Dorico - Compose Music 4+

Music Notation & Score Creator

Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH

    • 4.7 • 825 Ratings
    • Free
    • Offers In-App Purchases

iPad Screenshots


Compose your own music for free with Dorico. Create beautiful music notation for up to eight instruments quickly and easily with the on-screen keyboard, drum pads and fretboard. Play back instantly with the included sounds and shape the performance with powerful MIDI editing tools. When your piece is finished, share it as PDF, audio or MusicXML, or print directly to your AirPrint-enabled printer. Perform using the built-in read mode, and annotate with your Apple Pencil.

Dorico is the award-winning music notation and composition software from Steinberg for macOS, Windows, and iPadOS. It’s easy enough to learn and use that it is used by students in schools, and deep enough that it satisfies the needs of the most demanding professionals in the worlds of concert music, music for film and TV, and music publishing. Dorico for iPad is fully compatible with Dorico for macOS and Windows, so you can work on your projects on the move on your iPad and in your studio on your desktop or laptop computer, or share projects with musicians using Dorico on any platform.

Dorico’s interface is split into four modes. In Setup mode, you can add and change instruments, create and reorder sections of music (called “flows”), and choose how your music will be formatted for your musicians into layouts. In Write mode, you can input and edit music and other notations using simple, well-organized toolboxes and panels. In Engrave mode (included if you buy a paid subscription to Dorico’s advanced features), you can make graphical tweaks to every item in your project. Finally, in Play mode, you have access to powerful sequencer-style MIDI editing tools, including piano roll and velocity editors.

Dorico includes built-in virtual instruments and effects to allow you to play back your compositions, and you can also easily use any compatible Audio Unit plug-in or external MIDI device (with optional subscription or Lifetime Unlock in-app purchase), and tweak playback using the on-screen Mixer.

Input music using an on-screen piano keyboard, or by connecting a MIDI keyboard to your iPad directly via USB or using a compatible USB-to-Lightning adaptor. If you have a Magic Keyboard or other external keyboard, you can make use of extensive keyboard shortcuts to work quickly and efficiently.

Dorico is free to use, allowing you to write for ensembles of up to four players. Register with your free Steinberg ID to increase the player limit to eight, allowing you to write for ensembles like string or wind quartet, or SATB choir. If you want to take your composition and arranging to the next level, you can buy an optional subscription or Lifetime Unlock in-app purchase to access more features and power: write for ensembles of any number of players, and gain access to Engrave mode, allowing you to make graphical tweaks to individual items anywhere in your project.

• Best automatic engraving of any software
• Easy note input using on-screen keyboard, MIDI keyboard, or external keyboard
• Intelligently adjusts notation as you write
• Any number of movements or pieces in a single project
• Automatic layout of instrumental parts
• Expressive playback using included sounds and effects
• Supports Audio Unit virtual instruments and effects processors
• Sequencer-style piano roll MIDI editor
• Sophisticated chord symbols, unpitched percussion and drum set notation
• Unbarred music, tuplets across barlines, etc. all handled correctly — no workarounds
• Transfer to and from other apps via MusicXML, MIDI, PDF, etc.

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What’s New

Version 5.1.32

This update includes minor fixes and improvements designed to improve your experience of working with Dorico.

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
825 Ratings

825 Ratings

javProjects ,

An amazing port of desktop Dorico to the iPad

When Dorico 1.0 first came out for the desktop, its first year showed amazing growth which continued in subsequent years. Considering where Dorico for the iPad has begun, it is clear amazing things are in store. The free app reflects the Dorico SE capabilities, and for c. $4 a month or $40 a year, the app expands to resemble Dorico Elements, but in both cases the iPad version shows hints of capabilities like the on-screen keyboard, fretboard, and drum pads still to appear on the desktop versions. I can only imagine where this app will go in the coming year(s).

I am not a fan of subscription payment models, but Dorico could hardly offer a one-time app purchase for anything like the $4/month or $40/year subscription rate to account for the Apple Store’s lack of an upgrade path. If one wants to rely on the app while away from one’s desktop, the cost hardly seems prohibitive.

Given digital music’s sometime disagreement whether middle C is C3 if C4, I’d like to see a different color key for middle C on the on-screen keyboard so I could easily spot it when sliding the keyboard around to reach various notes, and tool-tips on the various buttons would help those new to the app; but this is an app worth owning and one worth supporting for the kind of further development the Dorico Team has shown with their desktop program.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for your positive feedback, javProjects. We'll definitely think about potentially differentiating middle C in the on-screen Keyboard window.

Human mammal ,

The most powerful creator app I’ve used

Because it’s the most closest to the desktop version. Photoshop, Lightroom, Numbers and many other apps for doing work are either stripped down, or have greatly different interfaces that frankly are too hard to work with for any serious business. The Steinberg team did an amazing thing here in that the app is just like the desktop version, minus features which were pulled for the first release (mainly Engrave mode).

I’m completely impressed with how much they managed to do on an iPad, it’s finally (with Dorico) fulfilling it’s promise that you can do work on the device. In my experience, other than word processing, the iPad is only good for content consumption.

Since there’s a subscription model, I wouldn’t be surprised if it more or less gets parity with Dorico pro, minus the sample library handling of course being we’re on iOS. But meanwhile it’s allowing me to ditch the paper and pencil finally for initial sketching out. So pull out a MIDI keyboard and computer keyboard paired with your iPad and you’ll forget you’re not using Dorico on the desktop.

Developer Response ,

Thanks for your review. We are working hard to continually improve Dorico, and your feedback that the app is working well for you is really helpful for us to read.

Rod Regas ,

Loving Dorico

I’ve been using Dorico for about four years now and it just keeps getting better. I’ve written scores for over two dozen songs and I’ve been able to generate audio demos for musicians to listen to and decide whether or not they want to work on the project. Then as part of the project I’ve been able to use templates that format the scores professionally for copyrighting and archiving.

In addition to the software the support staff, training staff and community support have all made my life easier by helping me better understand how and why things work and how to build a better workflow for composing and scoring music.

I’ve used multiple apps for writing music but now only use Dorico because I believe my time is better spent learning and contributing to a great product with unlimited potential.

Developer Response ,

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a positive review, Rod. It's great to know that Dorico is a useful partner in your music-making.

In-App Purchases

Dorico Lifetime Unlock
Dorico Lifetime Unlock
Permanently unlocks all premium features

App Privacy

The developer, Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Contact Info
  • Usage Data

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    Some in‑app purchases, including subscriptions, may be shareable with your family group when Family Sharing is enabled.

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