2015 has been a major year for music notation standards with the formation of the W3C Music Notation Community Group. We are now at 222 members, making this the fifth largest community group at the W3C. Thanks to everybody for your interest and participation!
We recently started work on a music notation use cases document. This is on the Music Notation Community Group Wiki, and participants in the Community Group may edit it.
There are a lot of use cases in this document already. The two things we need are more complete descriptions for the existing use cases, and coverage for any use cases we may not have included yet.
We think it is best if people edit the use cases who are either in the role described by the use case, or are implementing solutions for people in that use case. For some roles this is pretty easy. Lots of members of this list are performers, and composers, arrangers, teachers, and students are also easy to find.
Some roles are more specialized, though. The use cases for musicologists, for instance, do not have any descriptions yet. The use cases associated with education, accessibility, and convergence with web and Epub technologies are also missing descriptions. If you are in one of these roles, or supporting people in these roles, we especially welcome your contributions to describing the use cases in more detail. Our headlines and one-paragraph descriptions are a starting point, but more detail will be needed to have these use cases are addressed effectively in the future.
This use case work is a first step toward an updated music notation format that builds on the success of MusicXML 3.0 for music document interchange and expands it to new uses. In the meantime, though, both MusicXML and SMuFL have some short-term needs that we want to start addressing later this month or in early January. These will be MusicXML 3.1 and SMuFL 1.2 updates.
MusicXML 3.1 will be focused on adding greater coverage for musical symbols, along with targeted bug fixes and feature enhancements. The goal is to maintain and improve MusicXML 3.0’s high level of document interoperability, without distracting from the longer-term work of the community group. You can see the current list of MusicXML 3.1 issues in the MusicXML GitHub repository.
Similarly, SMuFL 1.2 adds coverage for more musical symbols, and addresses other issues that have been raised by the SMuFL community over the past several months. You can see the current list of SMuFL 1.2 issues in the SMuFL GitHub repository.
We have added integration of the GitHub repositories into the public-music-notation-contrib mailing list so that group contributors will be notified of progress as the MusicXML 3.1 and SMuFL 1.2 issues are worked through in GitHub.
Thank you again for all your interest in this group. 2015 has been a year of transition and new beginnings for music notation standards. We look forward to 2016 when we expect the group to deliver its first updates to the MusicXML and SMuFL formats, and to start more extensive work on an updated web music notation format for the future.
Michael Good, Joe Berkovitz, and Daniel Spreadbury
W3C Music Notation Community Group Co-Chairs