Working with MusicXML files

Updated 9 months ago


    MusicXML is a universal file format that allows music scores to be shared between different music notation programs. For example, you can convert a MuseScore .mscz file to a MusicXML file and it will open in Sibelius, Finale, or any other compatible scorewriter; and vice versa.

    MusicXML faithfully reproduces the notes and instrumentation, but, nevertheless, it is usually necessary to do some clean-up work to make the transferred score look exactly the same as the original.

    Opening a MusicXML file

    When a MusicXML file is first opened in MuseScore, the positions and custom properties of text objects are preserved as far as possible. There may also be other customizations visible in the score which you may or may not wish to keep.

    Cleaning up an imported score

    Restoring stems

    To reset the stems of all notes to their default positions and orientations:

    1. Right-click on a note and choose Select→Similar
    2. Press Ctrl+R.

    Restoring default leading spaces

    To reset the leading space of all notes to the score default:

    1. Right-click on a note and choose Select→Similar
    2. Click on the Appearance button in the Properties panel
    3. If the Leading space reset button (circular arrow) is active, click on it to reset to the score default; otherwise no further action is required.

    Removing breaks

    To remove all breaks—system, page and section:
    1. Right-click on a break and choose Select→Similar
    2. Press Delete.

    To remove just system breaks (leaving section and page breaks in place):

    1. From the main menu, select Format→Add/Remove system breaks.
    2. Select Remove current system breaks
    3. Click OK to close the dialog.

    Restoring default text styles

    To reset all text objects in the score, and in frames, to their default styles:

    1. From the main menu, choose Format→Style
    2. Click on the button marked Reset all styles to default
    3. Click OK to close the dialog.

    See Format→Style→Text styles to view the list of styles, and property values.

    Resetting default text positions


    To reset the positions of all text objects in frames:

    1. Right-click on a text object in a frame
    2. Choose Select→Similar
    3. Press Ctrl+R.

    Score text

    You can apply the same method for text objects in the score, as for frames. However you will need to repeat this for each individual class of object—all tempo texts, all staff texts and so on.

    Preparing a score for export

    To export a score as a MusicXML file see File export.

    Export settings

    When exporting a score to MusicXML, you can choose from a compressed (the default option) or uncompressed format; and whether to export all breaks or not, or to allow only manually-added breaks to appear in the file.

    [To be added:

    • gotchas - manual adjustments, misuse of element types, images, ...
    • export settings]