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MakeMusic Transfers MusicXML Development to W3C

Today is a momentous day for MusicXML development and open standards in music notation. MakeMusic and Steinberg are transferring development of the MusicXML format and SMuFL specification to a new Music Notation Community Group at the W3C.

Here is the text of MakeMusic’s press release. You can download the full PDF version from our web site.

MAKEMUSIC TRANSFERS MUSICXML DEVELOPMENT TO W3C
Popular music notation standard moves to open community group

BOULDER, Colorado – July 28, 2015 – MakeMusic, Inc. announced today that it is transferring development of its industry-standard MusicXML format to the new Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Michael Good, MakeMusic vice president of R&D, invented the MusicXML format in 2000 to create a standard interchange format for music notation applications. It has been adopted by well over 200 applications, including nearly all the major web, desktop, and mobile notation programs.

The MusicXML format was developed at Michael’s former company Recordare with the participation of a large and active developer and musician community. MakeMusic’s 2011 acquisition of Recordare’s assets changed the community dynamics, since the owner of the format was now a competitor of many developers. This increased the community’s desire to move MusicXML development to a more neutral forum. W3C Community Groups provide a way to move MusicXML development forward in a more open process, without the overhead of producing formal W3C Recommendations.

Simultaneously, Steinberg has announced that it is transferring development of its Standard Music Font Layout (SMuFL) specification to the same W3C Music Notation Community Group. Michael Good from MakeMusic, Daniel Spreadbury from Steinberg, and Joe Berkovitz from Hal Leonard/Noteflight will serve as co-chairs of the Music Notation Community Group.

“We are excited that the MusicXML and SMuFL communities are coming together as a W3C Community Group,” said Doug Schepers, W3C Web Standards Specialist. “Music notation is an essential cultural artifact, and worthy of having its own expression on the Web. W3C is pleased that our Community Groups framework will help move these important technologies forward.”

“I am delighted that MakeMusic has decided to transfer MusicXML development to the W3C,” said MusicXML inventor Michael Good. “Finale was the first widely used music notation application to support the MusicXML format. Today’s announcement continues MakeMusic’s leadership in open standards for the sheet music community.”

MakeMusic, Steinberg, and Hal Leonard invite developers, publishers, musicians, and other interested parties to join the W3C Music Notation Community Group. Membership is free of charge. More details are available at https://www.w3.org/community/music-notation/.

You can read more about the story behind the formation of the W3C Music Notation Community Group on the group’s blog at:

https://www.w3.org/community/music-notation/2015/07/27/introducing-the-music-notation-community-group/

Photo of Community Group co-chairs Joe Berkovitz, Michael Good, and Daniel Spreadbury

Music Notation Community Group Co-Chairs Joe Berkovitz, Michael Good, and Daniel Spreadbury at MusicXML Community Meeting, Musikmesse 2015

Our co-founders of the Music Notation Community Group, Steinberg and Hal Leonard/Noteflight, have also issued press releases and blog posts:

We look forward to having many people join us in the community group to continue the development of the MusicXML format to version 4.0 and beyond.