MusicXML & SMuFL Development transferred to W3C

July 28, 2015 : In the spirit of maintaining open standards in music notation, MakeMusic and Steinberg have announced they are transferring development of the MusicXML format and SMuFL (Standard Music Font Layout) specification to a new Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Michael Good of MakeMusic, Daniel Spreadbury of Steinberg and Joe Berkovitz of Hal Leonard / Noteflight will be co-chairs of this new group.

(Links to related articles on the web appear at the end of this post.)

Here is the text from MakeMusic’s press release.

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/.


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