MusicXML has played a critical role in the launch and development of MakeMusic’s new web-based SmartMusic music practice software. While the classic version of SmartMusic for desktops and iPad uses Finale technology for its music notation display, the new web-based version uses different technology designed for web applications. MakeMusic uses MusicXML to ensure that repertoire is available in both the new and classic versions of SmartMusic.
Since new SmartMusic launched in December 2016 after a limited early release, teachers have been able to upload MusicXML files and assign them to students to supplement SmartMusic’s built-in repertoire. Unlike classic SmartMusic, these music uploads no longer need to be created in Finale. Instead, they can be created in Finale or another other music notation program that exports MusicXML files – which is just about all of them.
Last January, we improved the import process by adding an online notation editor to SmartMusic educator subscriptions. This beta application let you edit MusicXML files that you imported before assigning them to students, or create new music for your students directly in your web browser. It also let you import full MusicXML scores as well as individual MusicXML parts. However, the MusicXML support was still for import only. Scores that you created or edited with SmartMusic could not be taken back to Finale or used in other applications.
That changed yesterday with the release of SmartMusic’s Sight Reading Builder and Compose applications. Sight Reading Builder lets you instantly generate an infinite number of sight reading exercises, custom tailored for your ensembles. The Compose notation editor is now a full-fledged part of SmartMusic, no longer in beta mode. Both applications are included in SmartMusic premium educator subscriptions, and both applications now let you export MusicXML files.
This is a big breakthrough for both MakeMusic and our customers. MakeMusic now has two notation editors using different technologies developed for different needs. Musical scores created in either application can now be freely moved back and forth between these two applications with very high accuracy. Of course this exchange extends to over 200 other applications that support the MusicXML format.
We believe that educators will find that SmartMusic’s two-way MusicXML support makes it easier to get your own custom repertoire to your students. If you have issues using the MusicXML features in the Compose and Sight Reading Builder tools, please let us know through the SmartMusic Help Center.