[MEI-L] MEI Support in MuseScore

Andrew Hankinson andrew.hankinson at gmail.com
Wed Aug 23 13:08:56 CEST 2023

Dear MEI Community,

We are pleased to announce that MEI support in MuseScore is on it's way! Read on for more details, including how you can help us test it.

MuseScore is a popular open-source and free music notation editor, currently on version 4.1. The next official version, 4.2, will include support for MEI Basic import and export. We hope this will provide the community with a much-needed tool for creating and editing MEI notation files. (There is currently no release date for MuseScore 4.2, but it is the next version that they will release).

If you don't know, MEI Basic is a new customization for MEI, officially being released with MEI 5. This simplifies MEI to a smaller subset of the full schema, with the intention of providing an easier target for software support in hopes it will spur on tool development. It will only support Common Western Notation, and removes some of the more advanced tools for editorial and analytical work. However, as a subset of MEI, all MEI Basic files are also valid MEI "full" files, meaning current software will support both. This also provides a path for doing basic data entry in a tool like MuseScore, and then further enhancing your encodings, "upgrading" them to more advanced encodings.

In advance of the Music Encoding Conference this year, we are inviting the community to help test and provide feedback on this new tool. MEI support is already available in the MuseScore nightly "development" builds, which can be downloaded here:


You will want to download the "latest master" version for your platform (Windows, Mac, or Linux). 

To work with MEI files you can choose to open some of your existing MEI 4 files (MuseScore will warn you if it doesn't support them) or you can choose existing MuseScore files and save them to MEI. These may be accessed via the normal file "open" and file "export" dialogs.

The following features are not currently supported, but we are working towards their support by the time MuseScore 4.2 is released:

 - lyrics
 - ornaments
 - pedal marks
 - figured bass

If you find problems, such as crashes or improper display, please let us know! You can reach us several ways:

 - The Music Encoding Slack channel
 - Filing a GitHub issue: https://github.com/rism-digital/MuseScore/issues
 - E-mail Andrew or Laurent: andrew.hankinson at rism.digital <mailto:andrew.hankinson at rism.digital>; laurent.pugin at rism.digital <mailto:laurent.pugin at rism.digital>

In all cases, providing us with specifics is critical to helping us solve problems.

 - Details about the version you are using. (You can find this in the MuseScore "About" panel, and it looks something like this: OS: macOS 13.5, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit): 4.2.0-232210302, revision: github-musescore-musescore-05f017f)
 - The file you were using that caused a problem.
 - A screenshot if it provides more details

Specifically, we are looking for instances that cause MuseScore to completely crash, since these are the most critical bugs to fix.


This work is a result of a partnership between the Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab (DCML) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) Digital Center in Bern, Switzerland. 

More details on this work will be forthcoming, probably at MEC 2024.


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