|W3C Music Notation Community
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What is a MUSICXML file?
A MUSICXML file is a music score saved in the MusicXML format, a format supported by many score notation applications. It contains score information, including notes, pitch, duration, instruments, lyrics, and work title organized into XML elements. Various applications support MUSICXML files, such as MuseScore, MakeMusic Finale, and Avid Sibelius.
The W3C Music Notation Community developed the open MusicXML standard for musicians and composers to more easily share sheet music between applications and archive sheet music for future use or preservation. The format is so common that most music notation applications support it.
NOTE: Since MusicXML files can be large, MuseScore allows you to save them as compressed .MXL files to reduce their size. MXL files help save space when backing up files or sharing scores between notation programs.
How to open a MUSICXML file
You can open a MUSICXML file with various music notation applications, including MuseScore, MakeMusic Finale, and Avid Sibelius. For example, to open a MUSICXML file with MuseScore, select File → Open....
Since MUSICXML files are saved in plain text, you can also open them with a text editor, such as Microsoft Notepad, Apple TextEdit, or a source code editor. You may need to rename the .musicxml file extension to .txt for the text editor to recognize it.
When opened in a text editor or source code editor, you can modify the properties of the MUSICXML file. However, if you incorrectly edit the file, you may not be able to open the file correctly with an application that natively supports it.
How to convert a MUSICXML file
Several applications, including MuseScore, MakeMusic Finale, and Myriad Melody Assistant, can convert MUSICXML files to other formats.
For example, MuseScore can convert MUSICXML files to the following formats:
- .MSCZ - MuseScore Compressed Score
- .MSCX - MuseScore Music Score
- .MXL - Compressed MusicXML File
- .MID, .MIDI - MIDI File
- .PDF - Portable Document Format
- .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
- .SVG - Scalable Vector Graphics
- .WAV - WAVE Audio File
- .MP3 - MP3 Audio File
- .FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec File
- .OGG - Ogg Vorbis Audio File