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Couldn't it go on Wikisource?[edit]

Couldn't sheet music go into Wikisource:? Angela 23:02, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It could but that would be a diminishment of the idea it seems to me and this isn't really what Wikisource was created for. The idea of Wikiscores, as is noted on the main page, is to "gather sheet music much as Wikibooks collects books," so passing it off to Wikisource immediately excludes a bunch content: original compositions by Wikimedia contributors. It's too easy to throw ideas the way of Wikisource or Wikibooks it seems to me; there's a lot of unseen potential in specialist wikis. —Christiaan - 23:00, 18 Jan 2005
I think although Wikisource could possibly be used, the amount of public domain sheet music would justify a different Wiki. Also the fact that an interface of some complexity would have to be added might actually dissuade people from adding to Wikisource. As Christiaan has pointed out, it would be quite a complex task to create a musical notation interface. --phauna 10:26, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think sheet music should go on wikisources, and wikibooks could have lerning books for music students. The only justificative to a separate wiki for me would be:
  1. A WYSIWYG editor, instead of wikipedias standard toolbar
  2. A different community approch. Like, instead of it's aim be a repository of public domin documents (that's wikisource) or a collection of articles about music (that's wikipedia) be something like creating a learning community for colaborative music study and composition
--Avsa 15:54, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Or it could be both; a repository of appropriately licenced music and a place for original and collaborative works. That would be my preference. My mother is a music teacher and if it had a good WYSIWYG editor I know such a website would be her first real experience with the internet that doesn't involved email or for-profit websites. —Christiaan - 19:58, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It seems with the Lilypond interface you could not only score the music, but also then have it played for you in a basic way, which would somewhat remove it from the Wikisource idea, in as much as nobody reads the source material to you aloud. Although, maybe in future incarnations .......... --phauna 11:46, 25 Jan 2005 (UTC)== Couldn't it go on Wikisource?

This is definately not a suitable sepearte WikiProject - Wikimedia does not create content forks. Content can be held between Source and Commons. --Oldak Quill 01:04, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Agreed. I'd much rather see Wiki{source|books} expanded to hold music notation -- after all, they already hold text, pictures, ... --Marnen 19:51, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think it should be a seperate project. As a musician, I can say right now that I wouldn't donate my music sheets and related articles to projects such as wikibooks and wikisource... espescially because I like music so much. I'd think that my work is being under-appreciated and lost in the huge mass of other 'useless' (from the point of view of a musician) information. Moreover, I'd say that it isn't a very good idea to seperate original music and music lessons from the other sheet music. After all, the same people are using both.

Finally, I think that this project has a huge potential as a dedicated project. Lazylemon 19:49, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Please see the work that has been launched at The International Music Score Library Project -- 14:40, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Why not use MIDI?[edit]

I'm not a e-composer, but my understanding is that most scores can be rendered as MIDI (and re-generated from MIDI.) This is a very mature and universally-used interface to most instruments.

However MIDI does not have any representation of non-digitisable parts such as lyrics or voices (that I know of.) -Brigand 03:11, 6 Jan 2005

This page contains, "The problems of music notation modeling have been addressed in computer systems several times. Among the several possible computer-based applications of music, the notation editing for professional publishing and visualization is one of the more complex for the intrinsic complexity of music notation. Music publishing requires the production of high quality music scores in terms of the number of symbols and their precise placement. In commercial editors used to prepare music scores for publishing, the number of elementary symbols is close to 300 while in MIDI is close to 40."Christiaan - 23:20, 19 Jan 2005
One of the nice things about Wiki is that it is relatively low tech, bandwidth efficient, and this allows many different Internet users to look at it. It would be far better to be able to print out a sheet of music, in musical notation which is extremely universal. This would remove the need for different languages to be used for WikiScores, at least initially, and means a greater number of poorly computer literate users access to the information. If I was a musician who used my computer for composition, then I would know all about MIDI, however if I was a music teacher at some high school with little funding, I would probably benefit from having some free sheet music readily available. --phauna 10:34, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Because publication-quality music notation contains (generally speaking) a superset of the information found in a MIDI file, it is far easier to go from notation to MIDI than the reverse. Therefore, it makes sense to store most music as notation, and either generate MIDI files dynamically or have them available in addition. --Marnen 20:06, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Using XML for music notation[edit]

