Working with the Logic Pro X MusicXML export feature


Logic’s Music XML feature only does export, not import, which makes sense – you’re likely not bringing music into Logic to clean up the notation. You can import .smf from Sibelius or Finale for file transfers if needed.

To access the Export feature, you need to have the Score Editor open and then go the main File Menu>Export>Score as MusicXML. This will be greyed out if a Score Editor window is not open.


The score display is what is exported – make sure you have the correct tracks and number of tracks displayed. With that in mind you could do a score set of e.g., just strings and export those.

Once exported you’ll find the file with a .xml ending. If you just click to open you’ll likely not get it opened in a notation program – you can import / open via Finale / Sibelius or select one of them to open the file.

What it does better than a Standard MIDI File:

Notes come in more faithful to the Score Editor display regarding note duration and placement. See my article on Logic 9 for reference on how the Score Editor display does length and duration quantization. There doesn’t seem to be the certain need to go through the steps mentioned in that article, although it can’t hurt.

It will bring in articulation and phrasing marks (.smf doesn’t).

What it doesn’t do:

No chord symbols.

Properly place region start if not on If your first region on a track is not at, that’s where the XML export file puts it, and all ensuing regions move forward in time an equal amount. You need to have the first region of every track start on You can drag the region’s leading edge to the left, or, if needed, create an empty MIDI region at (this region name will be your part name, see below). Then you will get rests where appropriate (areas of no regions and/or empty bars) and music starting at the correct measure.


Part names are based on Logic’s region names, not track names. The first region name of a track determines the part name.

I’d recommend quantizing notes before you add phrasing marks, certainly so if you use Logic’s key commands to add them. Their placement is based on note selection and therefore the position of the note. I’ve had them come in one note late when importing in my notation program of choice because I didn’t quantize.

Pro Tip:

Go into the Score Set window and correctly set the bar lines in the score. Logic defaults to having the bar lines run through all parts, generally not what you want. It can be fixed in Finale and Sibelius, but doing it here saves a step later.



Doug Zangar is the author of’s Logic Score Editor Explained“, teaches courses for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program, Discovery Tools and Crywolf Training, and is the founder of the Seattle Logic User Group. 

18 Replies to “Working with the Logic Pro X MusicXML export feature”

  1. As of Logic 10.1 the MusicXML file now properly retains the start time of regions located after No need to extend regions to song start.

  2. 1. When exporting a transposing and a non-transposing intrument, Logic will send transposed parts, and these will be played as is by Finale, resulting in instruments played back in 2 different keys. How to fix it?

    2. Finale won’t let me load Garritan on the xml file. Any workarounds on this?

    1. Hi,

      1) Well, my Finale 2012 doesn’t want to run, it crashes upon playback. It did bring my MusicXML file with a transposed part (Bb trumpet) up a whole step. I tried the same file in Siblelius and Dorico, and the trumpet part was brought in as concert. So, it might be a Finale setting, not an issue with Logic’s MusicXML export.

      2) See number one and problem with Finale.

      Hope that helps, a little anyway…..

  3. Since upgrading to 10.4.1 none of my Staff Styles export properly into Finale or Sibelius when i export a midi region as music xml. Word perfectly well in 10.3.3. I use this export feature everyday. Could anyone shed some light on this subject or let us know if theres a work around asap.

    1. I can confirm it’s broken here as well – tested it in Sibelius and Dorico. Not aware of any workarounds, will post back if I find something. (Exporting as a standard MIDI file doesn’t work either.)

  4. The only work-around I can think of is to re-open the Logic project in 10.3.3 and export it there. If you want to do such and didn’t keep your copy of 10.3.3 or can’t find one, let me know.

  5. Hi there, I’m just starting to use Sibelius after years of making charts for my bands in Logic Score editor. Mostly what I have are chord charts, and I see a few places on the internet that chord symbols are not exported. Is this still true? Are there any workarounds you could imagine? Thank you so much for any input!

  6. I have 4 piano parts, 2 of the piano parts containing the treble and bass clef whilst the other 2 only containing the treble clef. For some reason the bass clefs for the pianos are not showing up when i transport it into sibelius, and I also have missing notes in certain areas. Any reason why this might be happening?

    1. Not certain what is happening. MusicXML export in Logic is WYSIWYG, which is to say you will only be able to export what is shown in the score editor window. You probably know that already, but do make sure you know what you are exporting. There is a current bug of not exporting staff styles, that may be your clef issue. (See earlier post in this thread) You can send me your file if you want, I can try it here.

  7. Hi, I’m writing scores for 1-4 instruments (fundamentally piano, but also sax, tpt and clar) in Sibelius 8 which I want to export to Logic Pro X so that I can turn them into audio files, add real time vocals etc.

    However, it seems I can’t export musicXML files from Sib 8 into Logic Pro X.

    Is this true? And if so, what’s my next best option – export as Midi and then humanize, add dynamics etc by hand?


  8. I’m not aware of any problems going from Sibelius 8 to Logic Pro X via MusicXML. That said, only more recent versions of Logic started supporting import of Music XML (starting with 10.4?). As you suggested, you can still export from Sibelius as a MIDI file into Logic.

    Regardless of the file used, I still think you would need to add dynamics and articulations as Logic wouldn’t normally play those back.

    If you want me to test your Sibelius MusicXML file, you can send it to me.

  9. For anyone following the thread: the file imported without problem into Logic 10.4.4. I’m sure it was an issue of using a version of Logic prior to the MusicXML import feature added.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.