MusicXML as base for digital purposes

What is a MusicXML file

MusicXML is an open file format that supports the exchange of digital music notes in modern, western notes. The format was introduced by Michael Good in 2000 and has been further developed by software experts and musicians. Until 2011, MusicXML belonged to the company Recordare, which was afterwards acquired by the company MakeMusic. The manufacturer of the well-known note-set program Finale provides the format for license-free use. 

In june 2021 the newest version, MusicXML 4.0, was released together with Finale v27. For Finale users, MusicXML offers a broad variety of new features as well as greatly improved support for existing ones such as orchestral and transposed scores to roman numerals and Nashville numbers. One current downside to the newest version of XML is that it is not yet compatible with all major notation software programs. However, MakeMusic expects this will change soon as more and more programs will update their compatibility features.

The goal of the developers is a universally valid standard format for the exchange and distribution of digital notes. The format uses the method XML (Extensible Markup Language), which represents hierarchically structured data in a text file, which can be read by both machines and humans. The freely available and still widely used format MusicXML 3.0 and 3.1, are already supported by more than 250 standard recording programs, sequencers and music databases.

Due to this platform-independent usage, digitally created music notes can be read, written and exchanged throughout the entire program.  The complete documentation and history of MusicXML can be found at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

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