To get some discussion going this link includes, "How much is too much? While XML makes it easy to create special-purpose dialects, the privilege shouldn't be abused, Bray warned. Competing schemas handling similar tasks create the potential for confusion and broken connections. Consider musical notation, where there are at least a half-dozen projects to apply XML to standardizing music scores."Christiaan - 23:15, 18 Jan 2005

It's worth having a look at what they're doing over at Wikisophia. —Christiaan - 24:19, 18 Jan 2005
It seems our work has been done for us, all the music scoring may need is a user friendly interface with some buttons and such, which could be spiffed up in a jiffy. --phauna 10:40, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

If you are looking for public domain sheet music[edit]

CPDL has like 8,000 scores. Start there :) Raul654 00:22, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Mutopia also has quite a few. Raul654 00:23, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Wikidata[edit]

I think it would be great to solve the problem of structured data in general instead of just in case of music. That's why I'd suggest to work on WikiData at first, and then extend it to WikiScores, WikiGeo, WikiMaps, WikiChessGames or whatever. It looks like the output-problem is already solved at WikiSophia, so the general question is how to transform this to sth. more like WYSIWYG. Ahamay, 14 Feb 2005


This is a worthwhile effort but will require substantial software support to work.

There are a number of public sheet music archives which all have their shortcomings.

  • Project Gutenberg carries some sheet music, but efforts proceed slowly. They use lilypond in a non-integrated way so that people must edit offline and then upload. The sheet music projects tend to get lost in the overall proofreading efforts. Because Gutenberg is book-oriented and only accepts previously published editions there would be organizational problems. Working on a hymnal or modern arrangement, even if GFDLed, would be impossible.
  • The mutopia project distributes music uploaded by others. They too use lilypond. There is no collaborrative model; each score is the work of an individual or (rarely) a group that coordinated its efforts by other means. The project is run by a handful of people and may not have long-term stability. They have an incredibly high degree of copyright paranoia in part because they have worldwide mirrors. Their strength is the mirror network and widespread distribution.
  • The CPDL accepts uploads in a variety of formats. In addition to lacking a collaborative model, the available scores require a wide variety of software packages to edit, and many of the formats are likely to become obsolete. They carry choral music to the exclusion of instrumental works.
  • There are many other sites that host scanned pages from older editions where the copyright has expired.

What is called for is a collaborative, wiki-like model for creating and editing music. The markup problems remain with lilypond being the best of many poor choices. Many of the problems could be mitigated by having lilypond built into the wiki, so that all users would be using the same version and would not have to download and install it. There are security problems in doing this however since the lilypond grammar is complex and there are likely to be exploits that can be found.

ABC format is out there and is workable for many simpler musical works, like hymns and folktunes. Since it is much simpler the usability issues would be more manageable.

UninvitedCompany 22:35, 11 August 2005 (UTC)


I saw this project, but might it not be better to merge the scores with other data? I thought it might be interesting to get also the text and music eventually with the scores. Maybe we can get a orchestre as far to play Mozart freesource, Beethoven etc. I am brainstorming with other users about this kind of ideas at Wikimusic, which should be a better name in that case. Effeietsanders 20:55, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

That page's talk page ( both on ) now points to Wikimusic II (here at the Meta) as the current proposal. Andrewa 13:38, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I would totally[edit]

If this becomes reality, it will be engraved in my memory as a day to remember. Deathgleaner 23:59, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Musical score transcription project proposal[edit]

Maybe this project interests you: Requests for comment/Musical score transcription project proposal.--Micru (talk) 20:22, 25 April 2013 (UTC)