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File extension : .xml
Developed by: Michael Good
Initial release: September 2001
Current version: 3.1 (as of December 2017)
Type: Public License
Container for: Digital sheet music files
Extended by: MuseData, Humdrum
Standard (s) : XML
Website :

MusicXML is an open file format for exchanging musical notes in modern western notation .


The company Recordare LLC used and published, designed by Michael Good exchange format since 2004 and developed and sold plug-ins ( Dolet ) for music notation programs Sibelius and Finale . In November 2011, the manufacturer of the notation program Finale (Make Music Inc.) bought the Recordare company and thus also the rights to MusicXML.

MusicXML was completely implemented in an official standard format, the Extensible Markup Language (XML), and is therefore very flexible and expandable. The original design is essentially an XML implementation of the MuseData format, supplemented by essential concepts of the Humdrum format (both academic formats) and other important features.

The document type definition (DTD) of the format is freely accessible and is under its own license based on that of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) , which enables everyone to use it free of charge .

MusicXML replaced the notation Interchange File Format used until then . All common music notation programs and some sequencers now support the import and export of MusicXML files.

Permissible suffixes for MusicXML files are * .xml (uncompressed) and * .mxl (compressed using ZIP ).


The following markup is required to represent a measure ( measure) in treble clef ( clef), 4/4 time ( time) and in C major ( key) with a note ( note) - the dashed C as a whole note :

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no"?>
<!DOCTYPE score-partwise PUBLIC
    "-//Recordare//DTD MusicXML 2.0 Partwise//EN"
<score-partwise version="2.0">
    <score-part id="P1">
  <part id="P1">
    <measure number="1">

Implemented in standard notation this results in:


See also


  • Jacques Steyn (Ed.): Structuring Music through Markup Language. Designs and Architectures (Premier Reference Source) . 1st edition. IGI Global, Hershey, Pa. 2012, ISBN 978-1-4666-2498-6 , 9. MusicXML: The First Decade.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b The Humdrum Toolkit: Software for Music Research. In: Retrieved January 15, 2018 .
  2. MusicXML software. In: Retrieved on January 15, 2018 (English): "List of XML-supporting programs"