MakeMusic and Steinberg have announced the creation of the W3C Music Notation Community Group, tasked with maintaining MusicXML and SMuFL (Standard Music Font Layout) specifications as Web standards.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the international organization that creates and promotes standards for the World Wide Web.
Michael Good, MakeMusic vice president of R&D, invented the MusicXML format in 2000, to create a standard interchange format for music notation applications. It has been adopted by well over 200 applications, including nearly all the major web, desktop, and mobile notation programs.
The MusicXML format was developed at Michael’s former company Recordare with the participation of a large and active developer and musician community. MakeMusic’s 2011 acquisition of Recordare’s assets, though, changed the community dynamics, since the owner of the format was now a competitor of many developers.
This increased the community’s desire to move MusicXML development to a more neutral forum. W3C Community Groups provide a way to move MusicXML development forward in a more open process, without the overhead of producing formal W3C Recommendations.
Steinberg is transferring development of its Standard Music Font Layout (SMuFL) specification to the same W3C Music Notation Community Group. Michael Good from MakeMusic, Daniel Spreadbury from Steinberg, and Joe Berkovitz from Hal Leonard/Noteflight will serve as co-chairs of the Music Notation Community Group.
“We are excited that the MusicXML and SMuFL communities are coming together as a W3C Community Group,” said Doug Schepers, W3C Web Standards Specialist. “Music notation is an essential cultural artifact, and worthy of having its own expression on the Web. W3C is pleased that our Community Groups framework will help move these important technologies forward.”
“I am delighted that MakeMusic has decided to transfer MusicXML development to the W3C,” said MusicXML inventor Michael Good. “Finale was the first widely used music notation application to support the MusicXML format. Today’s announcement continues MakeMusic’s leadership in open standards for the sheet music community.”
See the W3C site for more info.