Talk:Music markup/Archive 1

Latest comment: 14 years ago by Jayvdb in topic Vote


Why don't we make a vote/poll to see either we shall implement music markup on wikimedia projects?

Yes, music markup would enhance wikimedia a lot!

(oui, un système de notation musicale améliorerait beaucoup Wikipedia)

  1. Yes. Lilypond (thru WikiTeX) could be perfect for this... -- 00:40, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
  2. Would be great, I can't wait...--Avsa 21:47, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  3. Depending on a technical consensus Christiaan 22:50, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  4. This would be an excellent addition. TUF-KAT 23:08, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  5. We need it to write good articles about music p-e 06:32, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)P.S.: with LilyPond as shown in wikisophia.
  6. Yes yes yes. R3m0t 18:53, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  7. Yes. Yves30 14:19, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  8. Use Lilypond. Then we could add classical music wiki style to wikisource. // Wellparp 09:48, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  9. Daniel Mayer 10:10, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  10. Of course. Do we even need to vote on this? --Oldak Quill 01:02, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  11. Absolutely. And my vote goes to Lilypond, or possibly ABC (preferably both). I'm a composer and music engraver, and while I think Lilypond has serious problems in terms of producing good-quality notation, it is far and away the most portable format for complex music out there. Multivoice ABC is way too clunky for serious work, IMHO, but single-voice ABC is wonderful for lead sheets, so I'd like to see support for that too. --Marnen 15:40, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  12. Yes -- Marco Krohn 23:15, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  13. Yes, as an editor of music-related articles I would find a lot of use in this. It would also enhance the Wikipedia experience as a whole in so many ways... we would be able to provide culture to the world by making an archive of accurately reproduced classical music. And even more, a virtual archive of all musical styles in the world. Definitely, definitely yes. --Sn0wflake, 9 Feb 2005
  14. YES! I strongly support this idea. Recently I was working on an article about sound and some sound clips would be great. Eleassar777 12:13, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  15. Yes, if lilypond is used. silsor 20:06, Feb 10, 2005 (UTC)
  16. Yes, and my vote goes to lilypond. Lazylemon 09:49, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  17. [[User:Rdsmith4|User:Rdsmith4/sig]] 17:35, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  18. I've been making images offline with Lilypond and uploading them for a while now--this would certainly make things much easier and likely encourage me (and I expect others) to do more of that sort of thing. Camembert 03:59, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  19. Absolutely! 17:07, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  20. This would be great. -- Schnee 20:47, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  21. David Gerard 22:02, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  22. This is cool. But do it right. 21:49, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  23. This would be very cool. Ambush Commander 00:00, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  24. Definitely yes. Use wikisophia for that. 19:14, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  25. Absolutely! Mindspillage 06:01, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  26. -- 18:41, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  27. I'm waiting for it! Gérard 19:51, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  28. Yes, yes and yes ! I use MediaWiki for a Balkan music wiki, I can export MusicXML and maybe (later) Lilypond from Myriad software. I expect a system to show music in MediaWiki. -- 18:22, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC) (Iubito on wikipedia fr).
  29. Spm 15:51, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC).
  30. Yes ! Darky
  31. Just Another Yes. Meanos + 16:47, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
  32. This Lilypond markup should definitely be implemented. That would make a world of difference! Koinu 15:24, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
  33. YES PLEASE! Whose leg do we have to hump here to get this done? (actually maybe they shouldnt implement it so i dont spend the rest of my waking hours writing music articles :-) -- 14:59, 22 November 2005 (UTC)
  34. Yes I was thinking of implementing a wiki system for sharing sheet music. A friend was looking for sheet music and I tried to find stuff online and it was all pay or very difficult to find anything good and none of it was open source. So I thought about starting a wiki to handle the sharing of sheet music, when I began researching however I found this.
  35. Yes. ABC notation is far and away the most accessible in spite of its limitations with development continuing to extend the standard. Also, please visit The International Music Score Library Project where a similar project is in progress. Please note that I would have registered but the CAPTCHA image was not shown. -- 14:34, 3 July 2006 (UTC) aka Sphemusator
  36. Yes. Then, we could show musical devices (like cadences) clearly! 10:40, 11 November 2006 (UTC) (sjlegg on wikipedia)
  37. This feature would solve severe copyright problems at the de.wikipedia. I volunteer to contribute to the German documentation (and to the English, but limited by my language competence). --Hei ber 18:41, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
  38. Yes, I think it´s a very good idea
  39. Yes, and I want WikiScores too. By the way, wikisophia seems to work fine. --Miguelio 20:27, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  40. Absolutely! Debianux 19:49, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
  41. Wikisource needs this to transcribe pages. See s:Category:Sheet_music and s:Page:College Songs (Waite, 1887).djvu/22 John Vandenberg 05:19, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

