MakeMusic
SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Score Header Entity

The score header contains some basic metadata about a musical score, such as the title and composer. It also contains the part-list, which lists all the parts or instruments in a musical score.

As an example, take our MusicXML encoding of “Mut,” the 22nd song from Franz Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise. Here is a sample score header for that work:

  <work>
    <work-number>D. 911</work-number>
    <work-title>Winterreise</work-title>
  </work>
  <movement-number>22</movement-number>
  <movement-title>Mut</movement-title>
  <identification>
    <creator type="composer">Franz Schubert</creator>
    <creator type="poet">Wilhelm Müller</creator>
    <rights>Copyright © 2001 Recordare LLC</rights>
    <encoding>
      <encoding-date>2002-02-16</encoding-date>
      <encoder>Michael Good</encoder>
      <software>Finale 2002 for Windows</software>
      <encoding-description>MusicXML 1.0 example</encoding-description>
    </encoding>
    <source>Based on Breitkopf &amp; Härtel edition of 1895</source>
  </identification>
  <part-list>
    <score-part id="P1">
      <part-name>Singstimme.</part-name>
    </score-part>
    <score-part id="P2">
      <part-name>Pianoforte.</part-name>
    </score-part>
  </part-list>

clear

You see that this score-header has all five of the possible top-level elements in the score-header entity: the work, movement-number, movement-title, identification, and part-list. Only the part-list is required, all other elements are optional. Let’s look at each part in turn:

  <work>
    <work-number>D. 911</work-number>
    <work-title>Winterreise</work-title>
  </work>

clear

In MusicXML, individual movements are usually represented as separate files. The work element is used to identify the larger work of which this movement is a part. Schubert’s works are more commonly referred to via D. numbers than opus numbers, so that is what we use in the work-number element; the work-title is the name of the larger work. If you have all the movements in a work represented, you can use the opus element to link to the MusicXML opus file that in turn contains links to all the movements in the work.

  <movement-number>22</movement-number>

clear

Winterreise is a cycle of 24 songs. We use the movement-number to identify that “Mut” is the 22nd song in the cycle – it is not restricted to use for movements in a symphony.

  <movement-title>Mut</movement-title>

clear

Similarly, we use the movement-title element for the title of the individual song. If you have a single song that is not part of a collection, you will usually put the title of the song in the movement-title element, and not use either the work or movement-number elements.

  <identification>
    <creator type="composer">Franz Schubert</creator>
    <creator type="poet">Wilhelm Müller</creator>

clear

The identification element is defined in the identity.mod file. It contains basic metadata elements based on the Dublin Core. In this song, as many others, there are two creators: in this case, the composer and the poet. Therefore, we use two creator elements, and distinguish their roles with the type attribute. For an instrumental work with just one composer, there is no need to use the type attribute.

    <rights>Copyright © 2001 Recordare LLC</rights>

clear

The rights element contains the copyright notice. You may have multiple rights elements if multiple copyrights are involved, say for the words and the music. As with the creator element, these can have type attributes to indicate what type of copyright is involved. In this example, both the words and music to Mut are in the public domain, but we are copyrighting our electronic edition of the work.

    <encoding>
      <encoding-date>2002-02-16</encoding-date>
      <encoder>Michael Good</encoder>
      <software>Finale 2002 for Windows</software>
      <encoding-description>MusicXML 1.0 example</encoding-description>
    </encoding>

clear

The encoding element contains information about how the MusicXML file was created. Here we are using all four of the available sub-elements to describe the encoding. You can have multiple instances of these elements, and they can appear in any order.

    <source>Based on Breitkopf &amp; Härtel edition of 1895</source>
  </identification>

clear

The source element is useful for music that is encoded from a paper published score or manuscript. Different editions of music will contain different musical information. In our case, we used the Dover reprint of the Breitkopf & Härtel edition of Winterreise as our starting point, correcting some errors in that published score.

The identification element also may contain a miscellaneous element. This in turn contains miscellaneous-field elements, each with a name attribute. This can be helpful if your software contains some identification information not present in the MusicXML DTD that you want to preserve when saving and reading from MusicXML.

  <part-list>
    <score-part id="P1">
      <part-name>Singstimme.</part-name>
    </score-part>
    <score-part id="P2">
      <part-name>Pianoforte.</part-name>
    </score-part>
  </part-list>

clear

The part-list is the one part of the score header that is required in all MusicXML scores. It is made up of a series of score-part elements, each with a required id attribute and part-name element. By convention, our software simply numbers the parts as “P1”, “P2”, etc. to create the id attributes. You may use whatever technique you like as long as it produces unique names for each score-part.

In addition to the part-name, there are many optional elements that can be included in a score-part:

  • An identification element, helpful if individual parts come from different sources.
  • A part-abbreviation element. Often, you will use the part-name for the name used at the start of the score, and the part-abbreviation for the abbreviated name used in succeeding systems.
  • A group element, used when different parts can be used for different purposes. In MuseData, for instance, there will often be different parts used for a printed score, a printed part, a MIDI sound file, or for data analysis.
  • One or more score-instrument elements, used to describe instrument sounds and virtual instrument settings, as well as to define multiple instruments within a score-part. This element serves as a reference point for MIDI instrument changes.
  • One or more midi-device elements for identifying the MIDI devices or ports that are being used in a multi-port configuration. Multiple devices let you get beyond MIDI’s 16-channel barrier.
  • One or more midi-instrument elements, specifying the initial MIDI setup for each score-instrument within a part.

Prev Next