MakeMusic
SmartMusic Finale Garritan MusicXML

Multiple Instruments

Percussion parts are one case of many where multiple instruments are sharing the same part. This is represented in MusicXML by including more than one score-instrument element within a score-part. Each note can then contain an instrument element that refers back to the id of the score-instrument. Note that the score-instrument id must be unique throughout the entire piece. Two score-part elements cannot each have a score-instrument element with the same id.

To represent MIDI playback for each instrument, we add a midi-instrument element for each score-instrument. In this case, we are using a General MIDI instrument, so we include a midi-channel of 10 for each instrument. We then use the midi-unpitched element to indicate the MIDI pitch that corresponds to a particular sound in a General MIDI drum kit.

The part-list for our two-bar example looks like this:

  <part-list>
    <score-part id="P1">
      <part-name>Drums</part-name>
      <score-instrument id="P1-X4">
        <instrument-name>Snare Drum</instrument-name>
      </score-instrument>
      <score-instrument id="P1-X2">
        <instrument-name>Kick Drum</instrument-name>
      </score-instrument>
      <score-instrument id="P1-X13">
        <instrument-name>Crash Cymbal</instrument-name>
      </score-instrument>
      <score-instrument id="P1-X6">
        <instrument-name>Hi-Hat%g Closed</instrument-name>
      </score-instrument>
      <midi-instrument id="P1-X4">
        <midi-channel>10</midi-channel>
        <midi-program>1</midi-program>
        <midi-unpitched>39</midi-unpitched>
      </midi-instrument>
      <midi-instrument id="P1-X2">
        <midi-channel>10</midi-channel>
        <midi-program>1</midi-program>
        <midi-unpitched>37</midi-unpitched>
      </midi-instrument>
      <midi-instrument id="P1-X13">
        <midi-channel>10</midi-channel>
        <midi-program>1</midi-program>
        <midi-unpitched>50</midi-unpitched>
      </midi-instrument>
      <midi-instrument id="P1-X6">
        <midi-channel>10</midi-channel>
        <midi-program>1</midi-program>
        <midi-unpitched>43</midi-unpitched>
      </midi-instrument>
    </score-part>
    <score-part id="P2">
      <part-name>Cowbell</part-name>
      <score-instrument id="P2-X1">
        <instrument-name>Cowbell</instrument-name>
      </score-instrument>
      <midi-instrument id="P2-X1">
        <midi-channel>10</midi-channel>
        <midi-program>1</midi-program>
        <midi-unpitched>57</midi-unpitched>
      </midi-instrument>
    </score-part>
  </part-list>

clear

Each note then includes an unpitched element to show where the note is on the staff, and an instrument element to indicate which instrument is used and how to play it back using MIDI. The first kick drum note looks like this:

      <note default-x="78">
        <unpitched>
          <display-step>A</display-step>
          <display-octave>2</display-octave>
        </unpitched>
        <duration>2</duration>
        <instrument id="P1-X2"/>
        <voice>2</voice>
        <type>quarter</type>
        <stem default-y="-65.5">down</stem>
      </note>

clear

Our Dolet for Finale plug-in creates these instrument names like “P1-X2” to make it easy to generate unique names for each score instrument. It would be better to use more readable names that are still unique across the entire piece.


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