No, this would only lead to creeping featurism

(non, cela conduirait à une addition inutile selon l'idée erronée qu'un ajout est forcément utile alors que l'inverse est souvent constaté)

Wait, we need further technical discussion

(attendons, il nous faut plus de discussions techniques)

Midi alternatives

  • Is midi patent free? Is there a equivalent free source? can we use it anyway?
    The MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) [1], the organization who created the MIDI specifications and standards [2], had just conducted a meeting in January 23, 2005 to discuss this matter. Perhaps in the near future, the results of this meeting are available to the general public (or can someone contact MMA and request the results of the meeting?). 06:33, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
    I guess they don't update their website as often as we do :-) --Phil | Talk 16:46, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Server side resource use

  • Wikitex music will be magnitudes smaller in kb size than equivalent ogg files. But also will ask more of the server capacity to convert it to as both sound and image. Is it worth the deal?


It is presumed that Lilypond scripts are rarely (to never) changed (because, in fact, a music is almost never changed since it had been composed). So, we can say that the CPU usage from converting and generating MIDI files and sheet musics are (theoretically) low. This low CPU usage is then offset by the reduced CPU usage resulting from reduced download size. Also note that CPU usage from conversion and generation is (theoretically) only a few times per music, while the CPU usage from downloading files is probably tens (to hundreds) of times per music. So, (theoretically) the CPU usage would be lower if we use Lilypond scripts. This assumption could be wrong, though, as I don't know the exact CPU usage resulting from conversion and generation and from file download, and I don't know how many times a Lilypond scripts will be changed before it is done. Realistically, I think, at the beginning, the CPU usage will be huge, since many Lilypond scripts for existing music articles will be uploaded to Wikipedia, and since Lilypond script is not so easy to use [it involved writing complex script], it is presumed that many Wikipedians will have to experiment with their Lilypond script first [for many times per music perhaps] before getting what they want [and getting used to Lilypond script], hence straining the servers even more. Although the CPU usage probably will be huge at beginning, it, as the time progresses, the CPU usage should gradually decrease once many of the musics were uploaded [= fewer uploads] and Wikipedians know Lilypond script better [= fewer changes and experiments per music]. Hopefully, eventually, the CPU usage will break even. 17:45, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Yes but that last topic suggested that server overload would not come because of lilypond itself, but from wikipedias growth because of it's possibilities. And that is always a good thing isn't? --Avsa 15:44, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Indeed. Just make sure that the servers can handle the loads. 06:33, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)
LilyPond is very resource hungry. If this ever gets implemented, it could be a good idea to run lilypond with very low priority, so that the lilyponding Wikipedians are the only ones who need to wait for music to be typeset. -- 16:09, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Say, if this idea is ever implemented, what about storing the Lilypond scripts in Wikimedia Commons instead of storing it in individual Wikipedias? This way, a music (Lilypond script) can be used by many different wikis at once (and can be edited and updated conveniently), without requiring separate storage space (and CPU usage) for each copies of the music. 17:45, 22 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Source music documents should reside in Wikisource, 23 Jan 2005
Not necessarily, see WikiScores for further discussion. —Christiaan - 21:00, 23 Jan 2005

Are we ready for it?

  • Lilypond easy to use may enhance greatly the new kinds of articles created on wikipedia (every musical article could have a music: template) are we ready for it?

If those musics are too much for Wikipedia, either we can store it for Wikimedia Commons or we can begin the proposed WikiScores project and store all the music there. 02:50, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

We should use wikisource, 23 Jan 2005

Is any progress being made in this area? I've started using Lilypond for my own uses and I'm itching to be able to use it with Wikipedia. - Anon

I hacked mediawiki-1.2.6 to use lilypond. You can find the patch at [3]. As it uses the "--safe" flag of LilyPond, it should be safe for production use. -- Dscho

I've warmed to this idea as well - I used to be happy enough cobbling stuff together using Sibelius, and I still am really, but there are several advantages to LilyPond (especially if we can get MIDI generated automagically). Developers probably have more pressing things to attend to, tho. --Camembert

I modified the patch to be a proper extension, and optionally to produce a MIDI on the fly (use <lilymidi> instead of <lilypond>), and decided to put it as LilyPond link on this page. -- Dscho

Could someone who knows how edit the links to the sample Lilypond PNG files to point not directly to the file tself but to the Wikipedia "wrapper" with the associated "What links here?" links so we can see them in context? PhilBoswell 14:48, 3 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Done, I think. --Camembert

Would Lilypond's biggest use not be in the ability to add musical examples to articles? I believe that it would. Printing full scores is wonderful, but for the Wikipedia, the ability to easily embed a small text script which would render a few bars of music would enhance the Wikipedia immensely.

