Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Multimedia and Commons/Musical notation – files on Commons (rendering and playback), graphical editing
The survey has concluded. Here are the results!
- Problem: Although sheet music can already be embedded in articles to some extent, right now it's impossible to share digital sheet music as files on Commons. This limits the use of digital sheet music, which could otherwise be used to make synthesized audio files to compensate for the dearth of correctly-licensed recordings in Wikipedia articles and on other projects.
US copyright has prevented almost all audio created in the 20th century from going into the public domain,[note 1] and will continue to be similarly restrictive for years to come; and using public domain sheet music doesn't easily convey to (most of) those reading it how something actually sounds. At the same time, the MediaWiki Score extension can already render scores and play MIDI files from LilyPond source code.[note 2] However, LilyPond lacks a graphical editor and its scores can't be used through the MediaWiki file syntax without exporting to PDF or OGG. The open-source notation program MuseScore is feature-rich and has a graphical interface, as well as a large and active community at musescore.com (Alexa ranking of 3,417[note 3]),[note 4] but its files cannot be rendered in MediaWiki at all. Conversion to LilyPond format requires a two-step conversion through the MusicXML format.[note 5] However, both the MuseScore application and the MuseScore command line app can export MuseScore files to various file formats which can already be rendered or played by MediaWiki.[note 6]
Supporting MusicXML/MuseScore files on Commons would also potentially encourage MuseScore users to also upload scores to Commons,[note 7] and Commons would be able to take advantage of the large amount of transcribed public-domain sheet music that has already been uploaded to Musescore.com, including the verified and reviewed transcriptions that are being created as part of the OpenScore transcription project.[note 8] Because of Commons's more useful file categorization system and more stringent copyright enforcement, if Commons becomes another hub for MuseScore users it would also become easier for people to find digital sheet music and verify that a given score is in fact reusable for their purposes.
- Who would benefit: Wikipedia readers, Wikisource readers and editors, Commons, LilyPond users, and the MuseScore community
- Proposed solution: It would be beneficial for both readers and editors to allow notation files from Commons to be rendered and played.[note 9] This could be done by using the existing Score extension to render and synthesize the files,[note 10] by creating a new MediaWiki extension to allow them to be rendered separately,[note 11] by modifying the Media Viewer extension, or through a combination of those methods. There is an ongoing RfC at Commons to determine which file formats would be supported by Commons.[note 12][note 13]
Another improvement that could be considered would be to integrate a graphical notation editor into VisualEditor, since this would enable editors to create scores graphically without having to worry about file conversion issues.[note 14] This would probably require writing a graphical interface for LilyPond or improving an existing unofficial one.
- More comments:
- Phabricator tickets:
- phab:T208494 – Allow music scores to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (1 November 2018)
- phab:T201637 – Support engraving of musical files on Wikimedia Commons (10 August 2018)
- phab:T209695 – Playback for musical notation files hosted on Wikimedia Commons (16 November 2018)
- phab:T183642 – Support MusicXML to Lilypond Conversion (24 December 2017)
- phab:T49528 – Create a VisualEditor plugin tool to add/edit musical scores (23 April 2013)
|Extended discussion on changing the content of the proposal. Jc86035 (talk) 11:37, 17 November 2018 (UTC)|
To bring back on track, I don't think this request is really about file support. The sentiment behind it is that LilyPond has a huge learning curve, and so we should make it easier to write music. This should be accomplished not by implementing a new program, but prioritizing graphical music notation to the VisualEditor team and Score extension maintainer (me). Ebe123 (Communication | Activity report) 15:09, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
@Jc86035: The WMF is generally supportive of allowing and facilitating hosting of any file formats that the community is interested in (as long as they don't have serious security problems). Indeed, we generally leave the decisions about which file formats to accept to the communities themselves. In this case, there has never been a discussion on Commons (that I'm aware of) about whether the community would like to host MuseScore or MusicXML files. If it turns out the community objects for some reason, it would be pointless for the WMF to invest work in supporting those formats. Would you be willing to go ahead and start an RfC on Commons asking whether or not the community would like to host either or both of those file formats? Sorry I didn't suggest that earlier, but potential voters will want to know if there is community support before backing this, and the WMF will want to know before agreeing to do any work around this. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 21:31, 15 November 2018 (UTC)
- Comment "However, LilyPond lacks a graphical editor and its scores can't be used through the MediaWiki file syntax without exporting to PDF or OGG." Misleading. Its scores can be inputted directly into MediaWiki. File syntax is not necessary and is to be avoided. Further, any notation would have to be converted into an image or audio for display on the web... The Score extension is also about to change (gerrit:370209) to use SVG and MP3 is supported.
- "However, both the MuseScore application and the MuseScore command line app can export MuseScore files to various file formats which can already be rendered or played by MediaWiki." More conversions? Also I see MuseScore renderings to be of lesser quality and not as feature-rich as LilyPond (and they removed the LY exporter!). Its GUI is its "attractor".
