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Re: Music Notation on the Web - Last Call?

From: Kumar <srikumarks@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 08:14:38 +0800
Message-ID: <AANLkTikmPcok4+rUrrwPKwZavZBz2mu_PcYkFkxDdaZ2@mail.gmail.com>
To: Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org>
Cc: "Cutler, Roger (RogerCutler)" <RogerCutler@chevron.com>, Michael Good <musicxml@gmail.com>, public-xg-audio@w3.org
Thanks. This does clear up the air.

The energies of the audio API group, to me, seem best spent in the
area of making sure notation *with* audio rendering is possible. .. And
for that, the audio API ought to aim to support what programs like
Sibelius *require* of the audio sub-system with other W3C standards
supporting the visual part.

For those interested in the conventional staff notation, if it is adequate
for you if, say, google adds notation tools to google docs in the future but
might not be able to render it as audio, then no fundamentally new
additions to W3C client-side technology seem needed ... *save*,
maybe, for the addition of a standard music font as a "web font".
(Maybe that can be pursued independent of the audio WG.)

So "do we need MIDI+DLS support in the audio API?" ought to be
an in-scope question for this WG, given that notation programs are
likely to rely on these technologies to translate notation into sound
.. at least for pre-flighting if not for production. People familiar with
the innards of commercial notation tools that also generate sound
can weigh in here. (*)

Regards,
-Kumar

(*) I'm familiar with the technology at the broad level and can make
guesses like suggesting DLS+MIDI, but I wouldn't know
whether a program like Sibelius prefers to go the whole nine yards
with its own synthesizers or use DLS+MIDI underneath.

On Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 7:12 AM, Doug Schepers <schepers@w3.org> wrote:
> Hi, folks-
>
> I think this thread has drifted away from productive technical discussion
> into less harmonious exchanges.  I think it would be valuable for everyone
> to step back and look for common ground, understanding each others'
> positions.
>
> Everyone agrees that a common music notation system, which can satisfy the
> richness of international music traditions, would be a good thing.
>
> Roger, I think it's reasonable that Michael Good, who has been working on
> MusicXML for several years and had good success with its deployment as an
> open format, would not take too kindly to criticisms of it that he feels
> aren't justified.  He is very familiar with the current marketplace, and in
> fact makes his living from revising and adapting MusicXML; I think we can
> trust his expertise there, and recognize that he doesn't want anything to
> undermine the success of MusicXML.  Just because some authoring tools don't
> give you the results you want doesn't mean that the underlying MusicXML
> format can't support them.  And while there are many places where sheet
> music is prevalent, that doesn't necessarily immediately equate to a large
> market for web-based music notation; this isn't the sheet-music heyday of
> the early 1900s; most music now is electronic audio, not notation... but I'm
> not dismissing the usefulness, just tempering the claim.
>
> Michael, I think it's fair that people are approaching you with use cases
> that they've found where MusicXML doesn't meet their needs, even if it's the
> fault of authoring tools or other infrastructure and not MusicXML as a
> format; unifying the market is often done more effectively by an large
> organization.  And the market itself may be changing; if music notation is
> supported natively in browsers (which seems realistic, giving the new
> emphasis on audio and multimedia, and the increase in use in ABC-notation
> script libraries), you have a whole new kind of user agent, which may well
> alter the market.  I wouldn't assume that things are going to continue as
> they have been, with niche uses of music notation, and the only browser
> rendering done through script libraries and plug-ins.  I understand that you
> want to keep making money off your stewardship of MusicXML, and that you
> genuinely believe that it is the most functional technical approach to music
> notation available.  But you shouldn't be surprised when people push back on
> what and where they can discuss music notation formats.  That said, I'm glad
> you've provided what seems like a good and open format, and are committed to
> evolving it; I think you deserve to be paid for you're doing.
>
> So... I hope that clears the air rather than muddying the waters.  I am
> personally interested in seeing more technical discussion on this list of
> use cases and requirements for music notation formats, and comparisons and
> critiques of existing formats, in the spirit of advancing the state of the
> art, regardless of whether W3C is where that happens. (Though, as Michael
> knows, my preference is that it would ultimately happen at W3C.)
>
> Regards-
> -Doug Schepers
> W3C Team Contact, SVG, WebApps, and Web Events WGs
>
>
Received on Thursday, 16 December 2010 00:15:37 UTC

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