that in the last. I for one was eager and ready to switch to Dorico, but its limitations made this impossible. Apparently there are many like me waiting for increased capability and flexibility.
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benwiggy
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Re: Annual Notation Software Survey

Post by benwiggy » 17 Aug 2019, 18:08

Saying "Not as many people seem to want to abandon it quite yet" is damning with faint praise! Though it's certainly true that Dorico has many limitations that rule it out for many people.

Version 3 is eagerly awaited by its users and users of other software. Likewise Finale 26.2...!

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