MusicXML: octave-change element in Finale MusicXML

• Feb 12, 2014 - 09:57

Hi all,

I've been using Finale for years, but recently switched to MuseScore. Best decision of 2014 so far!

After using Finale for years, I also have a rather big collection of Finale scores. No problem I guessed. Just export them to MusicXML and load them in MuseScore.

But the MusicXML created by Finale 2012 contains the octave-change element for various instruments: tenor saxophone, baritone (treble clef), B flat bass tuba. MuseScore ignores the octave-change element though; MuseScore only uses the diatonic and chromatic elements.

Some example XML code

Finale 2012 XML for tenor sax:


MuseScore XML:


While both examples try to do the same, MuseScore doesn't interpret the Finale code right (part is playback an octave too high) and Finale doesn't interpret the MuseScore code right (not transposed at all, octave too high).

As far as I understand from the MusicXML standard, both ways are correct although the MusicXML documentation states the following:

The chromatic element represents the number of semitones needed to get from written to sounding pitch. This value does not include octave-change values; the values for both elements need to be added to the written pitch to get the correct sounding pitch.

According to this specification, the octave-change should be added to the chromatic/diatonic element.

Of course, the sounding pitch is rather easily corrected in MuseScore by setting, but it would be nice if MuseScore could interpret the octave-change element correctly.


In reply to by [DELETED] 5

Attached you'll find two test scores in MusicXML format attached. Both scores are exactly the same (alto sax, tenor sax, B flat trumpet, trombone) but one has been exported by Finale 2012 and the second has been saved as MusicXML by MuseScore.

You'll find the differences in the tenor sax part (part P2 in the XML). In the Finale file, the transposition is diatonic -1, chromatic -2 and octave-change -1 (lines 443 to 447)

In the MuseScore file, the transposition is diatonic -8, chromatic -14 and no octave-change (lines 369 to 372).

Please let me know if you need anything more!

Attachment Size
MusicXML_Finale.xml 33.38 KB
MusixXML_MuseScore.xml 28.73 KB

In reply to by RvL

Compiled the latest GIT revision on Linux and fired it up.

Loaded a Finale 2012 XML file: playback OK. All instrument are in the right pitch, playback as well as written pitch

Exported a simple score with tenor saxophone to MusicXML from MuseScore. First checked the transpose element in the XML: diatonic -1, chromatic -2, octave-change -1. Great!

Loaded the same XML in Finale: playback OK, correct pitch both playback as written.

Have found another interesting thing though, regarding the Fluid SF3 synthesizer. But I will open another topic for that issue. Edit: already filed in the issue tracker: Still waiting for the new libsndfile, although the altered soundfont offered in one of the comments is a improvement.

I also noticed that Finale didn't handle transposing instrument right in a MusicXML exported from MuseScore.

It's good that this is being investigated in a thorough sense.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.