--Dfedoruk 10:08, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

What about ABC?

What about using ABC? It is becoming a standard for music notation, and a wide database of musical scores is already written using this notation.Thus, it is similar to wiki markup (keep it simple) and does not raise security issues as lilypond does. I've already done a plugin for phpwikito store musical scores, and it should be simple to do the same for Wikipedia.You can see the plugin description at -- Jérôme "Cheyenne" Marrec

With respect to simplicity I'd vote for ABC although Lilypond might be slightly superior where it comes to details (which is difficult to express in text anyway). Bemoeial 21:20, 22 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Lilypond comes with a file called abc2ly which converts from ABC format to Lilypond format. ABC notation should be enclosed in <abcmusic> and </abcmusic> tags. Apply this diff to WikiTeX for ABC support:

diff -Naur wikitex.orig/ wikitex/
--- wikitex.orig/      1969-12-31 16:00:00.000000000 -0800
+++ wikitex/   2005-05-17 19:03:09.000000000 -0700
@@ -0,0 +1 @@
+      %value%
diff -Naur wikitex.orig/ wikitex/
--- wikitex.orig/       2005-03-10 01:42:00.000000000 -0800
+++ wikitex/    2005-05-19 11:34:36.000000000 -0700
@@ -35,6 +35,7 @@
                 'graph'       => 'strGraph',
                 'ling'        => 'strLing',
                 'music'       => 'strMusic',
+                'abcmusic'    => 'strABCMusic',
                 'plot'        => 'strPlot',
                 'ppch'        => 'strPPCH',
                 'schem'       => 'strSchem',
diff -Naur wikitex.orig/wikitex.php wikitex/wikitex.php
--- wikitex.orig/wikitex.php   2005-03-10 01:42:00.000000000 -0800
+++ wikitex/wikitex.php        2005-05-19 11:34:27.000000000 -0700
@@ -237,6 +237,12 @@
   return $objRend->strRend($str, array('class' => 'music'));
+function strABCMusic($str)
+  global $objRend;
+  return $objRend->strRend($str, array('class' => 'abcmusic'));
 function strPlot($str)
   global $objRend;
diff -Naur wikitex.orig/ wikitex/
--- wikitex.orig/    2005-03-10 01:42:00.000000000 -0800
+++ wikitex/ 2005-05-19 11:33:22.000000000 -0700
@@ -90,6 +90,18 @@
     STR="$STR"$(printf '<a href="%s">[listen]</a>' "${OUT}${HASH}${MID}")
+function abcmusic() {
+    abc2ly ${HASH}
+    echo '\header { tagline = "" }' > ${HASH}
+    sed < ${HASH}.ly >> ${HASH} -e '/\\header /,/}/d' -e '/\\paper /,/}/d' -e '/\\midi /d' -e '$d'
+    echo -e '\\paper { pagenumber = no }\n\\midi { \\tempo 4 . = 80 }\n}' >> ${HASH}
+    rm -f ${HASH}.ly
+    wt_exec "lilypond --no-pdf --no-ps --png ${HASH}"
+    for i in ${HASH}*${EXT}; do wt_exec "mogrify -trim ${i}"; wt_img "${OUT}${i}"; done
+    wt_anch
+    STR="$STR"$(printf '<a href="%s">[listen]</a>' "${OUT}${HASH}${MID}")
 function plot() {
     cat ${HASH} | sed "s/\%OUTPUT\%/${HASH}${EXT}/" > ${HASH}
     wt_exec "gnuplot ${HASH}"

Separate Music Wiki

This may not be totally on topic, but a totally seperate wiki devoted to music would be very useful. Music is very costly to students, amatures, and professionals and a free source for musical scores, parts, excerpts, etudes and whatever else would be quite useful. If a score for an orchestra were being created different people could submit the parts for their respective instruments and they could be combined into a full score. Project like The Mutipia Project are nice, but lack the collaborative work of a wiki. Before this could be possible some sort of wiki music markup would be necessary. Personally I would vote for Lilypond because of the good output that it creates. Its security issues need to be looked at in depth before this would be possible however. Anyways that's my two cents. --HornDude77see

I suggest taking a look at WikiScores. —Christiaan - 21:15, 23 Jan 2005

Correcting MusicXML misinformation

To correct some misinformation about MusicXML:

As of December 2004, MusicXML is supported by 40 applications (see [4]). They range from the two market leaders in music notation through a variety of open source projects; from notation editors to sequencers to algorithmic composition to eletronic music stands. This is far more support than any music notation standard since MIDI, and MusicXML captures far more of music notation meaning.

Where is the software that ever meets with "total elation" from everybody? MusicXML is of course resisted by those who want to lock you into their own proprietary format, or when it is proposed as a solution to the wrong problem. For instance, don't use MusicXML for text entry of simple tunes - use abc for that! But MusicXML is achieving its goals of letting people share music between applications, and lowering barriers to entry so that innovative new music instructional software can more readily come to market.

What are these unnamed "compatibility problems" with other free licenses? Plenty of open source projects use MusicXML under a wide range of licenses. This sounds like FUD.

If examples use MusicXML as the primary markup format, you will maximize the reusability of the examples in different software. Nothing else comes close. Translators from MusicXML to Myriad or MusicXML to LilyPond might provide viewers today. Given industry trends one can expect more viewer options to be available in the future.

I think the issue is that MusicXML is a machine-readable format, not a human-readable one, despite being ASCII-based. Lilypond, for instance, is designed to be readable and writable by humans. Wikitext is a nightmare to parse, but it's very easy to write. Grendelkhan 17:50, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think we've reached to a consensus...

There is no single vote against applying music markup. What's holding you on? Lazylemon 14:17, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Probably the fact that a "vote" is irrelevant and has nothing to do with actually getting things done. --brion 23:13, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well this vote here is not very representive but I think everyone knows that here is a general high demand in using music markup within MediaWiki and in particular the version running on Wikimedia servers (saying: installing one of the two existing music markup extension moduls there). The problem is: Outsiders don't know what the special problem with music markup in MediaWiki is as there exists code that works just fine. I have searched the MediaWiki mailing list and Meta and I found nothing really enlighting despite some fear that this code is not safe enough (which was everytime denied by the developers of those patches as far as I followed the discussions). I think that the real hold up is simply overwork. There exist so many technical challenges that can't be solved the same time. If it is so, simply say it and I suppose people will understand it and maybe there could be some roadmap so that people can see which steps need to be done first. At the moment most people don't understand why something special as hieroglyphs works within MediaWiki but the far more general music markup not. Arnomane 08:54, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Voting is probably irrelevant brion but at least it points out a true issue. I too resent a bit the lack of music markup. So what would do next to have actually things done ? villy 09:21, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

What about Noteworthy ?

Why not asking the owner to open Noteworthy (at least, the file format) ? It's a standard, produces short files and is widely spread. Is there a matter of money ? I'm not sure. Qui ne risque rien n'a rien. Gwalarn 02:07, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Lilypond seems to give the best-looking output, and supports conversion from a wide variety of other popular formats, which means you could author in a wide variety of other languages. --Forresto 00:49, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Have anyone tried ?

Myriad alternative


I know it's not a really good alternative if you want a contributive work (i.e. someone add/correct notes the others wrote) but for my display / playing / printing / transposing / karaoke... needs, I created Myriad extension, which uses a plug-in installed on clients' computer, works with a lot of browsers, Win and Mac.

For linux users, it may works throught Wine. See this thread on Myriad forum.

--Iubito 12:19, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

I'm sorry beeing so harsh but nobody wants to need wine for a browser plugin. A browser plugin itself is already in most cases an inaceptable burden to the end user. Arnomane 11:25, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Yes I know, but there are no solution 100% ok for everybody.
Good news, I think in a near future, the plug-in may handle directly MusicXML files :)
--Iubito 13:14, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

What about PDF output?

Would it be a good idea to provide a downloadable PDF file in addition to the PNG and MIDI files?


  • PDFs are printable, which is very important for the WikiScores project.
  • If LilyPond is chosen, it costs very little (in terms of computation) to convert to PDF: The PNG file is generated via PostScript already.


  • PDF files consume much space, compared to PNGs and MIDIs.

-- 16:30, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Are Finale and Noteworthy related?

This phrase from the article led me to think that they are, "such as those used by Noteworthy Finale and Sibelius."

But they seem to be different ventures with independent histories?

OGG codec endorsement is meta page ambiguity

'ogg files are surely the right choice when it is important to hear the original recording' (from the article) needs a reference to supporting material. Otherwise it appears to be an endorsement based on subjective opinion. There are other lossless codecs, such as FLAC and AAC.-- 13:50, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Nevermind... I now understand the context of this page. I'm leaving this entry as a sign that the Wikipedia's meta pages (and the meaning of a meta page) need to be more clearly disambiguated from the regular entries. The iconic change presumes knowledge of the icon. My intuitive assumption (incorrect) was that the 'meta' link went to a more abstract discussion of a category of topics. I suggest something as simple as changing the background colour from white to a pastel. Wikipedians, I leave this to you.-- 14:00, 1 July 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I just want to ask if there is any news on the integration of music markup into the software. We in de-WP would be very thankful for such a module and as I saw on Wikisophia it works pretty fine. Thanks in advance, -- Dr. Shaggeman 22:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

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