MusicXML Annotated Bibliography

Barillot, Emmanuel and Achard, Frederic. 2000. XML: A lingua franca for science? Trends Biotechnologies 18, 331-333.

Introduces XML as a ‘do it yourself’ markup language that can aid in the retrieval of information from the internet. Describes the benefits of a document-type definition (DTD), which permits user-flexibility for the interchange of specific information formats.

Castan, G., Good, M., Roland, P., ed. Selfridge-Field, E. Hewlett, W.B. 2001. Extensible Markup Language (XML) for Music Applications: An Introduction. The Virtual Score: Representation, Retrieval, Restoration—Computing in Musicology 12, MIT Press, Massachusetts, USA.

Lays out the purpose of XML, the failures of previous interchange formats (SMDL, NIFF, MIDI), and finally the nuts and bolts of encoding music notation in MusicXML.

Cunningham, Stuart. 2004. Suitability of MusicXML as a format for computer music notation and interchange. In Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference Applied Computing 2004, Lisbon, Portugal, [n.p.].

Discusses the aims of MusicXML development, provides simple and complex examples of notation-encoding in MusicXML, and finally considers the strengths of this format as it compares with earlier interchange formats.

Ganseman, Joachim, Scheunders, Paul, and D’haes, Wim. 2008. Using XQuery on MusicXML Databases for Musicological Analysis. In PAP, 433-438.

Considers the XQuery function for analyzing works encoded in MusicXML. Discusses a number of analytical applications: frequency of notes, title and lyric retrieval, frequency of time and key signatures, and finally the extraction of rhythmic motives.

Good, Michael. 2000. Representing music using XML. Proceedings of the 1st Annual International Symposium on Music Information Retrieval. Retrieved September 17, 2009, from

Describes the need for a music representation format that can share musical data between commercial applications. Outlines MusicXML’s current success in providing a format for reading Finale, MuseData, and MIDI files.

Good, Michael. 2001a. MusicXML: An internet-friendly format for sheet music. In Proceedings of the XML Conference 2001, Orlando, FL, [n.p.].

Envisions a role for MusicXML in music notation interchange that is similar to MIDI’s interchange between electronic instruments. Discusses the freedom of design for software developers in MusicXML in comparison to other notation representation programs (Humdrum uses UNIX, Finale requires C or C++).

Good, Michael. 2001b. MusicXML for notation and analysis. In W. B. Hewlett and E. Selfridge-Field (Eds.), The Virtual Score: Representation, Retrieval, Restoration, Number 12 in Computing in Musicology, 113-24. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Discusses MusicXML’s goal to support interchange between musical notation, how MusicXML adapts previous formats (MuseData, Humdrum), and finally considers the retrieval and analytical applications of Music XML by providing examples of frequency of pitch and duration occurrence and correlation in a Bach Cantata.

Good, Michael, and Actor, Geri. 2003. Using MusicXML for File Interchange. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference WEB Delivering of Music, 153, Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Press.

Highlights the success of MusicXML from 2000-2003 in providing a ‘universal translator’ between other music notation programs. Points to the use of MusicXML in converting scanning file programs from SharpEye and MiddleC to more standard formats, thereby permitting scanning companies to concentrate on scanning innovation.

Good, Michael. 2006. Lessons from the adoption of MusicXML as an interchange standard. In Proceedings of the XML Conference 2006, Boston, MA, [n.p.].

Lays out the process of catering XML to the music notation industry, so that other programming disciplines might apply these lessons to their own commercial applications using the XML language.

Viglianti, Raffaele. 2007. MusicXML: An XML Based Approach to Automatic Musicological Analysis. In Conference Abstracts of the Digital Humanities, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA, 235-237.

The author considers the potential of MusicXML for automatic musicological analysis. Generates statistics about frequency of motives and the distribution of Reti’s categories of acute, middle, and grave notes in the choral works of Puccini.