How To Scan Sheet Music Into Dorico Using ScanScore

In this article, we’ll show you how to scan sheet music into Dorico using ScanScore.

There is no shortage of music editing software, but some feel there has been a lack of imagination in the field. This is part of why Steinberg decided to start their own competitive scoring software in 2016 and named it Dorico.

Named for the Renaissance composer that pioneered the sheet music printing process, Dorico calls itself “The Future of Scoring.” They aim to provide easy tools, high-quality playback, and excellent customization for today’s modern composers.

But when it comes to scanning existing sheet music, it could use some help. This is where ScanScore’s easy and accurate scanning tools come into play. Read on for directions on how to scan sheet music into Dorico.

Step By Step Instructions

In this section, we detail the steps you need to do. Take care to read and follow the steps closely, but once you get into it, it’s simple!

1) Download/Update The Programs

The first step is to download Dorico and ScanScore (check out the links below). Even if you already have them downloaded, it’s a good idea to check and make sure everything is up to date.

Dorico is available for Windows and Mac computers.  ScanScore is compatible with Windows only at this time. There also app versions available on the Google Play Store and at the App Store for Apple devices.

Note: The app is free to download, but it requires a QR code scan in order to use it. This QR code comes from your desktop version of ScanScore. This is a safety measure to prevent stealing and keep the price of ScanScore down for actual users.

IMAGE ScanScore how to scan

2) Scan The Sheet Music

Once you’ve got the programs downloaded on your devices, it’s time to scan the sheet music. Open your ScanScore program, and you’ll see three buttons that help you decide how you’d like to go about scanning:

  • Scanner
  • Import from file
  • Scan with the app

Scanner refers to using an actual scanner to get the image directly into the program. Importing takes an image or PDF of sheet music you’ve already gotten somewhere else and digitizes it into the program. Scanning with the app takes a photo on your phone and sends it directly into ScanScore’s desktop program.

Which should you use? It depends on what you have available. I’ve found the scanner option to provide the best quality scan with the fewest mistakes, but the app is very convenient.

Pro-tip: Make sure that you get as clear an image as possible. If using an image file or the app, make sure the sheet music is well-lit and taken at a parallel and even angle.

Image ScanScore editing the sheet music

3) Correct Mistakes

Your image scan then pops up on ScanScore’s program. You get a side by side view of the original and the digital version of the page. This lets you get a quick and easy comparison on where there were mistakes in the digitizing process.

ScanScore helps point out potential mis-scans by highlighting them in purple and blue. Zoom in and drag a box over the area where the digital copy is incorrect. Then, use the intuitive toolbar to change, add, or delete musical elements as needed.

One of the nicest features of ScanScore is the side by side, synced zoom functionality. When you select either the original or the digital versions to zoom in on, the other follows suit automatically. This makes it simple to get a close up look at each version and compare.

While ScanScore doesn’t have a lot in terms of MIDI playback, it does offer just enough for you to playback and track the music you have written. Both versions track at the same time. This function is really useful as a final proofing of the part for mistakes.

Pro-tip: As you work, make sure to save your file regularly using the “Save as” option under the “File” menu. This keeps your work from going to waste if something were to interrupt your session.  

Image ScanScore export to musicXML

4) Export To MusicXML File

With the digital version matching the original, it’s time to export the file into musicXML. This file type is the most common one used by notation editing software like Dorico.

In order to export, simply go to the left-hand side of the ScanScore program. From there, you’ll see the export button. Click on that and select where to save it.

We recommend you save the program in a folder or place with other XML files. This makes it easier to find later.

Pro-tip: It’s always a good idea to save the file under a name that helps describe it. I recommend using the format “piece_composer_part.” Here’s an example: “FugueGminor_JSBach_organ.”

5) Import Into Dorico

It’s now time to import the file into Dorico. Be sure to have the newest version downloaded to make sure it works at optimal efficiency.

Open up your Dorico program. In the main hub, select “Open Other…” and then select your clearly labeled file from where you saved it.

After a brief moment, the file should pop up in Dorico’s program. Congrats! You know how to scan sheet music into Dorico using ScanScore.

For more help, check out this video describing the basics of using the ScanScore program.

Commonly Asked Questions

Will ScanScore read any music? – All standard Western notation can be read on ScanScore (this excludes unique notation systems like Gregorian chant). ScanScore also reads most style markings as well. But the amount of staves ScanScore reads depends on the level you purchased.

The “Melody” option is the most affordable, but it can only read one stave scores. This may be perfect if you’re a band director who only needs to edit or transpose one part at a time.

Another option is the “Ensemble” subscription. With this, you can scan up to 4 staves per system. This is useful for small ensembles or condensed score work.

The premium choice is the “Professional” line. This cost the most, but it handles almost any full score. It goes all the way up to 32 staves per system which would be perfect for full scores and composers.

Can I just use ScanScore edit my sheet music? – ScanScore’s purpose is to easily scan and correct sheet music. Beyond that, you need a notation software like Dorico.

Here are some things ScanScore is not:

  • Layout
  • Transposition
  • Parts
  • Specific instrument playback

ScanScore is best used in combination with a quality scoring software like Dorico.


Now you know how to scan sheet music into Dorico using ScanScore. These simple steps are picked up quickly. Here’s a quick review:

  1. Download/Update the programs
  2. Scan the sheet music
  3. Correct mistakes
  4. Export to musicXML file
  5. Import to Dorico

If you have any questions, please go to ScanScore Support.

Have fun writing some music!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *