Example Set

MusicXML and corresponding files

Here are some samples of MusicXML files and their corresponding PDF or PNG files. Each example is available separately, or you may download them all in one zip file:


All the sample files on this page have now been updated to the MusicXML 4.0 format as exported from Finale v27. The files were then hand-edited as needed to illustrate features that are not automatically generated by the export software.

Recordare Editions

These voice and piano examples are taken from the Recordare Editions of digital sheet music. They are deliberately chosen to be more difficult, and make use of more MusicXML features, than the interactive example. Some of the features illustrated include:

  • 8va: Mandoline
  • Appoggiaturas: Das Veilchen
  • Clef changes: Das Veilchen, Mandoline, Wie Melodien zieht es mir
  • Cross-staving: Mandoline, Après un rêve, Im wunderschönen Monat Mai, Wie Melodien zieht es mir
  • Cue notes: Die zwei blauen Augen
  • Forward over disappearing voices: Wie Melodien zieht es mir
  • Grace notes: Ave Maria, An die ferne Geliebte, Mandoline
  • Multiple voiced piano parts: Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
  • Pedals: An die ferne Geliebte
  • Pickup measures: Im wunderschönen Monat Mai
  • Repeats and multiple verses: Ave Maria
  • Time signature changes: Die zwei blauen Augen
  • Tuplets: Après un rêve, An Chloe, Ave Maria, Die zwei blauen Augen
  • Turns: An Chloe
  • UTF-16 encoding: An Chloe, Das Veilchen. You will need to handle 16-bit characters in order to read MusicXML files produced by Dolet for Sibelius.

The example from Schumann’s Dichterliebe is a complete song; the rest are the first pages of songs. All of these files were created in Finale first, then exported into MusicXML 4.0 and PDF formats.

Composer Work Scope PDF MUSICXML MXL
Beethoven An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Brahms Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Op. 105, No. 1 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Debussy Mandoline Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Fauré Après un rêve, Op. 7, No. 1 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen:
4. Die zwei blauen Augen
Mozart Das Veilchen, K. 476 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Mozart An Chloe, K. 524 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Schubert Ave Maria (Ellen’s Gesang III), D. 839 Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Schumann Dichterliebe, Op. 48:
1. Im wunderschönen Monat Mai

We are pleased to post contributed examples of modern music. Each copyright holder has granted us permission to include these samples of their sheet music on this site.

Lee Actor‘s Prelude to a Tragedy opens his debut CD of Music for Orchestra. Peter J. Rabinowitz describes it in Fanfare as “a patiently brooding 12-minute tone poem that makes chilling use of eerie ostinatos and–even more disturbing–ambiguous rocking harmonic progressions that open up new vistas without offering any real escape from the slate-grey claustrophobic surroundings.” This is the most complete orchestral example that we offer.

Jonatha Brooke‘s “West Point” was recorded on both her Plumb and Live albums; this transcription is based on the live recording. The tablature is based on transcriptions done by Ken Temple and Marian Russell. It is the most complete guitar tablature example that we offer, including alternate tuning, capo, pull-offs, and complex chords. It is a beautiful example of a contemporary song for voice and guitar.

The song “越後獅子” or “Echigo-Jishi” is a MusicXML example with text in Japanese. Tom Potter has an online collection of Japanese songs transcribed into Finale from the book Japanese Popular Music: a collection of the popular music of Japan rendered in to the staff notation by Nagai and Kobatake (2nd ed., Osaka, S. Miki & Co., 1892). It seems that Puccini was familiar with this collection when composing Madama Butterfly. Mr. Potter has donated these transcriptions to the public domain. Karen Tanaka assisted in adding the Japanese lyrics and title to the original music-only transcription.

Composer Work Scope PDF MUSICXML MXL
Lee Actor Prelude to a Tragedy Pages 1-4 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Jonatha Brooke West Point Page 1 PDF MUSICXML MXL
Y. Nagai and K. Kobatake,
Beyond MIDI

The book Beyond MIDI: The Handbook of Musical Codes is the outstanding reference work in music representation. It compares the different musical codes described in the book by showing how they represent a series of common musical examples. The examples were chosen to “collectively illustrate some of the most common problems in musical encoding generally and which also tend to highlight the differences between sound-oriented approaches and notation-oriented ones.” The PNG images here are reproduced from the CCARH web site with permission from the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities.

Some of the features illustrated include:

  • Arpeggios: Mozart Piano Sonata
  • Cue notes and cue-sized notes: Telemann Aria
  • First and second endings: Saltarello
  • Grace notes: Mozart Piano Sonata
  • Mid-measure repeats: Mozart Trio
  • Multiple instruments per part: Telemann Aria, Binchois Magnificat
  • Note positioning: Telemann Aria, Binchois Magnificat
  • Part group: Mozart Trio
  • Pickup measures: Mozart Trio
  • Pizzicato: Mozart Trio
  • Transposition: Mozart Trio
  • Unmeasured music: Quem queritis
Mozart Clarinet Quintet, K. 581 (“Mozart Trio”) PNG MUSICXML MXL
Mozart Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331 PNG MUSICXML MXL
Anonymous Saltarello PNG MUSICXML MXL
Telemann “Liebe! Liebe! Was ist schöner als die Liebe?” PNG MUSICXML MXL
Anonymous Chant “Quem queritis” PNG MUSICXML MXL
Binchois Magnificat PNG MUSICXML MXL

All of these files were first created in Finale, then exported into MusicXML 4.0 format. The formatting in the MusicXML 4.0 files is based on the PNG images. The values are approximate, given that the examples were re-entered without access to the original SCORE files, but should be close enough for sample purposes.

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