MILWAUKEE - Hal Leonard Corporation and its subsidiary Noteflight LLC are pleased to join in the founding of a new industry group focused on digital music notation. This group will operate under the auspices of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees Web standards. The newly formed Music Notation Community Group will develop and maintain specifications for the encoding and formatting of notated music as used on Web, desktop and mobile platforms.
The starting point for the group's work will be two closely related industry standards: MusicXML, which describes musical scores, and SMuFL, which specifies music fonts. The group will maintain and evolve these specifications to cover the changing ways in which the world works with digital music notation, both now and in the future. The formation of the Music Notation Community Group is an important step towards the future of sheet music and overall music publishing. Hal Leonard/Noteflight became a member of W3C to help lead music notation on the Web forward, and is proud to be one of the founding members of the Music Notation Community Group.
MusicXML is the industry standard for digital representation of musical notation today, and is supported by hundreds of applications across various platforms and operating systems. Created 15 years ago by Michael Good of MakeMusic, MusicXML has become an essential part of the music industry.
SMuFL is rapidly taking shape as an essential standard to describe digital fonts containing symbols used in conventional Western music notation, making possible an environment in which the same fonts can be freely used across many different applications in a compatible fashion. Created by Steinberg in 2013, SMuFL has already been adopted by many vendors.
By transferring MusicXML's and SMuFL's governance to a W3C Community Group with the idea that they could ultimately become truly open standards, MakeMusic and Steinberg have taken a very significant step. This change ensures the quality, relevance and evolution of these standards, and guarantees their availability without patent or copyright concerns. It also opens up participation in the definition of these standards to the broadest possible audience.
The W3C Music Notation Community Group will be co-chaired by Michael Good, VP of research and development for MakeMusic and the original creator of the MusicXML specification; Daniel Spreadbury, product marketing manager for Steinberg and the original creator of the SMuFL specification; and Joe Berkovitz, president of Noteflight and co-chair of the W3C Audio Working Group.
Doug Schepers, Web standards specialist at the W3C, says, "We are excited that the MusicXML and SMuFL communities are coming together as a W3C Community Group. Music notation is an essential cultural artifact, and worthy of having its expression on the Web standardized and open to all. W3C is pleased that our community groups framework will help move these important technologies forward."
Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard Corporation, comments, "The formation of this group is a crucial step for the future of our industry, and I applaud our partners who made it possible. As a publisher of both print and digital music - and now a member of W3C - Hal Leonard is eager to contribute to and share the developments that will emerge from the founding of the Music Notation Community Group. I'm glad that Noteflight, leaders in music notation on the Web, will share their best practices and new ideas. This is truly a pivotal moment for music and musicians."
MakeMusic, Steinberg, and Hal Leonard together invite musicians, developers, publishers, scholars, educators and all others who are interested to join the W3C Music Notation Community Group. There is no charge to participate in the group. Please visit www.w3.org/community/music-notation for more information about the W3C Music Notation Community Group.
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Boston, MA, Noteflight, LLC is dedicated to reinventing the way people create, share and use written music. Noteflight allows users to edit, display, play back and share music notation in a Web browser, on any device.
Noteflight has an active online community of over 1,700,000 music enthusiasts. Its Website hosts millions of user-created musical scores, both public and private. Noteflight addresses both individual music-makers and music educators at all levels with its family of products, available by online subscription.
For more information, visit www.noteflight.com.
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Photo: Joe Berkovitz - Noteflight President and W3C Music Notation Community Group Co-chair