- Supporting MusicXML in the extension is basically a "beginner" task :) I also think the MuseScore format is very poor and so we should focus on improving the LilyPond experience, although I can see why allowing MuseScore files may be wanted. Ebe123 (Communication | Activity report) 02:18, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
“online WYSIWYG player/editor seems to be closed-source and freemium”: They use an OSS renderer internally on some places.
I’m also pretty sure that, if Wikimedia were to approach MuseScore/Ultimate Guitar, a Free solution could be found for code reuse suitable enough to make it usable here. (An online editor, though, is likely out of scope.) The profit model is to sustain development. Wikimedia adoption would rather drive more people to use it, so I’d think that would be more welcome. The MuseScore developers are very approachable and like the Free Software scene.
“I assume that it is also higher-bandwidth than the markup alternatives”: no. MuseScore files come in two flavours. *.mscx and *.mscz. The latter is the default, and it’s a PKZIP container with the mscx in it as well as any images etc. embedded into the score. The mscx is XML and comparable to MusicXML, but in my personal experience, MusicXML is more verbose. (MusicXML also has a compressed container format, *.mxl, but that’s rarely used.) I keep all my own scores as *.mscx in git and just batch-convert to other formats occasionally, and have written an MML to MusicXML exporter, so I have experience with both formats.
- Thank you for the information and the talkpage ping, Mirabilos Full version of this reply at the RfC. It looks to me as if the trade-offs run:
|MusicXML||*common interchange standard||*being replaced by MNX||*can be imported by ~any player, designed as an interchange format, not for display||*ongoing support|
|MuseScore||*large community||*online/mobile freemium elements||*online visual editor and playback software exists, including mobile version, but is proprietary; would have to either duplicate and compete, or partly rely on third-party freemium service||*copyleft online player/editor|
|LilyPond||*already integrated into Mediawiki, fits markup orientation, unicode||*does not natively export to MusicXML, only imports||*open-source visual editor and playback software (not web-based) exists, but see phab:T49528 (mobile might be harder)||*MusicXML or MNX export (NoteEdit, Rosegarden, and Frescobaldi, all GPL, have code for this)|
|MNX||*should be perfect in every way :)||*does not yet exist||*starting from scratch (can be an advantage)||*a full specification and an implementation|
|MEI/Verovio||*browser-based, fast, wide and growing range of music cultures (including historic ones) encodable||*does not do really sophisticated engraving (making pretty scores for print)||*should be easiest, as open-source software exists, browser-based, SVG output (not sure if it does visual editing or just rapid previews)||*non-academic users|
- I see that MuseScore is heavily involved in MNX development; more MEI-focussed groups, including LilyPond, are not. MuseScore is also ably represented here on the Mediawikis by Peter Jonas (shoogle). Perhaps someone might also contact the LilyPond devs and MEI devs ask them to participate in this discussion, so we can get a broad range of viewpoints? HLHJ (talk) 04:06, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Hiàn (talk) 04:31, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Jc86035 (talk) 05:15, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Libcub (talk) 11:07, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support ديفيد عادل وهبة خليل 2 (talk) 12:03, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support M11rtinb (talk) 15:21, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:39, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support NMaia (talk) 16:20, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support -Theklan (talk) 17:52, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support JAn Dudík (talk) 20:27, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:52, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- Partial support; I support LilyPond and MusicXML hosting, but not MuseScore hosting. I'd support conversion of MuseScore uploads. Reasons per my comments on the RfC. I support a Visual Editor plugin for editing music markups and a Commons score player. HLHJ (talk) 04:13, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Fixer88 (talk) 08:23, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Ainali (talk) 12:06, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support — Draceane talkcontrib. 17:00, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Wesalius (talk) 21:25, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
- partial support Do not cannibalize on improving the LilyPond input to make it user-friendly. Some of my qualms are in the comments section. (Maintainer of the Score extension) Ebe123 (Communication | Activity report) 02:18, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
- Partial support; Support LilyPond & MusicXML. Have serious reservations about MuseScore hosting. Abzeronow (talk) 02:48, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support for every solution that might work, thanks! Sannita - not just another it.wiki sysop 13:34, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
- partial support;for MusicXML and LilyPond Vulphere 12:15, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support CAPTAIN RAJU(T) 22:48, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support all three formats. Mainly MuseScore as this is the format used by OpenScore (reasons given on the the RfC), but the other formats are useful too. (OpenScore Project Manager) --Peter Jonas (shoogle) (talk) 23:20, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Novak Watchmen (talk) 13:37, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Matěj Suchánek (talk) 09:26, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Helder 13:19, 25 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 02:32, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support PMG (talk) 16:35, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support PJTraill (talk) 00:23, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support A garbage person (talk) 17:24, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Thgoiter (talk) 18:46, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
- Support Could facilitate what I'd ultimately like to see happen with video: having an archive of free-use music available to use as scores, either by performing it themselves or attaching existing MIDIs to their videos. Daniel Case (talk) 23:06, 28 November 2018 (UTC)