MakeMusic Transfers MusicXML Development to W3C

Michael Good

Today MakeMusic announced that it is transferring development of its industry-standard MusicXML format to the new Music Notation Community Group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Pictured above are the three co-chairs of the Music Notation Community Group (L to R):

  • Joe Berkovitz, president of Noteflight
  • Michael Good, VP of research and development at MakeMusic
  • Daniel Spreadbury, product marketing manager at Steinberg

Michael Good invented the MusicXML format in 2000 to create a standard interchange format for music notation applications. It has been adopted by more than 200 applications, including nearly all the major web, desktop, and mobile notation programs.

Finale was the first widely used music notation application to support the MusicXML format, starting with the release of Finale 2003 for Windows. Finale added MusicXML support for Mac with Finale 2006. Finale’s implementation of MusicXML import and export has been a reference for the music notation industry.

The MusicXML format was originally developed at Michael’s former company Recordare, with the participation of a large and active developer and musical community. MakeMusic’s 2011 acquisition of Recordare’s assets changed the community dynamics, since Finale was a competitor for many of these developers. This increased the community’s desire to move MusicXML development to a more neutral forum.

Today’s transfer of MusicXML to an open W3C community group marks another step forward in MakeMusic and Finale’s support for open standards such as MusicXML, MIDI, and the EPUB electronic book format.

Simultaneously, Steinberg has announced that it is transferring development of its Standard Music Font Layout (SMuFL) specification to the same W3C Music Notation Community Group. MakeMusic has been actively involved in SMuFL development since the format was first announced. 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.

You can read more about the story behind the formation of the W3C Music Notation Community Group on the group’s blog at:

MakeMusic, Steinberg, and Hal Leonard invite developers, publishers, musicians, and other interested parties to join the W3C Music Notation Community Group. Membership is free of charge. More details are available at

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