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Re: Music Notation on the Web

From: Michael Good <musicxml@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 2010 18:03:24 -0800
Message-ID: <AANLkTimX9hVfTeQZAs6MLCUt-cZhKihiECikHv2UTmny@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-xg-audio@w3.org
Hi Tom,

MIDI is too lossy even for pitches and rhythms in notation applications.
This is true for nearly any notation use case today. MIDI was never designed
for notation interchange, so it's a tribute to MIDIs usability and
extensibility that it was able to play that role for so long in the absence
of other alternatives.

Roger's experience is probably related to some problems in Sibelius's
MusicXML import where Sibelius interprets some of MusicXML's formatting data
correctly but omits or misinterprets other data. This can lead to
ugly-looking artifacts like overlapping systems. There are workarounds for
these issues, and they are less frequent now than in the past. However, if
it happens the first time you try to do Finale to Sibelius file exchange,
you could understandably be disappointed. The solution isn't to eliminate
formatting from MusicXML itself - customers long ago told us they want more
formatting, not less - but to fix the problems with reading the formatting
information in MusicXML files.

There are some situations where keep MusicXML's formatting is not desired,
such as importing MusicXML files into LilyPond. People usually do this
because they prefer the way LilyPond does its automatic formatting compared
to automatic formatting in other programs. In that case, keeping the
formatting is counterproductive, so LilyPond simply ignores it during
import. Finale/Sibelius exchange is usually not a similar situation, but
even there, Sibelius provides some options during import about supporting or
ignoring formatting attributes like page size.

If enough people think it is worthwhile, we could include a standard "strip
formatting and performance" XSLT stylesheet for MusicXML 3.0, similar to the
XSLT stylesheets that strip out MusicXML 2.0 and 1.1 features for backwards
compatibility.

MIDI has an important role to play in the browser both for input and
playback, and those are good topics for the working group to address in
separate discussions.

Best regards,

Michael Good
Recordare LLC
www.recordare.com
Received on Monday, 13 December 2010 02:03:57 UTC

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