MusicXML and MEI homework

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Compose a measure

Compose one measure of music in MuseScore, Finale, Noteflight, or Sibelius, etc. and export the score to a MusicXML file.

Your composition should have at least ten of the following musical features:

  • a slur
  • a tie
  • a rest
  • a chord
  • a beam
  • triplet rhythms
  • a key signature
  • some lyrics
  • multiple verses of lyrics
  • an accidental (sharp, flat, natural, double-sharp, double-flat).
  • an implicit accidental (a note which should be played with an accidental, but it is not displayed in front of the note since it is in the key signature or a previous note at the same diatonic pitch in the measure).
  • a dynamic marking (p, mp, mf, f, etc.)
  • a crescendo/decrescendo hairpin/wedge
  • an articulations (fermata, staccato, tenuto, accent, etc.)
  • two or more layers/voices
  • two or more staves (such as grand staff for piano, or two separate instruments)
  • two or more measures
  • instrument name before music
  • transposing instrument
  • a tempo marking (Allegro, Lento, Adagio, etc)


To save MusicXML data in MuseScore, go to the Menu "File→Export..." and then select the save type as "Uncompressed MusicXML file". You might want to reload the MusicXML file back into the music editor that you used to check that it exported the features that you want (not all features of the music editor may be exported into MusicXML data, and this will depend on the editor).

Copy/Paste into online editor

Open the MusicXML file in a text editor and copy the contents. This can be done on the command line in MacOS with the command:

   cat file.musicxml | pbcopy

Then go to the webpage:

   http://verovio.humdrum.org?k=e

and paste the MusicXML data into the text editor on the left side of the page, which should result in a view something like this after pasting:

MusicXML contents and notation rendering after pasting onto VHV webpage."

Locations of features in MusicXML

List and/or draw a tree diagram of the XML path from the root node to each of the features that you created in your composition.

For example, a note should have a path from the root node of the XML data like this:

    /score-partwise/part/measure/note

Not all features will be explicitly encoded within a single containing element (chords for example), so describe in general how it is encoded if it is not obviously encoded. If a feature is encoded as an attribute use the following style, which shows where a measure number is stored in MusicXML:

    /score-partwise/part/measure@number

This means that measure numbers are stored in the "number" attribute of measure elements, which are contained within the part element which in turn is contained in the root element "score-partwise".

Locations of features in MEI

After recording the path to the features in MusicXML, Type alt-m twice on the same webpage. This should convert the MusicXML data into MEI data. For each of the features that you recorded the XML path in the MusicXML data, do the same for the MEI data.

Here is an example view of the MEI data after pressing alt-m (currently have to press twice due to a bug):

MEI contents and notation rendering after typing alt-m on VHV webpage.

Now, for example, measure numbers are stored in the XML path:

   /mei/music/mdiv/score/section/measure@n

What to hand in

Send Craig and Eleanor your MusicXML file and a screenshot in MuseScore or VHV, the converted MEI file and the path locations of your ten or more musical features in the MusicXML and MEI data (or an element map of the entire measure).


This homework is related to locating elements/attributes in XML data using systems such as XPath, which you should be familiar with if you work with MusicXML or MEI data.