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Re: Lilypond to MusicXML (was: Re: New Sibelius to LilyPond conversion s

From: Reinhold Kainhofer
Subject: Re: Lilypond to MusicXML (was: Re: New Sibelius to LilyPond conversion suite)
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 21:40:39 +0100
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On Sunday 07 February 2010 20:40:55 you wrote:
> MusicXML isn't a standard at all.  If you have to say "umm, dunno,
> look at what this other piece of software does", it's not a
> standard.

Just to make things clear: It's not  so bad. It's just impossible to write a 
full specification for musical content, since the notation is so complex. So, 
any specification for a file format for music will invariably be incomplete.

Without a reference implementation, however, it's just not possible to write 
consistent support of some more obscure features, since the details are often 
not explained enough in the "specification".

And it's not that Michael's answer is typically "dunno", but rather that 
recordare coded their finale and sibelius plugins in the way they intended the 
MusicXML format to behave... If you ask a question on the mailing list, he 
usually tries to answer it quite well.

The main problem, however is that there are no development tools and no 
representative test cases (this is the main reason why I started the MusicXML 
test suite, which is also part of lilypond's sourcetree).

Unfortunately, on the MusicXML mailing list, as I said, the main advice is to 
use Finale as refence. And many questions about how aspecific MusicXML snippet 
is supposed to be interpreted are also answered by "it is up to the 
application how that should be interpreted, since some applications don't 
support some particular concept". The problem with this answer is that it is 
jumping over a crucial part of the explanation: What a particular snippet is 
supposed to mean, regardless of whether an application supports that feature. 
If you knowthe meaning behind someMusicXML code, one can always decide how 
this can be transformed to/from a particular application's format. But that 
vitual information is typically missing in the answers on the musicxml mailing 


Reinhold Kainhofer, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
email: address@hidden,
 * Financial and Actuarial Mathematics, TU Wien,
 * Edition Kainhofer Music Publishing,
 * LilyPond music typesetting software,

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